Monday, October 7, 2013

It's that time of year.....

As I have been so preoccupied with the shenanigans and goings-on at school, it just occurred to me that the National Board results should be due out soon. I would imagine with the online process they rolled out this year, the results could be out even sooner than they traditionally are. Otherwise, in just over a month, right around Thanksgiving, I will find out if I finally achieved my certification after two years of back-breaking work and blood, sweat and tears.

I was so sure I would certify on my first try. SO.SURE. And I didn't. By a mere 0.375 of a point before the weighting. Less than half a point! I retook only Entry 1. In all honesty, when push came to shove, I didn't even push to have all 13 pages when I turned in my 2nd attempt. I just didn't have it in me. If I don't make it this time....I'm not sure that I will keep at it. I just don't think I want it THAT much.

I prefer not to be pessimistic. I prefer to be positive and hope for the best. However, I also know that I need to be realistic. I put everything I had into that entry--both times that I attempted it. If I don't make it....well, then it just isn't my time. Of course, if I'm being positive, I know that there is no way in the world that I didn't score that extra 0.375 point to get my score up to that magic 275 mark. 

Alas, I'm nervous. I think that's normal....especially after such a devastating blow last year. Realizing I was SO CLOSE and had worked my butt off but fallen short. Barely. But still short. It's weird to me how easily the process can fall away from you once you aren't fully immersed in it. When it isn't what you're working on every spare second of every's so easy to forget it, to not remember how many times you wrote, rewrote, swore, cried, deleted and rewrote again because it just wasn't cutting it for you.

I do think its a worthwhile process. I learned a lot about myself as a teacher and about my students as learners....but I also know that if I don't make it this time, I'm likely going to wash my hands of it. I want it. I do. But I don't want it so badly that I will put myself on that emotional train again right now. Nope. I need to move on to bigger and better things as they say.

It's hard to say that, if I'm being 100% honest. (And I strive to be.) I DO want it...and I hope like heck that I made it. But I don't know if I can live and breathe National Board for a third year in a row. I never want to be someone who "gives up" but I also never want to be someone who tries to be something they aren't.

Food for thought, I guess. Suppose that weekend comes, results come out and I see "Congratulations!" on my screen like I wanted so badly to last year. I will feel relieved, overjoyed, absolutely full of pride in myself that I made it....but a tiny part of me is so afraid that, for the second year in a row, I won't see that word. And that scares me. It scares me a lot...because I'm at a point in my personal and professional life that National Board can't be the end-all-be-all. There is more to me than wanting four extra letters behind my name. I just hope that when the time comes....I have the courage to do what I need to do, regardless of what direction that is.

The Caffeinated Teacher


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