As of tomorrow, I am finished with National Board Certification, at least until I look up my scores in December. It has been a long, tedious process, but as many before me have said, one of the best professional development activities I've been involved in. I've made some great connections and learning through the Yahoo Groups listserv. Although I haven't been very active on the MiddleTalk listserv, it still was quite supportive throughout. I also had a colleague read through my entries, and according to her, she learned a lot from just reading it. I am a little disappointed because if I had completed this process in the States, I might have had more face-to-face support and been able to be part of a cohort group. I like being able to discuss my practice with other teachers and see what they do in their classrooms. On the listserv, people talked about trying to get together to talk over their entries and having packaging “parties.” That would have been fun. However, I have had an incredibly supportive and understanding husband, who has helped me throughout this process. Especially the last few weeks, when writing has consumed my every waking moment outside of school. He even celebrated with me last night, when I finished packaging. The pitiful thing is, he's really the only one that really saw what it took to do this. Well, anyone who has been through the process would also, but I don't personally know any!
It has been a tough process, not because of the work involved, but because of life. This all forced me to do my writing much later than I has planned. When I bought a how-to book about certification, I had planned to use the time line it suggested. I started video taping in October and November, but then got very sick and didn't do any more because I was really off my game. Then when I was going to sit and analyze and write, I had to suddenly travel to the States for family reasons. When I returned, I had a week and a half, before traveling again to find a new job. So, the month of March has been consumed in completing the work. As I viewed my small group video, I realized I did it wrong and had to redo it. Then, when packaging Entry 4, I realized I wrote it completely wrong. But, better to see these things when I had enough time to fix it, rather than after. As much as I don't want to go back and look at it all, I need to continue collecting work and video taping as I will not know if I have passed until December. That will be too late to start over.
Well, hopefully I will have more time now to continue blogging. I've missed having this forum to discuss my ideas. With all the writing, I have had many days of lethologica – forgetting the one word that I really want to finish the sentence. If the adage that men use about half the words that women use, my husband has a lot of catching up to do, because I have seriously overused my quota. This process has made me appreciate the work that professional writers do – and I only had to write about 60 pages.