Thursday 3: May 17, 2018
I hope everyone has been having a great week so far, and I hope you all had a lovely Mother’s Day. It was not an easy day for me, as I noted in my last Sunday Session. I knew it would be too hard for me to celebrate the day with my mother-in-law, as it would just be a reminder of the other grandmother who was not with us, so my husband took his mom and my daughter to some gardens on Whidbey Island while I worked on my National Boards. The rest of the week was kind of like Sunday: National Boards, National Boards, National Boards. That being said, I still had a few bright spots of gratitude.
I’m all done with National Boards. If you hear teachers talking about National Boards, they are talking about National Board Certification for teaching. It is a rigorous process that involves submitting three portfolios and passing an exam. Not only does it give a teacher a feather in her cap if she passes, but it also can mean extra income. In Washington, we receive a $5,090 stipend each year. If I had stayed at my current school, I would receive an extra $5,000 on top of that for being in a high needs school. I submitted my last portfolio yesterday, and what a relief it was to get that out of the way. I started this process 3 years ago, doing two portfolios my first year, the assessment last year, and my final portfolio this year. The 3 year path is not the path I would recommend. By this third year, I was so tired of National Boards that I procrastinated way too much and had to jam all the hours I needed to spend on it into a much smaller time frame. Another recommendation from me if you want to complete National Boards: Don’t have kids. Seriously. But if you insist on procreating, do your Boards before you start a family or wait until your children are able to feed, wipe, and entertain themselves, otherwise, it’s nearly impossible to find the extra hours to needed to finish your portfolio without surviving on 4-5 hours of sleep a night like I did. Needless to say, I am so happy and relieved that I am finally finished! I’ll find out if I passed in December.
As I mentioned above, I procrastinated big time on my National Boards. Luckily, I’ve got a great husband and awesome colleagues who jumped in to help me out. My honey stayed up with me until 1 a.m. the night before my portfolio was due, reading all 37 pages of my document and giving me feedback. He is not a teacher, but he worked as the technology coordinator at the same school as me on Maui, so he knows all of the educational buzzwords. The day the portfolio was due, my grade level teaching partner, Annette, informed me she was taking my students for a couple of hours so I could work in peace. I was stunned. I never in a million years would have expected anyone to do something so nice for me! After I finished editing my portfolio, I walked across the hall to find not only Annette with all 48 students in her room, but also our Title math teacher, Amy, and our math instructional assistant, Melissa. Amy was leading a fraction BINGO game with the two classes and Annette and Melissa were monitoring the students. It was incredible. If I was stunned before, I was bowled over now. Three people gave their time and effort to my class so I could finish my portfolio. It was one of the kindest gifts I have ever received. Continuing the love train, my husband brought me roses (and a Diet Coke!) yesterday evening in congratulations for submitting my portfolio. Even better, we enjoyed them while we ate dinner outside on our back patio.
On a completely different note, did you know the newest season of The Real Housewives of New York City premiered April 4th? It’s been on a whole month and a half and I had no clue. My head must have been buried deep in that National Boards sand! I only watch the New York version of the Real Housewives. I believe they are classier than the other shows’ housewives, which is an opinion that is based on such shallow reasons as they live in a sophisticated city, Dorinda knows the Clintons, and Carole has written real books. Anyway, I can’t wait to pour myself a glass of wine (perhaps Pinot Grigio in honor of Ramona) and settle into a nice binge of my favorite New York ladies.
Before you go, let me leave you with this shot my husband took on my phone the other night on the Tommy Thompson trail in Anacortes, WA. (It’s the background image for my Thursday 3 featured pic this week) Isn’t it gorgeous?