I had posted a snapshot of what life was like last March as I prepared to ship off the infamous box, but I don't think I ever shared too much about the experience.
I had big plans to take my photo with my box. In my mind I would look all cute and stylish as I posed for a picture of my smiling and handing the box over the counter to the friendly mailman at the local post offfice.
That was not the case.
Not even close.
I didn't even take it to the post office. My husband brought it because I was in my pajamas at 12:55 p.m. after pulling an all-nighter making last minute changes to Entry 3. I am not kidding when I say that he rushed off with the box full of warm paper that was hot off the printer to get to the post office before they closed at 1:00 p.m. to meet the "postmarked by" deadline.
It's not that I procrastinated. In fact, the "process" consumed every waking (and what should have been sleeping) moment of my life. It's just that the "process" is designed in such a manner that you find yourself second (and 3rd and 4th) guessing your every move and thus redoing things over and over as you do.
So there are no pictures to commemorate the handing off of the #$% box. What there were photos of...(lots of photos in fact)...were me sleeping with books on my face, sleeping with my head on my laptop keyboard, sleeping at the kitchen table while drooling on a stack of papers with editing marks on them, sleeping on the couch while a DVD of myself teaching a science lesson played over and over.
To say the process was exhausting, stressful, time-consuming (insert additional synonyms and profanities) would be an understatement.
However, it was also the most eye-opening, reflective, rewarding, rejuvenating (insert synonyms that mean I grew oodles and oodles as a teacher) professional experience I've been through. It trumps all professional development and graduate level courses combined.
Anyhow, I tried to put it all out of mind as I waited for the scores to be released.
For months I didn't think much about it.
And then I got the email. The one that said scores would be released today.
And I've pretty much been a bundle of nerves ever since.
I woke up at 3 a.m. and even though I had been told scores would most likely be released around noon CMT, I couldn't fall back to sleep.
I planned to wait until tonight to check so I wouldn't make myself crazy hitting refresh all day.
Instead I stopped by the forums on ecgen.org. They had been invaluable throughout my experience. I was surprised to see that people were posting that the scores went live at midnight.
My hands were literally shaking so much that it took 3 attempts to log in.
Each time I covered my eyes, took a deep breath and then peeked through my fingers at the screen.
I was completely prepared to be redoing entries and assessments. The process can take 3 years. I was just hopeful that my scores were not pitiful because I had worked so hard.
I can not put into words the emotions that went into those few seconds of making sense of the screen.
Finally my eyes focused on the phrase at the top...
and I cried. I actually cried real wet messy tears.
I was shocked by my reaction. So out of character. I was prepared to tackle some of the entries again this year, but am beyond overjoyed that I won't need to.
Oh Happy Happy Day!!!
And now I'm waiting for a voiceover to ask, "You just achieved National Board Certification status what are you going to do next?" So I can happily reply, "I'm going to Disney World!!"
Because when I booked a quick weekend trip to Disney next month they asked, "Will you be celebrating anything?" I glanced at the calendar where I had written NB Score Release and replied, "I certainly hope so!"
Thanks so much for your notes, letters, emails and encouragement as I took this on last winter. I so very much appreciate your support. I could not have done this alone. I'm so grateful to all of you and to my family for their patience and my coteacher who took on so much extra copying and such to allow me extra time to work on it. As stressful as it was, I highly recommend the process to others who are considering it.