Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Results Are in . . .

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.





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35 comments:

  1. Congratulations!!!! I know what a hard and emotionally draining process this is (I certified in 2006) It is indeed something to be crying over :)

    ~Stephanie
    Teaching in Room 6

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  2. Congratulations! A very strenuous process but highly rewarding. One of the best things I have done to improve my own teaching. Hope you get a chance to celebrate and be celebrated. It is a huge accomplishment.

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  3. Congratulations!!! How exciting and rewarding!

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  4. Congratulations! I just found out today that I passed too. And, yes, I cried too :)

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  5. Great Job! I am truly happy for you! Well done!

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  6. Congratulations! I know EXACTLY how you felt looking at the screen. That was me a few years ago (2008) except I was at school that day. You could hear us screaming down the hall. Very happy for you!

    ~Farrah
    ThinkShareTeach

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  7. I am so happy for you! I know it is a huge process and if anyone deserves to be certified, it is you. Soak in the excitement and the praise because you deserve it!

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  8. Congratulations! What did you get your certification in? I just started the process and I am already a nervous overthinking wreck!!!

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    1. It is well worth the effort. I did the process last year and missed certification just barely...but I am a much much better teacher than I have ever been and being a retake candidate (or "Advanced Candidate") has it's perks: less work and much more know-how of how the whole process works. Definitely join ecgen.org if you are EC-Gen, MC-Gen or EM Literacy. It is worth the money!!

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  9. Congratulations! It is such an amazing (and rigorous) process but definitely worth it in the end! Welcome to the NCBT family :)

    --jen

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  10. Thank you everyone!

    Jasmine: I did Early Childhood Generalist which is ages 3-8. I teach 3rd so I could have done Middle Child Generalist (ages 9-12) since my kiddos come in at age 8 and typically turn 9 before the year is done. However, since I have taught preK, K, 1st, 2nd and 3rd it only made sense to pursue ECGen. What are you a candidate for? I would highly recommend joining Ecgen.org regardless of your certification area. It's only $40.00 for the year and I honestly don't feel like I would have passed without that site. Best wishes as you go through the process. :) Jodi

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    1. I am doing Early and Middle Childhood Literacy:Reading-Lamguage Arts. Thankfully, I have a few teachers in my area that are national board and are willing to help me, but I would also love to talk to a few people going through the process now. I have spent the weekend looking for support groups specific to my area, but I have had no luck. I am going to sign up for ecgen now. Thanks for the advice!

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  11. Congratulations! That has been something that I have been considering.

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  12. Congratulations! I remember the dreaded box. I spent all day just packing it and making sure all the paper clips were on the right side. There were sooo many instructions. For anyone going through the process- give yourself an ENTIRE day to pack it! You will need it. It is so worth it though. Just got my supplement check this week. It comes in handy at Christmas time.

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  13. Awesome!!! I cried like a baby also in 2008!

    Enjoy your Disney celebration trip! You deserve it!!

    Live Laugh and Love to Learn

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  14. Congratulations! That was a lot of hard work, but you certainly do work hard!

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  15. Oh that box!! A big congrats to you!! That is one tough process. I did MC Generalist in 2007

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  16. Congratulations! I certified in 2007; it was hard work but so rewarding!

    Julie
    Math is Elementary

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  17. Congratulations!!! That is so exciting. You deserve to revel in the joy.

    Heather
    room 4 imagination

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  18. CONGRATULATIONS!!! I tried 2 years ago and just couldn't do it. I hope one my life settles down that I can try again. So happy for you!

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  19. Congrats!!! It is a wonderful feeling of accomplishment :). Be proud of your hard work. I will never regret my decision to do it. Suzanne NBCT 2002 recertified 2011

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  20. Congratulations! I know you worked yourself into a frazzled state. Now to un-frazzle yourself with a trip to Disney! Enjoy!

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  21. Congratulations Jodi! You are fabulous :)

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  22. CONGRATULATIONS on your monumental accomplishment! You are a teacher EXTRAORDINAIRE and an INSPIRATION to us all! Maximum respect to you!

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  23. Congratulations! I am also a NCCT - and have also gone through renewal! I'm so glad it's all over!!!

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  24. Congratulations! I woke up at 2:00 to check my scores. I became a NBCT today, and cried like a baby as well. It has been an amazing day.

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  25. I remember that experience well. I have been a NBCT since 2008! Congrats!

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  26. Congrats! I certified EC Gen in 2010, and was so glad to certify the first time around! It was hands down the hardest professional challenge ever, but it is the thing that has made the most impact on my teaching and my mentoring of preservice teachers. SO much more than sitting in a professional development.

    I remember the sheer terror when trying to pull up my scores. I screamed so loud people came running down the hall to see who was injured!

    Enjoy this time and celebrate. You absolutely deserve it! Hoorah!

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  27. Congratulations! What an amazing achievement!!

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  28. I remember that feeling when I was certified in 2008! Congratulations....it is a great feeling, isn't it???

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  29. Congratulations! What an accomplishment!

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  30. Congratulations! What a great accomplishment.
    Tania
    My Second Sense

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  31. Congratulations! I have certified twice. It is a lot of work but well worth it.
    I Dream of First Grade

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  32. Congratulations!! Becoming NBCT is one of my goals (I'm in my first year of teaching). So glad to see there's a ton of support online for it!

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