Sunday, October 17, 2010

An NBCT until 2021

My letter came yesterday, opened and left on the counter in the midst of a pre-wedding flurry for my daughter's best friend, a much more important moment for us.
My NBCT status is assured until 2021.
I doubt if I'll still be in the classroom by then.
Sometimes I wonder if there will even be a classroom to be in by 2021. (Lot's of reasons for thinking that. This medium being just one of those.)
Anyway, the letter seemed oddly anti-climatic.
It was the doing of the thing that seemed momentous.
As Aristotle said "For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them."
So the process taught me more than the letter meant, if that makes sense.
The board process is entirely reflective and the renewal process was more of the same.  
There are three components and a reflection.
You are first asked to identifying areas where you influenced the profession, used technology, continued to include parents, and perhaps resolved an issue identified in the first certification process.  Then two additional components require an in-depth explanation and substantiation of two of the PGE's (Personal Growth Experiences) outlined in the first component.  Finally there is a reflection of the previous years of growth.
All of this, reviewing and selecting from eight years of work, took a surprisingly long time to research, write, and assemble.  I sent two videos for my two in-depth components.  Though I planned those tapings well in advance -- one was done over the summer, the other planned from my routine instruction--just getting them edited down to the required time limit and on a disk for mailing took an entire day.
Luckily for me the entire mid-Atlantic region was socked in for nine days under three feet of snow in February!
I used the time well.
So what does the doing of the thing teach?
The same thing I hope my kids get out of their reflective writing:  what you have learned over the time we are together (in my case, what I had learned in the previous eight years) and what you plan to do next.
The reflection at the end requires that you think about next steps.
So mailing that box of at the beginning of April felt like I had already done the big job.
The letter yesterday just felt like acknowledgment of - Hey, you did that.

P.S. Renewal costs $1,150.  Out of pocket for me since schools do not subsidize this.  Return on investment?  No guarantees.


  1. Congratulations, Mary - even if it's anti-climactic, it's evidence of your continued growth and professionalism, and certainly better than the alternative letter!

  2. Thanks David! Right back at you. :-)

  3. Mary,
    I couldn't be happier for you, a very big (belated)congratulations and virtual hug for you !!! I loved your story, and especially the image of you surrounded by all that snow as you used the bad weather to your advantage. I also loved reading about the connection of being reflective, and to your hopes for your students experiencing this as well.
    My very best to you, dear friend,