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Friday, February 19, 2016

National Board With The Loss

A little more than two years ago, I blogged about something called National Board Candidacy. You can read the back story HERE to better understand this post.

Following the powdered donut incident of 2013, I did proceed with my weekend. I went to a Hogs game later that day. My husband and I went to War Memorial Stadium with his brother and our sister-in-law. We froze, we watched the Hogs play, we ate at Cajun's Wharf, we had fun. I was able to get my mind off of the crushing blow I had suffered that morning, if only for a little while. The next day, once we got home from Little Rock, it was a rough evening. My emotions were all over the place. But after a few days of disappointment, I came to grips with the reality of it all. A couple of months passed, and it was time to either commit to a retake, or stop my pursuit of certification. Ultimately, as the deadline to retake approached, I decided I would retake only one part, as I only needed one point... PLUS the retake fee was $350 per section. I chose not to retake any on-site testing since that was my weakest area (the anxiety, remember?). I was only eligible to retake one portfolio section, as my scores on the other three were too high to retake. So I decided instead of an entire rewrite, I would improve upon what I already had. I did just that. I passed it along to several teachers who'd already been through the process and knew what scorers look for. I turned it into what I felt was the perfect paper. I mean, all I had to do was improve it by one point and I'd be set.

Then it was time to wait. I submitted in May, but again had to wait until November for score release. A year after my original post, I was in the same position. Waiting for scores to be released. The day came. Same story, different year. Once again, one point away. At first, the devastation was too much to bear. I didn't know how I could bounce back. I didn't know if I had it in me to retake again for the final time. (three times is the max before you have to start over) I inquired about an appeal. I pondered filing a complaint. I was ready to take legal action. I basically let arrogance take over. Seemed impossible I didn't improve. I felt so confident that I couldn't accept the fact that I was STILL one point away. How? Why? What could I have possibly done wrong? I would soon find out.

In my pursuit to prove wrong-doing, I read every word of the retake guidelines. This turned out to be something I had failed to do before. I discovered that retake candidates are strictly forbidden to use a previous entry in any way, shape or form. So as it turned out, I had submitted an unscorable entry. I was still one point away through no-one's fault but my own. So there it was. The biggest professional mistake of my life. A $350 retake fee down the drain. Lesson learned.

In light of this, there would be no debate this time. I would retake without a doubt! But this time, I retook that same portfolio section, as well as two of the on-site assessments. Six months and $1,050 later, it was once again time for score release. Only this time we didn't get the email warning us to be on the lookout. I just simply waited. After being off for a 3-day weekend, then missing a 4th day with a sick child, I checked my email November 18 and saw THE email in my inbox. The email stating scores are released. I opened the email to find this, the most beautiful email I've ever received...








So there it was, in black and white. I passed, or as the National Board world calls it, I achieved! All was right with the world. I almost couldn't believe my eyes. I immediately went to the website to confirm this news. Then I checked again the next day, and the day after that. Three months later, it's still true. And it's still surreal. And now that THIS (below) arrived in my mail box, I do indeed believe it now. I am officially a National Board Certified Teacher!