I've wanted to get my National Board Certification for years. I started two times before this final attempt without submitting a single component. I would go to trainings or jumpstart meetings and feel so completely overwhelmed that I couldn't even focus on what was being taught. However, two years ago, I started with my Wallin cohort and I was completely determined to reach this giant goal. I thought it would be similar to getting a master's degree. I was so wrong! It is so much harder! It is like getting a doctorate degree in reflective practices and digging into the heart of what makes an educator effective.
In 2017-2018 I only completed Component 1. It is the testing portion of this process and I thought that I could outline, study, and understand this Literacy - English Language Arts Certification by studying. Even though it is 40% of my overall score, it only scratches the surface of understanding everything it takes to reach this higher level of educating.
Last year 2018-2019 I completed Component 2 which focuses on one student. I was able to focus on differentiation for all of my students but strategically manipulate lessons to better meet the needs of all students, and specifically the one student who was the focus for this Component. It was brutal, deep writing, and the painful part is I won't know until December if I've passed Component 2.
This year I have to complete Component 3 and Component 4. I feel like I need to lock myself in a bubble and just write, plan, teach, and write some more. I'm a little overwhelmed, but I can already see where this process has improved my practice. I'm grateful for the journey and pushing myself to be a little better each day and learn from the mistakes I make.
As long as I love learning, I'll love teaching. Once I think I know it all, it will definitely be time to retire. (I'll never know it all!)