(PHOTO: At a Research Conference in Montreal, Canada 2005. I'd love to share pictures of me with my students, but I do not feel that is appropriate here.)
The following was written Friday afternoon, but thanks to our sweet high school friends, The Bowermans, inviting us to dinner, duel pianos and hours of dancing, I didn't have a chance to upload this until now.
After Christi's death I wondered if I would ever be able to truly feel happy about anything ever again in life. I wondered if I could ever feel so excited and joyous as I had before. Well, it took 14 months, but it happened this morning!
Some many know that the day before I drove Christi for what ultimately turned out to be her diagnosed with cancer in September of 2002, I mailed off my application to try to become a National Board Certified Teacher – the teaching profession’s highest honor. Days later she was diagnosed, and weeks later I wrote NBPTS and withdrew my application. I said that if I ever stepped foot in my classroom again, I would indeed attempt it. In 2003, I returned to my classroom and therefore, kept my promise to myself and attempted the certification (which requires hundreds of hours of work with my teaching and my students' learning, and has a 60% non-passing rate). A year later when the scores were released, I was THRILLED that I was a National Board Certified Teacher (Early Childhood Generalist, ages 3-9, 2004).
Because I felt so strongly about how much I grew as a teacher in the process, when I switched to teaching 7th and 8th grade, to help pay Christi’s bills, I thought that I should try for a second certification. With my Ph.D. program requiring a dissertation, I felt that I would conduct my research in some area of National Board Certification and then I decided that I would be a hypocrite if I had the opportunity to try for a second NBC and didn’t; therefore, when Christi’s health settled, I applied. Little did I know she’d soon die and I’d be trying to complete my hundreds of hours of application requirements (video tapes of my teaching and work with students, student work samples, submitting a 120 page document, taking hours of assessment exams at an exam center) without her at my side, but I did.
Today, NBPTS released their scores to candidates. (They will be made public in December.) I was shocked, thrilled and absolutely shaking when I saw my scire report and congratulations notification this morning(NBCT Early Adolescence Language Arts, ages 11-15)! I was told that only .02% of all teachers are NBCTS and I am one of very few teachers in the United State to ever hold TWO National Board Certifications! My Praises to God as I think this was nothing short of miraculous! The amount of work felt incredibly grueling, tears were involved many nights, but without a doubt, it was the most profound professional development of my nearly twenty years of teaching and I’m so glad it is all behind me! I learned so much and definitely feel I improved my teaching practice as a result of it all. I just wish Christi was here so I could tell her, even though I blink away tears and remind myself she knew before I did!
I still remember the November day in 2004 when Shayne told the girls about my first one; they didn’t understand but their hugs were the sweetest!!! I am so blessed!
My deepest thanks to all of the wonderful education professionals who helped me along the way. I know I should never mention names for fear of overlooking someone, but......thanks to: the 'Berg's Dr. Armstrong, Mrs. SanGregory & Dr. Arnold-Grine, OSU's Dr. Gartner & Dr. Fresch. I NEVER would have made it without them -and many others who have made a significant difference in my career! THANK YOU!
My mom wrote this sweet email to me: "Who would have thought that little girl playing school in my living room with TV tables for desks would have such sucess in the teaching profession. Your hard work has paid off!! Praise God! Love, Mom"