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vikingshadow
05-14-2008, 06:54 PM
This year was an EXTREMELY busy year for me. Besides actually teaching, I was on 8 (I think) different committees. On one of them, I was the chairman, and on another - which was a district committee, I was president. I was on several tech committees, as well as a textbook committee and subject level committees. I also took time to be an unofficial mentor to the two new teachers in my grade (their mentors didn't help them much, so I jumped in to help whenever I could.) Several of these committees I've been on more than a couple of years...a lot of my co-workers wondered, as did I, when I actually found time to teach! Several days this year, I spent many hours answering and sending emails relating to these committees BEFORE I could actually start on teaching duties...

I decided I was going to take a break next year. I haven't been committee-free since my first year of teaching, and even then I had a ton of things I had to complete just to get through that process. I'm so tired most days that I come home around 6:00, eat supper and then fall asleep before 9:00 that night. You may have noticed a BIG lack of my posting as I can only really get online to check things at specific times during the day, and not always at those times. It's bare bones posting, at most! Weekends are really my only free time (I refuse to bring work home - I spend enough time at school - they can't have my family time, what there is of it!)

Now, technically, I HAVE to be on two committees (I'm obligated as president this year to remain on the staff development committee to help the new president next year, and I've been told by my team that it's my turn to serve on the Title Committee next year - my team is full of grumpy ladies who have NO compassion whatsoever towards me... :rolleyes: ) but I've already resigned from all the other committees. I'm sure they'll find SOME way to rope me into helping those other committees somehow, but I'm not going to volunteer my services.

Well, I'm sure you're wondering why I'm writing this "blog" type post. I guess it's because I'm anal about staying busy during the school year since it's all I've ever done. Or maybe it's because I'm nuts, or that I love my job regardless of how tiring it gets. Anyways, the whole point of this post is to let everyone know that back in December, I applied for a scholarship to work on and receive National Board Certification next year and I ACTUALLY GOT IT! The State of Oklahoma only gives out a few of these every year, and I just found out today that they've awarded me the full cost of admission into the program!

I've been using this process as a reason to get off all those committees, and I really wanted it and tried to stay positive about it, but deep in the back of my mind I never really thought I'd get it and it was just an excuse to stay away from committee work. Now that I've received it, I'm actually pretty nervous about it! The National Board process is pretty intense. It requires teachers to REALLY examine and criticize their teaching abilities, as well as to prove them, reflect and come up with stuff that normally we don't have to do. I've heard that it's long, it's grueling and that you have to jump through all kinds of hoops to accomplish it. It's also been said that no one is expected to get certified their first year of trying, although I'm going to try really hard!

Oh, yeah! I have to give up part of my summer vacation for this as well to attend different meetings that are designed to help us get through this. How's that for taking a break, haha!

So, long story short, while I managed to get rid of all my committees, I actually threw myself headlong into something that's going to require even more of my time (although it will actually be teaching related for a change.)

tl:dr; - What, are you kidding me? Read the silly thing and stop being lazy!

DFSniper
05-14-2008, 07:00 PM
geez vike. teacher of the year, and now this?? congrats! well, you know what this means, dontcha? say goodbye to paintball! j/k. it looks like you have your work cut out for you though.

Hossy
05-14-2008, 07:20 PM
congrats vike!

vikingshadow
05-14-2008, 07:30 PM
Thanks guys, and DF, I've pretty much already said goodbye to paintball. We don't have a field anymore and with gas getting closer to 4 bucks a gallon with the closest field 150 miles away - well, you do the math because I'm an English teacher, haha!

DFSniper
05-14-2008, 07:34 PM
set up a reball field in your backyard. :p

edit: i dont think you want me to do the math, i'm pretty sure i failed calculus this semester :(

OSOK
05-14-2008, 07:57 PM
Wow, congratulations. The only thing interesting I see my teachers do is protest... Currently they are wearing that black band around their arm...

DRAGON
05-14-2008, 07:59 PM
VIK FOR PRES!!!! <------ notice no dodgy

Congrats Vik! So are you saying those that work diligently at their forte, prospher? It's certainly an honor knowing you bro. So what possible venues can the National Board Certification take you to? Sry, not hip to teh teacher type thingies -

vikingshadow
05-14-2008, 08:57 PM
Pres? Hmmmmmmmmm, might be a bit slower paced, so I'll take it, haha!

Prosper, sure - well, not financially anyways. In Oklahoma, they do pay their NBCT extra, but not all states do. The most important thing it does is make teachers better teachers by making you reassess how you teach, what you teach, all that blah blah blah stuff. Also, once completed, it makes you highly qualified, which, thanks to No Child Left Behind, is a big ol' hairy mess. (I'm already Highly Qualified, though.) If I decided to move out of state, once I get this then in MOST states, I wouldn't have to worry about taking their particular state certification tests.

However, I'm using it for something else. In my big 10 year plan, I was going to get my Master's, then find a job teaching at a University somewhere. Once they started this National Board stuff, I decided I'd go this route first, then use the extra pay to pay for the Master's degree. Which will result in higher pay and more marketability. Of course, all this looks great on a resume, so that's good also!

Since there isn't the normal "step" in the teaching field (no promotions unless you want to go into administration) this is about the only way I can move "up" and still remain doing what I like doing.

As far as honor goes, honestly, I don't think I'm all that special. Just a regular working stiff like every other guy I know. I just get summer's off! But thanks for that.

irishwarrior
05-15-2008, 03:38 AM
Congrats Vike! Hope you make it in on your first try. And good look teaching at University.

durrell
05-15-2008, 08:56 AM
Good luck, Vike. I know from talking to mom and from seeing some of her teacher friends go through National Board that it is no joke. Around here it gives you a NICE pay increase, though.

I know a guy who did it on his first try. But he's not married, has only his mom for family, and actually still lives with her. So, I don't know that he's any indication of how you'd be able to do in your first year haha.

TheDarkShadow
05-16-2008, 04:43 AM
congrats, sounds awsome

vikingshadow
05-16-2008, 02:42 PM
Wow - downloaded just ONE of the manuals for building my portfolio. It's 309 pages long...:eek: Fortunately, the other things aren't quite that long...

There are two women in my building who both got their certificates on the first try, so I'm hoping to have this up and going smoothly with their help in no time. I'm sort of getting excited to work on this, but still have the jitters a bit.

My first meeting is in two weeks in Ardmore (which is about 3-4 hours away) - thank goodness for the scholarship, or I'd be in a poop load of trouble financially! I may have to start selling off my paintball gear though because it's looking like a tight summer due to the prices of things going up.

OSOK
05-16-2008, 03:37 PM
Good luck!
And even if you don't make it the first time you can learn from your mistakes and do it over again...