I truly did not want to log into my account last month to see my National Board scores; I was far too nervous. My boyfriend made me hit that button (with my eyes closed) and his quick, completely spoiler free gasp at the next screen made the not looking unbearable. So, I opened my eyes, expecting the worst, and saw fireworks. Soon after came the happy tears and the sobbing and the relief. Two years of hard work, and in that moment it felt like one of the greatest accomplishments of my career.
The excitement continued in the days that followed. I got to tell the people who supported me (my friends, family, colleagues and students) that I had certified. My favorite person to tell was a student I worked with for component 2. He has now graduated and moved across the country for a mission trip, but he responded to my email saying, “Miss Gini! That is so awesome!!! I’m so proud of you! I knew you could do it! Dagum! I’m just so happy now.” How can emails like that not make you smile?
I eagerly awaited that golden balloon showing up during my 1st period. When it did, my students clapped a little and then angrily stared as we took pictures until I put our movie back on. That balloon slowly deflated over winter break, and when I came back it was sad and lonely, hovering around knee height until I decided it was time to hang it on the wall. Watching my depressing balloon, one question kept running through my brain: now what?
After all my hard work, I achieved certification, so now what would I do? I am a very goal oriented person, and without a new goal to fill my National Board void I felt a little lost. I decided the next step was going to be to give back and help support candidates like I was supported along my National Board journey. I signed up for Candidate Support Provider (CSP) training.
On training day, one of the questions we were asked was, “What is your goal as a CSP?” All of my brainstorming reflected on the same words: supporting adults. I am a technology coach at my school and have hosted student teachers, but I would not say either of those areas are solid strengths. I reflected to another new NBCT at the training that I think I am really good at working with kids, but could use practice working with teachers.
Goal in mind, I have slowly started to do more tech coaching and I have signed up for my first coaching Saturdays were I won’t be a candidate. I am trying to run a refresher course at my school before our students get their 1-1 iPads; my first solo, adult professional development. Maybe next year I will feel more prepared when I get another student teacher to guide. Either way, it seems my goal now what is to keep growing, keep learning, and keep improving my teaching.
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