Renewal or Bust

This weekend I was home alone. This was it, my chance to settle in with my National Board renewal process and knock it out. My goal was to revise component one on Friday night, then write component two and three on Saturday, reflection on Sunday. I had my videos ready to watch. I could find the 6 and 10-minute clips I needed.

Well Friday came and went. I caught up on golf, watched ESPN all night. Humph. Okay, I just needed a day to chill out, right? On Saturday, I went for an early run, went to breakfast with a friend, and avoided anything to do with National Board renewal all day. I washed the floor, did laundry, diced carrots, and dusted the blinds. I even ironed! I hate ironing. Okay I still had Sunday. I got up early, went for a run, brewed some coffee, and pulled my National Board standards out of my bag. This was a good sign, right? I found documentation to support my four professional growth experiences. I even watched my videos and logged times that I could use and then it happened.

I started to make excuses why I couldn’t complete the process this year. I am too busy. Next week is AIMS testing and I won’t have any time. I have to focus on teacher evaluations and end of year procedures. I won’t have time to re-videotape the first grade class I am borrowing. If I defer I can really spent time over the summer writing and articulating what I need top for each component. I will be too busy scoring Master Teacher applications. If I defer I can pilot the Standards Continuum Guide with my teachers, I am a first year principal, what was I thinking? The list went on and on. I had myself convinced that I would defer until next year. I even told my husband when he called. Told my mom, too. I said it out loud and I believed it.

I even told teachers at school on Monday. Then I went to a certificate renewal meeting and met with friends and colleagues who are also going through the renewal process. Sitting there and listening, thinking and reflecting, I realized if I had another year I wouldn’t do anything differently. So a huge THANK YOU to Arizona’s renewal candidates and the Arizona K12 Center for supporting me and giving me a nudge when I needed it the most.

Driving home, I realized I can do this renewal and I will do this renewal. My goal is to upload and submit on April 30 – Counting today that leaves 14 days. Game On!


Jen Robinson

Jen Robinson

Maricopa, Arizona

Hello, my name is Jen Robinson. I have been in education for over 20 years. I began teaching in Buffalo, NY in 1992, as a pre-school special education teacher. My experience ranges from primary grades through high school. My husband and I moved to Arizona in 2001, where we were fortunate enough to teach at the same school. In 2004, I achieved National Board Certification and currently support candidates. In 2011 I completed my Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation. My dissertation research focused on supporting National Board candidates through their certification process. During the 2012-2013 school year, I completed my National Board renewal process. It was humbling and very powerful to step back into a classroom. I am currently an elementary principal. I am excited and hopeful for the new school year. I also serve on the Arizona Teacher Solutions Team where we are solutions focused in an effort to transform and elevate the teaching profession.

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