Friday, November 21, 2008

No Other Word For It

There's no other word for today than "Woooooooooooooooooo!" Tonight's blog would normally be a fabulous Friday photo of some sort. But it just can't be. Today was a big landmark for me and so I owe it to God to express my thanks. And so I will.

About two years ago my friend Ginny (you remember her...bad at movie choosing, but GREAT at friendship, lol) and I began a journey of sorts. There were times I thought the journey was a guided tour of academic Hell...and maybe it was. The majority of this journey was low points, to be honest. I'd like to say that I learned some great things that made me grow as an educator...or even as a person. But if I'm honest, I can't.

(Wondering where the "thankfulness" went? Hang with me....)

This great "journey" as some of you know was the grueling process for getting certified by the National Board of Public Teaching Standards. We started in two years ago...because I let the bad-movie-chooser talk me into it. (Thanks, Ginny!) We went through the first year and both missed it. Ginny was so incredibly close while I scored so miserably low that it was flat out crushing. I figured I wouldn't make it but the scores they sent me floored me. And the worst thing about it was that they give no feedback other than my score.

So we went at it again, redoing portions that did not pass and working even harder than the first time around. Now I love to write but this kind of writing is almost as fun as plucking out one's eyeballs and throwing them at your enemies...or friends for that matter. Not exactly my cup of tea. ;) I agonized through the whole thing. I know it sounds a bit melodramatic, but ask Ginny. I whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiined and grooooooooooooooooooooooaned. I just struggled non-stop with trying to be positive about it all. I felt defeated and felt like it was another expensive shot in the dark.

Portfolios were due April 15th and today...a mere 7 months and 6 days later...we got our scores.

We were looking them up online, knowing they would be posted sometime "mid-morning" because of an email letting us know this yesterday. At 8:45 we took our classes to Enrichment (which is the term we use to refer to Phys. Ed, Music, and Art.) We looked for our scores and they weren't up. We chatted a few minutes and then, being smart-aleck, I said, "Wonder if our scores are up!" We were in Ginny's classroom (which adjoins mine) and so we went to her computer and jumped online. Now normally, MY computer goes verrrrrrrrrrrry slowly and Ginny's is fast, but because life is funny, Ginny's was c...r...a...w...l...i...n...g. So I ran into my room and tried. And that "ran" is not figurative. :D I logged on (it was speedy! lol) and it asked which year's scores I wanted to see, which meant that the new scores were up! I screamed, "They're up!!! THEY'RE UP!!!!" I clicked on this year's scores and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a message so wondrous it filled me with cheer. "Congratulations! You are a National Board Certified Teacher®!" Two words: instant tears.

Now, Ginny was sitting in her room still waiting on her computer to do its thing, and I didn't want to blurt anything because although I was sure she'd pass because her entries were very strong and she was so close the first time around, I still didn't want to start to party before we knew how she'd done. So I did my best to school my features (although since she KNEW I'd seen my scores, the lack of sobbing I'm sure let her know it was good news) and I went into her room. She was STILL waiting on her computer, so I offered her mine. She asked how I'd done and I questioned whether she wanted to know before she looked and she did. So I told her I made it. Then we hugged and were all "wahooo-ish". lol

We ran into my room and she logged in on my computer. Long story short, she saw that she'd made it too!!! More great rejoicing. So then we looked up scores. I'd made it by ... THREE ... points. Yep. 1-2-3 little points. But that's alright. It was three more than I had to have. :D Ginny, on the other hand passed by a very comfortable margin.

We gushed a few minutes before I made a couple quick phone calls and replied to a friend's text asking if I knew yet. THRILLED was what we were.

But then...interestingly enough...we both figured we'd be useless the rest of the day whether or not we passed. We figured if we passed we'd be so elated we'd be a waste in the classroom. settled quickly to just feeling relieved and pleased and on went life, lol.

Now...rambling done...I have to say how incredibly thankful I am to God. This whole process was so largely a shot in the dark for me. I felt like it was a matter of "luck" to include all they wanted because I couldn't make out very clear guidelines. I know I had people praying for me throughout and I know I put some prayer into it, too. And I have no doubt God helped me through. And I'm so thankful.

While it isn't something that I learned a lot from, it will be a financial blessing and it's just a good professional credit of sorts (for lack of "professional" terms, lol).

So while my elation faded more quickly than I'd thought it would, my heart is full of thanks and relief.

That's about it for tonight....

P.S. - (Can you do "P.S." in a blog? lol) Some of my kindies named the turkeys they colored in Art today. My two favorites were "Goldfish" and "Sandwich."


Dee from Downunder said...

Congratulations to you! Ginny too!

Sounds like an arduous process, but obviously worth it in the end.
Woo hoo!

Hillary said...

Arduous is a good word for it...almost as arduous as reading through my recounting of it, lol.

Thanks, Dee.