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My name is Emmet and I’m blogging for National Board Certification. I can see that you’re new here, so let me show you around. Back here is my first post.

Oh, you like my mountain metaphor? Thanks, I appreciate that. I’ve introduced a few other motifs along the way: the book of standards as a bible and the act of deciphering it as cabbalah (medieval Jewish mysticism); the idea that the hugeness of this process is like eating an elephant; the notion that we candidates are dedicated athletes striving for gold... umm, there may be a few more. I try not to mix ‘em up too much, but they’re sort of like colors of play-doh. It all turns into a purplish lump eventually.

Yeah, so, over here are a few themes I’ve introduced. I went off on an Alfie Kohn thing for a while, you know, tests suck (the life out of true education, that is). And there’s occasional ranting about hoop-jumping and bureaucratic obfuscation-- more of this to come, I promise. And lately I’ve gotten into a bit of a lather wondering: Why is it that all these people who never teach are such experts on education?

Also, I’ve been trying to get myself mentioned in educational blogs, in part to drive up traffic as per my editor’s advice. You know how it is out here in the blogosphere. Tough. Then there’s these top 10 lists I’m doing to describe the three standards associated with entry four, which is one of four required entries in the portfolio (which, along with a big one day test at a computer center, is how you get credit). Oh, and I got a grant to make a really big canoe next year with kids. I haven’t written too much about that, but I will. Cool, huh? Stone tools and all. That should cover a lot of standards.

There is one thing I want to make clear, as my editor thinks I might be coming across as a board apologist lately. Dude, that is so wrong. I’m all about the benjamins, baby. I mean, yeah, I’m into it. But not that into it. Except, sometimes, sorta. I mean, ya gotta believe, know what I mean. But I’m maintaining a healthy skepticism at the same time. I’m like, ironic, you know. (But not that ironic.) And ambivalent, too. I guess you could say I’m… irivalent. Yeah, that’s right: irivalent. But please don’t mispronounce that, okay?

Anyway, I’m at the beach right now. That’s one of my big things: try to have a life outside of teaching. Keep the old batteries charged. Except I don’t, sort of, because when I’m not teaching I’m usually writing about teaching. Or else I’m teaching (I teach at night at community college on top of the day job). Look, I’ve got two kids and well, you know what we teachers make. Which is, like I said, why I started doing this in the first place. That plus to enhance my professionalism, and all that.

So, that’s pretty much it. My blog. Waddyathink? I hope you like it. You should make a comment. Heck, you should read the comments. Those are sometimes the best part. Anyway, come back some time. Soon, okay? That would be cool. I’m here every week. Bye!


So I went back and read your very first blog post. Turns out, I did the NBC thing for one of the same reasons as you - because it was there. Still, no regrets. The best thing I ever did for my teaching. Course, I have to admit that the 3 years I took off with my kids were the best thing I ever did for ME. :) Enjoy your beach time!

Kudos to you for taking a honest, realistic, and personal approach in reflecting about your National Board candidacy.

Considering all the impersonal research and studies about the certification process, your practical confessions are what's needed most- what it means for the individual teacher to take on the next level of professional challenge.

And that's all it is- the next challenge that expands your teaching, brings in more pay, and possibly opens up more opportunities- nothing more, nothing less.

But, like in all other professionls, that's what professional credentials are suppose to do- improve one's lot in life, not save the world or bring it to ruin.

I wonder what would happen if the same studies were directed at analyzing if a Masters degree or PhD actually improved student learning? Teachers get more money for those degrees and even just getting older in the classroom, so it's interesting that National Board certification should attract such a bull's eye, when there's little to validate the worth of other credentials in terms of student learning in the classroom. But we teachers pursue those things anyway! And perhaps we are even better because of them, though I'm not sure where the data is.

So, don't be a Board apologist, but as my former student's said years ago, "keep it real!"

Oh, and as for the "benjamins" qoute, I have met many teachers who have said that money doesn't matter. But they usually had a spouse who earned lots of money. I've never met a teacher with a family who was the primary wage earner be so righteous as to deny what it would mean to earn more money for the family.

So, again, keep it real!

I hope you enjoyed the beach. Follow Steven Covey's qoute of sharpening the saw every now and then. The best teachers who endure know how to keep their saw razor sharp. :-)


It is all about the money - for the govt that is. We have the TAKS test here in Texas. The schools push our little folk into thinking that this is all they need to know to be educated. There is so much stress. Bottom line - more money for the district. If money was not attached, then no fuss. We are so not educating our kids. The No Child Left Behind leaves them way behind. If passing a test makes you a good teacher then passing a test makes you a good student. Believe me passing a test does not make you a good driver. I've "run into" many who are not. When will we put teachers up there with football and baseball players? Too bad it is not on the news when we sign our contracts to return for another year. Everyone needs a teacher, but no one wants to pay us. It is suppose to be "calling". Well, I do love it, but the govt is making it harder to enjoy. We are the most educated group, but can't make near what Ken Lay did. (Don't want to be in his shoes.) Don't know if the tide will ever turn. Teaching is becoming another "business", but we are sacrificing our children for it.
"Fly You High!"

As an English teacher, who is planning to begin the process of NBC this year, I am incredibly thankful for your honest, well-written, entertaining, and informative blog entries. Best wishes to you, and I'll be reading you regularly. Your students are very lucky to have you! :) Much love and success.
PS "All about the Benjamins ...AWESOME! tee hee In reality, that's a lot of work for those Benjamins.

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