October 2006 Archives

As I drove to work one morning last week, dark clouds began to form. I was discouraged with the feedback I’d been getting about my accomplishment write-ups. Responses to my Entry Four attempts from various quarters, this blog included, have essentially been a no-nonsense chorus of so what’s. Should I pull the plug on this NBPTS thing, I half wondered? Am I just not the kind of teacher that registers on their scale? Forgotten comments on earlier posts came back to me, those voices of teachers who hadn’t made it. I read those words of warning with ...

Last week there was a lot going on (or was it just another week?). Homecoming fever swirled in the halls, we had our first writing groups in the graduate class that I teach at night, and there was an afternoon of work on the canoe at Mount Vernon. Below are some high points. Homecoming A schedule of events so complex that the student government writes a helpful 2-page guide (single-spaced) for freshman, including the themes. Freshman: Under the bed. Sophomore: Under the big top. Junior: Underwear, capes and masks. Seniors: Undercover. Faculty: Under age. A new tradition born from a ...

I’m winging it on the Latin, but what I mean to say is “Reader, beware.” Slow prose ahead. I brought a couple drafts of Entry Four accomplishments to class and got some feedback from my table mates. Not enough “I verb,” they said, and ditch the flowery language. Jill, who included bolded quotes from the standards in her draft, said this helps because they take exactly twenty minutes to assess it (she heard this from a friend of hers who thought about reading for NBPTS as a summer job but decided against it when she heard about the stop ...

Thank goodness it’s raining, so at least the sun isn’t calling me out to play in the yard with the kids. I’m at the keyboard and psyching myself up to begin Entry Four. Okay, I’m back in college. It’s a 10-page paper. That’s nothing. Write fast and throw in lots of catch-phrases from the bible ( “Keep those entry standards by your keyboard for constant reference,” reminds Marybeth, from California, in a helpful comment on my last post.) I'll use the template below when writing about my accomplishments. Entry Four consists of: · Description and analysis, ...

No one else has done Entry Four either. At least, none of the people that I talked to on Wednesday night at the first meeting of the NBPTS candidates support course had finished documenting their “Contributions to Student Learning.” Several dozen of us gathered in the cafeteria at Edison high school after a hump day to “begin” in earnest the process of board certification that will culminate with the submission of a four-entry portfolio in May and a one-day battery of online essays at a testing center in June. Among those dozens were more than a handful who, like me, ...


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