April 2007 Archives

The final test consists of six essay questions, a half hour for each. That’s three hours of intense concentration at the keyboard. I’m going to have to get in shape to tackle this. Fortunately, the NBPTS website provides “exercises” to help candidates prepare for the assessment center. Copied below is the text from an NBPTS guide (in italics), followed by my comments. Next week, I will turn to the “retired prompts.” For now, let me get tired the first time. Exercise 1: Literary Analysis Teachers will analyze the connection between literary devices and meaning. They will be asked ...


I promised to write about the released test questions this week, but like for everyone around here, banal concerns have been washed away in the swirling wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy. We all made it through our week somehow, alternating between voyeuristic horror and self-preserving denial according to our natures and how psychically linked we were to Blacksburg. TJ, the high tech high where I teach, was awash in maroon and orange and the awareness that so many of our own were close to the epicenter. The same sense of family that humanized New Yorkers after 9-11 has drawn ...


I have nearly scaled the mountain. Last spring, from a distance, it looked imposing and majestic. After a more arduous approach to the base than anticipated, and then a harrowing series of ascents, only the exposed final pitch remains. (Note to the casual visitor: This will read a lot better if you check out my very first post, and if you’ve read Into Thin Air by John Krakauer). After two weeks in the tent, subsisting on power bars and boiled snow, I venture from my cocoon. Empty oxygen containers and the occasional frozen corpse litter the landscape… Okay, enough ...


Or, Spring Break's Sprung. Nearly a month ago, I wrote about putting one foot in front of the other as I trudged through Entry One ("Day by Day", March 10). Here is another week-in-the-life now that I’m done with the portfolio, to show how much lighter my step has become. While there’s not much about National Board per se, Tuesday’s overnight trip was a memorable stage in the canoe project I wrote about for Entry Four. Sunday Ran 10 miles along Rock Creek Parkway with 18,000 like-minded souls during the 35th annual Cherry Blossom Classic (and ...


My name is Emmet and I’m an eduholic. I hit rock bottom last night between the hours of 1:30 and 2:45 am when I found myself sitting up in bed scribbling about education policy in a little black notebook by penlight next to my soundly sleeping son. I thought that once the portfolio was signed, sealed and delivered that these middle of the night sessions would be over, but I can see now that I was deceiving myself. If it’s not National Board that’s got me spinning, it’s that kid from second period who ...


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