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The Flaming Canoe

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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 walked another six to and from various metro stops).

Monday
Took two-year old Will to historical Oxon Hill Farm on a glorious morning and fed an entire bag of carrots to a couple tired old horses whose knees looked as sore as mine.

Tuesday
Cooked cobbler in Dutch ovens on a flaming canoe at George Washington’s Mount Vernon with a full moon overhead as a gaggle of tenth graders pack Potomac clay on the downwind wall to control the rate of the burn.

Wednesday
Sneaked into a ghost school to knock off end of quarter grading I’d put off while finishing Entry One. Rewarded myself with a trip to the fishing store in Arlington to buy a sinking line for my fly rod.

Thursday
Went shad fishing on the Potomac River at Fletcher’s Cove, a storied hot spot for the spring run of this migratory fish, only to find myself in a circle of hell Dante forgot to write about: a guy twenty feet down the bank from me caught a fish every fourth cast while I got skunked.

Friday
Start in on punchlist items including hanging a shed door and cleaning up the long-neglected yard. Cap off the industrious morning on the sun-washed back deck with an after-lunch nap over the New Yorker.

Saturday
Woke up the morning before Easter to a surreal snow-scape, crocuses covered with a delicate dusting of surprise April powder. Painting trim in the house carries the theme inside and completes the “Honey-Do” list.

8 Comments

Congrats, Emmet.
Time to go fishing!

I have one month to prepare for the assessment portion of this beast. I was hoping that 25 years in the classroom would be enough preparation, but apparently it isn't. I have never had an ESL student, so I guess I should begin with that topic. I would rather be fishing even though I have never fished in my life.

I am very puzzled with the significance of this test. I know many people who have failed in one area and thats been the Special Education segment. I think its really unfair to them due to they passed their content and portfolio but the questions concerning an area they have no desire to teach.
Many have just given up with the period available to test.

Emmett, I came across your article again, "Teaching for the Test" and wondered if you ever decided to continue your journey.
Annette

Hello World,

Having missing those ever important words "Achieve" by 8 points, I have decided to only retake the Universal Themes portion of the assessment center test. I only received a 1.5 on that portion and feel totally flummouxed because I loved the prompt and wrote (what I felt...) was a strong response and connection to non=print text. I realized I cannot say here what the prompt was...or can I now that it is a year later? Anyway, blogging online was suggested as a great way to get feedback and help with this process... What I would really appreciate is anyone who aced that section and any ethical insights as to what and why they did so well...Thank you all so much! Darla

Hello Everyone,
I am here after having missed those ever important words "Achieved" by 8 points. Deciding to retake the one portion of the assessment that most confused me score-wise...only a 1.5...I would really appreciate any help from someone who passed the Universal Themes portion of the assessment center with flying colours. I remember the prompt..but won't say it because of the rules, and felt really strong about my response. I love Universal Themes and the question included one of my favourite authors...I also included what I thought at least, was a very creative and appropriate non-print text which related to the theme, etc. Anyone who has some ideas about how to better answer this prompt...I would truly appreciate your help. Darla

Thank you for this very useful information.

yeah, just wonderful :) Let me just say the girls do not talk to each other like that! And then a few minutes later the same two boys were best friends. I do not get it.

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