Regular readers will remember that I spent last school year working constantly on my National Board certification. Nation Boards are really hard. They’re kind of famously hard in the teaching community. The initial pass rate is only 48% and 25-30% of candidates never pass.
But I’d heard great things from people who’d been through the process and there was a substantial raise involved, so I went for it. On Saturday, I learned that I’d passed with some room to spare. Hooray for me.
What was really cool though, in looking at my scores, was what they said about my teaching. They weren’t perfect (of course not), but the things they said about my classroom work were pretty glowing. One of the things you have to get used to as a teacher is that you constantly feel as though you are failing. Teenagers can be a pain in the butt and they often don’t work as hard as you want them to and you always remember the ones who didn’t make it or didn’t turn in the assignment or whatever and you wonder what you could have done differently.
Anyway, the scores I got were a pretty big stamp of approval on how I handle the actual act of teaching (there are other things involved in the certification as well), and that made me feel wonderful. It may be the last time in my career that I get that kind of pat on the back from an independent entity.
I’ve lived enough of life to know that hardwork doesn’t always pay off. That sometimes, you work really hard and all anyone does is shrug their shoulders. But sometimes, it works out, and you can start thinking about buying a better house in a nicer neighborhood and for a few days, life doesn’t seem so arduous. It’s nice.