Work Backwards

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I’ve attended several workshops for the National Board Certification Program through AZ K12. They have an excellent program. You can take one year to get certified, or two, or three.

NBCT leaves deadlines largely up to the teachers. But because there is no formal structure in terms of time, I was feeling uncertain. I started the work, but felt a bit overwhelmed. And then I realized I had to create my own timeline.

I know I want to complete it in one year.

I know what needs to be done.

Work backwards! In order to be prepared for the exam in May, I need to complete three components in five months. But I also want to leave myself time to get my work reviewed by others and make changes if necessary.

So, I am giving myself a little over one month for each component.

You’d think that giving myself this structure with deadlines would cause more stress. Au contraire!  I’m feeling MUCH better knowing I have five weeks to complete my first component. This enables me to measure my progress week to week. This will increase my chances of success.

Sometimes, I forget to work backwards, but it’s so helpful.

Is there a goal you have – personal or professional – where backwards planning might prove helpful?

Teaching

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After six weeks of intense coursework, I have completed my pre-candidacy for National Board Certification. Now, the real work begins!

 

Sunday Suggestion

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This week’s suggestion is an overall recommendation to “go for it.” Stretch yourself. Take a risk. Invest money and time in yourself to be better.

I’ve been teaching for over 11 years and the subject of pursuing “National Board Certification” has come up multiple times. Each time, I dismissed it immediately, based on what I had heard as simply “extra work” for an empty title. But the people who have been saying that are people who did not pursue the NBCT. 

Recently, a colleague (who IS certified) spoke highly of the program. I attended two meetings this week and I’m now completely ALL IN. I’m going for it. I don’t even care about the title or the actual certification. It’s the process….the four modules will require me to create, re-create, and reflect on my teaching process with students and their parents. I have discovered a renewed sense of respect of the profession. Teachers create the certification process for NBCT. How refreshing: Teachers having control of an education program.

Yes, it it will require a huge time commitment. But it will be worth every minute to gain a heightened awareness of my teaching process: be the best teacher I’ve ever been, be able to mentor others, gain confidence and forge new friendships on district, state and national levels!

If there is something you’ve been considering, but worry about the time or expense, ask yourself, “What is the cost if I don’t do it?”

 

Some trivia: Did you know that although Arizona is often in the bottom 3 in terms of investment toward public schools, we rank anywhere from 12th to 16th in number of National Board Certified teachers in the nation? Teachers in AZ are working hard in their profession – despite the bum rap – for our students.