This year, I am preparing my portfolio for my National Boards. Let me preface this by saying that National Board Certification is completely voluntary. Just like lawyers and doctors have their boards, teachers do as well. I started this process because, honestly, I wanted that NBCT acronym after my name. I knew that a National Board Certified teacher is incredibly knowledgeable about teaching and excels at it. I wanted to be associated with those kind of teachers.
Currently, I am in the middle of assembling my portfolio, which is due March 31st. The portfolio requires me to submit four entries. If you want a detailed explanation of the process and another teacher's reasons for seeking certification, click here: Confessions of a New NBCT.
Two of the entries require a video submission. Watching myself teach is at times excruciating, especially seeing my students when I'm not there. When I watch their conversations, I often see some misunderstanding I had no idea they had. I'm also aware of some of the things I do. For example, in the video I am now considering submitting, I try to give a hint about angles, but it just looks I am doing some wierd dance. The shapes I am making with my hands look nothing like angles.
I may be expecting too much from myself. I am on my ninth video attempt for this one entry. Here are some examples of why I decided to re-film:
My first attempt: Launching marbles in the gym and calculating their speed. I was nervous and I didn't ask very probing questions. The acoustics in the gym made it impossible to hear student conversation.
I came home from my daily Starbucks work session today and told my husband that I wanted to re-film. He reminded me that I am teaching real people and that I will never get the perfect video, at least to my standards. I know that what I have now is a very real video of what happens everyday in my class. My analysis of it will be very candid, identifying issues and reflecting on what I will do differently in the future. That is the best I can do. It's time to "make it work."