When I found out in November, I cried on and off for the entire day. I didn't even think about retakes until the middle of December when I began to pull myself out of my National Board funk. The only reason that I can write about it now is that I'm fairly certain that I will not sound like the saccharine, over-emotional, "why me?" mess as I am sure I would have portrayed myself in December. Pregnancy hormones did not help my emotional state either.
The good news is that I don't have to redo everything. Two of my portfolios (out of 4) scored as proficient. Even better news is that they were the portfolios I completed last. As I sat down to write my 14-page papers for those portfolios, I had lots to say about my teaching, the lesson and my student. For the first two portfolios, I felt like taking my laptop and throwing it against the wall in frustration because I couldn't think of enough to fill the page.
That should have been a hint right there.
Now that we are in February, I've submitted my fees, secured my retake scholarship (Thank you AZK12!) and started the process again. I'm realizing there are benefits to being an "Advanced Candidate." In no particular order:
- Less stress! I only have to do two portfolios instead of four.
- I know what I'm doing. I feel so much more confident in these portfolios this time. I know what they require of me and I am pre-planning so much more effectively.
- I'm not alone. When I went to Coaching Saturday last weekend, I saw a few familiar faces from my pre-candidacy class. National Board is hard!
- I'm no longer worried that I won't pass the first time. Been there. Done that.
- I'm now an expert (self-proclaimed) on the elusive feedback that the National Board gives and can answer questions for first-year candidates.
- They extended the deadline to May 31st this year from March 31! Two more months!
- I can get those 15 points. I'm 92% of the way there.
I filmed my first lesson today and it went well. The students were interested in the assignment and no-one was a) making faces at the camera, or b) hitting each other with rulers (true story). Fingers crossed that the tape looks good and everything I want/need will be in 15 continuous minutes of video.