Making Over Third Grade!: NBCT: Now That is Me
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Sunday, January 14, 2018

NBCT: Now That is Me

I have a confession to make. I like being a student and learning new things. Most of all I love the feeling I get when I have finished a course or program and I get the letter grade or certification.

When I was a child I told my parents that I wanted to have "all of the college diplomas." I was a
weird kid. But I never forgot that idea of wanting to learn. Still, school wasn't easy for me.  In third grade, I took home every book, every day in order to complete my classwork because my class time was devoted to an endless pile of worksheets that were not allowed to go home. In order to "catch up" and not have to take the books home, I had to spend an extra hour a day for a week at school working on those worksheets. Third grade introduced me to a hatred of worksheets, particularly as busy work. Still, that was the year I learned to love to read and I found books as an escape. This served me well as I grew up. I matured before other girls and was teased to the point of tears many times until I learned to ignore it and I created a safe place for me in my room with my books. Books were a lifesaver for me through middle and high school.

After high school, I started taking college classes but due to family issues, I had to stop for several years. I didn't go back to school until I was in my mid/late 20s. By then I was even more goal oriented than I was when I was in high school. I wanted my degree and I didn't want to waste any more time to get it. Thanks to the distance learning program from Thomas Edison University I was able to complete my BA in 3 years. I was that much closer to my dream of becoming a teacher.

I enrolled in my Master's program at the University of Phoenix Online and in 18 months had completed both my Masters and my CLAD classes for the state of California. I had my teaching credential and was ready to go!

After I had been teaching for a few years I decided it was time to get my doctorate. So I enrolled in a program at Argosy and worked on that degree for 3 years. I completed, and successfully defended, my dissertation on the use of mnemonics and their impact on student test scores. I had my Ed.D. and the title of Doctor. I had done as I had promised myself so many years before.

At that point, you would think I was done; right? Nope. Not even close. I enrolled in and completed my Autism Certification program through Cal Poly. Done? Not a chance. I debated getting a second Masters. Why? Because there was more I wanted to learn. In the end, I opted to try for my National Board Certification instead. I mean, I had nothing to lose, the district I teach in was willing to pay the fees so I just had to pay the $75 enrollment fees each year. If I didn't pass the components, no real loss right? That is what I kept telling myself. Though, in reality, I likely would have turned around and paid to retake them had I not passed for some reason.

Now, here I am two years later and now I am a National Board Certified Teacher. I am proud of this accomplishment but by no means do I think I am done. There is still so much out there to learn.

Do you keep signing up for courses? Why, or why not? I hope you share your thoughts in the comments below. I would love to hear about your experiences!

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