My STEM Units

Friday, October 23, 2015

Architecture of Accomplished Teaching

The Architecture of Accomplished Teaching.  National Board candidates and teachers know this double helix well.  They are accustomed to using the upward spiral to impact student learning.  I would like to posit that National Board candidates use the highly reflective practice when reflecting on their own journey to certification.

http://boardcertifiedteachers.org/

When accomplished teachers look at the architecture for their students, they start with their students.  Who are they?  Where are they now?  

Then, said teachers set high goals that are appropriate to those students at that time.  As the teachers deliver instruction, they are constantly revisiting the goals and the student.  Is the student making progress?  If not, where is the breakdown?  

Through reflection, the accomplished teacher sets new goals and the upward spiral continues.  

But, what about using the architecture on yourself?  Is it not true that you, a National Board Candidate, looked yourself in the proverbial mirror one (or more) years ago and asked yourself, "Who am I?  Where am I now?  What are my goals?"

No doubt you had several conversations with yourself and maybe even with an advisor; a confidant.  You set worthwhile goals and you worked hard to achieve them.  Hard.  "National Board Certification is easy," said no teacher ever.

Through deep reflection, you honed your craft, tweaked your practice.  It is safe to say, you are not the same teacher you were a year ago.  And here's the beautiful thing: you never will be the same, just as the butterfly cannot become a caterpillar again.  You are transformed.  

And here we sit.  Waiting for "score release".  The day you thought would never come.  The wait will probably seem like an eternity.  Might I suggest you use this time to thank the people who helped you come so far?  Maybe your family really stepped it up and took over household chores while you typed. and typed. and typed.  Maybe it was a colleague who listened.  A mentor who guided.  No matter the scores tomorrow, you know you could not have come so far were it not for them.

But, what happens after score release?  For some, it will be the affirmation of a lifelong passion.  Certification.  How wonderful that must feel.  

For others, it will be the realization that there is still more mountain to climb.  The double helix continues upwards.

Advanced Candidates, don't look at your score as something that is "less than".  Look at it as "more than".  More than it was a year ago.  

What do we do as accomplished teachers?  We look at our students where they are now.  Look at yourself.  You have come so far.  Where are you now?  Where do you want to be?  Look at your scores.  Where is there room for improvement?  For me, it was Entry 4: Documented Accomplishments and two assessment center exercises.  Yes, I too, was an Advanced Candidate.

Set a worthwhile goal for yourself.  Work to achieve that goal and reflect on your practice as you continue to move up that double helix.  Continue climbing until you have reached that summit!  

3 comments:

  1. Hi Susan, This is a great post - thanks for making it. I encourage candidates with whom I have contact to do the math. Take your numerical score and divide it my 275 (points needed for certification). For example, if a candidate's score is 250 - divided by 275 that shows that the candidate is 90% (91% if you 'round up'!) of the way toward that goal of achieving certification. I was an advanced candidate when I first went through the process, too. I encourage anyone to keep working toward this goal...it certainly was the best professional development I ever did!
    Kelly Mueller

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  2. Kelly & Susan,

    THANK YOU! I worked so hard to reach this goal & fell short. But now I know the area I need to focus on & am committed to dedicating myself to accomplish this honor. Your words of encouragement are welcomed at this time of reflection in my life.

    Debbie L. Ebner

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