Did you know that teachers can have an entire conversation consisting of acronyms? The SEI teacher has an SST meeting for a student who may need an IEP for his SLD. The OT, SLP and SPED teacher need to do evaluations on the student before the meeting can take place. Who is the LEA for this meeting? The child has a diagnosis of OHI, DD, and ADHD. OMG, SOS!
The last two might not be exclusive to teachers, but can come up a lot in conversations, especially during a full moon. I digress…
This year, a different set of three little letters will occupy a large part of my mind and time: MOC. Maintenance of Certification. This year my window to maintain my National Board certification opens and I am full of all kinds of emotions but mostly surprised. How did it get here so fast?
In all honesty, my first emotion was panic, thinking about all the time (read: blood, sweat, and tears) that went into my initial certification. I spent the summer reading the instructions and rereading the standards to start wrapping my head around what I will have to do. Compared to initial certification, MOC seems to be much more manageable. I would like to encourage NBCTs who are going to go through MOC this year or in the upcoming five years to listen to the 3Ps in a Pod podcast about the process.
I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the process in which one becomes an NBCT and my time as a candidate. I have found that many of my questions about going through MOC are similar to questions new National Board candidates are asking me as they get ready to take the plunge this year.
I ask, “Will I have grown enough as an educator to go through MOC this year?”
New candidates ask, “Am I a good enough teacher to achieve certification?”
I ask, “Will my professional growth experiences these past several years be enough to maintain my certification?”
New candidates ask, “Will my videos be good enough to become an NBCT?”
I ask, “What am I supposed to do with all of these standards, component directions, rubrics, videos, work samples, data, and that one other thing that I can never remember?” New candidates ask… the exact same thing.
So if you are working on those three little letters this year, or those four big letters for the first time my word of advice is to be confident in your abilities as a teacher. There is a reason you started teaching, and a reason you became interested in National Board certification; you would not be here if you were not ready yet. Read your standards, read your component directions, read the What Teachers Should Know and Be Able To Do book, and then read them again. You (read: we) can do it!
What advice do you have for teachers attempting MOC for the first time?