not yet

Not Yet Achieved

Caitlin Gawlowski National Board Certification, Professional Development, Uncategorized

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‘Twas the night before score release
And all through the house
Teachers were waiting
For their score to be announced!

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards released the scores of National Board candidates this past weekend. Teachers anxiously waited for their scores to be released and across the country asked themselves: “Will I see fireworks?”

Many saw fireworks, and for them, I say “Welcome to the club NBCTs!” While others saw the dreaded three words: Not Yet Achieved.

Last year I spoke to three candidates in my school district who did not certify (yet). They were devastated that they had not certified (yet) considering they put nine months of work into this National Board baby and thought they would be leaving with a brand “newborn” NBCT certificate. Two of these candidates were looking for encouragement, knowing they are not alone and trying to figure out how to move forward and what to do next; one candidate made the difficult decision to not move forward with retaking components. It takes courage to retake components, and it also takes courage to know that life has you on a different path.

If you saw those three dreaded words instead of fireworks this cycle, please remember that becoming a National Board Certified Teacher is a journey. There are high points and low points. Not receiving the results you want is a low point. It means that you are not there YET. Sometimes it takes several years to achieve certification, as Susan Collins writes about in her blog here. When you are ready to talk, reach out to your Candidate Support Provider. Your CSPs are there to help you process your scores and make a plan moving forward.

Two candidates decided to retake components last year and came to our monthly coaching meetings ready to tackle their components with newfound determination. Last year their portfolios were not there YET, but this year would be different. In the wee hours of Saturday morning, I received an email from them with two life-changing words: I certified!

Keep moving forward if you are not there YET. The fireworks will be even more beautiful when you get there.


Caitlin was born to be a teacher, although she did not realize that teaching was her calling until she went to college. She has always loved to write, and began college with the mindset of becoming a journalist. Before beginning her freshman year of college, she changed my major to Elementary Education on a whim and has never looked back. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University, and won the Outstanding Student Teacher Award during her student teaching experience in the Cave Creek Unified School District. Caitlin spent 9 years in the classroom teaching 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade. She became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2018, and holds a certificate in Early and Middle Childhood Literacy: Reading/Language Arts. The 2021-2022 school year marks the beginning of her 10th year teaching, where she will be working as an Academic Interventionist, and supporting other National Board candidates on their journey toward National Board certification. If she is lucky enough to have free time, you can find her traveling Arizona with her husband and son, spending time with her friends and family, taking group fitness classes, or enjoying a good book.

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