Hooray!! I received my National Board Certification in Early and Middle Childhood Language Arts this week! This process was tedious, but reflective for sure. It certainly required that I look at and evaluate my practice in the area of Language Arts. And while I know this is not the "be all and end all" in certifications, it does seem to be gaining national attention.
Certainly, I am thankful for a process that requires educators to act as professionals and think deeply about their practice. I just wish it didn't take the incentive of extra money for some. I wish we all would be more reflective on our practice.
Now that the twenty year mark is in sight for me, I understand what makes teachers stick their heads in the sand and think, "I'm not changing." "The pendulum is just swinging." "What worked for me ___ years ago, should be good enough for kids today." In fact, I realized this summer in a big way that I have reached a place in my teaching life where I "could" be staunchly unteachable. Recognizing this was half the battle of dealing with it and moving on in a positive way.
Many teachers are reflective though. They just reflect backwards instead of forward. We get stuck in the "way it used to be" and the "way kids used to be" ruts. I think the world could be a different place if we would all reflect a bit more and then make necessary changes to be the best teacher for the kids that we teach currently. It may mean stepping out of a comfort zone for some of us. It may mean giving up some lessons we love. But in the end, it would create what I think we all want anyway: Kids who are more ready to become productive members of society.
And that's not a bad thing, is it?