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November Is the Cruelest Month
by Elizabeth Scheibl

January 17, 2005

The National Boards? Wow! That was a topic that hadn't been on my mind at all during the summer and early fall. That seemed strange, especially because I had thought about nothing else for the nine months previous to that. But after frantically trying to get everything completed and mailed, I had resolved that the matter was out of my hands and I was going to put it out of my mind as well, and just enjoy the rest of my pregnancy, the school year, and the summer with my family.

November, however, was a cruel month. All of a sudden I was panicked. Would I pass? Would I not? If not, would I have the time, energy, or will to do it again?

I remember going to school the morning the scores were to be posted, feeling very pessimistic; knowing there was no way I could have passed. I was certain I hadn't put enough time into the process and that now, with three children under age five, I would have even less time to try again. I'm sure I even had a few things -- things I can't repeat here -- to say about the whole process and what a fool I had been for thinking I could do it.

Well, after repeated, failed attempts to log on to the NBPTS Web site, the page finally -- and slowly -- started to load. With my best friend at my side, (She'd already found out she'd passed; no pressure there!), the screen read, "CONGRATULATIONS" I didn't bother to read on. I just let out a very joyous cry and felt the weight of the world slide off my shoulders.

Since then, I have had ample opportunity to reflect on the National Board process and I can honestly say that, although I couldn't see it while I was going through it, the process has made me a stronger person. Am I a better teacher than others? Who can say? Not me! I can say, however, that I'm proud of myself for this tremendous accomplishment -- and even prouder to be part of this wonderful profession.

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Meet Elizabeth Scheibl

Elizabeth Scheibl received her bachelor's degree in English literature and elementary education from Providence College in May 1990. For five years, she was a resource teacher at Bradford Elementary School in Westerly, Rhode Island. For the past eight years, she has taught fourth grade at the school. Elizabeth enjoys the daily challenges that teaching offers and strives to grow and better herself as an educator.

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