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Getting Together
by Stephanie Blackburn

Stephanie Blackburn is working toward National Board Certification as a Middle Childhood Generalist.

October 20, 2003

It finally arrived -- Day One of the four days the school district allows us to take off to work on the national certification process! Steph, Nicole, and I met at the library at 9 a.m. Each of us brought our agendas, which are surprisingly similar. We discussed the different ways in which we use two-way communication in our classrooms and talked about how we might track that information successfully.

We also looked at the National Board's video requirements and set up a schedule for the coming month. We brainstormed how we might handle future videotaping, and decided we would preview one another's tapes using a checklist that reflected the board's criteria. Nicole also provided a checklist on how to view a videotape from one of the books she had purchased.

Many of our conversations were helpful to me as I process the doubts and questions I have. The most helpful aspect of our meeting, however, was to see the support we had established for one another. It is extremely helpful to have other people to bounce ideas off of, and to know that we have one another as critical friends. We ended by setting up another day to meet during the coming week.

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Meet Stephanie Blackburn

Stephanie Blackburn, one of Education World's 2002-2003 teacher diarists, received her bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Rhode Island in May 1994. For the first two years of her teaching career, Stephanie worked as an enrichment specialist in the talent development program for the Westerly, Rhode Island, school district. For the past seven years, she has taught fourth grade at Bradford Elementary School in Westerly. Stephanie was awarded a 2002 National Educator Award by the Milken Family Foundation, in a program that provides recognizes elementary and secondary school teachers, principals, and other education professionals who are furthering excellence in education.

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