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Tying Up Loose Ends
by Stephanie Blackburn

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

January 12, 2004

Yippee! I've been very busy, knocking off the tasks at hand. Two drafts of Entry 4 are complete and I'm in the process of making final revisions. The most difficult part to write was the reflection section. Although I easily could identify my flaws, I had a very difficult time elaborating on my strengths. I was dumbstruck. The reflection needed to be only two pages, but it might as well have been 20 pages. I couldn't think of anything intelligent to say.

After the first revisions were made and I again had discussed the entry with my mentor, however, I was more successful. I found that writing my reflection was much easier after someone had agreed or disagreed with what I had written. The feedback helped me add more detail or trash some of the nonsense. Each time I tackled a revision, in fact, I felt a little more confident.

After the two pages were complete, I made sure all my verification forms were in the correct order -- matching what I had written in the accomplishments. I also needed to get parent verification forms, as well as administrator signatures, to verify the activities I had mentioned. All those have been returned and filed.

Time is of the essence now! Only six weeks to go until the box is due!

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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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