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Haste Makes Waste
by Stephanie Blackburn

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

January 19, 2004

Entry 4 is done! I've collected all my verification forms and made copies of the artifacts. I actually feel as though I've accomplished something. Even though it's only one of the three pieces I need to complete in the next four weeks, I can calmly say it's packed in my box, and I'm not even the least bit tempted to look at it again.

The biggest stress was looking at all the required pieces and making sure everything was in order for the assessors. I don't want something as stupid as not putting the documents in the right order to lower my score. That would be ridiculous after all the sleepless nights (and the nightmares when I could sleep).

Actually, my biggest problem should have been my easiest task. I thought, when I went to make copies of the forms and artifacts, that it would as simple as one, two, three. No such luck. The copy machine -- one I use daily with much success -- ate artifacts (which, thankfully, were safely rescued). It made copies on 11-inch by 17-inch sized paper. This 'new, super-duper' machine also jammed at the drop of a hat and refused to copy two-sided pages onto one-sided pages. After 45 minutes of aggravation, I walked away -- only to come right back and sweet talk the villain. Finally, after slowing down, taking my time, and blowing off a meeting I was supposed to attend, I got the copies I needed. Something that typically would have taken 15 minutes took an hour and 15 minutes -- causing me to miss one meeting and to be late to another.

The lesson I learned...Never do anything in a rush. It only causes more chaos. Let's see if I can remember that lesson when I'm ready to make copies for the other three entries.

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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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