Home >> Prof. Development >> Prof. Development >> Teacher Diary: On the Road to National Certification

Search form

A Computer Crash!
by Stephanie Capalbo

Stephanie Capalbo is working toward National Board Certification as an Early Childhood Generalist.

August 8, 2003

After organizing my materials for the National Board process, I have begun to feel a sense of ownership of the process and of its expectations, and summer seems to offer the perfect opportunity to take a stab at revising a rough draft of my first portfolio entry. The goal of this entry is to describe my accomplishments as a leader, collaborator, and communicator with families.

I was dismayed to learn that my natural style of writing -- using descriptive and engaging sentences -- will not work in writing portfolio entries. So, I wrote what came naturally first, then went through and edited several times. Through a support session I attended with my colleagues, I learned a couple of techniques to help revise my writing:

  • Use the National Board Standards to start each entry with a strong topic sentence.
  • Ensure that the question "How does that impact student learning?" is a priority when writing.
In order to complete those revisions, however, I decided that I needed to buy a reliable computer; my 1999 laptop freezes up more than it runs. I had visions of being 99 percent done with my portfolio entries and losing everything to a computer glitch. Well, I bought a new desktop and -- not ten days later -- it crashed! I lost everything I had revised! Luckily, I had the pre-revised version on my "unreliable" laptop, so at least I wasn't back at square one. My computer now is up and running again, but I have learned a valuable lesson... print hard copies and create a CD or floppy back up weekly. Previous diary entry Next diary entry
Meet Stephanie Capalbo

Stephanie Capalbo received a bachelor's degree in psychology with a concentration in elementary education from Rhode Island College in May 1995. She became certified in early childhood education in August 1997. For the past six years, Stephanie has been teaching kindergarten at Bradford Elementary School in Westerly, Rhode Island. In the fall of 2000, the kindergarten at Bradford became the first and only kindergarten in the district to receive accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). In 2003, Stephanie was named Westerly's Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year.

Back to Teacher Diary home page