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Let's Get Together
by Nicole Chiarello

Nicole Chiarello is working toward National Board Certification as an Early Childhood through Young Adulthood Exceptional Needs Specialist.

October 20, 2003

We finally made it to our first official National Board Day! That is one of the four days our school district gives us to work on the boards. On Monday, I called to reserve a quiet study room at the public library. My colleagues and I thought that if we met at someone's house we would be more tempted to dilly-dally.

We agreed that we should each put together our own agenda for the day, even if we weren't working on the same things. I wrote down a list of what I wanted to accomplish. My list was pretty simple:

  1. Find out about the communication log.
  2. Read the criteria for videotaping.

I had read that the purpose of the communication log is to track two-way communications with a variety of people outside the classroom. In addition to assigning homework, I write a short paragraph every day about how each student's day went. Parents are free to write back to me with any comments or questions they might have. I'm glad we met as a group that day, because I was able to talk through this with my colleagues. We all decided that my communication log meets the criteria for what is expected.

All of us had put videotaping on our planned agendas. We found a Videotape Analysis Guide -- The National Board Certification Workbook -- by Adrienne Mack-Kirschner. The guide lists what needs to be included in a successful videotape entry, and it provides a rating scale for evaluating the videotape. We all agreed it was the perfect way to evaluate our videotapes. Now to begin!

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Meet Nicole Chiarello

Nicole Chiarello received her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University at Buffalo, of the State University of New York, in May 1994 and her master's degree in special education, learning and behavior disorders from Buffalo State College in December 1996. For the remainder of the 1996-1997 academic year, Nicole worked as an inclusion teacher at Niagara-Wheatfield Senior High School in Sanborn, N.Y. For the past six years, she has taught a district-wide special education program for three-to-five students with emotional and behavioral concerns at Bradford Elementary School in Westerly, Rhode Island. Nicole was named Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year in 2000. She is currently serving on a district team focusing on social, emotional, and behavioral concerns in the classroom.

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