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Too Little Time
by Nicole Chiarello

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

January 12, 2004

My colleagues and I had a planned to meet this week to work on our boards. After talking, however, we decided that we all needed time to just write. I've had a hard time working on my entries when we're working together. I spend a lot of time focusing on irrelevant things, and not a lot of time typing. I work best when I am sitting at my house in front of the computer with the TV on (of course)!

I think we're all feeling pretty stressed out -- the boards are due in fewer than two months! We've actually talked about driving to Ewing, New Jersey, the site of the National Board Processing Center, to hand deliver our entries, in case we aren't done in time to mail them. I'm still trying to finish Entry 4, the one that focuses on my professional accomplishments. I'm allowed 12 pages to describe what I've done; then I have to back it up with 20 pages of documentation. I've found that I spend a lot of time rewriting that 12-page description as people who read the paper have questions about things I thought were written clearly. I've even asked people who aren't in the teaching profession to read my papers -- a suggestion given in one of our classes.

This weekend, my goal is to finish Entry 4 and put it away, so that I can focus on the other three entries.

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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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