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Disorder in the Court
by Nicole Chiarello

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

February 9, 2004

I remember the two pieces of advice I received when I first embarked on this adventure. The first was not to do anything big or major while preparing for national certification, and the second was that a procrastinator had never achieved National Board Certification.

Regarding the first piece of advice: In October, we got our first puppy ever. Her name is Laila and she is a Labradoodle (part lab and part standard poodle). She has eaten parts of two of my papers, destroyed one of my computer disks, and she enjoys chewing on my laptop cord as I type my entries. I also got engaged (yeah!) and am trying to schedule my wedding for August. Planning a wedding and working on the national boardsnot a good idea.

As for the procrastinator part: I was notified that I have to report for jury duty next week. My notice says that I have to serve for a minimum of two days or the length of one trial, and I have finished only one of the entries completely. My goal is to print up the parts of the entries that I have completed and proofread them during jury duty. My other goal is to bring the parts that I have not finished and work on them there, too. I have been told, however, that I should not bring my laptop, because I could be moving around from room to room. Basically, I think I may be in trouble. I'll let you know what happens!

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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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