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Why Am I Doing This?
by Stephanie Blackburn

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

August 25, 2003

During the past two years, I have attended workshops explaining what the National Board Certification process is about, spoken with others who had gone through the process, and done some reading about the rigorous writing that would be required. Last spring, I attended a pre-course for National Certification that further explained the ins and outs of the process. Six other teachers and I from my building attended the three-day course to learn what was entailed in the Board process. I was instantly hooked! Soon after, I decided that, for my own professional gain, I would attempt the certification process. I saw it as a journey of self-reflection and a validation of what I do in my classroom on a daily basis. I knew that in order to improve my teaching practices I needed to begin scrutinizing those practices and working to improve the techniques I utilize in my classroom. I decided that the National Board Certification process was the avenue to determine if I was doing the "right things" in my teaching -- a validation I have been searching for for years. As an extra incentive, I knew I would be doing it with colleagues who could provide support. The venue for collaboration is set; now I am looking forward to sharing our professional experiences. Previous diary entry Next diary entry
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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