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A Renewed Confidence
by Stephanie Blackburn

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

September 22, 2003

An e-mail arrived Wednesday from my principal regarding a scheduled meeting to discuss National Boards. At first, I was extremely nervous. I haven't done anything for two weeks. What am I going to tell him? "Oh, I decided not to think about it for the past two weeks!" Although I know he'd understand, I felt like I owed him and the process more than that. I went to the meeting the next morning, having decided that that would be exactly what I would say. It was the truth. Phew! He only wanted to sit down with all five of us and let us know that he'd support us with anything we needed. He was willing to arrange substitute coverage for us. (The district allots four days for us to work on the entries). He asked us to pick the dates that were good for us. We decided to take the same days, so we could collaborate during that time. He also told us that he had spoken to the new librarian and she had agreed to videotape us! We discussed getting together once a week after school to bounce ideas off one another. All of a sudden, a burden seemed to be lifted from my shoulders. In 15 minutes, my outlook changed dramatically. My administrator is here to help, too, and I now have the confidence again that I won't have a nervous breakdown. I went back to my room and began a new list:

  • Finish yearly planning.
  • Finish entry 4.
Does the list look familiar? Maybe that's because I didn't do anything during my break time! 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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