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It's Done...Isn't It?
by Stephanie Blackburn

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

February 23, 2004

As Nikki, Stephanie C., and I left school Tuesday night at 8:15, we agreed to meet in the office at 10:30 the next morning to venture out as a team and mail our boxes to the certification board. Once and for all, "the box" would be out of our lives. As I drove home that night, with the box on the seat beside me, I was utterly ecstatic. My work had been checked by two other people -- and three times by me. It was done!

Then, sitting on the passenger seat, neatly bundled, the box began calling to me: "Are you sure everything is in here? Are all the forms in order? Did you put your candidate ID number on all the pages? Were the bar codes attached to the cover sheets? Are the pages numbered properly?" Maybe I should re-read the entries and make quick revisions before I mail it -- I've got until 10:30 tomorrow morning." Finally, I left the box in my car and tried to sleep.

On my way to school the next morning, as the doubts began to arise again, I quickly pulled in to the post office. I was getting this thing out of my possession immediately! The poor woman in the post office must have thought I was nuts. I even made her tape the box in front of me, which she graciously did, and then I watched as she brought that blue and yellow box to the back. It really was happening. I had done the best I could. I had crossed my t's and dotted my i's at least six times. So, why did I feel so terrible?

A knot formed in my stomach as I drove out of the parking lot, and began second-guessing myself again (which I have continued to do for last two days). It was nice to think I 'd actually be able to do something else tonight, but maybe if I had just one more day, I could make it perfect...

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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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