Called "Splash Start" because of our San Diego coastal location, even some ducklings living in the pool outside the training room wanted to get into the action.
The candidates introduced themselves and shared how they were feeling entering the National Board process. Though many were feeling a little anxious about the time commitment, the overall feeling was one of great enthusiasm and excitement for jumping into the experience. Following introductions, lead Candidate Support Providers Joanna Murray (AYA Social Studies) and Sean McCarthy (AYA English Language Arts) provided an overview of the history and purpose of the National Board, the requirements, process and timelines for completing full certification and Take One!, and the various support options available through NUPTDC.
It was a great group of teachers who were clearly motivated to dive into the processs. Middle school teacher Mardel Backes, and Early Adolescent English Language Arts teacher, said, "Today's Splash session did so much to reduce my anxiety level about entering the certification process. The presenters helped me to visualize a mental framework of the entire process. Their willingness and eagerness to provide me with whatever support I needed completely
assured me that I will be well guided. Beyond that, today's session was a great opportunity to connect with my online colleagues as we embark on this tremendous journey together! We were able to work together, share ideas, share anxieties, and just get to know one another. Now that I know so many people in and out of my cohort, I feel truly connected! I know my discussion board experiences will be so much more meaningful because of that."
Pamela Roden, a Title I Teacher on Special Assignment who will be a Literacy: Reading Language Arts candidate, echoed Backes' comment: "I am really looking forward to this experience. I was so motivated I came home and spent hours on my computer looking through the tasks and materials online. The Splash orientation provided an informative and realistic overview of the National Board Certification process allowing candidates to gain a deeper understanding of the entire certification process from applications and funding through the portfolio process and constructed response assessments. The assigned tasks were most helpful as they force the candidate to zero in on their certification area specifically and explore it in depth before actually beginning the certification process. The tasks provided me with a big picture of the entire process, but have also forced me to explore my certification area in detail. The most beneficial and motivating part of the training for me was being introduced to a professional learning community who all have a similar goal - improving learning for our students."
Middle school teacher Eric Fransden, who will be an Early Adolescent Mathematics candidates summed it up perfectly:
"Today's Splash seminar instilled the confidence and knowledge I needed to move forward in the NBC process."
Whether NBCT or Take One! candidates (or ducklings), all were ready to splash right into the process!