Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Message In A Bottle

This is Spring Break and I'm doing school work!!
Where 's a Coast Guard helicopter and rescue basket when you need it?
Yes ... I know it's my own fault ... most rescue situations are the fault of the rescuee.

Some of you will remember my hiatus about this time last year to work on my National Boards portfolio.

Well, I missed National Certification as a superduper wingding teacher by 7 points ... 7 points ... 7 points ...
Now I know how my students feel when I hand back those tests ... actually, I always know how they feel ... I'm just feeling it myself.
The why of the National Boards process is here ... same as last year.

The point is ... I failed, which is not a familiar feeling and not the easiest thing to say in front of the universe, but there ya' go.

The good news is, you can retry the process and your points are banked ... so I need to improve this entry enough to at least gain those 7 points when it's all averaged together again.

The other good news is that I don't have to redo the whole process, since I just bombed (let's be honest here) one entry. I only have about 1/5 of the work to do that I had last year.

The bad news is it's due in Texas by April 15 so I'm typing and reflecting on my practice during some primo spring break weather.
The National Board process is big on reflection. Reflect on your craft, reflect on your students, reflect on why you teach ... all this reflecting sounds very femalian to me. I picture the senior National Board board members as very smart women.

Yesterday, alone in the kitchen with the laptop, student work samples, the National Board Standards, some spilled salt (see it?), and a zillion forms ... it got pretty frustrating, so I sent out an SOS.
When the Coast Guard helicopter failed to show, I whistled for the JEEP and off we went for some " reflection".

I found this ibis reflecting on it's practice in a dimly lit swamp.

This young slider was reflecting on his role as muncher of snails and munchee of gators.

Apparently the deer and turkeys in Devil's Hammock were taking a break from reflecting, ... just like me.

You can run, but you can't hide from the National Boards.

If you're looking for me ...
I'll be in the kitchen with my laptop and piles of stuff.


Sharon said...

Aw, man!! Sorry you have to deal with it, I'm sure you'll ace it this time :o)
On the bright side, you got some great shots! If your skies looked anything like mine did yesterday, I'm very impressed. I went out to try and shoot some pics for a few minutes and there was just NO light. Looks about the same out there today. Hey! At least you're not missing any beautiful weather :)

Anonymous said...

I'm just wondering here how long you will last in the kitchen without whipping up something for the family dinner? Perhaps your famous salad? As for the FCATs at least you didn't cheat, which I read in the paper happened to some other teachers. Quite a shame.

Anonymous said...

I feel for you dude, I,m on the tail end of a ASSCEET,which is a completely new direction, and after 30yrs out of school to boot. I "shutter" trying to decide about going for the Bachelors. Any way, hang tough, and the short little escapes are always helpful. Good luck, from the way TD talks about you, you'll get it done.
Bro J

robin andrea said...

I like how you take time to "reflect." That's the best way to do it. When I was in college, and I had a big paper to write, I would go to the pool and swim laps. It helped me formulate just the right thesis.

Good luck with it. I'm sure you'll ace it this time.

kathy a. said...

great photos! good luck.

Emily said...

Good luck with the national board application! I know it's a lot of work, but it'll be worth it.

elpbulls said...

Nice hat Daddy!! I like the pic with the deer and the turkey. Hope to see you this weekend! Love ya!

Danielle Says Good Luck said...

I hope you do well!!!!! Will submitting this post help??? I thought it was very educational...in a FC kinda way ;)

Rurality said...

Dadgum, 7 points! They should have given you extra credit for the blog.

I have to say that banking the points and having to average out 7 points better does NOT seem like a good thing to me... I mean, assuming it's based on 100, you'll have to make 14 points better next time, instead of just 7, right? Or am I reading that wrong?

threecollie said...

That is so wrong! You obviously are head and shoulders above the norm as a teacher...Look at the cool ways you show your kids nature stuff (like the banana peel and the packaging) rather than just preaching at them. You enthrall us all with this blog (first click in the blog roll for me every day anyhow). Just shows that standardized tests aren't so hot at any level. Hope you knock it out of the park second time around.

cinbad122 said...

If you're looking for me, I will be at the river! Gotta have a day or 2 of the outdoors!

cinbad122 said...

P.S. Remind me to tell you about snipe hunting...the deer reminded me.

Floridacracker said...

I slipped out during a sunny break in the clouds.

I've administered the FCAT, but I can honestly say, I've never peeked.

Bro J,
Thanks. Good luck on yours also.

Very familiar process.

Kathy A,
Thanks on both counts!

Thanks, I know you are right.

Emma you rascal,
I didn't see the turkey until I enlarged the photo! It was actually a very distant shot through the windshield.
How about that?
Love you!

No, the post is just venting :)
But thanks for the good wishes.

You math nerd.
You have a point. I picked the entry that I scored lowest on for my retry. I figure there was nowhere to go but up on that one. The little prediction widget at the NB site showed how much better I needed to score to get those 7 points and it wasn't that much.
Plus, I've realized what went wrong last year.

Man, I wish you were on the judging board :)

Hey, that's only 15 minutes from here.
Do not tell me that you, a smart,grown woman, fell for snipe hunting...
Can't wait to hear that one!
Judy did it didn't she?

Jane said...

Good luck with your retake... you know it will be fine next time! Jane

jojo said...

GOOD LUCK!!!!! GOOD KARMA going your way... i hope you get it. my goodness the work you ( a teacher ) has to go thru to get a raise. i didn't realize. and its a shame.

go study.. drink lots of pom juice and take some gingko... will keep you juiced.. :)

Flatland Mountaineer said...

Thanks, FC, for a place to go where, after having visited my other "go to" sites every day I know I can go for something good. "Good" is harder to find these days but it's there if you know where to go. The only other place I'm guaranteed "good" is my daughter's blog where I know I'll see fresh pictures of my first grandchild(son), (I have 3 daughters!). Being new to Florida, as a Georgia native, North Carolina resident for the last 17 years and recent St. Augustine homeowner, your take on the ordinary daily Florida life is a breath of fresh air.

By the way, that salt didn't fall off the rim of a glass by any chance, did it?

Laura said...

Did you know if you don't pass, they make YOU take the FCAT? ;)

J/k. I'll wish you the the best this time around; hang in there! 7 points, that has got to be frustrating!

I liked the pics, too. I can't stand to be inside too long and I would have felt like running out there also!

Good luck!!!

Thunder Dave said...

You can Doit!
(in a Rob Schneider fake Cajun voice)

Hang in there man, I know you can get it!!!

Cathy said...

Honest. I'm laughing out loud. Not 'at' you, but at your great humor and then groaning at the absurdity of a man like you having to play this game.

Thunder Dave said...

Oh, sorry I forgot, Thanks so much for the words of encouragement the other day! My goal is to drop another 10kg during the next year. The easy one's are already gone, I'm going to have to work to get the rest off!

SophieMae said...

AW, what a crummy way to have to spend so much of your break. Good job rescuing yourownself.

I'm glad I enlarged the deer/turkey pic, else I would've missed the 2nd turkey. Super serendipitous shooting!

And now for a bit of ketchup...

Natives/invaders... don't EVEN get me started!

Hummer shots are HUMdingers! Ours don't like to share. They're always playing king of the nectar.

Weezy is TOO adorable for words! I cna't believe it's Chasco time again already! A whole year?! If this time acceleration keeps up, I'll be 5 years older by Christmas!

Paintsmh said...

Poor FC!!!!

pablo said...

Sorry about those damned 7 points. If I had them to give to you, I would.

Floridacracker said...

Thanks for the cheer! I hope you are right.

Good advice and I like Pom juice!

You just made my day.
Thanks for those kind words.
Nah, that salty event has to wait til I get done.

I'll work hard I promise!

Oh I knew the accent. Don't waste away!

Hoops, I'm jumping through hoops. Thanks for that support.

Thanks for the enjoyable ketchup!
The turkey were a complete surprise. I was shooting the deer.
Fun stuff!!

From one student to another!

You da man. I appreciate that, but it looks like I'm going to have to earn 'em.

Anonymous said...

RE: I picture the senior National Board board members as very smart women

Sadly to say FC, but you will never, ever be a very smart woman. The good news is you are half way there. I mean not the woman part. The MAN part! Uh, well what I meant to say was... well you know.

Geeze, they let anybody post on these things, don't they?

Holey frickin skunk meat, seven points should be doable. What are you whining about? Put away your lacey hankies and the potpourri and quitcher blubbering, bro.

If you can capture some stunning images and provide some intelligent discussion about them, then seven idiot points is a dribble in the latrine. So to speak.

You're FC. One in a million.


Floridacracker said...

Now THAT is a pep talk!

Doug Taron said...

Wow, how can I possibly top Freste's comment? Good luck to you. Your photos are beautiful and make me wish I were out there hunting bugs.

Alan said...

I agree that all sounds very feminine. (How sexist of us! For shame!) Good luck!

lej619 said...

go getten FC you'll do fine!
and everyone needs some down time.

Floridacracker said...

I find it difficult too!

Thanks. I bet most ladies would admit to being more reflective than men.

I definitely need some ... maybe I'll finish today!
Not if I don't get off the blogosphere tho ;)

lesle said...

In the deer/turkey photo, is that a critter just off the right side of the road?

S N B said...

Well, I wish you the best! It was by far the hardest project I have ever taken on. (I did accomplish the goal.) I received a letter this year that there may well not be funding to cover the mentoring for even this year. Meaning teachers who have already mentored the required number of hours and completed the tons of paperwork to document it, may or may not receive compensation. Sigh. One more punch, one more kick at Florida's educators.

Cathy S. said...

I really do think if they could read this blog they would give you the seven points. But, a man who can write so eloquently and teach every day through this posts ought to be able to raise his score by seven points. I think you should spend some time outside each day before you settle down with the laptop. All work and no play makes Ray a very dull boy, you know.

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt that you will rise above.

I share the doubts of others re: the benfits of standardized tests.

Floridacracker said...

Could be ... hmmm.

I figure that with my usual timing I will achieve certification just as the legislature cuts the funding.

Cathy S,
I'm feeling pretty dull right now.
Thanks for the vote.

Ditto on standardized tests, but that is not what this is. Mostly a writing portfolio with evidence attached to show you do what you say you do.

Mel said...

You can make it!! ;)