Did you know that August first marks a new year? It does for me. You see, as a teacher, the school switch turns itself on. This is a good thing. I believe the year the switch doesn't go on is the year to retire.
August is about new ideas, and goals. My good friends have been instructed to get a shepherds’s hook and pull me aside the year I return to school without new ideas and goals for the year.
This is my thirty-fourth year of teaching. I am watching friends and colleagues retire. It is expected that I teach until sixty-five on my retirement plan in the state of Washington. That means about eleven more years. I want to stay fresh, I want to avoid "retirement envy". So I made a decision.
I am pursuing the National Board Certification for Library Media. A friend in Idaho planted a seed (probably unknowingly) followed by a conversation with another library media specialist who is on board to take it. She is taking it and another library media specialist is taking it. Our district has developed a wonderful support process for those seeking National Board Certification.
It means putting my beliefs, my teaching style and knowledge about students out there for review. It means six hours a month with my peers in a cadre to prepare for the certification. I have to produce a portfolio, sample student work, and videos of my teaching. And come spring 2008, I will take an exam.
I couldn't fall asleep the day I made the decision to do this. My mind would not turn off with excitement of a challenge. I knew it was the right decision for me. I guess the switch hasn't turned off yet nor do I need the shepherd's hook to pull me away.
What decision have you made lately? To read about more deciders, click here.