Saturday, November 22, 2008

My NBPTS Certification Results

I received a reminder last Thursday night that the results of the National Board Certification are coming out Friday. Was I able to sleep well? Yes. Was I anxious? No.

I already talked to my new principal (read: not my principal last year) last Monday about this during my conference with her on my unstructured observations. I let her know that the results of the National Board was coming out very soon and that I was 95% sure that I was not going to make it. Things were very difficult for me last year with working conditions and my pregnancy that it was difficult for me to focus for my National Board completion. The inschool support from anybody was totally absent; thanks to my wonderful husband and my energetic NBC mentor, Debbie, who kept me going. I was expecting that my scores from last year (which was not bad at all) would go down as a result of the unfavorable conditions I was in.

I checked the NBPTS website early morning at 6:00 AM, it was not yet available due to high traffic. When I came to my classroom, I wrote a reminder on top of my desk to check my scores during lunch, which is usually working lunch for me. I still remember the feeling when I saw my scores last year, it was just "I did not make it (sigh). That's ok, I will retake it and do better. It's a three year process and I still have 2 chances".

And there it was on my computer screen in front of scores unexpectedly went up...and I missed by 2 points! The feeling was worse that last year, I felt dizzy. I missed by just 2 points!...just 2 points!

And I remembered I was hungry, went out to microwave my food. I saw my benevolent principal in the hallway. As level-headed as she is, I sensed that she was not in in her best mood, the 8th graders had a food fight in the cafeteria. Well, our school is just like some schools with discipline problems. But the administrators and the teachers are real Trojan Warriors (The Iliad by Homer) who will stand together to fight and overcome discipline problems in the school as a team.

She mentioned something that I barely heard, I replied something that made no sense. And I found myself hugging her and crying. I said "I got the scores and I missed by 2 points". We already talked about it and we were expecting that I will not pass this year, so what's the matter? I almost made it and did not, I could have been a NBCT now. She talked to me in my classroom like none of my supervisors talked to me before. I am not going to blog about my past grievances anymore, because I'm going to need more time for that (they're countless), and I decided to move on now (new andministration, new beginning).

My principal told me: "Ms. Angala, why did you take the National Board? Is it because of the title? You don't pass the National Board just for the sake of passing it and having the title. If you passed the National Board and people see that you were not ready then that is a problem."

I expressed my reasons for taking the national board here. After three years, I said the same things to my principal: "I took the national board because I believe that I am doing the right things for my students and I want to be validated; I wanted to know how to implement the teaching standards and the best practices that I read in the books." In addition, I want to see how effective teaching looks like. I want to be an accomplished teacher.

She replied, "Ms. Angala, you have gone this far on your own, just missing 2 points from the goal, without anybody there to support you. You are going to retake the national board and you are going to pass. Why? Because I am here to support you, we will go over your entry before you submit it.

You will pass because now I see a teacher who is worthy of being called a National Board Certified Teacher. I see a teacher in front of me who is working hard to be able to pull the scores of her special ed students out of below basic in the benchmark assessments. I see a teacher who is helping her colleagues create an inviting classroom environment and a better lesson plan for their students. I see a teacher who is able to pull together resources and grants, and community help for her students to achieve. I see a teacher who is open to suggestions, receptive, and is willing to learn and make things better for her students. You will retake the National Board, and I know you will pass because you are now ready."

She was right. I know I was still missing some skills needed of an accomplished special education teacher in the beginning of the school year. She stepped in, mentored me, and gave me some strategies on classroom management (some students made it difficult for me to teach in the beginning) and lesson planning. I can't believe how it all transformed everything in just three months of implementation! I am still having some behavior issues from time to time, but my students respect me now, and I can make them work not because they are scared of the consequences but because they want to get better grades, to achieve and to be successful in life.
I have come this far...very very close to the goal. Why will I quit? I am going to retake the National Board, and I will nail it this time!
LESSON LEARNED: During my reflection about my teaching experiences last night, I learned that you cannot be an effective classroom teacher overnight. Knowledge and implementation of the teaching standards and the best practices over time create successful classroom teachers.


Anonymous said...


you will get it next time!!! i admire the fact that you took it. anyway, again, i may add... i just couldn't...pregnant and all, like you...anyhow...i need waaaaay more points to pass..should I go for it???


jean savoy, nbct said...


I see the same teacher that your principal sees. Remember how you were my rock when I missed by three points and I had just about decided not to do a retake? It is a horrible feeling when you first see the scores but with encouragement from friends you plow on. I can't see how you can possibly miss next time. I will always be there for you.

Jean Savoy,NBCT

ProfSeeman said...

You make some good points above.
However, I also think that this can be helpful to you:
Go to:

If you get this book and video: PREVENTING Classroom Discipline Problems, [they are in many libraries, so you don't have to buy them] email me and I can refer you to the sections of the book and the video [that demonstrates the effective vs. the ineffective teacher] that can help you.

[I also teach an online course on these issues that may be helpful to you at: ]

If you cannot get the book or video, email me and I will try to help.
Best regards,


Howard Seeman, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus,
City Univ. of New York

Prof. Seeman

erich said...


I'm sure you'll make it next time. You surely do have a lot on your plate: managing teaching and childraising at the same time is quite an undertaking.

- Erich

Emma Mateo said...

Hi teacher Sol! Gay Mateo here. I'm sure by this time, you were already made aware of my move to Little Rock. I just want you to know that you are one of God-sent people to me. You have been inspiring me in more ways than one. I am a frequent visitor of your website. I remember my first visit to the site, what dawned on me first was the sign on your board that says "Success! No Excuses!" If you won't mind, I made a copy for my class, too. I thought that this is so true, not only for our students but also, for the teachers as well. Success will come in time. As long as we have done our best shot each time, success will not be far behind. Besides, isn't the term success relative and subjective? I personally believe that you are already, successful, in your own right. If you look around, ask yourself how many people have you inspired around the globe (not just Filipinos)through all your efforts? As you went through all the hurdles and overcame all of it, how many people were sent to you to serve as mentors and inspirations? How about all the learnings and friends you have gained while going through this process?
I sincerely believe that your hard work deserves a "big, round of applause!" My hat is off to you. As I wary about taking the Board now or otherwise, I have started thinking of all the reasons why I shouldn't (I just gave birth, tons of responsibilities at work, etc.). On the other hand, I also asked my self why not? Was I scared to fail? Was the "passing" my sole objective in going through this process? Then, I began to dig deeper inside me- I confirmed- I am doing this because I owe this not only to my self as an Educator, but more so, to the students I am blessed to be with and to the future ones I will cross paths with.Take heart and don't lose hope. After all is completed and you get certified (soon!), it will be your turn to pay it forward and continue to be source of strength and inspiration to others.
May I offer you a simple prayer? "Lord, I ask that you bless
Marisol's heart and hands. Grant her the peace of mind and reassurance that all these will soon come to pass.Let her know that you are with her every step of the way through the support from family, friends, colleagues she already has and to the people you'll continue to send to her way. This I believe, Amen."

matu said...

Sol, the heck with the results- we all know that all those people whose lives that have been touched by you doesnt need anymore validation of the great things that youve done personally and professionally - I am absolutely convinced that no title or any certification can match your achievement. I am so proud of you and I wish you more happiness and love.


Distance Learning GED said...

Your generosity in sharing this infomraiton means so much. Thanks a million.

Promethean Planet


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