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Re: Nat'l Bd Cert

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From: Christa Wise (cwise_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Nov 27 2002 - 05:32:01 PST


>This process is definitely a LOT of work to not pass.

Carolyn,

I think writing ability is a huge factor. I write about school a lot as I
have a column (volunteer) in the local newspaper. NBC candidates
continually remark upon the process saying they had never spent so much
time reflecting on what they do. As a writer, however, I did not feel this
so much because I was accustomed to writing about events in my classroom.
In a way, I was disappointed that I did not have this epiphany.

Just like drawing skills sharpen as you use them, so do writing skills. In
my case, the writing came easily, but I remember feeling that it might be
way more difficult for someone who did not enjoy writing.

A few things: I really did write each section early so there was enough
time to set it aside and revisit it over and over again. Each time I
reread, I made changes.

I asked a colleague to read them. It was probably a waste of her time
because she was not an art teacher and the time she committed to the task
was really outrageous. It was a huge favor I asked of her and given her
feedback, I should not have wasted her time.

I did send a section to a fellow artsednetters who gave good feedback and
suggestions. One even read the final draft over again and said it was the
best she had ever read. Then she said something that started my worries
all over again - "I hope you have a good philosophical fit with your
reader." You are right to think about that, but powerless to change it.
Despite this constraint, I still believe the evaluative process is sound.
It would be difficult to suggest ways in which it might be improved.

Best advice(in the words of Jasper Johns): "Take an object(written
section). Do something to it. Do something else to it." Give yourself time
to keep refining.

Second best advice: Always demonstrate how what you did had an impact on
the STUDENT. It is not about you, it is all about them. No litanies of
your accomplishments as they are meaningless unless you have had an impact
on your students.

Given how much you write to us, and given the caliber of your posts, I
would expect that you will be OK, Carolyn. It's just a hunch, but it is
one grounded in observation.

Christa

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