Joy of Achievement

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The past few months, I’ve been working on my dossier. New Mexico has a 3-Tier system for teacher progression. Level I is for new teachers. They have 5 years to complete a dossier to advance to Level II. If they don’t pass the dossier, their license will be revoked–and this actually happens to people.

You can stay at Level II forever, if you want. But in order to advance on the pay scale, you have to earn a Master’s degree and have three years experience as a Level II teacher. Then, you can apply to complete a second dossier to earn Level III licensure. Once you’re a Level III teacher, you’ve reached the pinnacle of the pay scale–unless you want to earn a 2nd Master’s degree or earn your National Board Certification for Teachers (NBCT). (However, the NBCT can be used instead of the Master’s + dossier to reach Level III, as well).

In creating the dossier, I had to record 3-5 hours of classroom instruction, include resources and illustrations, demonstrate student learning, explain my ability to work with the community, parents and other teachers, and provide evidence of my ability to work with diverse learners. The document had almost 100 pages!!! The results are in the picture above. Come next August, I will be an official Level III teacher.

FDR once said, “Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” I may not have found myself very ‘thrilled’ during the creative effort, but I’m so joyful of the achievement, with a pay raise to boot!

What achievement are you joyful for?


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