Tears of Learning

Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 5.54.12 AMA friend of mine from graduate school coined a term I still use today: “Tears of Learning.” We were both graduate assistants teaching basic composition. In his classes, he wasn’t mean or unkind; he was tough and fair. But, towards the end of the semester, when his students realized there was no way they were going to be able to make the necessary changes to their writing and explore the depths of analysis that he expected, often ended up in his office hours. He’d later retell stories of pleading, bribery, and attempts of extortion for a higher grade. Almost inevitably, the students would cry.

I recently signed up to attempt the National Board Certification for Teachers. It’s an arduous professional development where teachers showcase their ability to affect student learning using videotaping, a written portfolio, and a three-hour assessment center exam.

I have a feeling that within the year, I will have my own  “Tears of Learning” moments. Ideally, I’d pass on the first attempt; however, only 40% of people actually do. Most take two years, and some take three. Right after I signed up, I immediately had buyer’s remorse and wanted to throw up. Is that a good sign?

What challenge have you accepted lately?

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