Education awards --  03/08/06

You may remember mention in these pages at various points last year that Nancy was working on becoming a National Board Certified Teacher (National Board for Professional Teaching Standards) -- that's a long (expensive) time-consuming process that involved submitting a portfolio consisting of essays about her teaching, two video tapes (one teaching a class and one working with individuals and small groups, exactly twenty minutes each, no editing allowed, must be continuous footage), answering extended essay questions about the techniques, lesson objectives, etc. shown in the videos and reflections on them (estimated 200 to 400 hours for that part) and then sitting for several hours of computer-based testing. As I believe I also mentioned sometime late in the year, she was successful and is now a National Board Certified Teacher for Mathematics.

Yesterday there was an appreciation and awards ceremony at the state capitol to honor the current group of National Board Certified Teachers plus the Rhode Island Teacher of the Year and the Rhode Island recipients of this year's Milken National Educator Awards.

So we drove up to Providence...
The photo above shows part of the Rotunda of the Rhode Island State House (which, by the way, played the role of the U.S. Capitol building in the movie Amistad).

The photo on the right shows Nancy on the second level (outside of the State Reception Room where the ceremony was held). Things began with a nice layout of refreshments (cookies, pastries, fresh fruit) plus coffee, tea, soft drinks, etc. (Except I had some dental work done earlier and not only couldn't eat yet, my periodontist had told me no hot beverages for the rest of the day as well. Ah well, I don't really need the calories and the party wasn't for me anyway.)
So here's Governor Carcieri speaking to the assembled teachers, family members, and assorted politicians and bureaucrats.

It doesn't show clearly but that is a Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington on the wall behind the governor. Another version of that painting hangs in the White House (apparently painters back then would sometimes paint a copy or two of works they especially liked, or which might be easy to sell, such as portraits of notable and popular figures). Stuart also painted the portrait of Washington that appears on the one dollar bill.
And here is Nancy receiving an award certificate expressing the pleasure that the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations takes in her being one of forty Rhode Island teachers in the 2004-05 group who become National Board Certified Teachers. (Yes, the process started in the fall of 2004 and she received notification of success in November of 2005.) She is shaking hands with a member of the Rhode Island Board of Regents; that's a deputy commisioner of education behind the podium and Governor Carcieri on the right. I tried to get a picture of her shaking hands with the governor but -- you know digital cameras -- press the shutter and three seconds later it takes the picture when she is already shaking hands with someone else..

So, you may wonder, here I've been back from vacation for a week and a half and I've not posted very many of the promised cruise pictures. I will put some up soon, but I wanted to put these pictures up in a timely fashion. I'm afraid that time is something of which I never seem to have enough. Yes, I know, a familiar complaint. But I'm even further behind these days -- remember last spring when I was taking a course in fantasy and science fiction literature with Jill at her school and taking a grad course in Instructional Design via the Internet at UMass/Boston? -- I'm not quite as swamped for time as then but I am now taking a drawing course at RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) which eats up at least ten hours a week -- three hour class Monday nights, usually runs over a bit, plus I have to drive to Providence, find a place to park [!], drive back home = minimum of five to five and a half hours for class plus there is homework (doing drawings, etc. which takes hours and hours -- and I've not even opened either of the two supplementary text books yet). Yeah, and I have been very nervous about this -- this isn't exactly stopping by the community college to take a course just for fun -- As Wikipedia notes "RISD has been consistently named the best art college in the country by the US News and World Report" and even though this is a continuing education night course, I feel as if I am trying to learn to swim in the deep end of the pool. The professor is, fortunately, an excellent teacher and I actually do feel as if I am learning a lot, far more than I might in some easier environment.

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