Support For Christi Thomas

This blog is to help offer support to the Thomas Family and their daughter, Christi, in her battle against cancer. Please visit Christi's website at www.ChristiThomas.com to learn more. There, you'll find journals, photos and a lots of other information about this amazing child and her family.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Glorious News

(PHOTO: At a Research Conference in Montreal, Canada 2005. I'd love to share pictures of me with my students, but I do not feel that is appropriate here.)

The following was written Friday afternoon, but thanks to our sweet high school friends, The Bowermans, inviting us to dinner, duel pianos and hours of dancing, I didn't have a chance to upload this until now.

After Christi's death I wondered if I would ever be able to truly feel happy about anything ever again in life. I wondered if I could ever feel so excited and joyous as I had before. Well, it took 14 months, but it happened this morning!

Some many know that the day before I drove Christi for what ultimately turned out to be her diagnosed with cancer in September of 2002, I mailed off my application to try to become a National Board Certified Teacher – the teaching profession’s highest honor. Days later she was diagnosed, and weeks later I wrote NBPTS and withdrew my application. I said that if I ever stepped foot in my classroom again, I would indeed attempt it. In 2003, I returned to my classroom and therefore, kept my promise to myself and attempted the certification (which requires hundreds of hours of work with my teaching and my students' learning, and has a 60% non-passing rate). A year later when the scores were released, I was THRILLED that I was a National Board Certified Teacher (Early Childhood Generalist, ages 3-9, 2004).

Because I felt so strongly about how much I grew as a teacher in the process, when I switched to teaching 7th and 8th grade, to help pay Christi’s bills, I thought that I should try for a second certification. With my Ph.D. program requiring a dissertation, I felt that I would conduct my research in some area of National Board Certification and then I decided that I would be a hypocrite if I had the opportunity to try for a second NBC and didn’t; therefore, when Christi’s health settled, I applied. Little did I know she’d soon die and I’d be trying to complete my hundreds of hours of application requirements (video tapes of my teaching and work with students, student work samples, submitting a 120 page document, taking hours of assessment exams at an exam center) without her at my side, but I did.

Today, NBPTS released their scores to candidates. (They will be made public in December.) I was shocked, thrilled and absolutely shaking when I saw my scire report and congratulations notification this morning(NBCT Early Adolescence Language Arts, ages 11-15)! I was told that only .02% of all teachers are NBCTS and I am one of very few teachers in the United State to ever hold TWO National Board Certifications! My Praises to God as I think this was nothing short of miraculous! The amount of work felt incredibly grueling, tears were involved many nights, but without a doubt, it was the most profound professional development of my nearly twenty years of teaching and I’m so glad it is all behind me! I learned so much and definitely feel I improved my teaching practice as a result of it all. I just wish Christi was here so I could tell her, even though I blink away tears and remind myself she knew before I did!

I still remember the November day in 2004 when Shayne told the girls about my first one; they didn’t understand but their hugs were the sweetest!!! I am so blessed!

My deepest thanks to all of the wonderful education professionals who helped me along the way. I know I should never mention names for fear of overlooking someone, but......thanks to: the 'Berg's Dr. Armstrong, Mrs. SanGregory & Dr. Arnold-Grine, OSU's Dr. Gartner & Dr. Fresch. I NEVER would have made it without them -and many others who have made a significant difference in my career! THANK YOU!

My mom wrote this sweet email to me: "Who would have thought that little girl playing school in my living room with TV tables for desks would have such sucess in the teaching profession. Your hard work has paid off!! Praise God! Love, Mom"

20 Comments:

At 10/11/07 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations!

What a tremendous accomplishment for you.

The world needs more dedicated teachers such as yourself.

May God continue to Bless you in all your endeavors.

Nancy in Iowa

 
At 10/11/07 12:05 PM, Blogger Olivia said...

Angela,
You never cease to amaze me. And, I couldn't think of anyone who deserves it more. Congratulations!!!!


Hugs,
Olivia

 
At 10/11/07 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats!!!! What an awesome acomplishment!!!!!

Lori
Glasgow, KY

 
At 10/11/07 3:17 PM, Blogger Denise Ward said...

Congratulations on such an outstanding achievement! I'm so glad your incredibly hard work has rewarded you so richly; you surely deserve it. Congratulations as well to Shayla on a wonderful report card. I'm glad she enjoys reading so much more now and hope she always does.

 
At 10/11/07 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Angela,
Congratulations! I am a high school teacher in Texas, and I am in complete awe! What a perfect reward for all your dedication and hard work! May you enjoy another 20 years (or however many you want :) in the classroom.

Michelle Stokes

 
At 10/11/07 6:00 PM, Blogger anne said...

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you!

 
At 10/11/07 8:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HOW INCREDIBLY AWESOME!!!!

Congrats to you!! You deserve a thousand pats on the back for all your hard work. You certainly have dedicated your life to teaching & I'm sure making children have a love of learning. While the teachers at my children's school are great, none are as dedicated to learning as you.

I am sure Christi is in Heaven dancing & applauding you as well!!

Many hugs.
Lisa
Saginaw, MI

 
At 10/11/07 8:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations to a hero! Angela Thomas, you are the most incredible person---and no wonder you were chosen to bring Christi and Shayla Thomas into this world!

Kam from Canada

 
At 10/11/07 9:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations Angela. Considering all you've gone through and still have enough strength, and obviously intellligence :), to acheive something so wonderful is a testament to your dedication to your profession. You're students are blessed.

Tracey

 
At 10/11/07 9:30 PM, Blogger HeatherB said...

CONGRATULATIONS ANGLEA!!

Great job my sweet an amazing friend!

You ROCK!!

May God richly bless you- enjoy your celebration!
Lots of love and prayers,
Heather

 
At 10/11/07 10:15 PM, Blogger Sheila Ferrell said...

Angela,
Absolutely amazing!! Teaching is the least respected but most important job there is and you are definitely a role model for all the teachers (and students) that you meet. Your Mom has every right to be proud of you!! Christi and Shayla both learned how to persevere because of you. I am almost speechless of your great accomplishment! Congratulations, you deserve many Angel Christi kisses.

 
At 11/11/07 12:07 AM, Blogger Kimberly said...

Yeah Angela! How amazing are you? I am so happy for you! Take care and God Bless!

Kimberly

 
At 11/11/07 1:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a grand achievement. Congratulations and cheers for all of your hard work and tedious hours.
Rachael J.

 
At 11/11/07 5:40 AM, Blogger Lisa said...

May I add my congratulations - you really are an inspiration, can you imagine the smile on Christi's face in Heaven right now? Love and prayers for you all, I hope you have a big celebration planned.

 
At 11/11/07 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't believe I have ever commented before but have followed your beautiful family for a long time! I am constantly amazed at your strength, beauty and grace. I also found out Friday that I had received National Board Certification (just for the first time, not 2 like you:))! I was actually jumping up and down, screaming and crying in class as I saw it on the screen. My students were amused. Anyway, my admiration for you is even greater knowing what you had to do to get it, all the while experiencing what must surely be the most difficult challenge in life. Congratulations and I am glad we share NBPTS! Reading your postings has really helped me deal with stress in my life, by realizing how minor it is compared to some things humans face.

 
At 11/11/07 7:21 PM, Blogger patricia said...

Congratulations Angela!! You must be proud!!! Christi is definitely jumping up and down with the rest of you!!

 
At 13/11/07 6:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations,
I have never met you, but your love of learning and your love for your students is crystal clear. Christy must be so proud, Shayla and Shane too.
Teaching must be such a joy. My children have been blessed with some stellar teachers, and I am humbled and deeply grateful for all they have given my precious kids. It must be a job you really 'live', not just 'do'.
~ Fiona
PS : I am a veterinarian. I think of Christy all the time at work.

 
At 13/11/07 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Angela,

Heartfelt congratulations on such an outstanding achievement! You've put so much time and effort into this and you did it! I am so happy for you.

How proud (and relieved) you must be! I know you want to share this with Christi and see her reaction, but you're right, she already knows. How proud she must be!

 
At 13/11/07 5:12 PM, Blogger Pam said...

I've never posted before, but I have been checking this site for a while now. I think it goes without saying what an amazing spirit Christi was and that her spirit was never confined to just her body in life or in death. With that said, my husband and I are both educators. To make a long story short, my husband is working towards becoming nationally certified. I have shared with him many times what you have accomplished as an educator and a mother (not necessarily in that order) and he has bookmarked your blog now as an inspiration to keep him going through this tedious process.
Our prayers are always with you.
- Pam Goebel, Omaha, NE

 
At 14/11/07 6:51 PM, Anonymous Caroline said...

ahh Angela congrats!! thats such an amazing achievement. You really really really deserved to have something amazing happen to you after what you went through!! I'm soo sorry that Lori is sick.. she'll be in my prayers!
xoxo
Caroline

 

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