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Death of the Portfolio Box

August 2013


From 2006 to 2012, any student who submitted their National Board portfolio probably remembers their unusual relationship with their portfolio box. The box shouldn't be misplaced, mangled or, heaven forbid, the contents within it lost. The box might as well be transformed from corrugated to a ball and chain. Always counting down the days until the relationship with the box is over, but apprehensive to part ways.

Is the box packed well? The contents are invaluable and must be arranged "just so" within the box. The precious cargo radiates a glow reflecting months of writing, hard work, more writing, late nights, rewriting, and various prayers and deals with the Almighty.

Shipment of the box is tenuous as well. UPS, Fed Ex, or United States postal service? None of these entities can fully comprehend the urgency and irreplaceable value of this cargo. A carrier is chosen and the box is ceremoniously taped and prayed over one last time. Then you wait. For months.

This rite of passage for future National Board Certified Teachers has changed this year. The portfolio box has been replaced by electronic submission. This year's graduates who submitted their portfolios became slaves to PDF files, hard drives and flash drives. They too were anxious to complete their portfolio but apprehensive to press the "send" button.

Months of writing, hard work, more writing, late nights, rewriting and various prayers and deals with the Almighty, are condensed into gigabytes and are electronically whisked away by a mouse click.

Now they wait. For months.

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