Immediate relief that it was over. And in. And done.
Two hours later: Fear that I had forgotten something critical; that I hadn’t completely and perfectly finalized the submissions.
One hour after panicking about what I may have left out: Exhaustion; that I had focused on working through the renewal portfolio at the exclusion of everything else in my life.
Exactly five hours after submitting my portfolio: Elation that I was, indeed, finished.
And then, at the six-hour mark: Wasted . . . because I had nothing left in the tank. And the thought of writing anything again was incomprehensible.
Unfortunately, I had to write several quizzes the very next day. So much for a reprieve.
From my perspective, there are three key differences I noticed between my original certification in 2007 and the renewal process.
1. Less paperwork
2. Less writing
3. More reflection
I personally found it difficult to limit myself to substantially less commentary the second time around. Clear, concise, succinct statements are expected; for example, the first version of the Reflection section was eight pages long. Unfortunately, it’s limited to three double-spaced pages. It took a lot of careful editing to work through all of the prompts without going over the page limitation.
After I submitted my renewal portfolio – hint: read the instructions before you do this – I pulled out the copies I made of the original certification and compared notes. Honestly , the original application was ginormous. Thankfully, the renewal was substantially less in pages . . . and in stress.
My advice as you prepare for renewal over the next several years? Focus on engaging in professional experiences that (1) strengthen your content knowledge, (2) expand your connections, and (3) be creative and passionate.