After a year of just dumping various items I thought I might need when it comes time to renew my certification into a folder, I finally decided it was time to get organized! I firmly believe that taking the time up front to develop good organizational systems saves a lot of time and stress in the long run. Because I know that there are many teachers who have to keep track of renewal points, I thought I would post the system I came up with here, just in case it is helpful for anyone else.
1. I started out by printing out the Renewal Application and Documentation of Professional Renewal Activities Points Form from the MTNA Certification website. (Note: I am printing two copies of everything so that I have one notebook to send in and one to keep for my own reference.)
2. I placed the application form in the front pocket of a three-ring binder and added a sticky note with the date that I received my certification so that I can easily determine when I need to send in my renewal documentation.
3. I placed a list of Renewal Activities as the first sheet in the binder so that I have a quick overview of what kinds of activities qualify for renewal points.
4. Next come four dividers, labeled as Category 1, Category 2, Category 3, Category 4. Following each divider is a copy of the Renewal Activities Points Form for that category and then a handful of plastic sleeves. In each sleeve is where I place things like handouts from workshops I give, yearbook officer lists, convention programs, etc. Now I can record my activities as I go and make copies of necessary documentation and place it in the appropriate section right away.
5. At the back of the binder are a bunch of extra plastic sleeves so that I don’t run out and get behind in keeping up with the system!
Ideally this system will be easy to maintain and when it is time for me to send in my renewal documentation everything will be ready to go. No digging around in a folder at the last minute, running off copies and trying to get everything listed in the correct places. I’ll let you know four years from now how that works out… 🙂