National board judgement day

 

If throughout last Friday you heard guttural screams in the distance, it was probably one of the thousands of National Board Certification applicants attempting unsuccessfully to learn their scores online. Pearson’s servers crashed, making breathless teachers wait an extra 48 hours to discover if they had achieved.

I made it! I’m a National Board Certified teacher. After the initial shouting-at-the-computer euphoria wore off, I immediately started thinking about how I could help other teachers find out about and navigate the journey of National Board Certification. A tiny first step one is to continue to nag every educator I know to see Mitchell 20, a great movie about how the National Board process can truly transform a school community.

Earlier this year, two days before sending off my 80-page, 2-DVD portfolio package, I wrote:

“[The National Board process has] definitely made me a better educator. I’ve investigated and interrogated every element of my craft and found ways to improve.

National Board Certification bonuses are on (or were) on the chopping block around the country. I think this is exactly the kind of professional development that needs to be incentivized, not cut. We spend zillions on professional development, much of it on one-time “drive-by” workshops, but this gets real bang for the buck.”

This process makes teachers better for their students. Isn’t that what everyone wants? Invest, leaders! Agitate, teachers and parents! The National Board process is cost-prohibitive ($2500) for many would-be applicants. I was only able to go for it because my application was subsidized by my school and OSSE (Office of the State Superintendent of Education) in Washington, D.C. I’d never even heard of it when I was a rookie teacher in the Bronx.

Let’s get the word out edu-blog readers!

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