Part One: What is a National Board Certified Teacher?
You may have noticed that your child’s teacher has the initials NBCT after her name. What does it mean?
A National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) has completed a voluntary and rigorous process of evaluation. Based on 10 assessment pieces, NBCTs have demonstrated their excellence in the Five Core Propositions for what teachers should know and be able to do.
> Teachers are committed to students and their learning.
> Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students.
> Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.
> Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.
> Teachers are members of learning communities.
Application for National Board Certification is a demanding and time-consuming process. Within a year, a teacher must complete 4 portfolio entries and take a 6-part exam.
The portfolio entries vary by type of certification sought—a music teacher would complete different entries than a biology teacher. A portfolio entry tends to consist of a videotaped lesson, a 12-15 page analysis of the purpose, planning, pedagogical techniques, and effectiveness of the lesson as measured by student achievement. Teachers typically tape and analyze many lessons before choosing the ones they will use for the portfolio entries. After the portfolio entries are submitted in March, the teacher waits until November to learn whether he/she has attained National Board Certification.
To apply for National Board Certification, a teacher must meet certain requirements:
> Hold a bachelor’s degree
> Have completed three full years of teaching/counseling experience
> Possess a valid state teaching/counseling license for that period of time, or, if teaching where a license is not required, have taught in schools recognized and approved to operate by the state