National Board Certification was always an endeavor that I knew I wanted to achieve. After much research on what I would be expected to do to complete the process, I took a leap of faith in April 2011. I signed up, paid the fees, got organized, and then had no idea where to begin! Luckily I came across ECGEN.org and it was there that I met my “e-mentors” Kelly, Bobbie, and Kathleen! I spent countless hours each week posting questions, receiving feedback, second-guessing myself, video-taping, video-taping again, and reminding myself why I wanted to one day become a National Board Certified Teacher.
When I asked myself why I wanted to become a National Board Certified Teacher I always came back to the same answer… I knew many NBCTs during my college years and during my 1st and 2nd years of teaching in Auburn City Schools. These teachers showed such passion and love for teaching children and were often the teacher-leaders of the school. These teachers were the ones you went to if you needed help in reaching certain students, as they always knew the most up-to-date information and strategies on child development. I wanted to strive to be just like them someday. During the process, I discovered even more reasons why I wanted to someday become a NBCT. NBCTs have a refreshing way of thinking about education. They are advocates for children, teaching, and learning – no matter what mandates their district or state may push down on them. I have learned that the National Board process not only changes the way you think about teaching and learning, but it sets a higher standard for not only yourself as a teacher but for your students as well.
After many months of waiting for the big score release date, I woke up in the middle of the night on November 17th to find out that…
Most of the day I was in complete shock that I was an “official” National Board Certified Teacher. A part of me felt like “now it’s [the process] over… now what?” A part of the National Board process is getting to know yourself as a teacher in a way that you have never imagined. During the process I learned that I also have a passion for helping others learn more about teaching and learning. In the future, I would love to be a mentor to more university students and to other National Board candidates. I am planning to complete the training to become a National Board Candidate Support Provider. This training will allow me to help others who are going through the National Board process. A long-term goal that I’ve contemplated is one day getting my Ph.D. in Elementary Education so that I can teach methods courses to university students. That goal is a long way off and right now just a thought… but what I’ve learned this past year is if you have a dream, you should go for it!
If National Board Certification is something that you would like to achieve, I encourage you to research more about the process. I can definitely say that it has not only made me a stronger teacher, but also provided me with a renewed love for continuing to learn about our profession.