It is such a huge accomplishment that I can now say I am a National Board Certified Teacher! This has been a challenging journey, and I put in many long hours planning, prepping, compiling, and editing. And, it was worth it!
I first heard about National Board Certification during my credential/masters program, and I liked the idea. I put that aside, started teaching, and forgot about it all. In 2015, I got an email from my district about getting into a National Board lottery to have the district pay for me to go through the program. I was selected, and attended the San Diego County Office of Education support workshop. SDCOE offered both in-person workshops and online support through the two-year process. I was excited to have this support, but was quickly disappointed that it seemed disorganized and overall ineffective.
So, I took matters into my own hands and pushed forward. I spent a significant amount of time studying the components to figure out what they were asking, planning lessons, and completing incredibly detailed reflections.
Here are some of my takeaways from the National Board Certification process:
1. I am a good teacher, even if I second guess myself and my ideas. As I planned out my lessons and skimmed through the reflection questions, I kept doubting my lessons, not feeling like they were innovative or student-driven. On the positive side, it made me really consider and reflect on classroom practices, and push me to design better lessons for my students.
|I spent many long hours planning, writing,
and revising. Thankfully Ollie kept me company!
2. The video reflection, Component 3, was one of the more challenging and rewarding sections. Recording myself teaching is something that makes me nervous, although in a productive way. When I video myself teaching, I really have to be “on” all the time, and it makes me clue in to every little thing I do and say. I am much more present and reflective when I have the Swivl set up!
3. I’m grateful I chose to do this over 2 years. It was a lot of work, and while do-able in one year, my sanity thanks me for doing it in 2 years. The first year was Components 1 and 2, and the second year was Components 3 and 4. The component were recently revised, and I was in the first certification year to complete some of the new requirements. Overall, I can say it all four components were relevant to my teaching practices.
4. I wish I had gone through this process with other people I know. It started that there were 2 other people at my school who were going through National Board, but both of them dropped out halfway through. The SDCOE support system was a nice backup; however, for me, it does not replace friends or colleagues that I can bug and bounce around ideas.
5. I’m grateful for this experience. I don’t need a fancy certification to know I am a good teacher, but it’s always rewarding to earn such recognition for the hard work I put into my teaching.
If you’re considering going through the National Board Certification process, let me know!
4 thoughts on “Takeaways from my National Board Certified Teacher Journey”
Congratulations! I got my National Board certification years ago and it was a totally worthwhile experience. I agree that having friends do it at the same time would have been a good thing. I hope you feel good about your accomplishment!
Thank you! After I finished, I found a giant NBCT facebook group. Lots of people posting questions & sharing tips.