In the Fall of 2014, I hit a fork in the road. No longer a new teacher, with 4 years of teaching under my belt, I wanted to take the first step in becoming a lifelong learner. I looked into two options: working towards a Masters degree or obtaining National Board Certification. Both would allow me to obtain additional knowledge that would benefit me in my classroom, provide a pay increase, and require time, effort and hard work to be successful. But after attending an informational meeting held by our district and the Arizona K12 Center, I realized only one would allow me to reflect on my current practices, identify the strengths I already used on a daily basis in my classroom, and most importantly, truly grow as an educator. And with that, I began my journey to becoming an accomplished teacher by obtaining National Board Certification.
These standards outline what accomplished teaching looks like in all areas including literacy, mathematics, science, language, etc. in terms of Early Childhood Education, or ages 0-8. At first, that sounds scary but I quickly realized this was a valuable tool. Reading through them, I identified many things that I was already doing in my classroom. Incorporating play into instructional time? Check. Providing hands-on experiences with math concepts to solidify the learning? Check. Front loading target vocabulary for our English Language Learners? Check! Of course there were some things that I wasn’t yet doing, but it was nice to have clear, specific examples of what I could do to become better and more effective within my classroom. An instant guide to growing as an educator!
No better feeling than clicking submit after spending the year analyzing your practices and finding evidence to support your accomplished teaching!
Beyond the benefit of growth as an educator, pursuing NB has also opened up avenues for teacher leadership and networking. Through the AZ K12 Center NB candidate events such as Coaching Saturdays, National Board Workshops and Institutes, I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting many other amazing educators who are doing outstanding things around the state of Arizona. Another common thread amongst these teachers aside from NB Candidacy? Positivity! All of these educators love their jobs and their students. There are several policies, regulations, mandates, etc. that we would love to change and may not necessarily like but at the end of the day, we love what we do and are seeking NB distinction to help build up the profession and show that Arizona has an artillery of teachers, hard at work behind the scenes, working to improve the lives of our students.
Reflecting on my practices at one of AZ K12 Center’s many NB support events, NB Workshop in Tubac, AZ!
My colleagues and NB partners in crime!
- Great job to Sarah Burton of @AdairCoSchools! #NBCTStrong https://t.co/5UdAp9N3myNational BoardApr 23
- Congratulations to Kayla Turner, NBCT on her appointment to principal at Southside Middle! #NBCTStrong… https://t.co/xZu6VDUcZ4National BoardApr 23
- RT @MCSWV: ICYMI: McNinch Primary School teachers Nicole Majewski and Shawna Zervos were featured on @WTRF7News. They are among the first g…National BoardApr 23
- Volunteers expand Horizon Butterfly Garden with patio -- Great work @ElizabethBero1! #NBCTStrong https://t.co/LvYEpGEOyxNational BoardApr 23
- RT @CathyEKoehler: As library media specialist who is NBCT & has renewed, I know value of @NBPTS process to our practice. TY for sharing i…National BoardApr 23