Why school counselors should pursue National Board Certification

March 15, 2024

Annie Goldberg, NBCT – Burlington, North Carolina

Being a school counselor these days feels like a nearly impossible task; our to-lists seem only to grow, and the needs we aim to meet are complex and ever-changing.  When I first considered National Board Certification, I thought there was only one feasible way to accomplish it with all I had on my plate daily.  After reading through the National Board’s resources, attending webinars, and connecting with other school counselors who have completed the process, I decided to take the leap in 2020 and attempt to become certified.  

With all of the professional opportunities available to us, choosing what to dedicate your time and energy to can be intimidating.  I chose the National Board because of its unique opportunity for personal reflection.  When designing my classroom lessons and small group sessions, the National Board process challenged me to look critically at school data that I otherwise wouldn’t have considered.  From this, I found gaps that needed addressing to say I adequately and equitably serve my students.  I reflected on how and to whom I was delivering my services and how their outcomes were impacted.  This significantly improved my conversations with administrators and district personnel regarding student outcomes and my contribution toward school goals.  The collection and analysis were daunting, but taking the time to examine data in this way helped me better myself as an educator and advocate.

The flexibility of the National Board program is such that I could design the programming I was going to submit for certification to the exact needs of my school.  This made the process something that would benefit me and my broader school community. Don’t be intimidated that you must redo your entire program to complete the National Board process; most likely, you are already doing many of the activities required for certification! 

School counselors are used to wearing many hats in the school building and overextending themselves to get everything done. Invest in yourself and pursue National Board Certification.  You will improve your practice, skill set, and programming while taking a step to become a leader in your field.  It’s hard but good work, and you have all the support.

Annie Goldberg, NBCT

Annie Goldberg is a middle school counselor for the Alamance-Burlington School System in Burlington, North Carolina. She has seven years of experience and earned her National Board Certification in 2020. She was ABSS’ 2023 School Counselor of the Year and was also chosen as a 2023 Emerging Leader by the North Carolina School Counselor Association (NCSCA). She is on the NCSCA board and sits on a North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Committee to review and revise the school counseling standards. She is happy to help any and all school counselors on their journey through the National Board process!