National Board Certified Teachers are showing up for students, families and communities during the COVID-19 crisis

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards releases new brief highlighting ways that policy leaders can support teacher leadership

Arlington, VA — May 4, 2020 – The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards released a policy brief today highlighting examples of how National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) from across the country are using their leadership skills to help students, families and communities weather the current COVID-19 crisis. The brief also includes recommendations for school, district and state leaders on how to support teacher leadership both during this crisis and in the long-term. 

The brief, entitled Teacher Leadership in Uncertain Times: Recommendations from Board-certified Teachers for School, District and State Leaders, includes numerous inspirational stories of extraordinary leadership by NBCTs that have already emerged from this pandemic – from a NBCT in Las Vegas, Nevada, who found unique ways to engage with struggling students, to a NBCT at the Native American tribal JKL Bahweting Anishnabe School in Michigan who repurposed her classroom maker space 3D printers to manufacture hundreds of masks and face shields for frontline medical workers.

These examples and many more reinforce a need for administrators and policy makers to support the talent and passion of educators who can fill voids in system supports, morale-building, innovation and community in the immediate term. And, they also show how creating avenues to solicit teacher expertise and inspire open communication can pay dividends. In fact, survey after survey has shown that teachers crave greater leadership opportunities and voice. As teachers continue to find ways to lead in this crisis, school, district and state leaders must trust, support and encourage the ambitions of teacher leaders. 

NBCTs are teachers who have demonstrated they meet the profession’s standards for accomplished teaching practice by successfully completing the National Board’s advanced, voluntary, professional certification.  The leadership skill set that NBCTs bring to their classrooms daily and to the current pandemic stem from the Five Core Propositions that undergird the standards for accomplished teaching stewarded by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. These are skills that can be taught, learned, and practiced by every teacher across America. The Board certification process emphasizes teacher reflection, continuous improvement, use of educational technology, and engagement with learning communities; these practices make Board-certified teachers, and all teachers that embody these skills, uniquely positioned to lead in the swift and ever-changing remote learning transition.