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How-To: Develop as a Professional

National Board Certification - All About the Process and Rewards!  Kathy Granas

In 1997 I became certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). At that time, almost no one in Colorado had heard of the organization. But now, as the number of National Board Certified teachers grows across the country, more and more states and school districts are responding with recognition and rewards for that certification.  For the 2000-2001 school year, I will receive a $2000 bonus from my school district for my NBPTS certification. Going through the certification process for National Board was the most rewarding professional growth experience I have had in my 20 years of teaching. The process consists of spending the spring semester writing a thoughtful reflection about your teaching practice and how it meets the standards set by the National Board.  In the summer you take a one-day test.  The test is designed to demonstrate that you know the content of your teaching area.  There is a $2300 certification process fee. However, many states and districts have avenues to support teachers by covering their fees. Among the many rewards of certification is the possibility of "hooking up" with an NBPTS teacher to act as your mentor and advocate.  What's more, every month the number of states and districts offering financial incentives and rewards is increasing. Many states offer leadership opportunities as well to certified teachers.  The National Board itself provides many opportunities to certified teachers which involve the development and advancement of the NBPTS.

Becoming a National Board Certified Teacher has raised the professional nature of my teaching career immensely. I feel more able to be a positive role model for students as well as peers. To find out more about the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and the teacher certification process, call1-800-22-TEACH or go to www.nbpts.org.  


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