Board Certified

At #SHAPNBCT1.jpgEBoston, just before Dr. Dean Krielaars worked his physical literacy magic on the audience, there was a slide on display acknowledging those teachers who were at the national convention and were National Board Certified (NBC). I was delighted to see so many names on display who I recognized. Perhaps there are accomplished teachers in this photograph whom you recognize.

This recognition of NBCT’s is part of SHAPE America’s drive to further raise awareness of the benefits of becoming Board Certified and utilizing these teachers in the drive towards achieving the #50MillionStrong mission. This will be accomplished by:

  • Promoting SHAPE America as the professional home for all Health & Physical Education NBCT’s.
  • Working to increase the number of HPE NBCT’s in SHAPE America.
  • Supporting SHAPE America’s HPE NBC candidates.
  • Engaging NBCT’s in the work of SHAPE America to elevate the practice of teaching.
In fact a group of SHAPE America members are working to create a National Board Certification Special Interest Group (SIG) and need your help! The NBC SIG would be a special community within SHAPE America where members would work together to promote and support the NBC process and contribute to SHAPE America’s mission of advancing professional practice.

This SIG will be open to ALL members, so if you are a NBCT, candidate, potential candidate, or anyone who supports high quality professional development YOU can help get this SIG started! The first step in forming a SIG is to collect the names of at least 50 SHAPE America members who are interested. Check out Stephanie Sandino‘s tweet for the link with more details.

I reached out to some of the teachers in the picture above and asked them if they could share a few words on their NBCT experience and they all spoke very highly of the process. Admittedly they all mentioned that it was hard work and the time commitment is something to be considered by yourself (and your significant others), but they ALL said that the process was rewarding, had made them a more accomplished teacher and had obviously improved the experience of their students.

First of all why?
I chose to go ahead with the process because I easily bore, I am always hunting for a new challenge. I had no idea it would have such enormous impact on my teaching.
Throughout the process of writing for my National Boards I was documenting my teaching practices. This led me to reflect on what I was currently doing and how I might do it with more intention and purpose. I realized there were some pretty big gaps between what I hoped students were learning and what all students were actually learning.
My teaching practices became increasingly multilayered. I started intentionally adding cognitive, social and emotional elements to my lessons. I say intentionally because prior to this experience I would have said my lessons included those elements, however I became more purposeful in leading students towards specific outcomes. These changes in my thinking ultimately made me a much better teacher.
Lynn’s opening few lines resonated with me. I’m always looking for a new challenge, and perhaps Board Certification might allow me to look more thoroughly at my instruction to see if what I think is happening is actually happening. Terri Drain also shared with me her thoughts.
NBC has been the most challenging and worthwhile professional development experience of my career. Working to provide evidence that I had met high and rigorous standards related to knowledge of students, subject matter, curriculum, learning environment, assessment and more caused me to up my game in almost every area. I highly recommend the NBC process to anyone ready to take their teaching to the next level.
“Take their teaching to the next level”? Hmmmm. Again, that comment resonates with me. Having had a great teaching year, I’m worried that in my 21st year of teaching I might have peaked. Where do I go from here? Is it all downhill from now on? Can I consider rolling out the ball until retirement?? Could National Board Certification provide me with a new challenge? Jo Bailey says…
National Board Certification challenged me as a teacher more than any other professional development had. At every stage it required me to question why I was doing what I was doing and reflect on the outcomes of my decisions. It opened my eyes to areas of my teaching I previously thought I was doing a fairly good job at and taught me that I still had much to learn. My approach to each course, class, curriculum, and lesson I teach now revolves around the same questioning procedures I learned through my national board certification, namely why, why, why. and what, so what, now what.
The process was intense – I completed most of my data gathering over 2 months and then spent most Sunday’s from 1-5pm at the library writing my portfolio entries from January to March. The process has changed a bit now – you can take up to 3 years to complete it – but when I did it you had to complete all 4 entries and the exam in the same year. If you did not receive the required score on any of the entries you had an additional 2 years to complete the process. I received the required score on all entries and therefore it took me approximately 1 school year to complete the process.
 If you want to find out more about becoming an NBCT, look no further than these resources.
Follow @NBPTS on Twitter
What did I miss? Are you an NBCT teacher that wants to share their views? Are you a teacher considering becoming certified and have questions?
Let’s keep the #NBCT conversation going this week on Twitter using the hashtag  #slowchathealth

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