Why Become National Certified in Health Education?

With the ever present drive to improve teacher effectiveness, becoming a National Board Certified Teacher might be a great way to demonstrate your commitment to excellence. I am delighted that this weeks blog post comes from two outstanding health educators who recently went through the process to become NBCT’s. Here Christine Murray and Joanna Wolk share their WHY, and what the experience was like for them.

The Why… For Us:

Although becoming a Nationally Board Certified Teacher was something both of us had thought about, the process always seemed daunting and the idea continued to get pushed to the back burner.  One of us then got a little push by our district offering lane advancement for staff earning NBTC status. Rather than taking classes, she decided to pursue something she knew would benefit her professionally.  Said teacher, than roped the other one of us into committing to the process with her, even though she was not going to receive any monetary benefit from the district…..what a good friend. 🙂 Surviving the process of becoming a Blue Ribbon Health Education program together, we knew we could be each others cheerleaders pursuing the newly revised Health Education certification process.  

What It Looks Like:

The process of becoming a National Board Certified Teacher consists of completing four components, each targeting a reflection on specific elements that should be the foundation of our teaching.

The components are as follows:

Component 1 Content Knowledge (Exam)   

Component 2 Differentiation in Instruction

Component 3 Teaching Practice and Learning Environment (Video Recordings)

Component 4 Effective and Reflective Practitioner

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards specific to Health Education are interrelated and help educators become Health Education advocacy experts by using standard based language and gaining the confidence to include key stakeholders in their professional network. This journey will fully commit you to practice the National Health Education Standards throughout the required four components just as we strive to have our students experience the standards.

Below are a few of the connections we were able to make between the National Health Education Standards and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

National Health Education Standard National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
Standard 1: Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health. Standard II: Knowledge of Subject

Standard III: Promoting Skills Based Learning

Standard VI: High Expectations for Students

Standard 2: Students will analyze the influence of family, peers, culture, media, technology, and other factors on health behaviors. Standard I: Knowledge of students

Standard III: Promoting Skills Based Learning

Standard VI: High Expectations for Students

Standard 3: Students will demonstrate the ability to access valid information and products and services to enhance health. Standard III: Promoting Skills Based Learning

Standard IV: Curricular Choices

Standard VI: High Expectations for Students

Standard 4: Students will demonstrate the ability to use interpersonal  communication skills to enhance health and avoid or reduce health risks.     Standard III: Promoting Skills Based Learning

Standard V: Instructional Approaches

Standard VI: High Expectations for Students

Standard 5: Students will demonstrate the ability to use decision-making skills to enhance health. Standard III: Promoting Skills Based Learning

Standard VI: High Expectations for Students

Standard 6: Students will demonstrate the ability to use goal-setting skills to enhance health. Standard III: Promoting Skills Based Learning

Standard VI: High Expectations for Students

Standard 7: Students will demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce health risks. Standard III: Promoting Skills Based Learning

Standard VI: High Expectations for Students

Standard 8: Students will demonstrate the ability to advocate for personal, family, and community health. Standard VI: High Expectations for Students

Standard IX: Partnerships with Colleagues, Families, and Community

Standard X: Advocacy for the Profession

What’s In it For You:

  1. We believe one of the strongest “Why’s” is if this certification became a norm in our profession, it would advance our unified voice as advocates for our students.
  2. Opportunities: for reflection, to refine your craft, practice truly getting to know your students and understand their needs, & recognize the importance of going beyond your classroom walls.
  3. Helps you look through the lense of the CDC/ASCD’s Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model.
  4. Helps form relationships/partnerships in community.
  5. Helps create a purposeful student growth plan, and helps ensure you tie your assessment to performance tasks. In fact, students of NBCT outperform students in other classrooms on achievement test.
  6. Feedback becomes exciting: for both you and your students. There is a shift to two-way communication, and feedback becomes more personalized.  
  7. Possible financial incentive: within your district, and/or state.
  8. May qualify for Subsidy/Scholarship, if not the cost of becoming of a NBCT has been decreased to $1900.
  9. May reduces CPDU requirements for recertification.
  10. You are able to take your time: Teachers can now take 3 years to complete the requirements instead of just one.  

Tips to help you:

  1. Try and find a teaching partner: in your building, in your field- in person or virtual.  They become great for bouncing ideas off of, talking through your thoughts, and asking questions you may not have thought of.
  2. Have patience in the learning process.  You don’t receive timely results and feedback can be vague.  But take this opportunity to reflect. In hindsight, we are so grateful that our process took 3 years, it gave us that much more time to grow.
  3. Use the resources given to you: Directions!!!! National Board Health Standards & National Health Education Standards, Five Core Propositions of an Accomplished Teacher, Atlas.  Use them all, and dissect them.
  4. If a Cohort is available for you to attend, do so.  This will give you scheduled, dedicated time to focus on the process.  It will also give you opportunity to brainstorm with others who are going through the process, even though they may not be the same content area you will get some great ideas from them.
  5. Use a Learning Management System: it will help you organize lessons, manage feedback, and collect data.
  6. Additional Resources to consider: Books-The Essentials of Teaching Health Education With Web Resource, Authors:Sara Benes & Holly Alperin; WHAT WORKS!: Successful Strategies in Pursuing National Board Certification, Author: Bobbie Faulker. Websites: Angela Watson’s The Cornerstone for Teachers; NBPTS’s Atlas; Online Facebook Communities.

Would We Do It Again:

On December 15, 2017 twenty one educators across the nation certified in Health Education under the newly revised standards. Although the process may have began with the lane advancement in mind, as we have made it out the other side we can now reflect and recognize how much we have gained from this experience.  For us, it was a 3 year process that provided the framework to understand and put to use rigorous standards. The characteristics of an accomplished NBCT teacher are deeply aligned with best practices shared by SHAPE. From this experience, we now have a much greater understanding of how to implement Skilled Based Instruction and the Whole School Whole Child Whole Community model.

 If you want to find out more about becoming an NBCT, look no further than these resources.
Board Certified – A #slowchathealth blog post
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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