Just as students excel in a variety of ways, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards knows teachers succeed in varying forms, too. Here’s why two individuals renewed their Board certification. Motivations, learning styles, habits, and goals vary along the education continuum. As teacMar 08, 2017
Just as students excel in a variety of ways, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards knows teachers succeed in varying forms, too. Here’s why two individuals renewed their Board certification.
Motivations, learning styles, habits, and goals vary along the education continuum. As teachers strive to improve their practice, there are a number of outlets for professional learning and advancement in the field. But unlike any other process, National Board Certification allows teachers to put their practice up for review against a rigorous set of standards.
Many say the journey refines one’s craft in unimaginable ways, but educators don’t have to stop learning once they have added the four letters “NBCT” behind their name.
After a number of years, Board-certified teachers must embark on the renewal journey, if looking to maintain the distinction. While achieving certification the first time is honorable enough, seeking to re-certify reveals the utmost commitment to the profession.
Andrea Misino is a National Board Certified Teacher in the Gilbert Unified School District. The Arizona State University and University of Arizona alumna says her renewal process provided a unique insight into her overall success as a teacher.
“The second time around you develop a profile of professional growth, which calls you to reflect on what you’ve done since you were first named an accomplished teacher. You analyze how you’ve used your skills and knowledge to better the practice of others,” Misino explains. “It prompts you to reflect on how are you paying it forward, which causes you to examine what you’ve done to advance and influence others.”
The sixth-grade teacher has spent her entire career in Gilbert Public Schools — she even did her student teaching in the district. Therefore, she had 15 years-worth of reflecting to do.
“I enjoyed it because the first time you have so much doubt. You can’t help but wonder, ‘Am I good enough?’ During the renewal, you’re much more confident and you know what you’re doing. It was motivating and I feel refreshed to raise the bar to push myself and my colleagues in a positive direction,” she says.
Similarly, National Board Certified Teacher Brian Bindschadler completed the renewal process in 2016. Originally, he began his career teaching special education and elementary students. During his tenure, he’s relocated from Wyoming to Yuma to Tucson. Currently, Bindschadler teaches English in the Catalina Foothills Unified School District. With 30 years of experience in the field, his motivation to renew was slightly different than Misino’s, but just as powerful.
“My background is not in English or literature, so I qualify to teach in my current role through National Board. Plus, there are financial reasons to go through the process because of the stipend that’s attached,” he says.
During the first round of certification, Bindschadler was a gifted coordinator and had to borrow a classroom to showcase his practice. This time, the Orange Grove Middle School teacher had his own class, which made the process a little more natural and leisurely.
“Once I realized my certification was going to expire, I recommitted. It would have felt weird to let it go. Plus, I liked the process because writing helped me clarify my thoughts,” he says. “From a personal standpoint, it’s a worthwhile endeavor.”
Although both individuals went through the renewal process without external help, the Arizona K12 Center offers assistance for recertification. The goal is for educators to come together to garner support and feedback from those undergoing the same reflective process. Participants are led by recently renewed National Board Certified Teachers. More than anything, the Arizona K12 Center staff hopes it’s a rejuvenating time for like-minded Board-certified teachers to spend an afternoon focusing on improving their practice, while keeping student learning at the core.
Are you in the process of renewing your National Board certificate? The Arizona K12 Center is happy to provide support to renewal candidates. Join us for the remaining sessions on March 11 or May 13.