Teachers Receive National Board Certification

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Three Springs School teachers have recently received National Board Certification! Junior high science teacher Lisa Seff, junior high Social Studies teacher Katie Farmer, and ESL and sixth grade E.L.A. teacher Kimberly Royal all received their certification this year. Becoming Nationally Board Certified is one of the most highly respected certifications available in education today, with fewer than 0.8% of teachers in New York State and approximately 3% nationwide having obtained this certification. Superintendent Jay Finello shared his happiness of the news, exclaiming that, "for such a small school, having three nationally board-certified teachers is a huge accomplishment!" "This is a lengthy and painstaking process," said Principal Eric Casale. "It takes a tremendous amount of commitment, time and hard work! We are so proud of their efforts." Assistant Principal Christine Cleary commented that "out of 241,000 public school teachers in New York State, only 1,712 have achieved National Board Certification." 

For the last three years, these teachers have been methodically working on different parts of their National Board Teacher Certification in each of their content areas. About six months after their applications were submitted, they received congratulatory letters announcing that they had become National Board Certified Teachers! Even though their content areas are different, "It definitely made it a richer and more enjoyable experience to go through the process together," said Mrs. Seff.  The certification process included ten separate components, two of which included videos of them teaching classes along with written commentary in which they had to describe, analyze and reflect on their student discussions and work in the videos. In another entry, they had to demonstrate their ability to link instructional activities together to promote students' understandings of important content-related concepts, and in the fourth entry they had to show how they built partnerships with students, families and community members, and developed as an active learner and collaborator with other educators and professionals.  All of the entries had to demonstrate strong impacts to their students' learning experience, both in and outside of the regular classroom setting.  Of the 10 components, 6 were content-based examinations with essay questions.  For the 6 exams they were given a very general overview ahead of time but the topic could be on anything! For example, Mrs. Seff's certification was in science, so each of the six timed essay question examinations could have been on any science content-area, including biology, chemistry, physics or earth science.  They all had to become experts on anything and everything related to all of the subject areas within their discipline and demonstrate a solid understanding of the best teaching practices. This process, of course, is on top of their regular teaching, prep work, and grading papers. "We feel like this provided an important focus for us to refine our teaching with the goal of increasing rigor within our programs as well as increasing our overall impact with all of our students," said Mrs. Seff. "It was a career-changing experience that taught me how to strategically think about teaching to maximize student impact in every role in the classroom." Mrs. Royal also commented that, "It was a career-changing experience that taught me how to strategically think about teaching to maximize student impact in every role in the classroom." Congratulations!

To find our more about being a nationally Board Certified teacher, visit:
http://www.boardcertifiedteachers.org/

For the last 3 years Springs School teachers Katie Farmer and Lisa Seff, have been methodically working on different parts of their National Board Teacher Certification in each of their content areas, Early Adolescence History/Social Studies and Early Adolescence Science.  They submitted their final applications last May and after almost six months of waiting, they were notified of their results on Saturday, November 5th.  They both received congratulatory letters announcing that they had become National Board Certified Teachers!   Becoming Nationally Board Certified is one of the most highly respected certifications available in education today, and fewer than 0.8% of teachers in New York State and approximately 3% Nationwide have obtained this certification.  Lisa and Katie both explained that they were warned that the overall process would be pretty intense, (and it was!) however after careful consideration they both decided to go for it! And, even though they teach in different content areas and were going for different certifications, it definitely made it a richer and more enjoyable experience for them to go through the process together.   Both Katie and Lisa agreed that it was a grueling process at times, trying to balance their regular teaching, grading papers at night,working on curriculum, and having some family/friends time, all along with the National Certification work and exam preparation. However they both felt like it provided an important focus for them to refine their teaching with the goal of increasing rigor within their programs as well as increasing their overall impact with all of their students.


So what do you need to do to become Nationally Certified as a teacher?  Their Certification process included 10 separate components, two of which included videos of them teaching classes along with written commentary in which they had to describe, analyze and reflect on their student discussions and work in the videos. In another entry they had to demonstrate their ability to link instructional activities together to promote students' understandings of important content related concepts and in the fourth entry they had to show how they built partnerships with students, families and community members, and developed as an active earner and collaborator with other educators and professionals.  All of the entry's had to demonstrate strong impacts to their students learning experience, both in and outside of the regular classroom setting.  Of the 10 components, 6 were content-based examinations with essay questions.   For the 6 exams they were given a very general overview ahead of time but the topic could be on anything! For example, Lisa's Certification was in science, so each of the 6 timed essay question examinations could have been on any science content area-including biology, chemistry, physics or earth science.  Katie's questions could have been on any Historical content area.  Consequently, they both had to become experts on anything and everything related to all of the subject areas within their discipline and demonstrate a solid understanding of the best teaching practices.  



Also Kim-Here's some background on the National Board Certification process taken from their website-I copied it from the website so you'll need to put it into your own words....or put it in parenthesis......and here's a link to their site with some good info too:


http://www.boardcertifiedteachers.org/


"National Board Certification was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide While teacher licensure systems set the basic requirements to teach in each state, completion of National Board Certification signifies that teachers have voluntarily gone much further. NBCTs have developed and demonstrated the advanced knowledge, skills  and practices required of an outstanding educator.  Standards for each content area and developmental level are created by teachers, for teachers. They represent a consensus among educators about what accomplished, effective teachers should know and be able to do to improve student learning and achievement. Board certification is available in 25 certificate areas from Pre-K through 12th grade."

For the last 3 years Springs School teachers Katie Farmer and Lisa Seff, have been methodically working on different parts of their National Board Teacher Certification in each of their content areas, Early Adolescence History/Social Studies and Early Adolescence Science.  They submitted their final applications last May and after almost six months of waiting, they were notified of their results on Saturday, November 5th.  They both received congratulatory letters announcing that they had become National Board Certified Teachers!   Becoming Nationally Board Certified is one of the most highly respected certifications available in education today, and fewer than 0.8% of teachers in New York State and approximately 3% Nationwide have obtained this certification.  Lisa and Katie both explained that they were warned that the overall process would be pretty intense, (and it was!) however after careful consideration they both decided to go for it! And, even though they teach in different content areas and were going for different certifications, it definitely made it a richer and more enjoyable experience for them to go through the process together.   Both Katie and Lisa agreed that it was a grueling process at times, trying to balance their regular teaching, grading papers at night,working on curriculum, and having some family/friends time, all along with the National Certification work and exam preparation. However they both felt like it provided an important focus for them to refine their teaching with the goal of increasing rigor within their programs as well as increasing their overall impact with all of their students.


So what do you need to do to become Nationally Certified as a teacher?  Their Certification process included 10 separate components, two of which included videos of them teaching classes along with written commentary in which they had to describe, analyze and reflect on their student discussions and work in the videos. In another entry they had to demonstrate their ability to link instructional activities together to promote students' understandings of important content related concepts and in the fourth entry they had to show how they built partnerships with students, families and community members, and developed as an active earner and collaborator with other educators and professionals.  All of the entry's had to demonstrate strong impacts to their students learning experience, both in and outside of the regular classroom setting.  Of the 10 components, 6 were content-based examinations with essay questions.   For the 6 exams they were given a very general overview ahead of time but the topic could be on anything! For example, Lisa's Certification was in science, so each of the 6 timed essay question examinations could have been on any science content area-including biology, chemistry, physics or earth science.  Katie's questions could have been on any Historical content area.  Consequently, they both had to become experts on anything and everything related to all of the subject areas within their discipline and demonstrate a solid understanding of the best teaching practices.  



Also Kim-Here's some background on the National Board Certification process taken from their website-I copied it from the website so you'll need to put it into your own words....or put it in parenthesis......and here's a link to their site with some good info too:


http://www.boardcertifiedteachers.org/


"National Board Certification was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide While teacher licensure systems set the basic requirements to teach in each state, completion of National Board Certification signifies that teachers have voluntarily gone much further. NBCTs have developed and demonstrated the advanced knowledge, skills  and practices required of an outstanding educator.  Standards for each content area and developmental level are created by teachers, for teachers. They represent a consensus among educators about what accomplished, effective teachers should know and be able to do to improve student learning and achievement. Board certification is available in 25 certificate areas from Pre-K through 12th grade."