Teachers participate in National Board Certification

Teachers participate in National Board Certification

In the spring of RB’s 2008-2009 school year English teacher Kirstin Bacon gave a speech about a program called National Board Certification. The program is an intensive process that helps teachers develop professionally and rewards them with a certificate that lasts for ten years. She invited the teachers in attendance to apply and five teachers answered the call. Those teachers include: Dan O’Rourke, Julie Obradovic, Jessica Mauritzen, Laurence Forberg, and Jill McGrath.

“The process was very intense. I did not know what to expect when I started, but I learned quickly that it was a very involved program. Particularly the last few months, that was the focus if all of my free time,” said Obradovic.

The teachers entered a very rigorous program that required them to do many things. First, they needed to have a bachelor’s degree, have taught for at least three years, and possess a valid state license. Then, they had to collect data and defend it in four, sixteen page journals that went through at least ten revisions each. The journals’ content varied from teacher to teacher depending on their field. Lastly, each applicant needed to take a six part exam that tested their abilities. On top of all of that, teachers trying to earn this certification must accomplish it within three years.

McGrath pointed out that, “less than .4% of teaching population tries to do this.”

The RB teachers that applied for the certification found out whether they passed in November of this year. Out of the five teachers who attempted it, Forberg and O’Rourke were the only ones that passed. The other three were very close, but they didn’t quite make it. Luckily when those teachers reapply, their previous scores will be banked and they will only need to tweak certain parts of the process. Also, they feel more confident this time because they know what to expect.

“This was the best professional development I’ve ever done. It made me grow the most,” said McGrath.

Whether they passed or not, each teacher that tried to achieve the certification had a fulfilling experience. Each one learned how to be a better teacher by analyzing themselves, talking with each other about their methods, and by applying feedback from the journals to the classroom. The applicants said they would recommend this program to other teachers, and even said that they would be a mentor in the future.