Over the last two years, I’ve emerged as a leader in our local National Board Certified Teachers network due to my expertise in communications, web design and social media. From this point, I’ve been able to make some large changes in the past year.
I’ve served on our superintendent’s advisory council for NBCTs the last two years. About two years ago, an idea came from one meeting on how we can share with administrators and district leaders about teacher expertise to sit on committees or lead initiatives or PD. I had the idea to create an NBCT directory featuring bios and areas of expertise that were searchable. This directory has become discussed and shared at the national level as a way to engage stakeholders and show the value of NBCTs.
The biggest challenge we’ve faced is the lack of funds for the Dale Hickam Act, which funded supplements for NBCTs in Florida. With the funds associated with National Board gone in the state, we’ve had to work on messaging its value.
In the last year, two NBCTs in PD in our district started a new initative called ASPIRE. We targeted teachers finished with the induction program and cadres at high needs schools. In June 2016, we went to NEA JumpStart training outside of D.C. and prepared to offer our own ASPIRE Jump Start in July 2016. Those cadre members completed Component 2 and were given support on Saturdays throughout the school year. We just completed our second JumpStart training in June 2017 with a new cadre. In face, at the National Board Academy, the Miami-Dade Network requested that we as NEA JumpStart trainers come down there to offer the training to their candidates.
This summer I was invited to attend the National Board Academy in Las Vegas. What we realized there was that we have history in a small HNBCT council, but that we need to build stronger value for our NBCTs by leveraging everyone through an official NBCT network. Another teacher leader and I will lead the transition team that helps create by-laws and structure. In two years, we’re hoping to have officers over various initiatives, like a teacher leadership conference. The most difficult work will be navigating old structures with a new vision, but we believe the work is necessary to advance the work and save the status of NBCT in our district.
Since equity is embedded into the Five Core Propositions and the Architecture of Accomplished Teaching, we know that exposing teachers to National Board Certification will enhance their understanding of equity in the classroom. In JumpStart, we unpack the equity standard and dig deep into differentiation and assessment.
This artifact connects to my growth in teacher as leader, as I’ve had to navigate district politics as well as council politics to move the work of National Board forward. I’ve been able to bridge divided groups to create a larger vision, and I hope by formalizing the structures of the network to make it more effective for accomplished teaching in our district. My work in the network is shown at the district and state level, but also at the national level through my work at National Board Academy and with NEA Jump Start.