Wednesday, July 01, 2009
is a reminder of the upcoming WEAC Teachers Convention being held in
the Alliant Energy Center in Madison on Thursday, October 28 and
Friday, October 29. There will be valuable candidate support workshops
provided during the convention on both days. Please bring your
questions, portfolio entries, work samples, videos or anything that you
are currently working on for your National Board Certification process.
An exhibit booth will be located in the Exhibit Hall which will be
staffed during the Convention with NBCTs who can also help you with
28: 1:00-4:00 "Getting Started" facilitated by NBCTs Jo Christianson,
Jefferson and Deanna Brunlinger, Elkhorn. This workshop will provide
valuable tips in getting organized for the National Board Certification
process. Located in Sheraton - Reflection A.
FRIDAY, October 29:
10:00-12:45 "National Board Certification Portfolio Writing"
facilitated by Wendy Sondrol, NBCT Mukwonago. This workshop will
provide you with tips to identify your accomplished teaching in your
writing. Located in sheraton - Reflection A.
One of the discussions we had during our WEAC Summer Academy session
with Nancy Flanagan revolved around language we use to share information
about the National Board process. It seems there are three groups of
educators (and others) out there: the NBCT/candidates/supporters; the
group of people who do not know what NBPTS is; and the third group...the
group of educators that discount the NB process. That tends to be the
group of people who have made comments (and if you are an NBCT-you have heard them!)
like: "Those National Board teachers think they are so much better,"
"What makes them think they know so much more?" "National Boards? That's
that test for teachers." I understand this is a free country and we are
all entitled to our own opinions, so this is where we step in. For starters, we NBCT's don't think we are any better, but we did make a choice to better ourselves.
If you listen to a discussion by NBCT's, you will hear key phrases
and terms. When an NBCT uses terms such as
like pass/fail, portfolio, etc, it implies that the National Board process is a test. In order for fellow educators to gain a
better understanding and acceptance of the NB process, we "believers"
(aka group 1..see above) may need to reconsider the language we use when
discussing the Board process with people who have not gone through or
are not familiar with the National Boards. For example:
We may say pass/fail with fellow NBCT's but that gives the impression that the NB process is a test. The National Board process is not a test. The Boards are a process that involves dedicated reflection, video taping, writing, thinking, and yes, there is an assessment center component filled with application type questions. When NBCT's say pass/fail, what we really mean is certify or not certify. Truly, anyone who goes through the NB process, whether they certify or not, will improve his/her teaching practice.
It is important to emphasize the the process continues
post-certification. This is not just a "go through the work and be done"
process. This is a continued journey of self improvement. Which leads
me to another point of our discussion in July...
The NB process IS a journey of SELF-improvement. It is not a
competition. Certifying, as Nancy said, does not make as better than
anyone else, it means we were able to commit to the process and meet or
exceed the standards.We choose to improve our own teaching so that we
may contribute to our own teams and improve student-learning.
Next time someone says, NB is a teacher test, gently remind them
that, although there is an assessment center component, that the process
is more than that. Share what the NB process means to you, meant to
you, how it impacted your teaching, learning, communication skills, etc.
Continue to be proud, because achieving NBCT status and/or going through
the NB process IS indeed something to be proud of regardless of the
person you are speaking to.
Thanks for reading and letting me borrow the soapbox to stand on for a bit.
Patti Jo De Villers
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