Education Matters: National Board Certification
While each state determines its own teacher licensure and re-licensure requirements, for over thirty years the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards has worked to advance teaching through a voluntary National Board Certification process. North Carolina is the top state in the entire nation when it comes to the number of National Board Certified Teachers employed in our schools. This week we will hear from the head of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards and a district and teacher leader to learn more about why National Board Certification is so important for NC. Guests: • Carolann Wade, NBCT, Administrator for Human Capital and National Board Certification, in Wake County Schools • Peggy Brookins, NCBT, President and CEO of National Board for Professional Teaching Standards • Dr. Kellie Jackson, NBCT, K-12 Certified Reading Specialist, works at GCS as instructional coach and testing coordinator
Welcome to education matters presented by the Public School Forum of North Carolina. I'm your host, Maryanne Wolf. While each state determines its own teacher licensure and re licensure requirements for over 30 years, the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards has worked to advance teaching through a voluntary national board certification process. North Carolina is the top state and the entire nation when it comes to the number of national board certified teachers employed in our schools. This week, we will hear from the head of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards and a district and teacher leader to learn more about why national board certification is so important for North Carolina students. Joining us now are Peggy Brookins, the president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and Dr Kelly Jackson, the K through 12 certified reading specialist who works at Guilford County schools as an instructional coach and a testing coordinator. Thank you both for being here today, Peggy. I'd love to start with you and wonder if you could share with us why you're so dedicated to continuing to grow the number of national board certified teachers and why this is so important to our students in the U. S. But also in North Carolina. Thank you, Marianne. And that's the perfect question. I think me as an NBC T. It is firsthand knowledge. It is. The process itself is transformational in nature. Theme impact that I had on my students on my colleagues on the community was like none I had ever seen prior to that, You know, I'm older, so I taught a number of years before national board existed. But the two core ideas behind national board certification and especially in this current climate that we're in is the knowledge of students. And in that relationship that we build, and then the reflective practice piece of that thinking you know more about what we've had to do in the last eight months and how different that would have been had I not been board certified. So I am just passionate about everybody having access to this process because I know what we're able to dio Dr Jackson. I'd love to hear a little bit from you about what does it mean to you? Is an educator in North Carolina to be nationally board certified? It means that I can affirm that I am committed to the students that I'm teaching. I feel good that I know my standards. I know the subject that I teach, and I'm able to teach that subject to the students and those air completely different things because you can know your subject but not know how to get it across to the student. And a lot of times we call that preaching, and but we we get a firm going through the process when you become accomplished, you know, then I am doing the best that I can for my student's, because National Board is created by teachers for teachers and teachers are assessing it. So once I got that affirmation, it built a lot of confidence, built my confidence, and I was able to provide a confident teacher walking into that classroom every day. Peggy, I know that North Carolina has continued to lead the nation in the number of NBC T s, um, like Dr Jackson here, and I wonder why you think North Carolina has been so successful and how we can continue to grow. Our number of teachers represented Well, you've done an incredible job, and I think you're the envy of everybody around the country when it comes to board certification, and not only just because of the numbers but the dedication to board certification at all levels. You have it at the governor. You know Governor Hunt, who started this looking at the state legislators, district superintendents and, of course, the teachers themselves. The support, um, that is provided by the networks in those networks that we've worked with over time, the fact that you have beginner to board certified so you have all the elements in place. But I think one of the most important elements is that the state provides a 12% salary differential for NBC ts. It has nothing to do with politics. It has nothing to do with e economic climate. You understand the value often accomplished teacher in front of students. And you know you have research to back that up. You also provide ah loan program for teachers to defray the cost of certification, which could be a barrier for a lot of teachers. And I just want to remind everybody out there who's listening that the deadline for that loan is December 31st of this year for the next cycle. But all of those dynamics together make North Carolina just the perfect place to be. If you want to go through board certification, Dr Jackson, I'd love to ask you, is a teacher leader who works with other educators within your district and across the state? Why do you encourage others to pursue national board certification? The main thing I want is for us to experience the advancement in the profession and the pride and internal satisfaction that they're doing. We are doing our absolute best that we can in the classroom because our students deserve the best and, ah, lot of research. You know, support that national board certified teachers their students outperform or score at higher levels than having a teacher with the same years of experience. But they're not certified national certified. It just does something. Who's the teacher? I mean, you know, she just we just become better and we know our kids are getting better educators. It's like Peggy was saying It is a rigorous process. Uh, the journey is satisfying, um, with the notoriety and the pay increase, Of course, it's a It's a pretty productive struggle. Mhm. I want to shift gears just a little bit, Peggy and talk about that. Just last week, North Carolina had it's developing a representative and inclusive vision for education or drive task force report come out, which had an intense focus on recruiting and retaining a more diverse teaching workforce in North Carolina. And one of the things that we know is that while North Carolina leads the nation and NBC T s, we know that our teachers of color are underrepresented. Um, I wonder, Peggy, if you could share a little bit about how you would approach increasing our number of teachers of color who earn NBC t certification, Um, thanks, very. And that's a passion of mine. As you know. And we've had these conversations and for far too long I think people had this misconception about who national board certification is for that, you know, you had to be some elite teacher somewhere and Onley those teachers achieved board certification. That is not true. Uh, national board certification is for everybody who is in front of the classroom in front of Children. It is transformational. It will change your practice. It will impact your students. And I think you know some of the first steps in order to make that happen in to draw in more teachers of color, we have toe have strong support systems in place. We already have the incentives in place, but the awareness of board certification having the idea of having a network that supports them. One of the things that National Board has done recently is create a national network, and that network is called name. It's the network for accomplished Minority Eyes educators, and it's a network of teachers of color who are board certified, who will provide support. They serve as a resource, Um, and they also think about beyond board certification that leadership piece as well. And we can do that virtually as far as helping, um, teachers of color who want an affinity group to go through the process. They can still use their current support systems within their state or their district, but we see that support is critical and it's beneficial. And what we've been seeing since we started name has let us know we're definitely on the right track. Just is, ah, quick follow up. Knowing the work of the Drive Task Force I national board certified teachers were known toe have a lower turn turnover rate than their non board certified peers. And why do you think that's so? And I don't know if you have any other comments you'd love to share about that. I think you know, the data that we got out of South Carolina says that, you know, board certified teachers stay in the classroom at four times the rate of those who are not board certified. And Kelly, um, brought this up earlier. You are prepared. Board certification prepares you for being in that classroom, that deep content knowledge, your ability to analyze and reflect and change practice on a dime. You you make decisions, you know, minute by minute, every day in the classroom and toe have that level of confidence that you know you are board certified. You have proven yourself and you've been graded by teachers to say, you know, this person knows how to differentiate. They understand how toe look at. You know what a child needs and each one of them you're not teaching to the middle. And so you are successful in the classroom and therefore, you know, you get that idea of Oh, my goodness. I love this job, and my students are impacted in ways that you know will stay with them forever. I'd love just to hear any final advice or strategies that you'd like to both recommend on DSO. Dr. Jackson, I'll start with you and then Teddy, just a final word after that, where we, um, to get more teachers certified, getting the word out there and something like you're doing today that I'm grateful for So other people can see, you know, an African American National Board certified teacher that loves it. And I mean, any day I could go into a classroom and teach because I learned how it should be done. I would like to say, though, that the process should not be underestimated because it's anything worth having is not gonna be easy. Teaching in itself is hard work. And then when you I want to teach and then add accreditations to your you know, licensure, it's going to be worked. So the support is out there, especially in North Carolina. The majority of the promotions that I have gotten is because on national board certified, the whole process transformed me, and I'm sure it transformed the students the students that I've taught over the years. Well, we so appreciate you being here and being a role model for educators across the state. Um, Peggy, I'd love just to hear your final thoughts. I'm gonna echo Kelly. Um, that's perfect, because I would not be sitting here as a president and CEO of the national board if I were not board certified on but to be the first. You know, president of the national board. Being board certified makes all the difference in the world. So I just want to say to people You know, if you want that next challenge, you want to have a greater impact on your students and on your community, on your colleagues, even for certification is for you. Yeah, well, thank you both. So much for being here and for giving back every day. I think were also honored for the profession, but also for our students. And after the break, we will hear a district perspective from Wake County schools. Education matters is brought to you each week in part by town bank serving others enriching lives. I'd like to welcome to the show. Caroline Wade, administrator for human capital and National Board certification in Wake County schools. Welcome, Caroline. Thank you. I'm so happy to be here. Wake County has been dedicated to supporting educators and becoming national board certified for some time. I wonder if you could tell us about what being national board certified means and the importance behind it and why Wake is so invested in this well national board. Certification is through the most, um, effective professional development that teachers can go through. It is Thebe, Pinnacle, um, for teachers. And so we are so invested because we want to develop our teachers. We want to grow our teachers. We want to make sure that they are getting a little more respect and a little more money when they get their board certification. So it's like a doctor or a lawyer. When you become board certified, you are reaching the pinnacle of your career. So that is why we're so invested because it really grows and makes our teachers so much better. Wonderful. And how Maney Board certified teachers does Wake County have we probably have about 2000. Um, and we are We've been number one in the nation for the last 14 years, so We're very proud of that title. We're so excited for our teachers and they they are moving through this professional development and they're growing and learning. And they are just It's such a such a wonderful thing. So Wake County is very excited about our numbers and about our just our teachers. And so they're They're working so hard to improve themselves through this process. And I know that this process is very robust and requires significant dedication. Can you share just a little bit more about what it looks like? And also how you support educators in Wake County? Sure, um, there are four components that have to be, um, completed to become board certified, and one of them is a computer test, so they have to go and sit for multiple choice questions. They have to sit for, um, some scenarios where they have toa address those scenarios online, and that is component one. And then there's components 23 and four with component to. They have to choose to students that they learn in intricate detail about those students big time back background knowledge, and then they have to plan instruction to meet those students individual needs that showing them it's important not just to know a whole class, but to know each one of your students individually, then component. Three. They have to videotape themselves teaching two different lessons. So Thio, look at yourself on video and to right about your teaching. What you've done well, what you may need to fix. That's a huge growth process right there and then component for is where they need to work with their entire class of students. Identified need work towards meeting that need and also working toward meeting your professional learning community. They work with them to find a need and meet. That need is well, so it's very much laser focused on meeting students needs, and that's so helpful to hear all about that. Can you talk a little bit more about how Weight County supports educators and encourages them to pursue national board certification? Of course, we are very fortunate Wake County that we have been supported well over the years. We have cohorts of teachers moving through the process together so they have other people to depend on. They have coaches who worked with them, who are board certified teachers who have that is like a little part time job that they're working with them. Um, and we have all kinds of programs. One of our program is beginning to board certified, um, that we developed and that is working with You have to be in your fourth year to go for your boards. So we begin working with them in your three to make sure that they're preparing to go for their boards in your four. Um, but we have teachers on all ends of the spectrum. I mean, we have them early years, teachers. We have mature career teachers going for their boards. We give them all the support, and that's I've been fortunate. That that has been a big part of my job over the last couple of decades is to support these boards. Air differ by teachers or candidates for boards. Andi has been quite a pleasure well, and I just love hearing about that work and the dedication you have. But also, your district has to really guiding teachers because it is a lot on top of their everyday work, and we know how much that is. And so I really appreciate that. How would you say that being board certified really benefit students in Wake County and in North Carolina? Well, it's as I said earlier, if you really are looking at individual students and you're looking at your teaching practice and you're having to analyze and make decisions about your practice, and so that when you're looking at individual student needs and you are determining how you are growing as a teacher, it makes you so much better as a teacher. And we have had entire schools go through as cohorts together with teachers who just it makes the world of difference. When you were looking at your practice and you're thinking about your teaching and you're looking at individual students, it is so it just puts you in perspective of I need to improve. This is where I am. This is where I need to be, Um, and so it is a. It's a really, really excellent professional development, and I am so proud to be a part of it, and I'm board certified. I've been board certified for the last 20 years, and it changed my career when I went from my boards. I love that. Thank you so much for sharing that, and in our last few seconds together. I wonder if you have advice for district or schools that are interested in increasing the number of board certified teachers. What might they dio, I would say, offer support and make the teachers feel like they are, um, they're being very supported because that's, you know, it's a hard process, and it's it's, um it takes a lot of time, but if they feel like somebody's in there with them and they're supporting them and they're taking care of them and you know we're backing you, Um, that is what's gonna make a big difference. Because if somebody feels like they're in an island by themselves, it's not as easy. But that's why I wake has had such a good experience because we're like a team and we're doing it together. And you know, anybody who wants to come on board. Come on, we got you. Well, thank you so much for being here and for all the work you do everyday for teachers and students and after the break, this week's final word. Over the past many months, we have been sharing the complexity of the roles that our schools, and in particular our teachers grapple with as they strive to support each of their students academically, socially and emotionally to reach their potential. The complexity of teaching students with diverse needs, backgrounds and interest is part of what attracts individuals to teaching and also what makes each year each class, in each student a unique challenge for educators. As you talk with teachers across our state, you also quickly realized that teachers or learners first they see themselves as growing in their practice and their understanding of how most effectively to teach their content area and their students. This past year has represented that more than ever, as most teachers have had to adapt to remote and or hybrid learning environments almost overnight. But once again, we have seen teachers participating in virtual professional learning, collaborating with each other in trying new strategies to meet their students needs. North Carolina educators demonstrate this in many ways, including the fact that North Carolina is the top state in the entire nation when it comes to the number of national board certified teachers employed in our schools. While each state determines its own teacher licensure and re licensure requirements for over 30 years, the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards has worked to advance teaching through a voluntary national board certification process. This is a very rigorous process requiring an intense investment of time growth and financial resource is educators can take anywhere from one to several years to gain national board certification. The process comprises four parts and includes an assessment component and portfolio requirements to demonstrate competency. North Carolina has over 22,000 national board certified teachers, more than any other state in the country and nearly 3000 educators or currently pursuing their certification. According to the recent Drive Task Force report, 9300 national board certified teachers are currently in North Carolina public schools. This is approximately 9% of our educators. North Carolina provides subsidized loans for educators who want and need support for the financial commitment. And educators in North Carolina received a 12% increase in pay While they maintain their national board certification. National board certification offers many benefits to our students, schools, districts and educators. North Carolina has outpaced every other state in the country in terms of the number of national board certified teachers. However, a report released last week by the Drive task force, which Governor Cooper assembled to assess North Carolina's progress on creating and sustaining a diverse educator workforce and develop a plan to strengthen and coordinate state efforts in this space, finds that our teachers of color are underrepresented among national board certified teachers. While teachers of color represent about 21% of our teacher workforce in North Carolina, teachers of color represent only 7% of our national board Certified teachers. National Board certification can play an important role in bolstering the recruitment and retention of teachers and the diversity of our teaching force. This is true for educator growth and retention and our student outcomes. North Carolina has invested in supporting teachers who want to earn board certification through loans and through increases in salary for those who are in certification. Some district's like Wait County have gone even further to engage educators early in their national board certification journey. By providing Pierre and cohorts supports, the number of national board certified teachers varies widely by school and district, and we can continue to find ways to engage teachers as a part of the critical overall efforts to recruit and retain Ah, highly effective in diverse teacher workforce in North Carolina. Thank you for taking time with us. Tow, learn and think about education. That's all for today. And we'll see you next week. Mhm.