Washington Celebrates #TeamNBCT Week

OSPI will feature NBCT voices as well as National Teacher of the Year Finalist, Mandy Manning January 8–12 on social media.

The week of January 8 is known nationally as the beginning of #TeamNBCT week — the time to celebrate all National Board Certified Teachers and especially the 5,470 new and 3,957 renewed NBCTs! Washington has over 1,400 new NBCTs and over 10,000 total!

Numbers released today by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) show that Washington has the most new National Board Certified teachers (NBCTs) of any state (1,434*). The total number of 10,135 NBCTs is third in the country overall.

Certification is a one- to five-year process that includes taking an assessment and assembling three portfolios. According to the NBPTS, completing the certification shows that each teacher knows and practices “the definitive standards of accomplished teaching.”

“Congratulations to all the newly-certified teachers and those who renewed their certificates,” said Chris Reykdal, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “It takes a lot of sustained and intentional work to become a National Board Certified teacher, and it’s a testament to the dedication of our teachers that so many continue to pursue it.”

“The popularity of the program has taken a statewide effort,” Reykdal continued. “Governor Jay Inslee, the Washington Education Association, and the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession — as well as broad bipartisan legislative support — has not only put us on the NBCT map, but has kept us there.”

“Washington’s teachers are some of the finest in the country and this additional certification will make a tremendous difference to their students, schools, and communities,” Gov. Inslee said. “There is no more important job than a teacher as their work impacts countless lives and futures. I applaud these Nationally Board Certified teachers for their hard work and determination.”

In 2007, the Washington State Legislature began awarding a $5,000 bonus to each NBCT. Teachers can receive up to an additional $5,000 bonus if they teach in “challenging” schools, which are defined as having a certain percentage of students qualify for free and reduced-price lunch (50 percent for high schools, 60 percent for middle schools, and 70 percent for elementary schools).

Washington by the numbers for 2017:

  • Number of new NBCTs: 1,434 (national rank: 1st)
  • Number of renewed certificates: 533
  • Total number of NBCTs: 10,135 (national rank: 3rd)
  • 88 percent of all Washington’s NBCTs (about 8,900) remain actively engaged in education

“Washington’s educators are among the best in the country in large part because of the support we offer them to grow and develop,” said Kim Mead, President of the Washington Education Association (WEA). “I’m proud of the role WEA plays in supporting our members pursuing their national certification with high-quality training and peer support through this rigorous process. Our educators’ commitment to excellence is a reflection of their commitment to our students.”

“We are excited that so many accomplished Washington teachers have successfully demonstrated their ‘accomplished-ness’ in the classroom with students and are now NBCTs,” said Nasue Nishida, Executive Director for the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP).

“The Washington State National Board Network Partners (CSTP, OSPI, and WEA) have worked together to develop, maintain, and sustain a structure of support for teachers pursuing National Board; incentives after they achieve; and leadership development opportunities as they continue their journey in the profession. This year’s number is an indication that what we do in Washington state is working,” Nishida continued.

“More intentional and more focused”

Winlock, Wash., is about an hour’s drive north of Vancouver. Nearly four out of every five students at Winlock Miller Elementary School receive free or reduced-price meals. Tori Nelson is a fourth grade English language arts teacher at Winlock Miller and the first teacher in her district to become an NBCT.

Nelson said the process took three years. “I wouldn’t have done it without the support of the superintendent at the time,” she said. “She pushed me to do it and gave me the time. She saw something in me and felt like it was something I could accomplish.”

For Nelson, achieving certification forced her to take a deeper look at how she approached her job. “Teaching is a pretty difficult job,” she said. “When you have to break down every little thing you do, you’re forced to really reflect on everything you’re doing in the classroom. That pushes you to become more intentional and more focused. It also reminds you why you do what you do: to help kids. It’s a good incentive to keep the kids as your number-one focus.”

“There were days when I told myself that I was a better teacher than I thought,” Nelson added, “and there were days when I said, ‘Wow, I have a lot of things to work on.’”

Nelson noted that being an NBCT has put her in a mentor role in her district. “It’s one thing to teach children,” she said, “but it’s another thing to teach teachers. I think that’s a pretty good way to better yourself as an educator.”

Nelson said she would recommend other teachers going through the certification process. “Some people may look at it as just another hoop to jump through,” she said. “But it really is a process that makes you break down your teaching and helps you grow. It requires you to dissect what you do, and why you do it. That forces you to better yourself.”

#TeamNBCT Week

Please join us in recognizing these highly accomplished teachers, now more than 118,000 strong across the country.

In honor of Washington’s NBCTs, OSPI will feature a story per day from some of our state’s most accomplished National Board Certified Teachers! You can find all of the stories on OSPI’s NBCT Voices blog here: NBCT Voices.

On Wednesday, January 10, join Washington’s 2018 Teacher of the Year, and 2018 National Teacher of the Year Finalist, and NBCT, Mandy Manning on Twitter for a live, lunch-time chat. Use the hashtag #AskATeacher and tag @MandyRheaWrites and @waOSPI with your question!

The same day, January 10, OSPI will release the latest issue of From Seed to Apple, a collection of inspirational stories from Washington’s Teachers of the Year.

From Seed to Apple cover.

We encourage you to recognize NBCTs in your district in person, or via Facebook and Twitter. The research is clear that NBCTs make a difference to student learning, impacting our schools and our communities. Let’s acknowledge all they do!

About Board certification

Since 2009, Washington state has offered a conditional loan program to help candidates pay for the cost of certification. Loans are repaid by teachers with the bonuses they earn after becoming certified. To date, more than 4,000 conditional loans have been offered, and $5.5 million has been repaid to the revolving fund, allowing the state to continue to award future loans.

Certification consists of four components:

  1. An assessment of the teacher’s content knowledge.
  2. A portfolio showing work students have done and the teacher’s feedback to the student.
  3. Two videos of the teacher in the classroom, showing lessons taught and the interaction with and among students.
  4. A portfolio of “reflective” work: what the teacher does outside the classroom that translates in the classroom.

The last three components are assessed by a national panel of peers.

Created in 1987, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is an independent, nonpartisan, and nonprofit organization devoted to advancing the quality of teaching and learning.

For more information

* This number varies slightly from the number reported by the Board. The Board relies on teachers to self-report and maintain their contact information. Some teachers choose not to share that information. OSPI relies on a combination of personnel data and Board data, which the Office considers to be more accurate.

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