I became a National Board Certified Teacher on November 19, 2004. At that time I was a kindergarten teacher and quite frankly I thought I would always be a classroom teacher. I had no idea the journey of accomplished teaching was just beginning.
In 2005, I left the classroom to become a Title 1 Intervention Specialist. In 2006, I switched schools and moved into the role of a Reading First Coach. In 2008, I changed districts and began my role as a K-5 Instructional Coach. In 2012, I stepped up to the challenge and become a K-5 Elementary Principal.
My goal was to go through the National Board certification renewal process as a principal. I know that the most important work in a school happens in the four walls of the classroom. Research says that the greatest impact on student learning is the teacher in the classroom. I want to be a principal who doesn’t lose sight of teaching and the work inside the classroom. That said, I sit here pondering my choices and wondering what on earth I am doing. The renewal process consists of four components. Simple enough, right?
Component One requires you to respond to prompts related to four areas demonstrating your professional growth. These professional growth experiences must include current content and pedagogical knowledge, as well as acquisition of effective and appropriate technology. They must be on going, varied and multifaceted. They must reflect continuous commitment and contributions to the professional activities that ultimately have an impact on student learning. You are required to prepare a 12 page written commentary and include 8 pages of samples.
Component two requires you to feature one of the professional growth experiences from component one and demonstrate its application in a classroom teaching in the same content and developmental level as your original certification. You are required to prepare a 10-minute video and a 3 page written commentary.
Component three requires you to feature one of the professional growth experiences from component one and demonstrate its application either in a classroom or with professional colleagues. This may be a 6-minute video recording or learner work samples and a 3 page written commentary.
Component four requires you to submit a written reflection in which you analyze the connections and patterns among all three components and your perspective as an educator.
Well, it’s as simple and as complex as that. I struggle with finding a balance between my role as principal and scheduling time to teach in a classroom. I know what I have to do; however I find every excuse not to do it. I have selected my professional growth experiences and begun writing component one. I have contacted two teachers and they have agreed to share their classroom and students with me to meet the component two requirements. I have even videotaped for component three. I feel confident that I can complete it, however I continue to push it down my list of things to do.
How would you approach the renewal process?