There are over 97,000 National Board Certified Teachers in America. Only 3% of the teaching workforce is Nationally Board Certified. 3% seems very small when compared to a number like 97,000. NBCTs are teachers that have proven that they teach to the National Professional Standards for teaching; they are highly skilled educators, advocates for students and educational leaders.
National Board Certification has held the theme of “one” in my mind for a long time. It only takes one teacher to start the ball rolling at a school and others will follow. I have been operating from that perspective for the last few years because I have seen many examples of teachers as the “one”. I have witnessed timid teachers become lions and weak teachers become superstars. Focusing on improving education one teacher at a time seemed like enough, but I always had a nagging feeling that I could be doing more. Promoting National Boards and supporting candidates, both highly worthwhile endeavors, distracted me.
The time has come for NBCTs to change the teaching profession; we are at the top of the educational pyramid and need to promote our profession from within. This work matters and we are the most qualified to do it. We must take every opportunity to insert ourselves into the discussions that lead to educational policy-making at every level from the classroom to the legislature. Our work is invaluable, our profession creates all other professions, the work that we do weaves that fabric of our society. It is up to us to make sure that the work of teachers is respected, valued and indispensable; we must discuss our work with colleagues, parents, voters and legislators. The time has come for us to mobilize as a united group of professionals. 97,000 NBCTs don’t need to wait to be invited to the table.