National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards...I'm sure if you have been through the process, you probably felt a little sick just reading those words, but then you reminded yourself of all the benefits you now reap because of your certification! If you haven't obtained your National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification, now is the time! Here are three, solid reasons why you should pursue NB Certification:

#1 Growth: When you are in the middle of the process, you swear you aren't learning anything, and you would like to pull all of your hair out, particularly eyelashes. You also hate watching yourself on the videos because you have weird mannerisms. Oops, maybe that was more of a personal experience. BUT... When you are on the other end of the process, you understand that even though it might have been a bit painful, you grew and learned so much about who you are as a teacher. Here are some things I learned: A. How I'm not as great of a teacher as I thought I was; B. How to collect data on students both academically and personally and identify needs; C. How to effectively assess students and break that data down to the nitty gritty to inform your teaching;
D. How to differentiate instruction to not only further support students but to challenge them also; E. How to effectively collaborate so teachers, students, and other stakeholders benefit; F. How to vary instructional strategies and formats to foster an environment where students are engaged and thrive. I could go on and on, but I really need to get to #2 and #3.
#2 Connections/Relationships: If you decide to pursue NB Certification, you will absolutely need to join a cohort. Northern Nevada offers one of the best, maybe I'm biased, cohorts around. Being a part of an NB Cohort provides you with an opportunity to be supported through an arduous process, and it also builds relationships. As a member of the cohort, you will be exposed to teachers and candidate support providers (CSPs) outside of your own school building. You will bond and collaborate with these teachers and CSPs and in doing so, you will learn an abundance from them, and they will learn a lot from you. These bonds will never be broken because going through Boards in a cohort is like having a baby, (I know since I've had four); it's excruciating but the payoff is amazing. Since this is something you go through together, these connections and bonds will last forever. You now have contacts from multiple schools, who you can commiserate, I mean collaborate, with for a lifetime.
 #3. Raise: Woot, woot! If you work for the Washoe County School District, you will obtain an 8% increase in salary for getting your National Board Certification. Do you realize that's larger than most steps/raises on the WCSD Teacher Salary Schedule? It might feel like endless hell while you are smack dab in the middle of pursuing your certification but that 8% increase in salary feels pretty damn good. Think of what you could do with that increase in salary; you might be able to afford cable, go out to eat every once and awhile, or you could maybe save up for 10 years to go on a vacation! I kid, I kid!

If you are at all interested in pursuing National Board Certification and live in Northern Nevada, you should think about joining the Northern Nevada Cohort or contact Nicolette Smith (the guru)!

Keep on Stressin' On,

Michon Otuafi

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