Thursday, April 29, 2010

National Board Certified Teacher to be named 2010 National Teacher of the Year

For the third time in the past five years, a National Board Certified Teacher will represent the country as National Teacher of the Year. Sarah Brown Wessling, an English teacher at Johnston High School in Johnston, Iowa, will be named the 2010 National Teacher of the Year by President Barack Obama today at a White House ceremony. Read more

“The National Board Certification process was absolutely instrumental in my experience as a professional educator,” said Wessling, in a February interview with NBPTS. “National Board Certification is crucial because it requires teachers to see students as individuals. The process helps teachers focus on students and discover how they learn. Knowing how a student learns is irreplaceable.”

Wessling is well known for her ability to inspire and challenge her high school students. She begins each academic school year by handing out a copy of Plato’s Parable of the Cave, lighting a candle in the center of the room and asking her students to tell her the course expectations. The practice is done to encourage her students to construct their own learning experience.

Wessling also brings 21st century technology into her classroom. She frequently uses iPod technology to create individual podcasts to grade student papers and says her students benefit from the in-depth feedback she provides. “My students can hear in my voice when I’m recording thoughts about their papers, and they can hear me get excited about their ideas and concepts,” Wessling said. “The podcasts show them that I have thought about them not as students, but as writers.”

Wessling and 18 other NBCTs were named 2010 State Teachers of the Year, including Florida’s Megan Marie Allen, who was among the national finalists.

Track records of NBCTs and valid research have shown that they can produce rapid improvements in the teaching quality of a school. Because of this, shouldn't we encourage more teachers to take the National Board Certification in high needs schools like DCPS? Smart school districts know this.

It is no secret that the National Board is one of the research based sources where the IMPACT (our evaluation tool) and the Teaching & Learning Framework were taken from (please refer to the IMPACT manuals). I feel that it is not wise to cut off the funding, incentives and supports for the National Board. It is just beyond comprehension why this is happening...

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