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What 'NBCT' Means to Teachers

Cindi Rigsbee at The Dream Teacher recalls the moment she found out she'd become a National Board Certified Teacher. She writes:

I was alone in my classroom when I visited the website that day so I immediately called a friend, and then my mother, and then printed out the congratulatory letter and took it to my principal. I just felt that I needed to tell someone the amazing news. After nine long months of planning, writing, videotaping, testing, and reflecting, the day turned into everything I'd dreamed of: verification that I was impacting student learning in the classroom, the initials "NBCT" behind my name, a 12% raise provided by the state of North Carolina, and the ability to breathe again since sometime back in the fall over a year before.

It's a feeling she relives each November, she says, as a coach for other NBCT candidates. Last year, Rigsbee's mentee Vicki had the greatest reaction she'd ever seen:

Screaming at the top of her lungs, Vicki ran from hallway to hallway...I could hear her screams descend as she ran down a hall; I could tell the exact moment she turned to run back...the volume would turn up.

One of Vicki's students looked at me and asked, "What in the world did she win? A million dollars?"

"Same thing," I thought.

Are there any other professional accomplishments that are as thrilling for teachers? Would a teacher receiving a bonus in a merit-pay system be quite so jazzed?

(Also, see our post on some of the recent changes at The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the organization that bestows the certification.)

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