|2011-04-11||Steve Gardiner||National Board Committees (Part 3)|
Have you received an invitation to participate in a committee with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards? Sometimes they come directly from the National Board. Sometimes they are sent through teachers' unions. Sometimes they get forwarded from colleagues. However you see the notice, think seriously about putting your name in to serve.
The committees that develop standards, update standards, or establish other policies and procedures for the National Board are an excellent chance to meet with colleagues from across the nation to discuss significant issues and make important decisions about the teaching profession. To get involved is energizing and will make you look at your profession in a new way.
I first got involved with National Board committees in 1991. There were no National Board Certified teachers at that time and the English/Language Arts Standards Committee spent our first weekend together trying to define what an accomplished teacher would look like. The National Board has come a long way since then.
That first committee was a three-year appointment that lasted seven years. Over that time, I met some very impressive people who influenced me as a teacher and as a person. I changed my classroom teaching, and I got more involved in other aspects of the profession, because I had been on that committee.
Eventually I applied for National Board Certification myself and then helped others to the same.
In 2003, I had the chance to serve on the Certification Renewal committee which developed the Profile for Professional Growth which all subject areas use for certification renewal. Again, the quality of the people involved and the significance that our work would have on the teaching profession made the hours of work and the weekends away from home worthwhile.
Last year I became a member of the Certification Council for the National Board. This council reviews all the committee appointments, reviews the writings of the committees, and makes recommendations directly to the directors of the National Board. It is exciting work and in a weekend meeting we might deal with several very different topics and issues. The committee is made up of four NBCTs, a statistician, a policy expert, a former director of a large educational association, and two members of the National Board. NBPTS staff members also attend so they can fully understand the directions of the Certification Council and the National Board and clarify questions and ideas for both groups. It is important work with outstanding people.
One definition of a profession is that its members are the ones who control the standards and policies of the group. The National Board allows teachers to do exactly that, so when you see an invitation to get involved with a National Board committee, take a National Board survey, or review National Board documents, accept the offer. Volunteer. Step up and help your profession and yourself. It will be time well spent.