A few years ago, I achieved National Board Certification. At that time, my state paid for most of it except for what I wanted college credit, then my district helped with that cost. At that time, I received and annual stipend for the distinction of being a National Board Teacher. It was a grueling ordeal with monetary perks.
Now, many states are cutting the stipends and funding. Teachers must pay for NB Certification out of their own pocket. I have heard colleagues say that they won’t re-new because of the cost. Younger teachers ask, “Is it worth it?”
National Board Certification is difficult. It challenged me. It made me think, and write, and re-think, and re-write. My head hurt at times and spun at others.
But when all of the writing and waiting was done, and I received that letter, I was proud of myself. I had accomplished something important, nationwide.
I don’t think there is enough recognition for teachers. I am honored to be a NBCT. It has opened doors for me of which most teachers only dream. I have met authors; spoke at conventions, worked with national organizations, even sat on governing boards. Most because of that NBCT.
For me, at the time, it was worth it. In this time of budget cuts and lower incomes, would it be worth it now. That is really difficult to say. I believe it depends on why a teacher wants the NBCT title.
Are you looking to be a better teacher in your classroom? Are you looking to improve your techniques based on research? Then at this point NBCT might not be the road for you. You might look at MET (Measures of Effective Teaching). This is a set of teaching criteria and exercises developed through the Gates Foundation and administered by ETS.
Are you looking to be a leader in your district, area, and state? Do you someday want to move beyond the classroom and be considered an expert in your field? Then National Board would be the right road to follow. Once you are an NBCT, you have many opportunities available to you.