In January of 2023, Sarah Wishart-Rogers, Larissa Costello, and Emily Hachey joined the ranks of 458 Maine Educators who have achieved National Board Certification. Mallory Cook had the opportunity to sit down with them to celebrate this achievement and to better understand how this process has impacted their students and their practice.
Why National Board Certification?
Both Larissa and Sarah knew that attaining certification would mean $5,000 more per year, which motivated them to learn more. Larissa was in her fifth year of teaching and ready to continue her growth as a professional; Sarah wanted to continue pushing herself to better the experiences of the students and families with whom she worked. Both found colleagues to start the process with them. Emily saw Sarah and other colleagues engaging in the process, and having just finished a graduate program, decided to research how NBCTs impact student achievement. The increased educational outcomes were enough to sell her on the process.
What would you say to someone on the fence about going through the process
Sarah first looked into NBCT certification in 2009, back when work was submitted via floppy disk! It wasn’t until 10 years later that she went to an MEA sponsored workshop to learn more about the process and committed herself. She wants those considering the process to know that there are many embedded supports, including MEA’s workshop facilitators, a cohort of Maine NBCTs, and targeted cohorts in other states. Emily shared that the work required is likely already a part of what you do in the classroom; it is just a matter of understanding how to format your work and allocating time for writing and reflection. Larissa found the NBCT process to be the best professional development she has experienced. It was an objective self-assessment that helped her grow tremendously. One hang up for many people is the assessment in component one. Larissa shared that the MEA facilitators, Jen Dorman and Heidi Goodwin, provided helpful tips and tricks for preparing for and taking the assessment, which calmed the nerves of many participants.
How have you seen your work in this process positively impact your students?
Larissa has used her National Board Certification as a catalyst to work with an SLP to develop a speech program for implementation in the general education setting. She is also working to help students manage strong emotions by starting a yoga program that helps to calm the body. This process has helped her to understand the benefits of using accommodations for all learners and the power of reflection for improved practice. Sarah finds herself to be more purposeful with the language she uses when communicating with students. She is also intentional about building and maintaining relationships with students and families. Emily finds herself applying feedback from the process even after finishing. Emily has also found that her students are experiencing increased success in reading and math.
14 & 45
In January, we celebrated 14 newly National Board Certified MEA members and 45 members who maintained their certification!
All teachers who achieve and maintain National Board Certification receive an annual salary supplement of at least $3,000. An annual salary stipend of $5,000 is received by teachers who work in districts where 50% of students qualify for reduced lunch.
Are you interested?
Reach out to Mallory Cook, MEA’s Director of Training and Early Educator Engagement by contacting us to add your name to our NBCT mailing list. You’ll be the first to know when our NBCT information sessions and support workshops will take place during the 23-24 school year.
Cook’s Corner is authored by Mallory Cook, MEA’s Director of Training and Early Educator Engagement. Each issue in Cook’s Corner you will find useful information that is intended to help you in your day-to-day work.