Thursday, February 4, 2016

SFUSD reaches record number of National Board Certified teachers

We all know teachers work hard every day, but did you know that each year dozens of SFUSD teachers put themselves through one of the most rigorous programs in the country—on top of teaching in class every day—to become even better at teaching?

Next week, the Board of Education will celebrate 17 newly-certified (and 12 renewed) teachers who have earned National Board Certification.

And, with 254 National Board Certified teachers now working in SFUSD, we have double the number of certified teachers than the national average.

National Board Certified teacher Crystal Carrillo earned her certification in 2014.

"This process really makes you reflect deeply on what you are doing in the classroom," says Carrillo. "I've become less bogged down by trying to complete a lesson on time and pay much more attention to what each student needs to 'get it' before moving on."

Carrillo is now one of many teachers who are mentoring others in the midst of their own Board Certification process. “We don’t tell them what to do; rather, we get them to think deeper about why they’re doing what they’re doing,” she says. “We tell them that they have the answers within themselves.”

What is it, exactly?

Like board-certified doctors and accountants, teachers who achieve this certification have met rigorous standards through intensive study, expert evaluation, self assessment, and peer review. They build a portfolio that includes student work samples, assignments, videos of their teaching, and a thorough analysis of their work. Teachers must demonstrate an ability to meet diverse student needs and show that they collaborate with a learning community outside of their classroom.

National Board Certification also requires that candidates recognize students as individuals and adjust their teaching methods accordingly, treat students equitably, master their subject matter, and think systematically about their teaching while learning from experience. It is a voluntary program.

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