Pelham City Schools honors National Board-Certified teachers

Published 10:59 am Wednesday, January 18, 2023

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By LIZZIE BOWEN | Staff Writer

PELHAM – Pelham City Schools surprised teachers with balloons and offered its congratulations to all teachers who received National Board Certification.

Candidates who apply must complete four components including three written sections and one assessment.

“The written components include videos, student samples and teacher samples which showcase a teacher’s ability to meet the standards outlined in one of the 25 National Board areas of certification,” Candidate Support Instructor of PCS Lindsey Kilgore said. “Teachers have the freedom to choose the certificate area and age level they want to pursue certification in.  The assessment is based on content knowledge and written responses to various classroom scenarios.”

Kilgore said candidates have the option to complete all four components in one year or can take up to three years to complete all four components.

“In addition to the three years, they have two additional years to retake any component they wish to,” Kilgore said. “Most candidates spread the process out over at least two years as each written component takes a considerable amount of time and work. It’s also common to retake a component or two.”

Pelham City Schools currently has 16 NBCTs in the school system with another 12 teachers actively working towards certification. When the Candidate Support and Scholarship Program was started in 2018 there was only one in the system.

“It is the standard of excellence in the education field,” Kilgore said. “The process is similar to professional certification in other fields like medicine.  It is just not required for teachers like it is for doctors and nurses.”

Kilgore said the financial benefit to certification is a huge incentive for teachers to pursue National Board Certification.

“They work so hard for this, and they are so relieved to see that their efforts have paid off,” Kilgore said. “I also have witnessed first-hand their enthusiasm for paying it forward and helping their colleagues. We recruit them pretty quickly after they certify to serve as Candidate Support Providers for their peers and not one of them has ever turned it down. They are anxious to help. I have been supporting candidates now for five years, including in a different system, and can tell you that Pelham City Schools is unique in offering a full scholarship to teachers. Most scholarships, if the system even offers one, are partial. We are so invested in our students’ learning and believe National Board Certification can have a major impact.”