NBCT Challenges…

I’m looking for a little help from those of you who are NBCTs. I’m writing a piece about National Board Certification that focuses on some of the challenges that NBCTs face after certification.

One of the things that I know that I’ve faced is that since certifying, I’ve had any number of opportunities to lead: either by providing professional development, supporting struggling colleagues, mentoring new teachers, or serving on school or district committees.

And what is interesting is that many people expect me to be an expert in all of these areas because of my Board Certification. They assume that because I am a NBCT, I will fill leadership and professional roles without any kind of struggle or challenge. To many, NBCT means more than just accomplished teaching. It means automatic accomplishment in all areas.

But honestly, I’m not accomplished as a professional developer or a "teacher of teachers." Working with other adults is quite different from working with the 12 year olds that roll through my classroom every day…requiring skills that I haven’t mastered and that weren’t necessarily the focus of my certification portfolio. While I appreciate (and often accept) the opportunities to influence that have come as a result of Board Certification, I wonder if I’m truly qualified some of the roles that I’m asked to fill.

Has anyone else ever felt this disconnect?

I guess I have three questions that I want to focus on in my article:

1. What kinds of roles have you had the opportunity to fill since certifying. Have you struggled with any of these roles despite the expectation that you would succeed? How did you cope with that? What strategies did you use to master the new skills required to succeed in these new roles?

2. Do you think that Board Certification carries an obligation to lead and to teach other teachers? And do we learn skills while working through the certification process that can translate into new roles as professional developers and lead teachers?

And finally:

3. Have any of your schools or districts taken proactive steps to support the professional growth of NBCTs after certification? What have those steps looked like? How can administrators, central office staff members, and other professional organizations help to support NBCTs as they grow as leaders?

Interesting questions, huh?

Looking forward to your responses!