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You CAN Get That National Board Certification!

By Jan Ross - Posted Jan 1, 2006
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OK, you are fabulous. You know you are. You are the star juggler in your school circus act, juggling administrative responsibilities such as ordering books, repairing them, shelving them, and putting them in the hands of students and teachers; juggling technology responsibilities that include teaching students and teachers how to effectively use hardware and software; juggling your teaching responsibilities; juggling all those committee meetings, professional conferences, and staff meetings. Am I missing anything? Oh, yes, what about a personal life? That you juggle with your extra hand!

You know you are good at what you do, and, if you are lucky, some of the staff at your school—including your principal—know you are good at what you do. But too many of us are the silent workers, the conscientious, quiet go-getters who get everything done, making it look as if it requires no effort. We need to make sure all our fellow professional teachers know we are also hard-working professionals. One way to do this is to obtain your National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification.

Definitely Worth It!

I know, I know. You have heard it's really hard and really time-consuming. Well, I have to admit that the time-consuming part is true. But for librarians, who have to manage time on a daily basis, it should be a snap. I will not concede that it is difficult, because I know you are already doing most of what is required to get your certification. You just need to write it down and tell the Board about it! And, aside from the rise in professional stature you will attain by getting your certification, the money is nice too. That's right—this is actually one thing we get extra money for doing. The amount varies from state to state, and you would need to check into the guidelines for your state, but most will reimburse the cost of getting the certification ($2,300) at the very least. In Kentucky, we are reimbursed almost the total amount, move up a Rank step and also get a $2,000 stipend from the state. A glance at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Web site [http://www.nbpts.org/] list of states that support certification includes Arkansas and Oklahoma, which pay 100 percent of the registration fee; Alabama, with a $5, 000 a year raise; and Delaware, with a 12 percent salary increase. Definitely worth it!
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