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SD Department of Education
Jan. 2020  

  From your colleagues: Why pursue National Board Certification?

The South Dakota Department of Education is facilitating a cohort for teachers interested in pursuing National Board Certification, a widely known and respected professional certification. The cohort registration deadline is Feb. 28.

National Board Certified Teachers have developed and demonstrated the advanced knowledge, skills, and practices required of an outstanding educator. State law requires stipends to be paid to teachers who earn NBC for five years and possibly more. To learn more, visit our NBC webpage and contact Kelly Royer.

Hear from some of South Dakota’s newest National Board Certified Teachers about the value of pursuing this certification and doing so with the support of a cohort.

Carli Flemmer, English, Northern State University Center for Statewide E-learning
The cohort was a reassuring resource that I would encourage anyone pursuing National Board Certification to join. The best part about the cohort was the support and guidance I received from my mentor who was a National Board Certified Teacher in my content area. Her advice and willingness to collaborate and share her own reflections throughout the journey made me a more effective and reflective practitioner.

Pursuing National Board Certification is intense, yet so worthwhile. This professional development opportunity pushed me to reevaluate and analyze my priorities in the classroom. I found great comfort in knowing the work I prepared for each component immediately impacted students in my current classroom, which was different from education courses I have taken in the past. Overall, it has been a humbling and inspiring experience.

Kari Jungclaus, Rapid Valley Elementary, Rapid City Area School District
As I pursued National Board Certification, having a cohort of teachers going through the same experience helped me stay focused on my goal and also offered support and encouragement along the way.

One of the most important aspects of pursuing National Board Certification for me was becoming a more reflective practitioner. Analyzing my own instructional practices helped me be more intentional and purposeful in my teaching. It was an amazing form of personal and professional development.

Karen McGuigan, West Middle School, Rapid City Area School District
I chose to take part in both the state cohort and another within my district. Having people who have gone through this process was invaluable. Their guidance and support helped me to focus my efforts on developing myself as an educator.

National Boards components force you to reflect on every aspect of teaching. Continual reflection and improvement are what make good teachers even better. I decided to pursue National Board Certification because I was ready to be an even better teacher.

Cari Olson, English Learners Program Coordinator, Harrisburg School District
National Board Certification requires extensive technical writing. As part of the cohort, I was teamed with incredible mentors who probed for deeper reflection on decisions I initially thought were made automatically but were actually evidence of knowing and implementing best practice. I also valued their suggestions for replacing narrative-style writing, which sounds nice, with straightforward evidence, which scores higher.

All fees are reimbursed, and there’s a stipend. The feeling of accomplishment in completing this challenge is highly rewarding. I grew as a professional through a level of reflection and analysis I haven’t experienced in any other process.

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