January 11, 2022 -- Two of Columbus City Schools’ own recently completed an esteemed journey of personal and professional development. Indian Springs Elementary Teacher Heather Uncapher and Huy/AG Bell Teacher Jennie DeMarco are the District’s newest National Board Certified Teachers (NBCT).
National Board Certification is the most respected professional certification available in education and provides numerous benefits to teachers, students, and schools. It was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide.
The process isn't easy, but it's worth it. It strengthens both the teaching profession and individual practice. There are currently 69 NBCT teachers in the District.
National Board Certification is an advanced teaching credential. As part of this process, teachers must analyze their teaching context and students’ needs, submit videos of their teaching, and provide student work samples that demonstrate growth and achievement.
NBCTs must also successfully complete Maintenance of Certification (MOC) every five years to keep their certification active.
Uncapher said the knowledge she gained through the program fostered personal growth and changed her approach to teaching.
“The process allowed me to study and reflect on my own teaching practices,” Uncapher said. “It actually helped me to gain much-needed confidence in myself as a teacher. Which in turn, helped me to make adjustments that were beneficial to both my students and myself.”
DeMarco shared words of wisdom for fellow teachers considering National Board Certification.
“This certification process has influenced every level of my teaching from forming assessments to planning and instruction, to prior knowledge of my students and families and how to build relationships with families and communities, as well as understanding the true depth of the teaching profession. Simply put, it has forever changed me into a better practitioner, teacher, facilitator, colleague, and friend. One cannot separate the positive impact this process can offer to one’s personal and professional life.”
The National Board was established as the profession’s vehicle for defining and recognizing accomplished teaching. Since 1987, recognized as the gold standard in teacher certification, the National Board believes higher standards for teachers mean better learning for students.