RICH TOWNSHIP TEACHERS WORK TOWARD NATIONAL BOARD CERTIFICATION
For teachers who pursue the program, obtaining National Board Certification can be a rigorous endeavor, but even in the midst of COVID-19, teachers from the Rich Township High School District 227, are taking on the challenge. The teachers are supported by the National Board Resource Center at Illinois State University and the Illinois National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Comprehensive Support System.
The National Board Certification takes between one and three years to obtain. Once they complete the program, teachers are recognized for demonstrating advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices.
According to the National Board of Professional Standards, there are five core propositions for teaching including: teachers are committed to students and their learning, teachers should know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students, teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning, teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience, and teachers are members of learning communities.
Ronette Lusby is a special education teacher at Rich East Campus High School in Park Forest, Ill. Lusby, who has been at Rich Township for more than 14 years, said she wanted to go through the program because she wanted to be a better teacher who could more effectively teach her students. “It’s one of the highest levels you can receive in being able to say that I am a well-rounded teacher, that I’ve explored this craft and I am the best teacher that I can be, at this point,” she said.
Lusby discussed going through the program during unprecedented times and trying to reach the minds of students. She said right now, the challenge has been to find ways to produce the expected results when they aren’t physically in the classroom. “It has really taken the teacher to be as creative as possible to understand, I have to find a different way to take data, I have to find a different way to teach this lesson to see if they understand it,” she said.
With the population that Lusby teaches, the parents are online during the lessons with the students. She said the parents are seeing what is expected of their children during this process. She said the reading required for this part of the program has helped her to understand how to excel as a teacher.
“You’re absolutely thinking outside the box, every single second. And, you’re constantly self-evaluating yourself as a teacher. That’s actually the one thing I do appreciate. After all of the reading and the studying and different things that we’re doing, I’m like okay, what could I have done better to do better next time. It’s really making me analyze what I already have been doing for the past 16 years,” she said.
Lusby said she always wanted to do National Board Certification. She said when the opportunity presented itself, she decided to go for it. She said she’s always challenging herself and she thought, what better way to challenge herself than to go through the process during COVID-19 at a time when students are learning remotely.
“This is a time that is going to make or break you as an educator,” she said. “Why not continue to further my craft so in the event that something like this were to happen again, I would be more than prepared.”