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Credit Where It’s Due

A look into the meaning behind National Board Certification

While teachers have many moments of unsung heroism and recognition well deserved, one of the more prestigious honors that a handful of Camas High School instructors hold is the National Board Certification;  misunderstood and vastly undervalued by many students, this qualification is equally hard to obtain as it is under-celebrated.

Camas teachers, such as Mrs. Wittwer, work hard to ensure their students receive the best education possible. Courtesy Google.

Many students in Camas have most likely heard their teacher mention this certification before, as Camas School District is lucky enough to have so many teachers willing to put the time and effort needed to be granted this status. There are very few students, however, who stop and are interested enough to actually ask their teacher what this means. Mrs. Gonzalez, a Spanish teacher at Camas is one of these teachers who has a long history of teaching under this certification, and was able to explain the logistics of qualification:

“In terms of employment, the National Board Certification means that I can teach in any state in the US as opposed to having to obtain a different certificate (with different requirements) for each state where I want to work. Employers see this certificate as evidence of my commitment to being the best teacher I can be. Personally, it means that I have achieved a challenge which I set for myself. I have always looked for new challenges. I have been certified for ten years. I renewed last year, so this certificate is valid for another ten years.”

Besides allowing such versatility in teaching location, being nationally certified is a very impressive feather to have in the cap of any instructor, as the application process is very time consuming as well as arduous in nature. Currently, applications have a few years to apply in segments, and the process includes various reflection pieces, as the teacher must videotape class segments and then reflect and write up an entry in a sort of metacognitive process.

While it can be easily seen that this application procedure is incredibly tedious and specific, when asked about the end result of having obtained certification, Mrs. Gonzalez explained that “I believe that the benefits of this process are great. Most teachers think about their teaching. There are, however,  questions in this process which I would not have asked myself,  and they forced me to stretch my thinking. I believe that my students benefit from this.”

The Camas High School is beyond fortunate to have so many instructors who truly care about providing their students with a top-notch education and who are willing to go through the steps needed to obtain the status of Nationally Board Certified. The eagerness and enthusiasm that these instructors show all across the district is a crucial aspect of what makes this school district truly extraordinary, and The Camasonian would like to take a moment to recognize and extend out most sincere thank you for all the hard work that these teachers put in to make the Camas School District so fantastic.

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