I want the world to know I work hard to teach my students the principles of biology. Moreover, I want the world to reinforce the necessity of continued professional development and collaboration among teaching professionals.
Does being national board certified actually make you a better biology teacher? That is something each individual must answer for themselves.
I am in the middle of renewing my National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS.org) certification as a teacher of biology. So, my answer is, apparently, ”yes.” But what IS the value of reflection in teaching? Should we really take time to self-evaluate?
In my case, I have never given up the good fight of pursuing excellence like Dr. Richard Kimble’s pursuit of the “One Armed Man.” The strange part is, like the fugitive himself, I often feel like I am the one being pursued. Educational stakeholders–our students, parents, and communities–have every right to demand excellence in education.
But are they the ones pursuing me? No. Typically, they are the ones supporting our efforts to educate America’s youth.
Those in pursuit are those who fail to understand the actual rigor to which professionals hold THEMSELVES. If we want to regain the respect professional educators once held, we must make it obvious that we DO monitor ourselves, that we DO pursue difficult tasks because they are good for all, and that we DO intend our students to make positive progress in a complicated world. This is why I am renewing my National Board Certification.
Make no mistake…this is a difficult, reflective process. The process forces me to look inward at how I really spend my energy, and outward at the results attained. It WILL make me a better teacher.
Because biology education is more critical than ever in a world moving ever faster, can we rely on professionals to self-reflect and improve on their own? Outside of rigorous processes like the NBPTS, we are the ones who encourage each other to improve, and the NABT is our rally point.
How do we involve more professionals in the NABT?
This is the question that we need to answer….