This is an article we wrote and the local paper published it:
Shannon Henderson was one of 250 teachers who were honored at a Governor’s luncheon on April 26, 2008. The 250 teachers and their guests attended the ceremony at the Robinson Center Exhibition Hall in Little Rock. Governor Beebe addressed the group, expressing his excitement and gratitude for the accomplishment.
“National Board Certification is the most prestigious credential a teacher can earn. Like board-certified doctors and accountants, teachers who achieve National Board Certification have met rigorous standards through intensive study, expert evaluation, self-assessment and peer review,” said National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) President and CEO Joseph A. Aguerrebere. “Research is consistently positive about the impact of National Board Certification on improvements in teacher practice and areas of school improvement critical to raising student achievement.”
“It was a lot of hard work. I am very proud of what I accomplished. It definitely made me more reflective about my teaching,” Henderson said. She also stated, “If a child is not learning, I can reflect on that and look at what I can do better or differently to help the student (and future students) gain that knowledge. I feel more prepared to handle a wide variety of skills and challenges students may present. I’ve gained more skills and have access to a lot more resources than I had before. Getting my Master’s degree gave me the background knowledge for teaching, but going through the Certification process helped me apply that knowledge to my everyday teaching.”
Though Henderson is the first teacher in the Prescott School District to receive NBCT status, there are several other teachers currently working toward certification.
As described by the NBPTS, National Board Certification is a voluntary assessment program designed to recognize and reward great teachers—and make them better. While state licensing systems set basic requirements to teach in each state, National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) have successfully demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices. Certification is achieved through a rigorous, performance-based assessment that typically takes one to three years to complete.
As part of the process, teachers build a portfolio that includes student work samples, assignments, videotapes and a thorough analysis of their classroom teaching. Additionally, teachers are assessed on their knowledge of the subjects they teach.
According to NBPTS, Arkansas ranked ninth in the nation for the number of new NBCTs in 2007. Arkansas also showed a 23 percent increase in the number of NBCTs overall versus the previous year.