NBCT Leadership Initiative
During the last decade, policy leaders have come to realize what parents have always known — teachers make more difference in student achievement than any other single school-based factor. However, studies also consistently reveal that poor students and those of color are far less likely to be taught by qualified, well-supported, and effective teachers. For example, researchers have shown that National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) — now almost 64,000 nationwide — tend to produce higher student achievement gains, but they are less likely to be found teaching in high-needs schools.
Nearly 13,000 NBCTs are teaching in North Carolina — of which almost 2,000 have specialties in math and science. Recently, the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ) surveyed almost 1,400 NBCTs statewide to learn of their current teaching experiences and their interest in spreading their expertise outside their classrooms. Almost 1,000 NBCTs expressed a strong interest in assisting out-of-field teachers as well as improving professional development programs and recruiting and preparing new teachers. Currently, more than 150 of these expert teachers have signed up with CTQ and its Teacher Leaders Network to provide virtual mentoring support to improve teaching quality in three high-needs school districts.
In order to meet these goals, the NBCT Leadership Initiative will offer a menu of services to schools and districts, from which they may select strategies that best align with their current priorities and programs. CTQ’s services are designed to serve as a supplement to other support efforts already in place. The menu includes any combination of the following:
- Supporting teacher education students and beginning teachers (in years one through three) via online mentoring;
- Creating a cohort of teachers (at any experience level) in high-needs schools to pursue the Take One! ® process (where teachers analyze video tapes of their own math and science lessons);
- Organizing a cohort of interested teachers (with at least three years of experience) in high-needs schools to pursue National Board Certification®; and
- Providing online mentoring to mathematics and science teachers out-of-field and assist them to become qualified and effective.
In spring 2008, NBCT participants initiated a virtual learning community using TLN’s networking platform. With these technology tools as the building blocks and TLN’s unique expertise in nurturing virtual communities serving as the “cement,” NBCT coaches will be able to spread their expertise by joining with new and out-of-field teachers outside the typical confines of the school day and geographical proximity.