CHARLESTON, W. Va.– Sixty-one West Virginia teachers were honored Wednesday night in Charleston for achieving the highest credential in the teaching profession.
Those teachers earned the National Board Certification for 2012 and the West Virginia Department of Education recognized them at a ceremony at the Clay Center.
Williamstown High School Science teacher Jaime Seltzer was one of those teachers honored at the Clay Center and she couldn’t be happier.
“It’s a lot of work to get here,” she said. “A lot of people compare it to getting a masters degree or getting a doctorate and a lot of people take up to three years to pass so I feel very happy that I am here on my first time.”
The National Board Certification is a voluntary assessment program designed to recognize and reward great teachers and make them better. It’s mission is to establish high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do.
Seltzer said the program is one of a kind.
“National Boards more than anything else that I’ve seen really lays out a blueprint for how to be a good teacher and what best practice really is and how you can improve,” said Seltzer.
As part of the program, teachers have to take six subject matter based written tests that take about a half hour each and complete four portfolios, two of which are videos where a teacher tapes themselves teaching and then writes an analysis paper on what they did wrong and what they did right.
Seltzer said it takes a lot of time and effort, but it’s worth it in the end.
“I think that National Boards gives you a lot to work with and it kind of lays out what you need to do to be really good,” Seltzer said. “I think this should be something that everybody at least looks at even if they don’t give it a try.”
This year’s honorees bring the number of National Board Certified Teachers in West Virginia schools to 700. Across the country, 102,237 teachers have become National Board Certified.