About 400 Clark County teachers at head of the class

first_img Information from the state of Washington on becoming a National Board Certified Teacher‘We’re going to sing the ABCs because?” Kay Ellison sang to the 15 kindergarten students who entered the library.The students sang back: “The library’s in alphabetical order!”After Ellison and the kindergartners belted out “The ABC Song,” they sat down for story time. Ellison opened a picture book about school children in Chad. Throughout the story, Ellison paused to point out the African nation on a globe, to repeat phrases from the book and to ask questions.Ellison, a teacher-librarian at Vancouver Public Schools’ Marshall Elementary, is one of about 400 teachers in Clark County who have earned prestigious National Board Certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.A total of 6,817 teachers statewide, more than 13 percent of the state’s teachers, have received the advanced teaching credential, which is valid for 10 years. It complements, but does not replace, a teacher’s license from the state.The certification process takes between 200 and 400 hours. Candidates complete 10 assessments, which are reviewed by trained teachers in their certificate areas. Some teachers, like Ellison, completed the certification in a year. Others take up to three years. Not all teachers who attempt the certification attain it.Teachers pay $2,500 to go through the certification process. If they become certified, the investment pays off; National Board Certified Teachers receive an annual $5,000 state-funded stipend. If they teach in a challenging school, determined by the number of students who receive free or reduced-price lunch, NBCTs receive an additional $5,000. “I was really interested in learning about how I could be a better teacher and just focus on teaching. And the National Board Certification does that.” — Kay Ellison, Marshall Elementary teacher-librarianlast_img read more