Arcola School District to Engage in Powerful Professional Development
The Arcola School District was recently notified by the Director of the National Board Resource Center located at Illinois State University that they were one of twenty-five school districts in Illinois chosen to participate in a research-based model of support to improve teacher effectiveness. The notice included the following message:
Congratulations on being selected as a National Board Professional Development School for the 2018-2019 cycle. This is an exciting time for your teachers, administrators and students and we are ecstatic to add your school/district to this prestigious list.
The district will have thirteen teachers participating in this full-year cohort program on teacher effectiveness. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards were born in 1987 on a federal level. The National Board was then established as the profession’s vehicle for defining and recognizing accomplished teaching.
According to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website (http://www.nbpts.org/), years of research have resulted in the following findings regarding teachers that get their National Board Certification:
- Students learn more. A decade of research shows that students of Board-certified teachers learn more than their peers without Board-certified teachers. Studies have also found that the positive impact of having a Board-certified teacher is even greater for minority and low-income students.
- Teachers improve their practice. Board Certification allows teachers to hone their practice, showcase their talent in the classroom and demonstrate their dedication to their students and their profession.
- Demonstrate a commitment to excellence. Schools with National Board Certified Teachers are characterized by better teacher morale and retention and increased community involvement. Districts and schools that want to drive student learning recognize the power of Board certification and are taking steps to empower and raise the status of accomplished teachers.
To receive National Board Certification, teachers must demonstrate proficiency in four domains. The 2018-2019 Arcola Cohort will focus on two of the four components:
- Domain #2: Differentiation in Instruction: Teachers use student work to analyze and reflect on student performance and justify evidence-based teaching strategies. Teachers articulate their teaching practice in collaborative conversations with other educators in a dynamic, professional learning community throughout the school year
- Domain #4: Effective and Reflective Practitioner: Teachers develop a portfolio with evidence of their impact upon the school community.
This initiative directly aligns to two of the district strategic goals; the improvement in classroom instruction aligned to the district Pillar of Excellence for Teaching and the focus on retaining highly qualified teachers (access the following link for more information on the district strategic goals - http://www.arcola.k12.il.us/strategic-planning-and-school-improvement).
This opportunity was made possible because of the strong partnership between the Arcola Teacher Association and the Arcola School Board. The School Board created incentives for teachers to participate in the program and the teachers’ association agreed that teachers involved in the program must make a three-year commitment to the district following completion of the program. This will be a win-win for the district and for teachers. But, the biggest winners in the process will be the students of the Arcola District.