Now is the time for school librarians to consider pursuing becoming a National Board Certified librarian for the 2007/2008 school year. Getting your National Board Certification™ involves two major components: 1) the portfolio component (candidates must write and accumulate documentation for four portfolios on various aspects of librarianship); and, 2) the assessment component, where candidates take a test on six different portions of librarianship. Overall, candidates can expect to spend 200 to 400 hours on portfolio and assessment preparation. Is all this time and energy worth it? You bet!! As one who has gone through the process and achieved certification, I can honestly say that I have gained tremendous insight and capabilities in my work as a result of this process. I am a more thoughtful collaborator with my staff, and I now focus on how we can meet the needs of all learners when planning units. I have strengthened my ties with the community and my students, and I have enhanced technology integration into many more of our lessons this year. Overall, I am a better educator in the areas of community, leadership, and learning.
The cost of the certification process usually can be defrayed by applying for state and/or national funding, or by applying for grants through various organizations. The earlier candidates try to apply for state/national funding, the better. Typically, candidates can start this process in April of the preceding school year. Check out the National Board Certification™ website at www.nbpts.org for details on funding and all aspects of board certification. It’s a journey that is worth the effort.
Librarian, Eldorado K-8, Superior, CO