The state recently released the results of all teachers across South Carolina and the numbers were down by 301 teachers. This year there were 497 compared to last year’s 798. This can be attributed to a number of factors including budget cuts and a lack of salary incentives for certification.
State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex, said in a release statement, "I congratulate our newest group of achievers. The National Board process requires a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication. Teachers tell me all the time that it strengthens what they do in the classroom. In the end, our students are the biggest beneficiaries."
The newly certified teachers are:
• Wendy Bramlett from Boundary Elementary
• Amy Orne from Reuben Elementary
• Susan Senn from Whitmire Community School
• Ashlie Harrell from Newberry High
• Amy Gallman, Sonya Robinson and Christi Vinson all from Pomaria-Garmany Elementary
The process of achieving national certification is not a brief one but it has many benefits for teachers and ultimately the students. The process is divided into two parts and can last anywhere from one to three years.
This test is long and tedious and when teachers go through the course, they must prepare a portfolio with tapes from their classroom in addition to preparing lesson plans, essays and exercises on top of their regular teaching schedule. The National Board is designed to take good teachers to great teachers. In South Carolina, the teachers take the state ranking of nationally certified board teachers to third place, just behind North Carolina and Florida.
The school budget cuts will also affect the next set of teachers applying for national board certification. Those who began after July 1 of this year will not be eligible to receive a loan for the application fee but they can apply for scholarships. Also, a $5,000 supplement for 10 years will be awarded but after that period, the supplement cannot be offered. It should be noted that the certificate is only good for 10 years.
However, this shouldn’t be a deterrent for teachers wishing to become nationally certified by the board. There is a great satisfaction in becoming nationally certified and being prepared with instructions to help out the students.