National Writing Project

Top Teacher Chronicles Pursuit of National Board Certification

Publication: Washington Post Magazine
Date: February 17, 2008

Summary: After a year of intensive study, Emmet Rosenfeld of the Northen Virginia Writing Project missed national certification by 10 points. Rosenfeld is undeterred, however. He aims to reach the highest level of the profession.


Excerpt from Article

For me, as an English teacher at one of the nation's top high schools and a former Outward Bound instructor, building the canoe with 10th-graders who were more comfortable using a graphing calculator than an ax seemed like a perfect way to combine hands-on learning with our humanities curriculum. The yearlong project, undertaken in collaboration with three other teachers and the help of a local boat-building group, became the centerpiece of our course.

My own year, however, was also marked by another all-consuming project. Over the months that the canoe was taking form, I was pursuing an advanced professional certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The process was demanding, requiring hundreds of hours of work and challenging me to think about my teaching in ways I never had before. If I succeeded in getting certified, I would be among fewer than 2 percent of educators nationwide to have reached the highest level of the profession.

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Read "Teaching for the Test" in the Washington Post Magazine.

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