the fork in the road

I’m midway through my fifth year teaching, and I’ve been considering what paths to take as my teaching career progresses. My headmasters recommended getting my principal certification via the Principal Residency Network, and I’ve also been interested in applying for National Board Certification. Whatever I choose would likely happen in 2014-2015. This is my first year taking on administrative duties (11th/12th team leader, IB coordinator, CAS coordinator), and I would like to get more experience and improve at each of these. This is also my first year coaching debate, which I am enjoying, so I’d like to improve at that too.

For those of you who’ve decided to pursue either of these two options, what made you choose it and why? What advice do you have for someone in my position?

1) Principal Residency Network

2) National Board Certification

Photo Credit: Designing a Champion Blog


  • Janet Abercrombie

    I’ve done both. I pursued NBPTS certification because I was writing about Performance Pay in Education and wanted to know about the program that resulted in higher pay for many US teachers. I was teaching overseas at the time and wanted to be able to go back to the US and teach in any state – and I heard that NBPTSs could automatically get licenses in most states. In case my Oregon license expired…(which it has)…

    Principal certification: I did that through The College of New Jersey in Mallorca, Spain. I HAD to spend three summers in the Balearic Islands ;). Michigan has a summer admin program in Madrid. What I appreciate most about admin certification is that I look at issues through a system-wide lens, rather than a classroom-only lens. Even if you never take an admin position, the system-wide thinking is helpful.

    If you have the inclination to travel, find an overseas program. If you have to read something boring, it might as well be by a pool with the occasional sangria 🙂

    I’m starting my first admin position this next week – in Australia. Very excited (and nervous). Let me know what you decide!

    • Appetite for Instruction

      Thanks for your insights! Would you recommend doing NBCT first? My headmaster said that once you do principal certification, your school life can get more skewed toward the administrative stuff and it’ll be harder to do NBCT.

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