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Albemarle Teachers Ahead in Earning Board Certification - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

More Albemarle Teachers Earn National Board Certification on First Try

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Teachers in Albemarle County are going the extra mile to make sure their students are learning. Eleven Albemarle County teachers earned national board certification this year.

Only 40 percent of teachers earn certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards the first time they try for it, but in Albemarle County the numbers are flipped. Nearly 70 percent of Albemarle County teachers who try for national certification pass the first time around, and that number is only going up.

Rebecca Bergey's students can tell she loves teaching.

"She smiles every day and she comes inside with high energy," said student Saad Khaleefa.

The Jouett Middle School teacher wants to help her students learn so much she just underwent a rigorous, year-long national certification process.

"The core question that the process really asked is, ‘are your students learning and can you prove that your students are learning?' So with that essential question I knew that it was something that I wanted to do," said Bergey.

The program challenged Bergey to constantly improve her lessons, to assess her students on a regular basis, and to collaborate with other teachers.

"I think it's really exciting that it's driven by the teachers. The teachers are the ones saying we care about this, we want to do this, we're going to take on extra work beyond what we already do because we want to see students learning," said Bergey.

Bergey is the first English as a second language teacher to earn national certification in Albemarle County, and one of only 70 in the state. She says she is motivated by her students' progress.

"They are the next generation, what I do for them will mean what our community will look like in the next 10, 20 years so I'm excited to be a part of that," said Bergey.

Bergey's story has created a ripple effect in the county. After she shared her experience with other teachers, 36 teachers from Albemarle County are undergoing national board certification, 12 of them also from Jouett Middle School. The goal in Albemarle County is to have 10 percent of teachers reach national board certification.

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