Bronxville High School teacher Beth Agarabi received a National Board Certification, which is the highest credential an educator can receive, after logging more than 160 hours of hard work over the course of a year.
Offered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the National Board Certification is a voluntary advanced teaching credential that was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers. According to its website, it is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education and it allows teachers to hone their practice, showcase their talent in the classroom and demonstrate dedication to their students and profession.
“Beth Agarabi is a dedicated professional who always puts her students at the forefront of her planning and instruction,” Principal Ann Meyer said. “She worked tirelessly to apply for National Board Certification, which is a significant time commitment. We are thrilled that she has received the certification.”
The rigorous certification process requires teachers to demonstrate standards-based evidence of the positive effect they have on student-learning in four components, each of which includes five core principles. With the exception of the first component, which is a computer-based test, each component requires a lengthy, focused analytical writing and reflection. Although most educators who pursue the National Board Certification are allowed one to three years to complete the required coursework, Agarabi earned the certification in just one year and successfully completed the four components: content knowledge, differentiation in instruction, teaching and learning environment, and reflective and effective practitioner.
“This process has humbled me to think about our roles in and out of the classroom,” Agarabi said. “We, educators, possess such an integral role to affect change and move the dial towards greatness in our worlds. Teaching requires a reflective lens, but I find myself asking more meaningful questions ranging from ‘Why will I teach this?’ to ‘How will this skill or unit impact our learners to contribute meaningfully beyond Bronxville?’”
Agarabi – who has taught students in sixth through 12th grade throughout her 31-year teaching career – earned her National Board Certification in the field of English language arts/adolescence and young adulthood (ages 14-18). Now in her 23rd year of teaching at Bronxville, she currently teaches English to seniors and freshmen and speech and debate to grades 9-12. Agarabi said she is fortunate to be an educator at the Bronxville School.
“Bronxville has always been a second home,” Agarabi said. “Our colleagues are highly dedicated and pure fun to be around, and our students are so amazing – their sincerity, warmth, passion and compassion create such a dynamic, fluid partnership. And this state is fostered even more by our parents – people who have so much to say and bring to us.”
Despite the rigorous process and the fact that only a small percentage of the nation’s teachers achieve it, Agarabi said she was proud of her achievement and wants to encourage more educators to become certified.