Gina Fumai, a special education mathematics teacher at William Floyd High School, recently became a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT), a certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). NBCT is a rigorous and voluntary certification process that requires teachers to demonstrate standards-based evidence of the positive effect they have on student learning and exhibit a deep understanding of their students, the content knowledge, use of data and assessments and teaching practice. Teachers must also show that they participate in learning communities and provide evidence of ongoing reflection and continuous learning.
Ms. Fumai describes the one-year process to become an NBCT as a “special” one that helped her analyze and reflect upon student engagement and reactions; and one that provided her with an opportunity to learn and improve her craft. “I find myself watching every minuscule detail of my teaching to improve in the moment,” she said.
Ms. Fumai is William Floyd’s fourth NBCT joining her colleagues Lillian Bilello (English, William Floyd High School); Christine Rosado (math, William Floyd High School); and Mary Siano (special education, William Floyd Elementary School) in achieving this prestigious national credential. She thanked them for their invaluable encouragement and support throughout the process. “The collegiality is what sets William Floyd apart,” she said.
In addition to teaching, Ms. Fumai serves as a co-advisor of the William Floyd High School Step Squad, which she sees as a great opportunity to work with and mentor students in a different capacity. She also serves as a mentor to first-year teachers and as a Mathematics Ambassador for professional development workshops. Ms. Fumai is a William Floyd High School graduate, Class of 2006.
Becoming an NBCT is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 teaching which provides numerous benefits to teachers, students and their schools. It was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. While teacher licensure systems set the requirements to teach in each state, completion of the NBCT signifies that teachers have voluntarily gone much further; and have developed and demonstrated the advanced knowledge, skills and practices required of an outstanding educator. Certification consists of four components: a written assessment of content knowledge, reflection on student work samples, video and analysis of teaching practice and documented impact and accomplishments as a teaching professional.