*Mrs. Aimee Wren
I am currently in the 13th year of my education career. I have taught middle school math, 1st grade, 2nd grade, & co-taught Kindergarten as both a Special Education & General Education teacher. I love my role as a Kindergarten teacher, where I have the pleasure of not only teaching students to identify letters, sounds, and numbers, but apply those foundational skills to become readers, writers, and problem solvers. My first priority in my classroom is to establish an environment where students feel accepted, valued, loved, & safe. In our classroom, we become family, and our learners accomplish more when their basic needs are met.
I graduated from Benedictine University with a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education & later received my LBS1 & Special Education Endorsement from St. Francis University. I have served the district as a middle school basketball & softball coach, as well as participated on a variety of committees. It brings me great joy to add knowledge & value to our school district & community in any way that I can.
I chose to pursue my National Board Certificate because I wanted to challenge myself as an educator while providing more value directly to my students throughout the process. The NBCT process felt like the most natural as it aligns with our professional teaching & learning standards.
The process was difficult due to my timing of entering the process the first year immediately following the shutdown of schools, as well as all of the constantly changing guidelines & mitigation for both school years that I was working through the process. The challenge to be sure to include clear & convincing evidence, while also navigating my classroom in a new way for the first time was difficult at times, but also allowed me to really analyze my teaching & adjust accordingly in the process. I also had my third baby while completing my first two components, which added a special personal challenge on top of the previously mentioned challenges.
Reflecting & adjusting is a natural part of education, so while it happens constantly for all educators, I found it very rewarding to analyze very specific components or pieces of my daily activities in order to adjust them immediately to serve the needs of all of my students, but more specifically those with IEPs, as I certified as an Exceptional Needs Specialist. I enjoyed the process of reviewing what worked for certain students & why, while also analyzing what didn’t work & how I could adjust those activities or lessons in the future to meet their specific needs. I love learning more about my students, what motivates them, & what makes them who they are, so this process really helped me dive deeper into that process while also analyzing myself as an educator.
I would tell anyone thinking about entering into this process to not be scared to ask questions, challenge your own thinking, challenge the thinking of others respectfully, and go through the process with other people in similar situations to yourself. Being able to discuss ideas & help each other through the process made all the difference for me on the difficult days. It seems rigorous & long, but it really is a valuable process worth the time you put in.
The process has provided me with the insight & tools to dive deeper into the why & how of my teaching practice. It has given me the opportunity to step back & analyze my teaching so that I can better meet the needs of my students, their families, & my colleagues. It also has provided me with a larger toolbox of ideas to adjust my instruction in order to meet the needs of students in areas that may have gotten overlooked otherwise.