This is my 19th year of teaching and my 11th year at Coal City Early Childhood Center. I have a dual Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Special Education from the University of Wyoming in 2001. I have a Master’s degree in Teaching and Learning from St. Xavier University in 2006.
Why did you want to become National Board Certified?
I wanted to become a National board-certified to sharpen my skills as an educator and improve my teaching. I did not want to go through another master’s degree program and this provided an avenue to challenge myself and grow as an educator.
What was the most difficult aspect of going through the process?
The most difficult part of the process for me was trying to figure out what I needed to show in my writing. I had to take National Board teaching standards and prove that I met those standards through analyzing my teaching, planning, and assessing. This is an individual process but it was so helpful having an onsite facilitator and cohort to collaborate and share ideas. I was also lucky to have colleagues who have gone through the process who were helpful along the way.
What was the most rewarding part of going through the process?
The most rewarding part of going through the process was getting to know my students beyond their academic needs. Through this process, you learn about the whole child and really use that knowledge to make the best decisions for each of them in your classroom. I often find myself thinking through “why” I am doing a lesson and what steps to take for children at different levels.
What advice would you give others that are thinking about starting the process?
I would say to find colleagues who have gone through the process before or who would be willing to go through it with you. It is so helpful to have collaboration through the process. It is also very important to meet your deadlines and not wait until the last minute. It is a process, so it takes time and may take many revisions before submitting.
How has this made you a better educator?
I think this process has made me a better educator because now I think through my lessons and think about what I need to do to meet the needs of all of my students. I reflect back after lessons and think about what went well and what did not. I can use that to guide my decisions as an educator.