In 1998, I was just a "kindergarten teacher." However, I was also a grieving daughter. Grieving from the loss of my 51 year old mother to a dreadful disease--BREAST CANCER. Through my phases of healing from this loss, I vowed to keep my mother's memory alive in my classroom & others throughout our state.
You see, my mother was also a dynamic teacher who wanted nothing more than to be Nationally Board Certified! Cancer took her form this earth before that dream was realized.
So... each teacher I coach through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) program is to me crossing the finish line once again for my mother.
As I "jumped in" to the NBPTS process, I was only a four-year novice of the field. In addition, the NBPTS process itself was only four years old.
There were plenty of naysayers silently (and sometimes publicly) pronouncing things like..."She'll never get it." "She's still a green-horn." "Why don't you just get your master's degree? It is more valuable."
I went through this process with another teacher, Ellen, as my partner. I was too early in the NBCTS program to actually have a "pro" guide me on what to do.
The best part of being one of the first achieving classes of NBCTS was the long list of mistakes we had to make to grow us stronger. These mistakes proved to be the central reason I achieved National Board Certification on my FIRST try as a NOVICE teacher... And probably a lot of help from Heaven above!
To be a successful teacher, you must be a master of analytical & reflective planning.
This is an art I learned early in my career *(year two to be exact) and something I thought at the time was wasting my time and energy.
The ability to unpack knowledge and requirements is the single biggest skill I used to achieve certification; what I am now a master at teaching others.
"Brag on myself? But I'm not 'that' kind of teacher. I share collaborate, and work unselfishly for the love and respect of my students."
This is the way I felt until NBPTS process taught me that without a genuine knowledge of what "I" am doing (right or wrong), I could never affect student achievement at the level I was hoping to achieve.
Therefore, I quickly learned to toot my own horn and name my mistakes as I make them. I am the best teacher and coach I have ever know because I am now REAL with myself."
My coaching style evolved from the mistakes that I made throughout the process.
This style of "just the right questioning" at "just the right time" leads my mentee into a reflective mindset that supports a shift toward amazing professional growth.
The NBPTS process is about growing and my greatest accomplishments come when I see "the story" become clear for my mentees.
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