With all the bad looming around education today, I chose to acknowledge the teachers in my district, across the state and across the country, who are preparing to submit their portfolios for National Board certification. About two weeks ago my district met with 68 teachers and told them they would not be offered a contract for next year. Despite this “white elephant” in our school, the National Board candidates continue to push themselves, push their practice and remain positive in the face of adversity. They continue to stand up and advocate for what is best for the kids at our school.
Last year at this time, they committed to going through and completing the National Board certification process. They could have walked away at any point, but they didn’t. Each teacher went through the process for different reasons; above all they wanted to be the best teacher for their students. They wanted to dig deeper and analyze their practice – provide students what they needed to be successful learners. The National Board candidates at my school hold a special place in my heart. They allowed me to follow their journey and research their process as part of my dissertation.
So today, March 28, 2011 I dedicate this blog to teachers across the state and country, who challenge their practice against the National Board Professional Teaching Standards, especially the teachers who participated in my research study. I am so proud of each of you for challenging your teaching practice, for stepping up and saying, “I want to be the best teacher I can for my students.” It became very clear just how much you care about your students and giving them what they need to be successful. Your passion and commitment to your students, parents, community and to the field of education is remarkable. I am honored and humbled that you allowed me to be part of your journey. I have grown as a teacher, an educator and a researcher because of you. You are an inspiration to all teachers and educators.
I cannot thank you enough.