New Year, New Goals

Susan Collins National Board Certification, Professional Development

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It’s the beginning of a new school year.

Will this year be better than last? I hope so!

The beginning of the year causes many people to start considering what they will do differently or improve upon with a fresh start.

My district requires teachers to have goals as part of their evaluation. The goals are on different levels: district, school, grade level or department, and individual. I’ve always set goals, but this design makes me accountable for following through on them.

This year I set a goal that does not directly tie into my evaluation. I want to get more teachers on the road to National Board certification in my district. I have presented at the principal’s meeting and set forth the challenge to have two teachers from every campus ready to start the certification process by this time next year. I have a long-range goal of having 5% of our licensed staff National Board Certified by 2026.

So now, all of you are my accountability. I’m putting this in writing and posting it on the blog site. I also stated these goals to the leaders of my district.

As I write this, I’m preparing for the information session with teachers who want to learn more about the process. As part of that process, I have been reflecting on the five core propositions of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).

What are the five core propositions?

I’m glad you asked!

The five core propositions of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards encapsulate what accomplished teaching looks like at all levels and in all subjects. They are the basis of the standards and everything that being National Board Certification stands for.

Teachers are committed to students and their learning.

Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students.

Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.

Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.

Teachers are members of learning communities.

If these statements resonate with you, you might want to consider pursuing National Board Certification. In Arizona, the Arizona K12 Center supports candidates. You can find more information at

Check back on Stories for School Arizona for future posts that dive into each core proposition separately!



from What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, copywriter 2016


Susan Collins began her teaching career in 1991 in rural Mississippi. She served in 4 different communities in central and north Mississippi as a music educator, mostly elementary general music with one year as a middle school band director. She stepped out of working full-time in the classroom for 9 years when her children were very young but never left teaching. She set up an early childhood music studio and taught music from birth to age 5 (with an adult caregiver). Susan moved to Kingman in northwest rural Arizona in 2016 where she teaches k-5 general music. Susan achieved National Board Certification in the fall of 2016, just after moving to Arizona. She has served as a 2017-18 Arizona Hope Street Group Teacher Fellow and a Candidate Support Provider for National Board Candidates. She is passionate about advocating for the needs of rural schools and ensuring that every student receives an excellent education. When she is not teaching, advocating, or writing about education issues, she is outdoors hiking, reading, and going to musical performances. She can often be found off the grid pondering her next writing piece!

Comments 1

  1. Caitlin Gawlowski

    I think I could have written this same post. I was just reading the What book and getting ready for these same types of presentations in my district next week. Best of luck as you work on this goal!

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