Hazelwood School District Teacher Named a National Board Certified Teacher

Tracy Hinds, instructional specialist at Twillman Elementary School, has been named a National Board Certified Teacher, NBCT, through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. This is the highest credential available to American educators. Hinds earned her certification in literacy: reading-language arts/ early and middle childhood. Hinds joins the 15 other National Board Certified Teachers in the Hazelwood School District.

National Board President and CEO Dr. Ron Thorpe praised Hinds’ accomplishment, noting, “National Board Certification represents the pinnacle of professional accomplishment in teaching.”

Hinds said she is honored to have earned her certification, and called the process a journey.

“It took me three years to complete my certification, At times it could have been easy to get discouraged,” said Hinds. “This certification really is considered one of the highest levels of certification in our field, and I’m honored to say I have completed it. It is like that extra stamp of approval.

“I learned a lot through this process.  It gave me the time to reflect on my instructional practice and evaluate how my students respond to my teaching. I was able to use the feedback I was given to help make me a better teacher to my students,” she said.

Twillman Elementary School Principal Dr. Brenda Harris praised Hinds accomplishment.

“We are so proud of Tracy’s achievement, which is a testament to her tenacity and resilience as a continuous learner,” said Harris. “This accomplishment establishes her as a tremendous resource for students, staff and stakeholders across the district.”

According to the National Board, as a NBCT, Hinds is joining more than 100,000 NBCTs who are the forerunners of effective teaching nationwide.  National Board Certification is improving the culture of learning in classrooms, schools and districts.

The National Board was formed in 1987, with teachers at the core of its mission. Accomplished teachers developed their standards, and serve on their governing board, certification council and hold key staff roles throughout the organization. The National Board has developed the nation’s highest teaching standards, which lead to improved teaching, leading and learning.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan lauded the Board’s achievements: “The ranks of NBCTs can’t grow fast enough. More and more compelling data illustrate how high teaching standards and rigorous peer review pay off through increased student achievement.”

NBCTs earn certification through an intensive, multi-year process of standards-based performance assessment and peer review. National Board Certification is comparable to the certification processes for the medical, legal and other major professions.

National Board Certification is a voluntary, three-year process, consisting of a two-part assessment. The assessment consists of a portfolio and assessment center exercises. In order to be eligible for certification, a teacher must: hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution; have a minimum of three years teaching experience and hold a state teaching license.

The portfolio entries represent an analysis classroom practice. Teachers must submit videos of their teaching and reflections of their teaching practice and the effects of that practice on student learning.

Teachers must complete six assessment exercises that demonstrate their content knowledge. Hinds said some of the topics of her assessments included reading comprehension, writing and analyzing student reading.

She credits her involvement on the assessment literacy committee to helping her complete her certification.

“The process of implementing assessment literacy practices helped me reflect on my instructional strategies,” said Hinds. “I was able to apply a lot of that to my instruction and portfolio. The ideas and practices we discussed during assessment literacy gave me the opportunity to guide my students, and help them become more involved in their learning.”

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