Congratulations to Latham Ridge Elementary teachers Nicole French and Amory Lawler who recently became National Board Certified Teachers!
Nicole French is in her 17th year at Latham Ridge Elementary and is thrilled to receive this certification.
“I loved the process,” said Mrs. French. “I had to think about my students needs as individuals instead of a whole class. It was very rewarding.”
To become a National Board certified teacher, individuals must submit four components within a three-year period. Three components involve written submissions and the fourth component is a test based on the individual’s knowledge of their teaching content and their teaching method. The certification has to be renewed every five years.
Mrs. French met with a group of National Board certified teachers to assist with her application. She worked closely with a group of five teachers across the state who were also completing the application. The group would FaceTime every other week bouncing ideas off each other.
When Mrs. French received her results, she had an immense feeling of relief and said it renewed a passion for teaching and her students. She successfully earned this distinction in two years and plans to attend a leadership summit for National Board Teachers in February.
“I met Nicole in 2008 when we were both doing work with the Capital District Writing Project and she took intentional steps to deepen her expertise as a writing instructor,” said Latham Ridge Elementary Principal Aaron Thiell. “More than ten years later it’s no surprise to find her seeking another outlet for reflection and growth like National Board Certification. She’s a model of dedication to kids and the craft of teaching.”
Amory Lawler has been a teacher for 19 years. She says she was always looking to improve herself and her teaching, and that’s exactly what the National Board Certification offered her. “I wanted to take my teaching to the next level,” she said.
One of the favorite parts of the process for the Reading Teacher at Latham Ridge Elementary was the reflecting on teaching as a whole and bouncing ideas off the other members in her cohort. This ties right into Mrs. Lawler’s love of teaching as a craft and the philosophical aspect of it.
The National Board offers conferences, retreats, and professional development to keep teachers who have earned the certification sharp. Mrs. Lawler says she could become a cohort leader for a new crop of National Board candidates, or choose to use her new certification to continue to help her fellow North Colonie teachers improve as well.
Mrs. Lawler has been working on her National Board certification for three years. She found out that she made it in December, when she was sent to the website and there were fireworks congratulating her on getting in.
“Amory joined the team at Latham Ridge last year and quickly established herself as someone who balances warmth and a smile with fierce intelligence and the quiet tenacity required to help kids grow as readers,” said Latham Ridge Elementary Principal Aaron Thiell. “The National Board community is lucky to count her among its ranks.”