Receiving national recognition
Social Science teacher Nick Madrid and Spanish teacher Diana De La Cruz were awarded by the National Board Certification, an organization that recognizes teachers that complete a specific certification process. The Hoofprint interviewed the two teachers about their accomplishments.
Sajjan Sandhu: When did you find out you were a National Board Certified Teacher?
Madrid: Mr. Maine came into my class and told me. At first, I didn’t know what he was going to say because I hadn’t looked at the results yet. This was my second time applying, so I didn’t want to look, but after he came and told me, I was relieved.
Sandhu: How would you describe the experience of becoming a National Board Certified Teacher?
Madrid: It’s a hard experience. There is a lot of paperwork that goes into it, and you have to keep track of everything. The hardest part is the philosophy of teaching behind everything, which is explaining your process. A lot of times, teachers do it naturally, but to stop and think about how to explain — it’s a difficult process.
Sandhu: How does this affect your teaching career?
Madrid: I don’t think it will change anything about my teaching career. There are great teachers who don’t have it and there are great teachers who have [the certification]. It doesn’t determine whether someone is a great teacher or not, and it’s not going to change what I’ve been doing. I just want to continue to do well and continue to evolve.
Sandhu: What is the process of becoming a National Board Certified Teacher?
De La Cruz: There are four components that you need to finish. Part of it is showing your expertise in your subject area and then there is another portion that has to do with the evaluation of students. The third portion is evaluating my teaching, so I have to videotape my classes. Mr. Yamashiro and his students helped videotape our classes last year. The fourth portion was the reflection piece where you have to analyze data from your classes — analyzing how and why you integrate certain assessment strategies in your class.
Sandhu: What were some incentives that made you want to become a National Board Certified Teacher?
De La Cruz: A couple of years ago, a couple of the teachers on our campus took on the challenge to become National Board Certified. It shows that you’re a competent teacher — that you would be recognized nationally. There’s also a small stipend that the district offers with that, but more than anything, it just shows that you are a qualified teacher.
Sandhu: What impact has this journey had on you?
De La Cruz: This has allowed me to collaborate more with some of my other colleagues that I normally would not have worked with. I worked with Mr. Madrid, Mrs. Booth, Mrs. Lyons and Mrs. Maletz. Being able to work with my colleagues was one of the benefits of going through the process.
By Sajjan Sandhu, Staff writer
Photos by Mia Nam