A Response to a Thank You

Fellow blogger and new NBCT, Amethyst Hinton-Sainz recently posted a blog thanking our district for supporting her through the National Board Certification process.  She got me thinking about possibilities, in fact teacher possibilities.  Our district has recently committed to expanding their support of teachers going through the process.  Since this has really never been done on this scale, we are all learning together.  We are doing as much as we can with the allotment of resources that we have been given.  I join Amethyst in thanking our district for making it possible for many of our teachers to improve their practice and to build their leadership skills.

As a teacher and an NBCT, I am always searching for purpose.  I won’t do things that have limited outcomes or spend any time involved in futile conversations around things that do not have a direct impact on students.  This presents a challenge as many educational conversations forget the student needs or even that our purpose should always be about students.  I often wonder to myself if what I am doing is enough, is helping teachers to certify enough? I get to know a group of candidates quite well as they go through the process but I often feel as though I lose that connection once they certify.  I know that my time with them is valuable and that they have become better teachers, but what next?

Our NBCTs have proven that they teach to the National Board Standards and that they are committed to their students.  These teachers are keenly aware of what impacts student learning and what is pure fluff.  They are skilled, talented and in need of the next challenge.  So here is my dilemma, I have helped to create the path to certification, I have in a few cases pointed out leadership paths for our new NBCTs but I have not woven the paths together to reveal the leadership options for our NBCTs.  Last year I asked NBCTs what was next for them, this year I will be asking them for what they might need from me to point out what could be next.

I want to thank Amethyst for making me think about my role in a different way.  She believes that I helped her when in fact she is the one that has helped me to question my purpose and to make a new plan for myself.

Thank you Amethyst!


Julie Torres

Julie Torres

Tucson, Arizona

My name is Julie Torres. I wasn’t always sure that I wanted to be a teacher; somewhere along the way I realized that teaching had been knocking at my door for a long time. I became a teacher because it felt natural; I remain a teacher because my students inspire me.

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