How Nurturing Teacher Leadership is Helping Me Improve My Practice and Achieve National Board Certification
Reflection on National Board Certification Candidacy by National Board Certification Science candidate Aiden O’Dowd-Ryan.
Participation in the Nurturing Teacher Leadership learning community has had a profound impact on my teaching and on my students’ learning. The most immediate feedback is that the quality of the assessments that I provide has increased substantially. By soliciting feedback from my colleagues, the questions that I ask on my assessments have gotten much more detailed while remaining clear. My rubrics are much stronger as well, which is great because it shows students exactly what they need to do to demonstrate mastery.
I’ve been differentiating my instruction much more than I had before Nurturing Teacher Leadership, which has been excellent in terms of supporting students and ensuring that all students have the opportunity to engage with work that is appropriately challenging.
I have also been much more reflective as a result of this program. Amid the uncertainty of remote learning, I have been able to drill down into the aspects of my instruction that I can control and that aren’t impacted as much as by the shift to remote teaching, such as my questioning and discussion techniques and the ways that I support students in their science writing.
As far as student learning, I have definitely seen an improvement. Compared to pre-National Board support, the work my students are submitting is more in-depth and detailed. For example, one student response on an assessment that blew me away was that he showed that he was able to interpret information from three different figures, make connections to his learning from a prior unit, and explain all of his thinking in clear, detailed paragraphs. I would not have gotten students to show that depth of mastery were it not for the Nurturing Teacher Leadership National Board Certification learning community.