PHS teacher earns national certification

Plymouth High School business teacher June Winkel has received her National Board Certification through a rigorous, peer-reviewed process.

Recognized as the “gold standard” in teacher certification, the National Board believes higher standards for teachers means better learning for students. There are more than 100,000 National Board Certified Teachers nationwide.

National Board Certification is an advanced teaching credential. As part of the process, teachers must analyze their teaching context and students’ needs, submit videos of their teaching, and provide student work samples that demonstrate growth and achievement.

Winkel began work on the certification in May 2013. She did one of the four required portfolios in the summer of 2013 and completed the other three during the 2013-14 school year, before taking written tests this June.

“The biggest challenge was to honestly and objectively look at my teaching practice and to dissect what was good and what could be improved,” she said. “It forced me to evaluate myself and constantly answer the questions: ‘Why am I doing this?’ and ‘How is it helping the students learn?’”

Completing the many requirements also was a challenge. “The process is a bit overwhelming, so I really had to be fully committed and set deadlines for myself in order to complete it all,” she said.

Winkel already knew the importance of reflecting on her teaching, but the certification process underlined the great value in deep reflection. “I am gratified that the national standards support my teaching practices, and by examining them it has also helped me identify areas which will help me improve student learning in my classroom,” she said.

She thanked the many people who supported her in the process, including her family, fellow teachers, and the network of current National Board Certified teachers who provided her with great resources and support. Her students also were very supportive, allowing her to videotape hours of classroom instruction.

“I am thankful that I have been able to work in the Plymouth District with so many talented professionals and with students and parents who realize the importance of career and technical education,” she added.

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