Gigi McAllister, who is currently in our Certificate of Advanced Studies in Literacy program and is also a part-time faculty member, has just earned National Board Certification! National Board Certification is designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. It is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education.
Gigi reflected on what achieving this national certification means to her:
"I am proud and humbled to join the ever-growing network of National Board Certified Teachers in Maine and across the US. Working my way through the four components allowed me to closely examine and prove my knowledge of literacy and my effectiveness in promoting student achievement and family involvement. The process was the most challenging and rewarding professional development experience of my 25-year career.
While I was thrilled to receive the notice that I officially earned a passing score, obtaining this certification represents more than two years of work. To me it represents the culmination of all of my education and experiences, including my education in the literacy program at USM. The process taught me to be reflective and purposeful in my instructional approaches and always ask myself questions like,
- Why am I teaching this now?
- Why am I teaching it this way?
- How do I know the students are learning?
- How do the students know they are learning?
- What’s next?
We teachers are highly trained and dedicated professionals who have a specific skill set required for our profession. Attaining National Board Certification is a way to demonstrate this dedication and expertise. It is not just the end to years of hard work; it is the next step on a continual journey of lifelong learning."