MHS teacher achieves National Board Certification

Published 3:19 pm Tuesday, December 27, 2022

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By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

Maplesville High School teacher Patricia Turner has completed National Board Certification for science/ biology.

This certification is a next-level certification for state-certified teachers.

“It was by far the hardest professional development I have ever done,” Turner said.

She said it is a good process because it “really makes you analyze what you are doing, how you are doing it and how to do it better.”

“It is rewarding,” Turner said.

The certification process is lengthy, and teachers are notified in December if they passed. Turner received her results on Dec. 10.

Turner first thought about completing the national certification in 2016. She was interested in the certification as an opportunity to go to the next level professionally.

“The Chilton County School Board offered a program that had sort of a mentorship quality to it, where they had different National Board certified teachers that were going to speak to us to help us get started, answer questions,” Turner said.

She committed to the process in 2018 after becoming a science teacher at MHS.

The main components of the certification were a content area test, a video of a typical lesson and a portfolio which included the teacher’s work in helping students learn at their level, using data to support plans for teaching and a reflection on one of the teacher’s lesson.

Turner had previously certified with the Alabama Math Science and Technology Initiative, which helped her get needed equipment for her classroom. She said having the equipment “was invaluable” to helping her have a good lesson to feature in the national board portfolio.

The portfolio “was a huge process of thinking things out, editing, showing evidence that you are fulfilling all of the standards set forth on the rubric,” Turner said.

Turner had paused work on her application for the National Board Certification, but renewed her efforts after Alabama created the Teacher Excellence and Accountability for Mathematics and Science pay schedule in 2021. This offers a higher pay schedule for science and math teachers who are National Board or STEM certified.

Turner said she was thankful to her husband Chris, the MHS administrators, teachers and students as well as those at the state level who helped and supported her throughout the process.

She is one of only six teachers in Chilton County Schools to reach this distinction. She encouraged any teacher interested to go ahead and work toward the National Board Certification, commenting that the state offers a $1,000 stipend to help teachers pay for the certification fees. Turner has been a teacher for 21 years.