Riverside teachers achieve National Board Certification

Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Riverside teachers, Amanda Eakins, Meagan Priest, and Melody Couch, received National Board Certification. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Three Riverside teachers, Meagan Priest, Melody Couch and Amanda Eakins, recently completed and passed the four components to become National Board Certified teachers.

The two year process for the Riverside teachers started with their application for available funding through a state scholarship for teachers pursuing NBC.

All three were awarded scholarships and went to work.

The National Board process had been changed, going to an all electronic process. The Riverside teachers got in on the second year of a three year cycle with the changes. They are among the first group of candidates to be certified under the new standards.

All three agreed it was not easy, but what they have learned has helped them in the classroom. It challenged them to research practices, implement new strategies and emphasized addressing individual needs of each student.

All three teachers hold Master degrees and have a combined 31 years of teaching experience.

Priest, senior English, college psychology and literacy facilitator, has 12 years experience. She taught one year at Holcomb, Mo., six years at Manila High School, and has been with Riverside for five years.

Couch teaches precalculus, AP calculus, quantitative literacy, bridge to algebra, and serves as the math facilitator. She has nine years of experience teaching four years at EPC and five years at Riverside.

Eakins has been teaching first grade in the Riverside District for 10 years.

Four components of the process included a test, instruction methods, making a video and assessments. Everything submitted had to be proven.

The support groups met throughout the process. Couch and Priest joined other teachers working on the certification at Brookland and Eakins' support group met at Harrisburg.

Eakins said going through the process has been a learning experience she can pass on to her students.

“It made me think deeper than before,” Eakins said. “It has helped me in the classroom.”

Priest said she has been inspired through the process.

“It has improved my teaching methods,” Priest said. “I am more aware of lessons that address the individual needs of my students.”

“I learned to focus more on the students' needs and interests and not just offer blanket lessons,” Couch said. “Overall, it challenged all of us to do more research practices and implement new strategies.”

They encourage teachers considering becoming part of the NBCT to do so. It is rewarding.

“National Board Certification is about helping teachers become great, it is about elevating the teaching profession, and it is about helping children achieve at higher rates,” Peggy Brookins, NBCT, president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, said. “The certification process impacts teaching and learning well beyond an individual teacher's classroom.”

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