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December 29, 2013

Hodges achieves her Board Certification

DUNCAN — Janice Hodges has joined the ranks of select Duncan teachers.

Hodges, a teacher at Horace Mann Elementary, has received her National Board Certification in elementary education. The board certification process took her two years to complete.

“The National Board process is one of the best professional developments for teachers of any age level,” Hodges said in an email. “You learn how to impact student learning, and you also learn about yourself as a teacher. You learn where your strengths are, and how to work on your weaknesses.”

Throughout the United States, more than 106,000 teachers have earned their National Board Certification. Hodges was one of 4,000 to earn that honor this year.

To work toward board certification, Hodges had to complete a portfolio of classroom practices, including samples of student work and a video recording of instruction. She also had to prove her content knowledge through an assessment administered at a computer-based testing center.

In the portfolio, Hodges included four entries, including a classroom-based entry with accompanying student work, two classroom-based entries with video recordings of interactions with students and a documented accomplishments entry, which provided evidence of accomplishments outside the classroom and how it impacts student learning. The videos were recorded by JD Taylor, supervisor of technical services for Duncan Public Schools.

To take her assessment test, Hodges went to the Pearson Testing Center in Oklahoma City.

“The computer test was intense because each of the six assessments were timed with only 30 minutes to read the prompt and to each question while focusing on student learning,” she said.

According to a press release from the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation (OCTP), Oklahoma ranks as the state with the ninth highest number of board certified teachers. Oklahoma has 3,076 National Board Certified teachers.

“We have to make sure that quality teaching is as prevalent in schools serving poor communities as it is in more affluent ones,” Ronald Thorpe, president and CEO of the National Board, said in the press release.  “We’re proud that nearly half of all Board-certified teachers are working in high-need schools, but we have yet to reach the tipping point. To get the results we all seek for all students, particularly our most vulnerable, we need to have a high concentration of accomplished teachers working where they can make the greatest difference.”

Although it has taken Hodges two years to earn her certification, her work has been noticed by her peers. In 2012, Hodges was one of nine teachers nominated as teacher of the year. Each candidate was nominated by teachers at their individual schools.

Hodges said the certification process has helped her become a better teacher and has allowed her to better network with teacher from around the state.

“One of the best lessons I learned by doing the National Boards was to constantly ask myself if my teaching was impacting student learning,” Hodges said. “This is a lesson that started when I began going through the National Boards process, and it continues to be on my mind every day, while I am teaching.

“Through the National Board candidate meetings, I collaborated with teachers all over the state of Oklahoma. I appreciate all the teachers who read my entries and gave feedback on my ideas. I had so much support from my friends, family and colleagues during this journey. I am glad I made the choice to pursue this certification, and I know what I learned will impact my students’ lives.”

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