BROADALBIN — Broadalbin-Perth middle school teacher Kelly DiNatale has made the achievement of earning her National Board Certification.
The school district made the announcement on Thursday of DiNatale’s achievement.
According to the press release, the National Board Certification is considered the most respected professional certification available in grades kindergarten through 12th-grade education. DiNatale is the fourth teacher in Broadalbin-Perth to have earned the distinction. The three other B-P teachers with the certification are Megan Floyd, Anitia Stabrowski and Mariah Duell.
The National Board Certification was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvements in schools nationwide, according to NYSUT.
Only three percent of the national teaching population has achieved this certification.
“My overall goal for my students is to be the best teacher I can be,” DiNatale said. “I want to stand in front of them and tell them I am doing everything I can to be the best teacher, and now I can say that.”
The certification is also referred to as the “gold standard” of achievement and requires teachers to demonstrate standards-based evidence of the positive effect they have on student learning. DiNatale said the process meant taking a long, hard look at pedagogy, and what she teaches, and how she teaches it. It has allowed her to reflect on her work on a deeper level, and has given her extra tools to access in the classroom.
Pursuing the certification has also made DiNatale more willing to adjust her approach in the classroom.
“It has taught me to tap into student insight,” DiNatale said. “It’s an underutilized resource. Kids will tell you what they need, or how they feel about projects and requirements. As a teacher, I might find something very important, but the kids may find something more valuable in the experience. I use their feedback when designing projects and scoring rubrics.”
According to the release, this certification created by teachers, for teachers, represents a consensus among educators about what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. Board certification is available in 25 certificate areas in pre-k through grades 12.
In order to achieve the certification, DiNatale was required to complete an extensive portfolio that she started two years ago. It is organized around four key components including:
∫ Taking a computer-based, written test in their content area.
∫ Showing examples of how they’ve tailored instruction to drive individual academic gains.
∫ Submitting videos of their classroom teaching with reflections on what did go well and what didn’t.
∫ Providing examples of ways they’ve used data and school and community resources to improve outcomes for their students.
DiNatale has taught for 11 years, has a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from the University of New England and a master’s degree in teacher education from the College of St. Rose. She has been teaching at B-P for the past seven years, is an advisor for the National Junior Honor Society and leads the “Splash Into Science” extracurricular program which is an educational travel experience that enables students to explore marine science, and features a biannual trip to the Florida Keys.
“I’m very proud to work for a school district that supports this initiative,” DiNatale said.