Through hundreds of hours of hard work, Greenfield High School special education teacher Christy Timms has joined a very select group of teachers.
As reported by Greenfield Patch earlier this month, Timms became one of just 79 teachers from Wisconsin to attain National Board Certification this year from the United States Department of Education, joining a group of 100,000 across the country.
Timms joins Elm Dale Elementary School teacher Debbie Mitchell and Edgewood Elementary School teacher Cathy Schulz, both of whom previously earned National Board Certification.
In order to earn certification, educators must include four portfolio entries that feature teaching practice and six constructed response exercises that assess content knowledge, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. The assessments are reviewed by trained teachers in each certificate area to evaluate how well the educator has demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices.
National Board Certification is a voluntary process, and generally takes between one to three years to complete.
“I knew it was the most intense professional development opportunity available, and it had been a number of years since I completed my masters – it was the next logical step in my career to improve my teaching,” Timms said. “I felt I was up to the challenge and was confident enough in my teaching to look at it under a microscope.”
Timms has taught for 15 years, including 12 in Greenfield. She has a Bachelor of Science in Education, Minor in Communicative Disorders, from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and a Master of Science in Exceptional Education, with an emphasis in Urban Education from UW-Milwaukee.
Timms said National Board Certification has changed her professionally.
“I was able to challenge my practices, philosophy, and role in the educational community," she said. "I was able to improve my relationships with students and learn new methods when I found my practices weren’t as good as they could be. It has given me more confidence in my teaching and has allowed me to break down the truly individual needs of each student."
National Board Certification entitles Timms to a Wisconsin Master Educator License, an extremely prestigious honor she will apply for in the spring.
"Earning National Board Certification is an incredible achievement and a testament to Ms. Timms’ commitment to her students and profession, as well as the high standards she holds herself to,” Greenfield High School Principal Paul Thusius said. “I join the students and staff in congratulating her. She is one of the many reasons why Greenfield High School is such a great place to work and learn.”