LIHUE — One educator from Kauai is really inspiring her students, as well as her colleagues.
Kauai High School’s Erin Medeiros was among 56 teachers from public and charter schools throughout Hawaii to earn National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification this year.
“I’m very proud of completing National Board Certification, as it asks teachers to prove, through a variety of evidence, that they are dedicated to their students, their subjects, the profession and to continued learning,” said Medeiros, a 37-year-old English teacher who has been teaching at Kauai High for 12 years.
The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) honored Medeiros and other educators during a ceremony hosted by the Hawaii State Teachers Association and Kamehameha Schools on Wednesday at the Hawaii State Capitol Auditorium.
“We are proud of these teachers for their efforts to elevate their profession and provide enhanced learning opportunities for Hawaii’s students,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “Earning this certification is no easy task, and I commend them for taking on this additional workload and responsibility.”
Hawaii is ranked 11th in the nation for percentage of National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs), and boasts one of the fastest- growing populations of NBCTs. There are currently 625 teachers who have earned their certification.
“The Aloha State added 56 new NBCTs reflecting a 10 percent jump in their total,” said Peggy Brookins, president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. “This means more students across your state being taught by teachers who prove they teach to the highest standards.”
Educators who earn national certification have demonstrated they meet the highest standards for teaching. They must be up-to-date with the latest strategies and best practices in education in order to earn and retain their certification.
“We must be able to relate with our students, know and always learn more about our content, design creative and effective methods to engage students, assess their work, redesign our teaching, and accept a lifetime of making mistakes and still coming back to the classroom to try again,” Medeiros said.
Certified teachers show that they design instruction, curriculum and assessment with specific students in mind, that they are effective instructors, and that they use multiple data points to manage and monitor student learning.
“I’m sure teaching looks easy from the outside, but it’s truly an art and a science and a complicated craft that requires every skill an individual has,” said Medeiros.
The Kapaa resident was drawn to teaching because it is so challenging and creative. She wishes more young people could see the potential in it as a career and that more teachers would undertake the National Board process.
“As for being the only teacher on Kauai to certify this year, I’m really just surprised and honored,” she said.
Medeiros said it was a tough year for teachers to certify because of new standards and components. Teachers had just a few months to learn the requirements and design their portfolios in response.
“Completing all the components at one time, though challenging in terms of time, was actually advantageous, because I was able to see my students and units of instruction in a much broader way and make those connections in writing in my portfolio,” Medeiros said.
The Hawaii State Department of Education is the 10th largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 256 schools and 36 charter schools, and serves about 180,000 students. King Kamehameha III established Hawaii’s public school system in 1840.