Three Oakland teachers earn national distinction

Congratulations to Patience Nwadugbo, of Maxwell Park Elementary; Clifford Lee, of Life Academy; and Kathryn Fireman, of ASCEND Elementary.

teachersketch1.jpgThese Oakland teachers have just been awarded National Board Certification after an intensive process of self-evaluation and critique that usually takes one to three years to complete. (We’re talking classroom videotapes, portfolios of student work and assignments and tests measuring the candidates’ knowledge of the subject they teach.)

The Alameda County Teacher of the Year — Juliana Jones, a math teacher at Montera Middle School — is a big proponent of National Board Certification.

In Oakland Unified, 64 teachers have earned the distinction. Has anyone at your school? Check out a searchable database to find out.

image from earthcube’s site at flickr.com/creativecommons

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • district employee

    interesting. i found one of the worst teachers i’ve ever seen (sends students to the office for raising their hands at the “wrong time”, most lessons involve copying from an old science text, leaves campus mid-day without a substitute) is in this database. and so are a number of people who are no longer classroom teachers, though they’ve moved on to do other excellent things in the district (content coaching, principal, etc.).

  • teacher

    For some of us, the intricate bureaucratic and academic hoops of credentialing (3.5 year process), advancing on the pay scale (by taking grad courses, etc.), and receiving national board certification are incredibly challenging in terms of money and time.

    And while it can’t hurt to study and reflect on best practices, I think there is no *guarantee* that being good at going to school and navigating bureacracy are going to translate into good teaching.

    Here’s one formula for making good teachers: Training + experience + continuing to care after the initial enthusiasm wears off + intelligence + an ability to listen + organizational skills + energy + joy + patience + administrative support + rigorous standards + mental and emotional toughness + a general appreciation for other humans and their differences + ??.

    No problem!

  • Sue

    I remember Ms. Jones. She taught my older son when he was at Montera a couple of years ago. She didn’t seem the least bit phased by having a student with autism, and he did so well with math that year. His math teachers at Skyline don’t seem nearly as invested, and he’s struggling more now.

    I wish we had more teachers like Ms. Jones. I don’t know all the criteria for credentialing or for the awards, but I think she’s one teacher who deserves any and all recognition she receives.

  • John

    John says ‘Teacher Says’ it SO WELL there’s nothing left to say. I hate it when that happens!