CAMBRIDGE—    Christi Reed, a first grade teacher at the Cambridge Elementary School, has become a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT).

    Christi Reed, a first grade teacher at the Cambridge Elementary School, has become a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT).

    National Board Certification is achieved upon successful completion of a voluntary assessment program designed to recognize effective and accomplished teachers who meet high standards based on what teachers should know and be able to do. National Board Certification is available nationwide for most prekindergarten through 12th grade teachers.

    National Board Certification is an advanced teaching credential. It complements, but does not replace, a state’s teacher license. It is valid for 10 years, and renewal candidates must begin the renewal process during their eighth or ninth years as NBCTs.

    As part of the certification process, candidates complete 10 assessments which are reviewed by trained teachers in their certificate areas. The assessments include four portfolio entries that feature teaching practice and six constructed response exercises that assess content knowledge.

    National Board Certified Teachers are highly accomplished educators who meet high and rigorous standards. Like board-certified doctors and accountants, teachers who achieve National Board Certification have met rigorous standards through intensive study, expert evaluation, self-assessment and peer review.

     Since 1987 more than 91,000 teachers have achieved National Board Certification. These teachers prepare America’s diverse student population with the skills it needs to compete in the 21st century workplace.

    “Just because I have this ‘title’ doesn’t mean I am any better teacher than my friends I work with,” said Reed. “We help each other become great teachers and learners.”

    Reed said the process forced her to reflect deeply on what each student needs and why.

    “It is a rigorous process that is great for professional development but it all ties into student learning,” she said. “The process of the NBCT was completing a set of portfolio entries that included videotaping my class in the context of my teaching. It forced me to analyze my every move and see what the student’s responses were.”

    Reed earned her bachelor’s degree from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, earlier and then completed her master’s degree in December of 2009.

    “My master education teacher Maggie Woods was an inspiration to me,” Reed said. “She helped me every step of the way.”

    Even through Reed completed her schooling for her master’s in December, she didn’t walk down the isle of graduation until May of last year.

    “After taking multiple exams at an assessment center this past summer I earned the certificate,” Reed said. “I couldn’t have done this if it wasn’t for all the wonderful people in my life. I have learned so much from all of the colleagues I have worked with over the years. We have all learned so much together and all of the teachers are ‘top notch’.”

    Reed said she appreciates the opportunity to teach in Cambridge and the administration that has been involved.

    Raised in Cambridge, Reed said she always wanted to be a teacher and come back to Cambridge and work.

    After working for three years in Kewanee and Wethersfield, Reed was offered the opportunity to make her dream come true by teaching in Cambridge.

    “I have been teaching here the last 17 years,” she said. “I am so fortunate to have that opportunity and say thanks to all of the Cambridge teachers I was blessed to have in my life as a student.”

    While at Cambridge, Reed has taught first grade, second grade, third grade and physical education. She has also coached almost everything possible including intermural basketball for boys and girls, high school girls basketball, junior high track, high school cheerleading and high school dance.

    When asked how teaching has changed over the years, Reed said kids have changed, so teaching has to change to adapt to the kids.

    “Kids are expected to know so much more today than they were 10 years ago,” she said. “Communication with the students and their families is essential so everyone is on the same page. I believe technology has made that easier today with emailing and texting.”

    Reed also serves on the Ag in the Classroom Literacy Board.

    “I want to thank my parents, in-laws, family and close friends for all of the help through this process and my teaching,” Reed said. “A special thank you to my husband, Brent, and children, Taylor, 14, and Brockton, 11. They have sacrificed a lot of time without me and supported me with hugs and words of encouragement.”