TLC’s Rebecca Oaks earns national teaching certification

rebecca oaks poses for a pictureThe Learning Community’s Rebecca Oaks is one of the best. And now she has a national certification to prove it.

Mrs. Oaks, who is a special education teacher in the TLC, recently earned a national certification from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, which is considered the “gold standard” in the education profession. Less than 100 teachers across New York state earned the recognition this year, and just over 2,000 hold it statewide.

“I found out at the very end of December,” Mrs. Oaks said. “I was very excited, kind of almost surprised. Usually it takes a couple tries to get certified.” She says she had to wait six months to find out the results of her certification test.

The certification has four different components, including a computer test, and three 20-page papers. Those papers focus on data-driven instruction, teaching practices, and other areas of teaching.

“I really wanted to do this as my form of professional development,” said Mrs. Oaks. “You want to continue to be a learner even when you’re out of school. It was good for me to make sure that I am staying up-to-date with the research and best practices that are out there.”

“We are very proud of Mrs. Oaks’s recent ‘Gold Standard’ Certification,” said TLC principal Bradley Strait. “Mrs. Oaks brings many strengths to our building – individualizing instruction, assessing progress on a continuing basis, applying knowledge of developmental readiness, using research-based strategies to teach basic literacy and numeracy skills, preparing youth for independence, and problem-solving with data. Due to her continuous work ethic her skills are not static; Mrs. Oaks is always wanting to improve, learn and expand her knowledge within education in order to support her students.”

Mrs. Oaks said she also collaborated with colleagues and mentors, and joined a support group of other educators who were going through, or who had completed the certification process.