What's Sha-Wonda Williams-Credle's Why?
“2021” – I cannot believe that it has been 20 years since I earned the status of being a “Nationally Board Certified Teacher – Early Childhood Generalist”! I can remember the feelings of eagerness and excitement mixed with trepidation as I sat in the information session being offered by my NYC school district and the United Federation of Teachers (UFT). “Could I really do this?” “Do I want to do this?” My answer then and my answer today is still a resounding “YES”. The “YES” was based on my desire and belief in being a reflective practitioner who sought to make a positive impact on every child in my class. Twenty years later I am still holding true to my “WHY”.
Achieving National Board Certification allowed me to embrace the power of assessing one’s own practice as an opportunity for growth. It was truly an empowering feeling to know that I was in charge of my own professional development! Being able to participate in something that would have an immediate effect on my practice felt so rewarding! I carried this belief in teacher development and empowerment with me to my leadership role as an Instructional Coach/Staff Developer – and even more so in my current role as an Assistant Principal. Similarly to the process of obtaining National Board Certification, I lead from a stance of helping my teachers think systematically about their practice and learning from experiences. “How can I help bring out the best in my staff by having them reflect on their practice alongside their colleagues?” Daily, I guide my staff by modeling what it looks like to be committed to our students and their learning.
I use many of the skills and tools I learned while going through the National Board process to help me coach, mentor, and support my teachers. I wholeheartedly believe that if we invest in our teachers – providing them with the right tools to develop and grow, allowing them the time and space to collaborate and reflect - each and every one of them can achieve National Board status! That is what the National Board Community has done for me, and that is what I hope I can do for my staff.