Home >> Prof. Development >> Prof. Development >> Teacher Diary: On the Road to National Certification

Search form

Now Is the Time!
by Nicole Chiarello

Nicole Chiarello is working toward National Board Certification as an Early Childhood through Young Adulthood Exceptional Needs Specialist.

August 25, 2003

I first thought about pursuing National Certification last year, but I honestly didn't know anything about the process. After doing some online research, and discovering that several people in our district were going for their National Boards, I became even more interested. At the time, however, I decided to put the idea on the back burner for a while.

The reason the National Boards appealed to me in the first place was because it offered the opportunity for me to become a specialist in the field in which I am working. That opportunity was very important to me, because I love my job. I also realized that the students in my classroom would benefit from my research of best practices; and the parents of my students might be encouraged to communicate with me and with the school on a regular basis. In addition, our district is supporting this important process by providing a stipend, staff development hours, and study/work time.

This year, when the subject of National Certification was brought up again and several of my colleagues expressed an interest in it, I knew that if I was ever going to do it, now was the time. And, with four other teachers in my building going through the process, we would even have our own little support network. I know this will not be an easy task, but the benefits of achieving National Board Certification will be worth it.

Previous diary entry Next diary entry
Meet Nicole Chiarello

Nicole Chiarello received her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University at Buffalo, of the State University of New York, in May 1994 and her master's degree in special education, learning and behavior disorders from Buffalo State College in December 1996. For the remainder of the 1996-1997 academic year, Nicole worked as an inclusion teacher at Niagara-Wheatfield Senior High School in Sanborn, N.Y. For the past six years, she has taught a district-wide special education program for three-to-five students with emotional and behavioral concerns at Bradford Elementary School in Westerly, Rhode Island. Nicole was named Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year in 2000. She is currently serving on a district team focusing on social, emotional, and behavioral concerns in the classroom.

Back to Teacher Diary home page