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Hastings High School Teacher Takes Teaching to Next Step

Hastings High School world language teacher Steven Lopez.Showing a true love of learning, Hastings High School world language teacher Steven Lopez is now a National Board Certified Teacher. National Board Certification is an advanced and voluntary teaching credential. Lopez, now in his 13th year of teaching at the high school, pursued his certification in World Languages/Early Adolescence Through Young Adulthood to advance and strengthen his teaching skills.

“I wanted something that I really felt would challenge me and this certainly did,” he said. “One thing I enjoy about the profession is there is always an opportunity to try something new, something different and evolve as a professional.”

National Board for professional Teaching standards logoThe rigorous process of becoming a National Board Certified Teacher requires candidates to complete four components: content knowledge, differentiation of instruction, teaching practice and learning environment, and effective and reflective practitioner. It also requires teachers to analyze their teaching and determine how it reflects upon their students, including providing examples of classroom progression and achievement. The process can take some teachers up to five years to complete.

“It made me look at my teaching in ways I had not thought before," he said.

Recognized in education as the prime certification for teachers, the process not only results in further learning for teachers but also better student outcomes.

“The biggest thing that changed for me is the way that I give feedback for the students,” said Lopez. “When I administer assessments, they are really an opportunity for students to critically analyze their work and performance and create actionable steps to improve and see what they need to do to continually progress.”

Lopez added that teachers like him who have earned the certification can help not only students but also their fellow teachers. He encouraged his colleagues to pursue the certification.

“Any teacher, regardless of content or grade level, could truly benefit from this and as a result our students benefit as well,” he said. “I’d be happy to share my experiences and guide or mentor other teachers in the district that are interested in doing this.”