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— Teacher Kristen Legler recently earned her National Board Certification in early- and middle-school music.

Legler teaches band at the Decatur School District and middle school music appreciation at the Gravette School District. She is in her seventh year of teaching and holds a master’s degree in music education from the University of Arkansas.

Three years ago Legler came to Decatur and restarted the school’s band program for the first time in 40 years.

Legler was certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. NBPTS is an independent organization formed in 1987 to advance the quality of teaching and learning by developing professional standards for accomplished teaching.

“National Board Certification is a voluntary assessment program designed to recognize and reward great teachers - and make them better. While state licensing systems set basic requirements to teach in each state, National Board Certified Teachers have successfully demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices. Certification is achieved through a rigorous, performance-based assessment that typically takes one to three years to complete,” stated a press release from the organization.

More than 160 studies, reports and papers suggest that NBCT teachers profoundly impact student learning in the classroom, the organization’s Web said.

In order to earn her certification, Legler first had to submit a portfolio documenting her accomplishments and showing her parent and community involvement. The portfolio had to include four videotapes of her teaching, plus a 12-page commentary about each video segment, describing the planning and objectives that went into the classroom experience.

After her portfolio was approved, Legler had to take a content and music test to show her mastery of the subject. As part of the test, she had to listen to a song while looking at the sheet music and identify the mistakes and what caused them and then explain how to correct them.

During the test, Legler also had to compose a piece of music and auditorially identify music from historical periods and from different cultures.

Legler described the certification process as rigorous and rewarding.

“I was told repeatedly that I wouldn’t pass the process on the first try,” she said. “I think I’m a lot better teacher for it. Even if I hadn’t passed, I learned so much.”

News, Pages 3 on 12/23/2009

Print Headline: Gravette/Decatur Music Instructor Receives National Certification

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