HCPS librarian, Margaret Marquis, earns NBCT Certification

HCPS librarian, Margaret Marquis, earns NBCT Certification

Two HCPS teachers recently achieved certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and two others renewed their certification.  One of the two newly certified teachers is our very own Margaret E. Marquis, librarian at Tuckahoe Middle School.   All four teachers were recognized in a ceremony at VCU on January 7th and represented half of the eight teachers recognized from the metro-Richmond area. As it states in the Henrico Schools press release, “Certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is the profession’s highest mark of accomplishment, and is achieved through a rigorous, performance-based peer review process.” To see the full official press release from Henrico Schools, click here.  Below are some questions and answers with Margaret about the certification.


Margaret Marquis (left) librarian at Tuckahoe Middle School with Suzanna Panter (right) Education Specialist, Library Services

Margaret Marquis (left) librarian at Tuckahoe Middle School with Suzanna Panter (right) Education Specialist, Library Services


What motivated you to become a NBCT and when did you decide to pursue it? 

I was looking at how to expand my knowledge base.  I had one master’s to be a teacher and a second to become a librarian. Since I am a teacher first, NBCT was the way to go.  I saw an email from the META cohort to spend two evenings learning more about it and after listening to what META had to say, I decided I had to attempt it.  It was a challenge that I had to try.

In what ways do you feel the process has improved your teaching? 

The process has improved my teaching by teaching me how to reflect on everything I do, be it in the classroom, in the library, or in life.  Attempting to figure out why something didn’t work the way I planned or how I can present learning better so that all students “get it” is my big take away from National Boards.

In what ways do you feel the process has improved your library? 

I am always looking at how to improve activities in the library.  It has helped me to be a better collaborator with my fellow teachers.  Again, sitting down and reflecting how to do something better/different provides room for growth in the library program.

What advice do you have for others that are considering pursuing a NBCT certification? 

Attend the META meeting (It’s usually 2 nights and there is homework) and listen to what they have to say.  Talk to others who have taken this journey or are thinking about this journey. Read about Henrico’s support on their NBCT blog.  Reflect on where you are in life.  It was harder than either one of my master’s degrees but doable.   Life happens but once you commit, you must stay on the road to the end.  It is worth it and there are plenty of people that are willing to help you, even if it is just a shoulder to cry on once in a while.

How did you feel when you received the notification that you had passed and you were now a National Board Certified teacher? 

Since the scores are released at midnight, I woke up and attempted to check them.  Like everyone else I used my phone and of course I couldn’t read the small print on the screen.  I got mad since I was expecting something “big” to say I passed or failed.  Instead there was tiny print that said “Congratulations! You are a National Board Certified Teacher!”  and underneath that “Before proceeding to the score report please take a moment to answer the following questions”.  As I kept attempting to click on the “questions”, I couldn’t understand why it was not taking me to my scores and why it didn’t say whether I had passed.  The screen wanted to know my full name, email, county I worked for, etc.  I wanted to know why NBCT would want that if I hadn’t passed.  I did not comprehend what I was reading on the first screen.  The Congratulations part was in a text box above the information about the score report and it wasn’t clicking in my brain.  When it finally clicked, I screamed and then stayed up the rest of the night.  Super excited doesn’t begin to describe how I felt when it hit, I’m a National Board Certified Teacher!!!  I texted and emailed several friends.  Some days it still isn’t real.  Some days I have to repeat to myself that I am a NBCT.  I still check the website to make sure it is real and it still says that I am one.

Do you have any additional thoughts or comments on the process?

The process has taught me a lot about reflection and reflecting back on things.  I find I spend much more time reflecting in both my professional life and personal life.


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