Spotlight on: Angela Holdren

Angela Holdren
Angela Holdren

Congratulations to OPS Teacher Leader Academy Primarily Math participant Angela Holdren, a second- and third-grade teacher at King Elementary School with Omaha Public Schools, who earned National Board Certification in 2013. National Board Certification is a rigorous, performance-based, peer review process created for teachers, by teachers. In 2013, 10 Nebraska teachers achieved certification bringing the total number of Nebraska National Board Certified Teachers to 110.

Q: How long have you been preparing your materials for board certification?

A: I worked toward my certification for two years. I missed certifying my first year by .10 of a point. I "banked" my scores and re-wrote an entry for my portfolio and retook one online exam. I earned more than the 275 required points to pass. The points earned are insignificant in comparison with the education a teacher receives throughout this process.

Q: What does earning certification mean to you?

A: Although I considered myself reflective before this endeavor, I learned to question everything I did for my students, families and colleagues. I gained confidence in evaluating standards, child development, and teaching practices.

Q: What advice would you give to other teachers who are thinking about becoming nationally board certified?

A: Teachers who want to challenge themselves and advance their pedagogy should consider this amazing journey toward National Board Certification.

Q: What are some things you learned through OPS TLA Primarily Math that have helped you develop as a teacher?

A: As an educator, I'm constantly searching for ways to improve my instruction for my students. Primarily Math has been intense, but rewarding. I've learned new hands-on approaches to teaching higher-level mathematics to young children whose abilities I had previously under-estimated. My students have risen to my expectations. My students and I love math and look forward to "doing" math multiple times throughout our day. In Primarily Math, I've learned new strategies like "open number lines" and "bar diagrams" that I have taught my students to use efficiently.

Q: Do you remember any of your favorite teachers from your childhood? How did they inspire you?

A: I am a product of Omaha Public Schools. My favorite teacher was Miss Dieter, who taught third grade at Conestoga Elementary. I was bused downtown to a school outside of my neighborhood. I loved the experience of riding on a bus and being in an unfamiliar environment. I met new kids from all over Omaha with a variety of backgrounds. Miss Dieter was energetic and made learning fun and interactive. I have such vivid memories of the children in my class and my dad as our "Room Parent". I have wonderful memories of my education in Omaha Public Schools and hope to instill fond memories for my own students.

Q: What do you like to work on outside of teaching?

A: In my free time, I enjoy playing volleyball, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends.

Q: What is your favorite thing about Nebraska?

A: My favorite thing about Nebraska is the positive and caring attitudes that our community outpours onto others. I'm proud to be a Cornhusker living "the good life.”