Written by: Shannon Eldridge, Teacher Center Hill High School
Obtaining National Board Certification has been one of my goals for many years after working with many very talented and dedicated teachers who had completed the process. I began teaching English and Social Studies at Magnolia Middle School in Meridian, Mississippi in the fall of 2000 after graduating from Mississippi State University with a degree in Secondary Education. Several coworkers who I greatly admired for their mastery in the classroom encouraged me to work toward certification as soon as I was eligible. Due to their influence and the training I received in implementing backwards design planning techniques, I felt prepared to begin the process but wanted to first complete my graduate studies. After obtaining a Masters Degree in History, I transferred to Meridian High School to teach U.S. History and AP U.S. History in 2006 and then moved again to Center Hill High School in Olive Branch a year later, which led me to postpone National Boards until I felt more comfortable with the new content and schools. I again had the opportunity to work with Master Teachers who encouraged me to commit to the process. Because of the guidance of these teachers and my mentor, I felt like the National Board process was very manageable and certainly worthwhile. I discovered new strengths and weakness in my teaching through constant reflection and revision, especially as I had to consider how I was reaching each and every child in my classroom. This has impacted how I craft both lessons and assessments, focusing on reaching each student at his or her instructional level. I also look forward to helping other teachers work through the process as well. I would also like to use my knowledge and experience to train other teachers to manage the demands of a modern classroom.
In addition to teaching at Center Hill High School, I am married to Tommy Eldridge. We live in Hernando, Mississippi, with our two daughters, Kennedy and Emory. My spare time is spent volunteering and serving at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Southaven, training for half-marathons, biking, and reading everything I can get my hands on.