- Business Advocacy
Mark Keppel High School math teacher Angel Kuo joins the ranks of those who are transforming the profession. In December, Ms. Kuo earned her hard-won credential as National Board Certified Teacher. Called the gold standard in teacher certification, NBCT recognizes teachers who continually reflect and improve their own practice to help students achieve dramatic improvement and growth.
The UCLA graduate began the arduous process in 2018, completing two of the four components each year. Ms. Kuo said it was the hardest thing she has done in her career. Requirements included assessments, analyzing student data and progress, writing extensively on her findings, submitting filmed lessons, and reflections on the lessons for improvement. It was especially stressful last spring, when she found herself spending two hours on NBCT assignments every day, while still teaching full time during a pandemic and transitioning to Distance Learning.
AUSD math instructional specialist Abel Bourbois, who has worked closely with Ms. Kuo, said, “Angel Kuo really digs deep to find ways to connect with the whole child and create a classroom environment that is accessible, just, and free from judgment. She reminds me that teaching and learning math should be fun and engage our sense of wonder, and that minds at work are gloriously noisy.”
MKHS Principal Jeannie Gutierrez agreed: “Angel is incredibly dedicated to her students and the teaching profession. We’re lucky to have her on the Keppel team.”
Looking back at the NBCT process, Ms. Kuo said it “really rooted” her and went hand-in-hand with her desire to practice empathy in any way possible. She knows this pandemic is hard on her students and wants them to focus on more than just getting an A in her class. She wants them to be patient with themselves, learn from the experience, and practice these things more intentionally.
These lessons are not lost on her students. Senior Lauren Wang was in Ms. Kuo’s accelerated math 1 and 3 classes and praises her instruction, but said she learned much more from Ms. Kuo. “Ms. Kuo always made it a point to feel proud of what we accomplished in class and to view mistakes as an opportunity for improvement,” she said. “From her, I’ve learned that attitude is one of the most important aspects in life, and I will carry that lesson throughout my academic career. I have witnessed her true passion for both the subject she teaches and the success of her students.”