Certification Industry: Education
Certificate Name: National Board Certification (NBPTS)
Certificate Issuing Authority: NBPTS.org
National Board Certification was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. It is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education.
Recognized as the “gold standard” in teacher certification, the National Board believes higher standards for teachers means better learning for students.
The National Board Certification process is designed to collect standards-based evidence of accomplished practice.
In all 25 certificate areas, candidates for National Board Certification must complete four components: three portfolio entries, submitted online, and a computer-based assessment, which is administered at a testing center.
National Board Teacher Certification
I signed up to certify for National Boards for teaching in 2016. I finished Component 1 the first year, component 2 in the second year, and components 3 and 4 in the final third year. I signed up hoping to stay current in teaching, to refresh my memory on language acquisition terms and teaching jargon, to improve my practice for myself and for my students. Upon completion of the program, I succeeded in becoming a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT). I have always been a very self-critical teacher, constantly reflecting to make modifications for improvement and to try new ways that might help student learn better. I think the NBCT process would be great for teachers who are not reflective, who don’t use data to make decisions about instruction, and who need to connect with students to be more effective in the classroom. I found that documenting my work to meet National Board requirements took so much time that my te aching actually suffered; it became a second priority so that I could put NBCT stuff first. I poured over the numerous instructional pages for each component and meticulously planned how I would demonstrate meeting the criteria and documenting that. It took additional hours to consolidate the ideas into the page number limits for narration and format. My real teaching was not my focus, but rather jumping through the hoops to meet the requirements. The program validated what I had already valued and practiced In my teaching upon starting the NBCT program, but it distracted me from the level, quality, and dedication I expect from myself. To work that hard, and prioritize that over family and teaching students was not the fulfilling process that I had hoped. The most disappointing aspect after doing all that work was the lack of quality feedback for each component. Feedback consists of very ambiguous adjectives in rubrics that barely graze the surface of the real work and analysis I submitted. The generic rubric feedback accompanied numerical scores weighted that require the candidate to play on the NBCT calculator website to find the right combination of components’ scores that would result in approved certification. I wa s thrilled and relieved to find out I earned certification on my first try; I didn’t have to pay extra money to resubmit sections based on the minimal feedback. However, my certification is good for five years and if I want to recertifications, in two years I get to start working on that. So for the next two years, I have hobbies again, my dog gets a walk and attention every day (husband, too), family is my top priority, and I am back to really teaching my students....