Education Redefined

Supporting Lifelong Growth and Learning

NBPTS Maintenance of Certificate (MOC) versus Renewal Rubric

Jun 22, 2020

Well folks… we are entering into a new era!  It’s Maintenance of Certification time at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and this means only one thing – many of you are probably nervous about the changes and wondering what may be in store for you through this new process.

For me, these changes are exciting!  After more than 20 years working with candidates (and the last ten years focusing exclusively on renewal candidates), I know how empowering the renewal process (and now Maintenance of Certificate) is for a teacher’s professional development.  Oh, the things you learn about yourself and the new impacts you will make on student learning are amazing!

So, to help you on this journey I thought the best place to start would be to compare the old versus the new. As you all know, the rubric is your road map to success in the MOC process.  You meet the bullets, you maintain certification.  You do not meet the bullets;...

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NBPTS Renewal During COVID-19 Pandemic

Mar 26, 2020

NBPTS Renewal is stressful, but especially so during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Take a look below to watch the Zoom Webinar from 03/23/2020. This will hopefully provide a little bit of clarity during these uncharted and stressful times!

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The Parking Lot!

Jan 01, 2020

To many of my readers the idea of a parking lot is not a new strategy.  I’m sharing this idea with you as a professional organizational tool more than a classroom pedagogical tool for the sake of this blog entry.  There is so much information that must flow from your brain to paper to complete the PPG Renewal portfolio for NBPTS.  This visual will be an asset for you to “park” your thoughts, ideas, and reflect daily.  It covers all the areas that most candidates feel overwhelmed in throughout the process.  Let’s unpack this document to see how it could help you.

  1. Questions – Each time you have a question about anything related to the process, park it in the upper left quadrant until you can get to your renewal coach or into your support groups/cohorts.
  2. Like – Each time you “like” an idea that you believe fits within your story or choice of videotaped lesson/s, post the link in the upper right-hand quadrant...
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Learner Work Samples-- Who are our Learners? How Do I choose Powerful Samples to Analyze?

Dec 25, 2019

Learner work samples are a powerful way to showcase your breadth and depth as a teacher.  Don’t get me wrong, videos are great, but work samples have tremendous analytical value.  So, let’s answer the two most popular questions surrounding learner work samples. 

Can learners be different from the students I teach? 

YES! Learners in component 3 can be adults, such as parents, childcare assistants, mentees, colleagues, and even administrators. Learners can also be students that are outside of the certificate area you first certified in 8-10 years ago.  Learners can also be the students you currently teach.


Furthermore, how do you choose powerful samples? 

Choosing powerful learner work samples is easy.  All you need to remember is they must pass the analysis test.  The sample must be able to answer any question that begins with WHY, HOW, or IN WHAT WAYS relative to the goal written for the assignment and your teaching...

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Video Tips to Prove Impact on Student Learning

Dec 18, 2019


The number one mission that you are on while completing the Profile for Professional Growth (Renewal process for NBPTS) is to prove you are impacting student learning.   The best way to show proof of this is through your videotaped lessons in Component 2 and 3. 

Are you fretting over the video process?

Do you feel like you don’t know where to begin planning for the perfect videotaped lesson that showcases you depth and breadth as a master teacher?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, you must take the time to work through my free course titled Video Like a Pro

             ---------------CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW-------------------

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How do I understand what the Portfolio Questions are asking me to do, and what is the best way to plan to answer them?

Dec 11, 2019

Here my friend is the 24-million-dollar question that almost every NBPTS candidate asks themselves at one point or another during the portfolio process! The questions seem vague and repetitive it first glance.  Then you realize what it truly is they want you to do.  NBPTS wants you to unpack the question to fit your situation.  We are all different.  Our student population is not the same, and our professional experiences are unique to the communities we serve.  Therefore, you must tackle the written commentary portion of NBPTS with the lens of a doctor.  Let’s look at any example of how this would look.

First questions in a written commentary set are descriptive in nature.  THINK & WRITE DESCRIPTIVELY!

The doctor asks: “Describe to me your symptoms and what you have done so far to solve this health problem.” 

The teacher asks: “What is/or has been my current teaching/learning situation and what do my learners look...

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Reflective Writing for NBPTS Portfolio Success

Dec 04, 2019

In this post I will be discussing the third and final writing style that will prove your ability to reflect on your teaching and students’ learning in a deep and meaningful way.  This writing style will show convincing evidence to prove your ability to significantly impact student learning through your practice. 

In Components 2 and 3, plus the reflection, reflective writing is used as a “thought process” that must be engaged in after each teaching or growth experience.   Through your reflection, you will determine how you would approach similar situations in the future and what changes you would likely make to improve the experience for your learners. This reflective writing is extremely important for the assessor to understand how you will use what you have learned from your lessons and PGEs to inform and improve your teaching in the future.

I know what you are saying now, how do I know the difference in whether the NBPTS wants me to write...

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Analytical Writing for NBPTS Porfolio Success

Nov 27, 2019

In this post I will be discussing the second and most important writing style necessary for producing a portfolio that shows convincing evidence toward meeting the rubric bullets. 

In Component 1 analytical writing is used in the PPG to “dissect the scene” for each PGE.   In addition, you will use analytical writing to demonstrate, with evidence, that your learning experiences (and goals) are appropriate in both Component 2 and 3. Your analytical writing will showcase what your students’ performance suggests about your teaching. Through your analysis, you will clarify why you made the decisions you made and why you interpret student growth or lack of growth (with the support of evidence) relative to your choices in the lesson. This analytical writing is extremely important for the assessor to understand the why, in what ways, and how questions related to each PGE. You are using the evidence of learner work to explain and illustrate your practice...

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MILESTONES- The Backbone to the National Board Certification Renewal Process

Nov 20, 2019

Webster’s Definition of Milestone

an action or event marking a significant change or stage in development

          -Babies reach milestones.

          -Toddlers reach milestones.

          -Adolescents reach milestones.

          -Teenagers reach milestones.

          -And… TEACHERS reach milestones, as well!

Well, if you are going through the NBPTS renewal process, you better be showcasing some milestones.  You see, this is what the PPG (renewal portfolio) is really founded on – Milestones (significant changes).

Where do they go in the PPG?

So, what should they look like?

How do you know if you have any to write about?

Let’s dive deeper in each of these questions.

  1. Where do they go in the Profile of Professional Growth for...
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NBPTS Standards vs. State Content Standards-- How to use them and why they matter!

Nov 13, 2019

NBPTS Standards – What are they and why do they matter?

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards first published “What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do” in 1989.  They later updated the document in 2016.  This list of five core propositions is the backbone for which the NBPTS teaching standards were then written and later revised by practicing “master” teachers at work in their classrooms. The NBPTS Standards now drive the instruction of over 122,000 NBCTs nationwide in 25 certificate areas.

During the NBPTS initial portfolio, teachers become intimately aware of these national teaching standards and begin to mold them into part of their muscle memory.  This ensures they become reflective in their practice and consistently showcase teaching that encourages a deep understanding of their students, while also planning for a presentation of rigorous content knowledge.  These standards drive NBCTs to use data and...

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