Finally understanding how to connect the dots and bring everything you do back to impacting the student is the critical component of earning National Board certification. It is a learning process. It’s all about the right focus and being intentional (plus specific) with your written commentaries. Think about things differently and you will be successful!
What went wrong? As the pass rate for initial certification with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is only around 40% on the first attempt, many teachers find themselves asking this very question. While coaching teachers through the NBPTS process for the past 23 years I’ve found particular themes that seem to encompass the work of most teachers who seek my support for figuring out - What went wrong? Why did I receive this score? In no particular order these mistakes are as follows:
Where should I change my planning, thinking and writing? You must do different to have different when retaking components for the National Board Certification process. This seems like a no-brainer until you get to those very vague feedback statements sent to you on your NBPTS score report. It is so much easier said than done - I get it!
My advice to you on your retake attempt is as follows:
What should I retake? Preview your score report and think about your attempt/s prior to this retake experience. Where do you feel confident that you can/will grow? Which area will offer you the most points on the weighted scale to reach the overall 110 score? Use the scoring calculator to determine what you will need to get on the component/s you choose to retake.
Review those 4.0 rubrics to make sure you understand what it is you will have to provide evidence of and that you feel confident you can adjust the way you attack the process this time.
Why should I trust I will not make the same mistakes again? Hopefully, at this point in this blog post, you recognize (at least loosely) what your initial mistakes were to not certify. Now you have to realize that your assessor has the rubric for your entry with BLANK BOXES to fill in with evidence that YOU provide them. The assessor cannot infer things or summarize what they think you may have meant. It is either there or not there. So, you must begin to plan and write with that information in mind.
❏ Trust yourself to provide the evidence towards the rubric.
❏ Point out how significant your work is by attaching the standards to your writing to embody that significance.
❏ Go deep into your practice and expose WHY you do what you do.
❏ Why do your methods work and why do some of your strategies fail? It is important to note that pointing out changes/additions and next steps is an extremely important part of meeting any rubric for the National Board Certification process.
❏ Make sure to let the assessor know how you use your knowledge of students and sound pedagogical practices to guide and redirect your instructional decisions.
❏ Expand your classroom walls to collaborate with many and indirectly impact more than just your own students
❏ Remind yourself that your written commentaries are the only eyes the assessors have into seeing your classroom - don’t be fluffy!
Who can help me see things differently? If you are still feeling unsure about how you will trust yourself to embark on this journey again, find a cohort to join and a coach to support you through the retake process. Never Work Alone - www.traceybryantstuckey.com