Tracey Bryant Stuckey

 Blog: Education Redefined

National Board Certification support - Never Work Alone!

Jul 05, 2021

As an NBPTS candidate, you don’t have to work alone while you journey toward being among the best of the best educators in the U.S. and abroad. 

 But since you may work in a district that doesn’t provide adequate candidate support, you may be feeling some self doubt over whether you can actually do this creeping in. 

 Creating your NBPTS portfolio is just one more thing on your plate — at a time when being a teacher is already asking for everything you’ve got.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not the only one.

The NBPTS certification process is a long and complicated process — I’ve been through it and renewed certification twice myself! — and recent changes that included reducing candidate support have proven to add even more pressure to the process that should make you feel alive and accomplished as a teacher but instead causes anxiety. 

 But the stress surrounding this process shouldn’t...

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Understanding the 5 Ws to be successful on your RETAKE journey!

Jul 05, 2021

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:

  • Teacher was focused on the larger picture instead of providing the assessor with specific details...
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National Board Certification - Is it worth it?

Jul 04, 2021

Are you seeking to reflect upon and improve your teaching practice?  If you answered yes, National Board Certification for teachers may be just the thing you need to reach the next level. Let’s dive into the process to see if it would be worth it for you!

What? It is a National Certification process (Think advanced board certifications that doctors or therapists achieve and add behind their names.) that is centered around five core propositions that show teachers are committed to their students and learning, are knowledgeable of the subjects they teach, and can effectively teach those subjects to students. In addition, National Board teachers are members of learning communities, and they're responsible for managing and monitoring their learning, as well as thinking systematically about their practice.

When? The registration window opens each year in September and portfolio entries (called components) are due by mid-May of that school year. To be eligible for a...

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National Board Certification Pass Rate

Jul 04, 2021

This is a question that comes up often from teachers considering the National Board Certification process.  I am assuming this is the “elephant in the room” because those asking the question see the investment as a financially large undertaking or it isn’t typical for a teacher to have what is seen as “limited control” over the outcome of a scenario in his/her classroom. 

I’m always puzzled by teachers I consider to be amazing in the classroom - artists of building classroom communities grounded in student-centered learning, developers of growth mindsets in their students and innovators of collaborative relationships wherever they are needed to advance student learning say, “No, I can’t sign up for National Board Certification because I’m afraid I will fail and it isn’t a risk I’m willing to take.” 

With all of that being said, I say to you as a master teacher reading this blog and potentially...

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Get off the Struggle Bus for the MOC Process

Jul 04, 2021

Actual Questions from the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Process

Respond to the following prompts for each of your PGEs.

    1.   Provide a context of the professional situation that indicates what relevant need(s) of students, the professional community, parents/guardians, and/or yourself you are addressing with your PGE.

    2.   Identify your PGE (e.g., provide a title), describe your PGE, and explain how your PGE demonstrates a response to the identified need(s).

    3.   In the context of your PGE, explain how you have acquired and deepened your certificate area–specific content knowledge and/or your pedagogical knowledge and skills to remain current, including use of research and/or use of other professional activities.

    4.   Analyze ways in which your PGE and related activities positively impacted student learning whether directly or indirectly.

    5.   Reflect on the PGE presented, including the steps, milestones, or goals you accomplished through this...

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Goals vs Standards

Jul 04, 2021

First, standards - refers to the universal model or approved content and/or pedagogy that should be followed to meet the underwritten standard for an organization.  Think about the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.  They are the guiding principles that NBCTs follow to achieve and maintain excellence in the classroom.  Your state has adopted standards that outline the specific information students must know and be able to do across each grade level to be able to perform proficiently on the End of Year assessment tool.  Standards are typically seen as overarching when compared to goals, targets or objectives when being used in the classroom.

Second, goals - refers to the specific information you want your students to know and be able to do within the scope of a lesson or unit of study/project.  Goals are measurable and use verbs found on the Bloom’s Taxonomy scale.  Sometimes they are called learning targets or objectives. They...

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Broader Context in Teaching: How does it align with student impact and my goals?

Jul 03, 2021

Broader Context in Teaching

The broader context in teaching refers simply to the bigger idea or overarching understanding that you have used within your planning of this lesson.  The broader context, by definition is generally so large that it combines many goals over a long period of time for students to begin to internalize it.

But what can the broader context mean in your lesson plan template?

Think about it as your big idea (the umbrella) of everything under it (goals - seen as raindrops in the image below) and together planning from a broader perspective into a more narrow, measurable focus students will result in large puddles of learning (see the graphic below) for the students in your classroom. 

Broader Context and NBPTS

For the sake of the NBPTS Maintenance of Certification process, you aren’t expected to prove that students meet the broader context for learning in examples.  Instead, the assessor is looking for evidence that you are able to plan...

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Content vs. Pedagogy: Differences and Connections Between the Two

Jul 03, 2021

Component 1 of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Maintenance of Certification process asks what seems like a simple question.

This component instructs you to write about the ways you have acquired and deepened content and pedagogical knowledge in your NBPTS certificate area (rubric bullet #2) during the renewal period.

Oftentimes, terms like pedagogy vs. content confuse teachers. However, there is a very clear difference (and link) between the two. Let’s unpack them in this blog.

Pedagogical and Content Knowledge

Question #3 in Component 1 of the Maintenance of Certification Process asks: In the context of your PGE, explain how you have acquired and deepened your certificate area–specific content knowledge and/or your pedagogical knowledge and skills to remain current, including use of research and/or use of other professional activities.

Understanding the difference tween content and pedagogy is vital for providing a complete and accurate...

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Renew Like a Pro- Never Work Alone

Jul 02, 2021

As an NBPTS certified teacher, you’ve earned a spot among the best of the best educators.

But with your renewal date approaching, you may be feeling some self doubt creeping in. Creating your portfolio is just one more thing on your plate — at a time when being a teacher is already asking for everything you’ve got.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not the only one. NBPTS renewal is a long and complicated process — I’ve been through it twice myself! — and recent changes have made it seem even more convoluted. Plus, there’s a lot at stake!

But the stress surrounding this process shouldn’t stand in the way of your continued success as a teacher, and you don't have to go through it alone.

As a former NBPTS assessor, I’ve seen firsthand what makes a great portfolio. And I’ve used my experience to completely reverse engineer the renewal process.

I’ve coached thousands of teachers just like you through their...

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Finding Evidence

Jul 02, 2021

Many teachers find the evidence portion of the Maintenance of Certification process to be highly stressful, either because they feel they don't have enough evidence or that the NBPTS is too restrictive in their four page limit. 

 As a former renewal assessor, I’m here to tell you not to worry about either side and to try to think about how you can build evidence into your written commentary.  Creating a written commentary full of examples, stories, or pointed evidence is an easy way to earn those brownie points on the rubric without major anxiety over cramming or collaging (which is not advised) onto the four samples of product (SOP) pages.  In addition, you don’t want to present samples of products that may reduce the value of your milestone worthy PGEs.

Checkout my YouTube Channel that has a video on Evidence: CLICK HERE

The MOC guide for the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards states - “Your samples of products should exemplify...

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