Tracey Bryant Stuckey

 Blog: Education Redefined

What are the Four Components to the National Board Certification Process?

Oct 19, 2022

The National Board Certification process for teachers is broken up into what is called four components.

Component 1 National Board Certification is completed at a testing center via the computer where you are tested on your content knowledge and pedagogical practice from the National Board Certification certificate area that you have chosen to pursue. Now this probably isn't a test that you're used to. There are 45 multiple choice questions on a part of it that are called selected response items and then there are constructed response exercises which are a little bit more than like an essay question. Through Component 1 you will have the ability to study some sample scenarios and the content being scored. You will be able to practice the writing for Component 1 through the rubrics provided in the scoring section of the candidate guide.  Stimuli that you must look at and analyze for some prompts can sometimes be tricky for teachers to “off the cuff” analyze in a...

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When is the Best Time to Start National Board Certification?

Sep 19, 2022

So you want to complete the National Board Certification process in one year or you may be saying when is the best time to start the National Board certification process if I want to complete it in one year? The short answer is it should be started as early as possible in the school year. Many teachers start working through the standards for the process in the summer before they actually begin the process and others learn the standards as they go along.


I’ve developed a New Candidate Academy to help initial candidates jump start into National Board Certification.  This three day event will help you in getting started on National Board Certification and help you figure out when you should complete each component of the process. This academy will take you through how the process works, how an assessor scores your portfolios and how to prepare to earn a passing score on each component for NBPTS.


I've also taken the time to create an NBPTS calendar of fun (as...

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NBPTS Standards - Why they matter!

Jul 18, 2021

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. The NBPTS Standards now drive the instruction of over 125,000 NBCTs nationwide in 25 certificate areas.

The NBPTS standards are written as a guide for what TEACHERS should be doing to affect student learning. These standards and the fact that you can connect your teaching practice to them in writing, help the assessors know you understand what is affecting growth in your students and why/how you can continue to see future impact on student learning.

State or Common Core Content Standards – What are they and why do they matter?

State or Common Core Standards for instruction are written as what STUDENTS should be doing to prove mastery of grade level skills they should know and be able to do in each content area. These standards drive content and pedagogical planning and instruction by teachers...

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Three styles of writing for the NBPTS initial certification process

Jul 07, 2021

How do I understand what the Portfolio Questions are asking me to do, and what is the best way to plan to answer them? This is the 24-million-dollar question that almost every National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) candidate asks themselves at one point or another during the initial or retake portfolio process! The questions seem vague and repetitive at first glance.  Then you realize what it truly is they want you to do. The National Board (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 National Board Certification for Teachers (NBPTS) from the lens of a doctor.  Let’s look at an example of how this would look:

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

The doctor...

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Creating a Safe, Fair, and Equitable Learning Environment

Jul 05, 2021

Accomplished teachers are committed to teaching children in ways that are fair and equitable. It is significant that NBCTs have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to address inequities and promote fair and equitable approaches to instructing students – not always equal!  In addition, as a NBCT you will also focus on developing a learning environment where students appreciate the diversity of their peers and the diverse opinions of others.  NBCTs empower students to treat each other respectfully and in turn the teacher practices fairness in his/her practice as well.  Most importantly, accomplished teachers understand and appreciate the individual differences and unique needs of the students they teach.  Diversity in a NBCT’s classroom is represented by multiple perspectives and sensitivity to the individual needs of all students.

10 Must Dos to create a Safe, Fair, and Equitable Learning Environment

Use a variety of teaching methods to reach all...

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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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