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, retake, or MOC 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) with 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 asks: “Describe to me your symptoms and what you have done so far to solve this health...
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 1 and 2, 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 analytically or...
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...
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 Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process, you better be showcasing at least ONE milestone. You see, this is what the Profile of Professional Growth (MOC portfolio) is really founded on – Milestones (significant changes).
Where do they go in the portfolio?
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....
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 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. To maintain your status as a national board certified teacher, you will need to use these standards and insert snippets of them into your analytical and reflective writing throughout the portfolio. These standards and the fact that you can connect your teaching practice to them in writing, help the assessors know you...
Unlike the initial certification process for the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, the renewal process allows for only a few pages of written commentary, which requires extreme control on the part of the writer to use his/her words wisely. Therefore, it is important to understand the types of writing needed and when to use them.
In this post I will be discussing the first and maybe most important writing style necessary for producing a portfolio that is clear and concise.
Descriptive writing is used in the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) portfolio to “set the scene” for each PGE in Component One. In fact, most of Component One’s 8-page written commentary will be descriptive writing. In addition, you will use descriptive writing to set the stage for your lesson in Component Two. You will need to logically order a detailed description of your instructional choices and situation. This description is extremely...
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has nine clear and concise rubric points that should be followed from the beginning to the end of the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process. As a teacher coach, my style is to help teachers begin with the end in mind. Therefore, I think it is important for you to understand that this is the end. These rubric points are what your entire portfolio submission is graded on. Your job is to provide clear, concise, and convincing evidence to meet these through your planning, writing, and video lessons. So how do you get you started?
First things first, look at the VERBS to determine what NBPTS wants you to DO:
There are so many types of needs but in the classroom the ones that matter are:
Through your Maintenance of Certification (MOC) renewal portfolio, you need to first define your professional growth experiences but second connect the needs you met to that PGE.
It is important to remember that multiple needs will be addressed in strong professional growth experiences. I have taken the time to outline some pretty common needs teachers connect to their PGEs.
For a deeper understanding and more specific examples, you may want to join my RENEW LIKE A PRO program & candidate cohort.
You are never alone on this journey and I have a feeling you are preparing right now to… GROW BIG!
The National Board Certification renewal process is built on developing two powerful professional growth experiences that showcase a teacher’s work since initial certification (or the teacher’s last renewal cycle). Many times determining what these two PGEs are is the hardest part of the process for teachers.
How do you choose a PGE?
What makes a PGE worthy of meeting the renewal rubric?
Should it be big or small?
After renewing my certification twice and scoring renewals for several years, I have unlocked the secrets to a powerful PGE. Use the checklist below to determine whether your PGE ideas are worthy of being in your Professional Profile of Growth (PPG portfolio for renewal candidates).