Dr. Baros is a dedicated researcher, educator, and LGBTQ advocate. Her areas of expertise are proficiency-based language teaching and creating inclusive environments for LGBTQ students and people.
Let's talk about how to process all the information given to you to help you become an NBCT. Here's the secret:
It's simply too much. On top of everything you're already doing for to be an amazing teacher worthy of NBCT certification, this is just too much to wrap your head around. Plus, it's intentionally vague at almost every turn (except formatting!). However, that's ok. You just have to approach this with reasonable and practical expectations for yourself, which I categorize as "Kiddie Pools" and "Deep Dives" - in either case, remember, DON'T DROWN IN PANIC!!
You're going to read each part of your components countless times. Expect it. Come to this activity with a specific intention. Most of the time, it'll be a kiddie pool - you're getting a general idea, looking for some insight you might not have had before, and seeking guidance on how to continuously correct course. These activities include:
You'll only do one or two "Deep Dives" in to the Standards and each Component, and that will take place AFTER you've done the first three Kiddie Pool activities listed above. This is where you're getting down to the nitty-gritty of what exactly they are expecting of NBCT candidates to successfully certify. You will only take small, specific chunks at a strategic times (if you're referencing my 4 in 1 timeline, these are the times where I say "drill down") with the goal of identifying fine details and coming up with your specific game plan for completing that component. DO NOT try to do this all at once - you will be reading, processing, and reflecting on your practice simultaneously while parsing the text for specific information that will, inevitably, but unsatisfying vague. That's a lot of work.
Now that you have a reasonable idea of how to use and digest the information NBCT gives you, you're ready to BUILD YOUR BINDER(s)! I recommnd getting a LARGE (3" at the very least) binder to put everything in, especially as it's helpful at times to be able to quickly reference and cross-reference different components and resources. Alternatively, you could put each Component in its own 1" binder and then have a fifth binder for your General Portfolio Guidelines and your specific Standards.
Printing instructions - I HIGHLY recommend that you print these either at work (check with your district to see if they give an NBCT printing allowance as they sometimes use a separate code) or bite the bullet and print it at a print shop. If you print at home like I did, be prepared to go through 2 ink cartridges, at least:
Now, add your tabs to each section:
Standards: Add a tab at the beginning of each standard so you can flip to it quickly
Components: Each component has the same structure. Add tabs to locate what you're looking for quickly:
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