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.
Well, it's midnight and I'm starving because I didn't eat dinner and I've been sitting in front of the computer for hours now. Why do I torture myself like this?
Because a good friend of mine let me know she was jumping into the NBCT waters and looking to get certified over the next year!
So, I listened to her thoughts and questions, got excited about them, and sat down to write a "short" email... I ended up copying and pasting the result from my "sent" mail to this blog to share with all of you.
As my friend is certifying in Library Media, the particular details are specific to this certification area based on a quick read of her component descriptions. Please, PLEASE, start off by visiting the Candidate Resources Page and download the standards and component instructions for your specific certification area. Double- and triple-checking the information there is mandatory, even if you're also a Library Specialist, but especially if you're not. There is a lot of overlap (after all, good teaching is good teaching), but particularly for components 2 and 3 there are details specific to each subject area (from my own cohort experience, elementary generalists and counselors have a particular doozy of requirements).
Don't worry about the forms just yet. You’ll come back to those when you're ready to begin writing about each component. Whether you're casually curious in what getting NBCT certified entails or are already committed, the goal of this first post is to give you a snapshot the whole process.
NOTE: I completed all four components and certified in the same year and my friend wants to give that a shot, so this is written with that timeline in mind. Be warned, though, I'm also in regular therapy now and addicted to Monster Energy Drinks. You have plenty of time to complete your certification - it's not worth killing yourself over.... This is a marathon, not a race. Do what I say, not what I do, because I'm not a marathon runner - I sprint... between bases... one at a time... after I bunt.. and then I chill in the outfield hoping nothing else comes my way (true story - my favorite softball position was as a pinch runner and I was glad that our whole team was bad because I didn't have any pressure to be good).
Getting started: Read each of the standards. Choose ONE SPECIAL COLOR for highlighting key words that you want to use when writing your commentary in order to clearly link what you’re doing to the standards. Annotate however else you please, but you won’t regret marking the key words. You’ll come back to this for EVERY component. The more you can plug in these words to describe what you’re doing, the better off you’ll be.
Release forms: GET THESE ASAP FROM EVERYONE IN EVERY CLASS – that way you know who you can and can’t include, especially for your videos. I ended having to scrap a video because I got release forms after I recorded it and I couldn’t get one from 2 students. It SUCKED. I also ended up switching students for component 2 to two I didn’t even expect, but then the Written commentary simply wrote itself for those students. I’m really glad I already had their forms on hand so I didn’t have to try to get them later. The release forms in various languages are here: https://www.nbpts.org/national-board-certification/candidate-center/first-time-and-returning-candidate-resources/
Key items in each component (in my preferred reading order – you will read most items many times over throughout this process):
Component Summaries (What to worry about from February 28 during the previous year through May 1st/Submission of your current year):
Component 1: (40%) Don’t worry about it until after you submit the rest of the stuff. Doing the rest of the stuff will also help you prep for the details in this one. Just put it out of your mind for now, though you should absolutely do it during your first year of working on NBCT.
Component 2: Differentiation (15%)
Component 3: (30%) Teaching Practice and Learning Environment (the videos; this is what’s MOST like a typical evaluation - they want to see how you teach)
Component 4: (15%) Effective and reflective practitioner
OK, that’s it for your “intro to your national boards” lesson 😉 Let me know in the comments or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions or thoughts. I'd love to hear from you! Until next time!
PS - stay home, stay healthy, and let the creative juices flow
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