Friday, October 24, 2014

NBPTS Renewed: A Turning Point

About 12 years ago upon moving to a new school and new grade, I decided to couple the change with the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards candidacy requirements. I figured it was a good chance to challenge myself to meet national standards as I embarked on a new grade level and school.

It took the 400 hours they predict to complete all the tasks, and at first, I didn't pass. There was one area that I missed completely. I bought a well regarded book on the topic and read the book, then took the test again and became a National Board Professional Teacher (NBPT).  I was very proud of the accomplishment, and saw it as affirmation of my work and effort.

The ten years after receiving certification passed quickly with a lot of new learning for me and lots and lots of change in education--change which I embraced for the most part. Then the time came to renew. I debated whether I should renew or not as the certification is not regarded with much consideration in my teaching/learning circles, yet I did like being apart of this national group of teachers who care a lot about education so I put in the time to make a video with my student teacher's help (Thanks Lauren) and complete all the written assessments related to the renewal process last November and December.  My system leadership also generously agreed to support my effort by paying the recertification fees if I passed.

Then today I heard the good news--my certification was renewed and I'll be an NBPT for another ten years.

What does that mean?

First, it means that I have to live up to this title, and for me that means embracing the challenges that lie in front of me as an elementary school teacher. The first challenge is communication--how do I relay my ideas for change, teaching excellence, and a students-first environment with care, compassion, trust, and inclusion.  This is the first area of teaching and learning I'll devote myself to with the help of a tremendous coach, the consult of a number of well regarded books, and lots of positive practice.

Next, I'll continue to stay abreast of the evolving landscape of education with keen attention towards apt learning design.  Just this week I presented my research and action related to this topic (see below), and I will continue to build my ability to design learning well to empower, engage, and educate all children within my charge.

If you haven't attempted the NBPTS process or if you're considering whether to renew or not, I suggest you give it a try. The process really makes you think a lot about who you are as an educator and where you want to grow and develop to meet your professional expectations with strength.  The best case scenario would be to embark on this endeavor with interested colleagues.  If you have any questions about it, please don't hesitate to contact me.  I wish you well.

MassCUE 2014 Learning Design Presentation