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National Board Certification Tips for Teachers

If you are on the path to National Board Certification, you're on a crazy journey!  I certified EMC-Literacy in 2010, and it was a huge undertaking.  Here's a bit of advice that was super helpful to me when I was working on my portfolio.  (Disclaimer:  I'm not an expert, just giving friendly advice.)
Click to visit the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards
Set yourself a schedule.  Enlist support from family/friends to stick to that schedule.  My kids were 2 and 7 when I took NBs, and it was difficult.  One day each weekend, my kids would visit grandparents for the day or my husband would take them out and about for the day.  I spent at least one full day every weekend working on this from Jan-March.  April and May were spent studying for the Assessment Center.  I had a fabulous study group, and we would meet, have coffee, commiserate, and make flashcards together.

Make sure you are collecting work samples from several children (I work with kids who move a lot during the year, so I chose between 5-10 to keep samples on).  If you think you might forget what the assignment was, jot it on a sticky note and attach or take a picture with your phone to help you remember.  Also, get all parent permission forms signed early, so you know which kids can be in your videos.  That way, you have plenty of options about which student(s) to highlight in your portfolio.

Videotape often!  Even if you just keep the camera set up without using it, you'll be able to get your class (and yourself) more comfortable about being videotaped.  It also lets you try different camera positions/locations to minimize anyone accidentally knocking into your camera while you are videotaping.  If you can, enlist help with videotaping.  When I was a Technology Specialist, I helped several teachers with using the equipment, setting it up, troubleshooting, and burning DVDs for submissions.  A tech-savvy friend can be extraordinarily helpful.  Sure, you could spend the time figuring it all out yourself, but time is a luxury.

If possible, try to have some videos recorded before Christmas break.  This allows you a bit of time to watch the videos and reflect on them while you are a bit more relaxed.  You can always go back and record new ones, if you want!

Try to have your videos completed by Jan/Feb, so you can go back and write.  Enlist the help of at least 5 people to help with editing.  Be sure to include someone who is not in your field and a Grammar Geek, since they will help you sound clear and precise.

There are also many resources online to help.  Angela Watson's tips from The Cornerstone For Teachers is amazing, and she answered so many questions I didn't even realize I had!

If you want to see pictures of my portfolio getting packed, click on the picture below to see a post about it...

Best of luck!!  Happy weekend, y'all!  :)


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