Last winter I began the process of getting my National Board Certification. Looking back, I couldn't be happier that I made that choice, but I'm also looking forward to submitting my portfolio entries! For those of you who are considering the National Board process, I highly recommend it! I have become better at defending why I do what I do for my students and I have learned so much from my wonderful cohort of fellow applicants. I have one reflection and some editing left to do and then I will have to wait patiently until December to see how I've done. In the meantime, I will be studying away for the big test that (combined with my portfolio scores) will determine if I can call myself a National Board Certified Teacher. I will keep you all posted.
Are you interested in the National Board process? Here are my words of wisdom:
1. Join a cohort! This is not a solo process, you need to read the work of other candidates and you need to have other people read your work. My cohort meets once a month and we have a facilitator who is a NBCT. Although I really appreciate my whole cohort, I meet separately with the people working toward my same certificate at other times to continue the collaborative process.
2. Start early! Four portfolio entries and a 3 hour test does not sound like something that would take 14 months to prepare, but trust me...it has! You can only use student work from the current school year in your submissions, but there is plenty to do before then! Read and reread the directions, write Entry 4 (the only one not about student work), and get your test prep materials in order. You will be thankful later.
3. Have fun! Yes, it is a ton of writing. Of course you have a million other things to do. But the process has been so enjoyable that it makes the many hours spent in front of Microsoft Word feel worth it.
The ePortfolio system opens on April 1st! I'm looking forward to sending off my hard work to be evaluated!
Are you a NBCT? Are you thinking about starting the process?