Why You Should Become a National Board Certified Teacher: Two Business Technology Educators Share Their Opinions and Their Experiences with Regard to the Process of Becoming Certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

By Kruse, Rae Ann; Dvork, Carol | Techniques, September 2002 | Go to article overview

Why You Should Become a National Board Certified Teacher: Two Business Technology Educators Share Their Opinions and Their Experiences with Regard to the Process of Becoming Certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards


Kruse, Rae Ann, Dvork, Carol, Techniques


In 1999-2000, the first career and technical education pioneers applied for and achieved National Board Teacher Certification. In two short years, 590 career tech teachers nationwide have achieved certification. Should you apply for certification? The answer is YES!

The National Board's mission is "to establish high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do, to develop and operate a national voluntary system to assess and certify teachers who meet these standards, and to advance related education reforms for the purpose of improving student learning in American schools."

Career and technical education teachers are some of our nation's finest and deserve to be recognized. National Board Certification recognizes those teachers.

To apply for certification, you must hold a bachelor's degree, have completed three years of classroom teaching and hold a valid teaching license. You must also teach at the pre-K-12 level, not in a community college or university. Applicants can register online at the National Board Web site.

Candidates in 2002-2003 will have the advantage of registering and completing their portfolios in one of three cycles. Applicants who register between April 1 and June 30 will have a portfolio deadline of February 15. Those who apply July 1 through September 30 will complete their work by March 15, and those who apply October 1 to December 31 will meet an April 15 due date.

The Four Entries

After applying, candidates receive all the necessary paperwork in a portfolio box, usually in December. Over the next several months, candidates complete four performance-based entries by documenting classroom work, creating videotapes, submitting examples of student work, and writing analyses of student work and teacher reflection.

Entry 1 is an assessment of student learning. In this entry, the candidate submits two assessments from a related topic from two different points in time. The assessments must be different in form. For example, a carpentry instructor who conducts a unit on measuring could submit a written test and an evaluation of properly marking lengths on a board.

Entry 2 is a demonstration video. The 20-minute video depicts how the teacher engages the students in active learning. This video must show the teacher demonstrating the skill and every student successfully completing the new skill. The skills can range from simple to complex and must be suitable for that student's level of training. Some successful entries have been a nursing instructor demonstrating proper hand-washing techniques to a middle school class and a business technology teacher demonstrating how to create a macro.

Entry 3 is also based on a 20-minute videotaped lesson on fostering teamwork. The teacher must show two groups of three to six students engaged in a teamwork activity that parallels the expectations and requirements of a high-performance workplace.

Entry 4 documents the accomplishments of the partnerships a successful career and technical education teacher has in the community. These partnerships can be with students' families, community involvement and professional development. The evidence must show the teacher as a leader, learner and a collaborator.

Each of these entries includes up to 10 pages of typed documentation, examples of student work, instructor artifacts and descriptions of the activities. Be assured, National Certification is not an easy process. Many candidates have suggested setting aside at least 200 hours to complete the requirements. Candidates who are not successful the first year can bank their scores and retake the following two years.

The Written Exercises

Six more written exercises are completed during the summer at a testing center. Each written assessment is allotted 30 minutes. Candidates are sent prompts to help prepare for the questions but aren't allowed to take any materials into the testing center. …

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