The Road to National Board Certification: Part One–Getting Organized

If you’re a teacher and you don’t like school supplies, well—I just don’t understand.

As I was sifting through all the documents NB requires you to read—forms, standards, hundreds of pages of directions—I came to a realization, looked up at my husband, and said:

I’m gonna need a bigger binder. 

So I got a bigger binder, tabbed it up, and began highlighting. Everything I’ve read recently about starting this process recommend starting with the standards and highlighting what you already do, kind of already do, and don’t do. I’m not done yet but my general thoughts right now are–I don’t do a whole lot of this. So, I guess that means I better start. I can already feel my mindset shifting just by reading the standards that lay out what accomplished teachers do, and if that’s happening then I’m excited to see how that translates to my teaching–even if I don’t certify this year.

Other ways I’m preparing:

-About half a year ago I downloaded the Kindle version of What Works! by Bobbie Faulkner. It looks like it will be a lot of help when I’m writing the analyses. has many great forums and question boards, and someone has been so kind as to respond to a question I have!

-I’m taking a support class with a neighboring district of mine.

-Cult of Pedagogy’s blog post about NB certification is a great motivator and full of wisdom.

Oh, yeah—the school year has started, and I have only questioned my life choices like 83 times! Woo! I miss summer, but it’s cool to be with the kids again. I keep freaking out about certification and wondering whether I’m going to survive the year, but I have so much support around me that I keep going. Thanks to everyone for your encouragement and positivity 🙂

Next up, Part Two–Planning the instruction cycle with NBPTS in mind.




  1. I also teach in an alternative high school (ELA and a variety of other subjects) and just earned my NBCT “rank”. [It took me 3 years – for a variety of reasons…though I struggled two of the years with the small-group entry because my classes are typically small and making small groups out of small classes to meet the entry requirements was challenging]

    I just wanted to say “kudos” for working through the process and to wish you luck! I’m enjoying reading about your journey 🙂

    1. Thanks Cyndi! So good to hear from an alternative school board certified teacher. I have a class I’m taking where I’m the rookie-est and the odd man out because I’m at an alternative school. Currently struggling with my entries because we have six week sessions where we switch classes. Thanks for following! I’ll welcome any tips 🙂

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