by Joanna Murray, NBCT
NU NB Leadership Center Program Ambassador
For more information, attend our upcoming Component 4 Support webinar on December 19--free to all NBCT-EDGE members. Visit our Professional Support Series page for more details.
The instructions for the 4th and final component of the new National Board Certification process have been released. As many people in the field of education, and especially those closely tied to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) community know, there has been a revamp of the National Board Certification (NBC) process that has been taking place over the last few years. The restructuring of the NBC process started in 2014 with a reformatting of what was the assessment center portion of the test, now called Component 1. Three of the other four Components of the entire assessment were brought on line, one per year since then; however, until last week, Component 4 had not yet been made public. Now that Component Four is officially online, we can all begin to articulate an understanding of the new expectations for what replaces the former Entry 4; and much has changed. Let's take a closer look for what we can expect in engaging with this final Component of the NBPTS assessment.
What Can Candidates Expect to Focus on for the Component Four Entry?
The Component Four, Effective and Reflective Practitioner portfolio entry provides you with the opportunity to highlight your abilities as an effective and reflective practitioner to best support learners. Component Four will involve gathering information from a variety of sources about a group of students; using assessments to effectively plan for and positively impact students’ learning; and providing evidence of collaboration with families and caregivers, the community, colleagues and of contributions to learning communities to advance students’ learning and growth. The types of information candidates submit, the sources of that information, and how you use them will be specific to subject area and the unique characteristics of your students, school, district, and community. As with the other Components, this portfolio entry and the rubric used to assess your submission align with the Five Core Propositions and the certificate area Standards.
What do I Prepare and Submit?
You will begin by gathering evidence in the following categories:
Contextual Information Sheet--You will describe the broader context in which you teach. You will identify the type of school/program in which you teach, the grade/subject configuration, and the number of students and courses you teach. Include, as well, information necessary for the assessor to understand your portfolio entry and any significant information about space, staff, access to technology, and/or other constraints.
Knowledge of Students and Generation and Use of Assessment Data--You will select one group of students as the focus for both the Knowledge of Students and the Generation and Use of Assessment Data sections of this portfolio entry. You will gather information from a variety of sources about this group of students; and select and use assessments (formative, summative, and student self-assessments) to effectively plan for, and positively impact your students’ learning.
Participating in Learning Communities--You will identify and describe both a professional learning need, and a student need which you have worked on collaboratively with colleagues, contributed to learning communities, taken on a leadership role with the larger community, and/or collaborated with families and caregivers to advance students’ learning and growth. The types of information you submit, the sources of that information, and how you use this information will be specific to your subject area and the unique characteristics of your students, school, district, and community.
Written Commentary--After preparing evidence and documentation of Contextual Information, Knowledge of Students and Generation and Use of Assessment Data, and evidence of Participation in Learning Communities, you will write a commentary (no more than 12 pages) on your practice of gathering and using information about students and how you contribute to positive changes for students in the same areas for which you have already gathered evidence culminating this work through the Written Commentary on the following:
1. Knowledge of Students
2. Generation and Use of Assessment Data
3. Participation in Learning Communities
Reflection--In this final section of your Written Commentary, you will reflect on your entry as a whole, articulating efficacy in your efforts to develop and articulate strong knowledge of students, assessment practices, interactions with colleagues, students' families/caregivers, and other community members, and involvement in professional learning communities. You will connect these insights to efficacy in advancing students' growth and articulate a plan for continued personal growth moving forward.
Summing It Up
Component 4 provides you with the opportunity to highlight your abilities as an effective and reflective practitioner by developing and applying your knowledge of your students using evidence. Taken as a whole, you are asked to describe, in your writing, a profile of a group of students by collecting relevant information from families and caregivers, the community, colleagues, and other sources; demonstrate that your assessment choices made in an instructional unit are based on knowledge of the students gained from collaboration with multiple sources, the learning objectives of the unit, an articulation of an understanding of sound assessment principles and practices, and how the information is used to effectively plan for and make a positive impact on student learning.
For more information on obtaining National Board Certification support through our center, be sure to visit our Professional Development Series page and attend our support webinars, which includes information toward earning a Master’s with NBC as a component of the relevant coursework, or a doctoral degree with fee and time reduction for NBCTs.