Templeton Middle School teacher Rhonda Watton was one of 62 teachers statewide to be certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) in 2005.
Watton, a social studies teacher, earned her certification in Early Adolescent Social Studies. The national board certification is one of the profession’s top recognitions. The process requires intense self-reflection and measures a teacher’s practice against high and rigorous standards. Offered on a voluntary basis and valid for 10 years, the advanced system of national board certification complements, but does not replace, state licensing. The number of certified teachers in Wisconsin now totals 328.
The process is unique because it assesses teachers’ knowledge and their ability to apply skills and professional judgment in the classroom. Candidates must critically analyze their practice and demonstrate how effectively they act on their insights.
Because there is a direct connection between what teachers know and what students learn, NBPTS-certified teachers are expected to possess deep subject knowledge and the ability to teach in ways that help students learn.
Assessments consist of portfolio entries and assessment center exercises. Teachers prepare their portfolios by videotaping their teaching, gathering student learning products and other teaching examples, and providing detailed analyses of their practice. The portfolio is designed to capture teaching in real-time, real-life settings, allowing trained assessors to examine how teachers translate knowledge and theory into practice.
At the assessment center, teachers write answers to questions that relate to their fields. These exercises validate the knowledge and skills exhibited in the portfolio and give candidates an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and skills not sampled in the portfolio.