Broader Context - What is it and how does it align with student impact and my goals?

Jul 03, 2021

The broader context refers simply to the bigger idea or overarching understanding that you have used within your planning of this lesson.  The broader context is generally so large that it combines many goals over a long period of time for students to begin to internalize it.  Think about it as your big idea (the umbrella) of everything under it (goals - seen as raindrops in the image below) and together planning from a broader perspective into a more narrow, measurable focus students will result in large puddles of learning (see the graphic below) for the students in your classroom.  For the sake of the NBPTS Maintenance of Certification process you aren’t expected to prove that students meet the broader context.  Instead, the assessor is looking for evidence that you are able to plan with the larger picture in mind.


Question #2 in Component 2 of the Maintenance of Certification Process asks: For the featured lesson, what were your goals, and how...

Continue Reading...

Content vs Pedagogy

Jul 03, 2021

Component 1 of the Maintenance of Certification process asks you to write about the ways you have acquired and deepened content and pedagogical knowledge in your NBPTS certificate area (rubric bullet #2) during the renewal period. Oftentimes, terms like content versus pedagogy confuse teachers, but there is a really clear difference (and link) between the two. Let’s unpack them in this blog.

Question #3 in Component 1 of the Maintenance of Certification Process asks: In the context of your PGE, explain how you have acquired and deepened your certificate area–specific content knowledge and/or your pedagogical knowledge and skills to remain current, including use of research and/or use of other professional activities.

First, content knowledge - it refers to the knowledge, subject-matter, content, concepts, information, curriculum, ideas, and principles you teach students each day. It is what students are expected to KNOW and BE ABLE TO DO or LEARN within your...

Continue Reading...

Renew Like a Pro- Never Work Alone

Jul 02, 2021

As an NBPTS certified teacher, you’ve earned a spot among the best of the best educators.

But with your renewal date approaching, you may be feeling some self doubt creeping in. Creating your portfolio is just one more thing on your plate — at a time when being a teacher is already asking for everything you’ve got.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not the only one. NBPTS renewal is a long and complicated process — I’ve been through it twice myself! — and recent changes have made it seem even more convoluted. Plus, there’s a lot at stake!

But the stress surrounding this process shouldn’t stand in the way of your continued success as a teacher, and you don't have to go through it alone.

As a former NBPTS assessor, I’ve seen firsthand what makes a great portfolio. And I’ve used my experience to completely reverse engineer the renewal process.

I’ve coached thousands of teachers just like you through their...

Continue Reading...

Bootcamp LIVE - Feel the energy & #GetItDone

Jul 02, 2021


  1. My personally developed framework that has worked in AMAZING ways to support NBCTs in renewing QUICKLY and CONFIDENTLY will be shared. It's never been so EASY to get to a "NO FLUFF in your STUFF" portfolio!
  2. How to work backwards from the RUBRIC to produce a WINNING PORTFOLIO.
  3. The ONE thing you can do in your planning (and it won't take long) that will allow you to reduce the time you have to invest in this process:

What you'll get:

  • Access to Private Bootcamp Facebook group where everything will be happening. You will receive a link upon registering. This group will remain open until 8am EST July 27th, then will disappear.
  • You will have access to the replays from Bootcamp Live Coaching Sessions until 8am EST on August 31st, by logging in at

A $67 coupon to be used towards the enrollment of the Renew Like a Pro Coaching Cohort. Get your seat today! It's the...

Continue Reading...

Finding Evidence

Jul 02, 2021

Many teachers find the evidence portion of the Maintenance of Certification process to be highly stressful, either because they feel they don't have enough evidence or that the NBPTS is too restrictive in their four page limit. 

 As a former renewal assessor, I’m here to tell you not to worry about either side and to try to think about how you can build evidence into your written commentary.  Creating a written commentary full of examples, stories, or pointed evidence is an easy way to earn those brownie points on the rubric without major anxiety over cramming or collaging (which is not advised) onto the four samples of product (SOP) pages.  In addition, you don’t want to present samples of products that may reduce the value of your milestone worthy PGEs.

Checkout my YouTube Channel that has a video on Evidence: CLICK HERE

The MOC guide for the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards states - “Your samples of products should exemplify...

Continue Reading...

10 Must-Dos to Achieve Equity & Diversity in your Classroom

Aug 27, 2020

Promoting equity and diversity in the classroom need not be a challenge and is something all children deserve.

  • Use a variety of teaching methods to reach all modalities-- auditory, visual, and kinesthetic.
  • Use a variety of assessment strategies to meet the testing needs of all students
  • Use adaptive equipment and strategies as needed to meet all learner needs (large print, visuals, ect...)
  • Set clear rules in regard to treating others fairly and equitably.
  • Encourage students to take on roles (that showcases their strengths) in heterogeneous cooperative groups.
  • Build a classroom community grounded in the principles of a democracy.
  • Avoid stereotypes and support gender neutrality in examples and resources.
  • Actively support multiculturalism in your lessons and the resources you use.
  • Ensure all students have equitable access to opportunities, resources, and participation that encourage growth and success.
  • Plan lessons that reflect the diversity of students in your classroom.



Continue Reading...

NBPTS Maintenance of Certificate (MOC) versus Renewal Rubric

Jun 22, 2020

Well folks… we are entering into a new era!  It’s Maintenance of Certification time at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and this means only one thing – many of you are probably nervous about the changes and wondering what may be in store for you through this new process.

For me, these changes are exciting!  After more than 20 years working with candidates (and the last ten years focusing exclusively on renewal candidates), I know how empowering the renewal process (and now Maintenance of Certification) is for a teacher’s professional development.  Oh, the things you learn about yourself and the new impacts you will make on student learning are amazing!

So, to help you on this journey I thought the best place to start would be to compare the old versus the new. As you all know, the rubric is your road map to success in the MOC process.  You meet the bullets... you maintain certification!  You do not meet the...

Continue Reading...

The Parking Lot!

Jan 01, 2020

To many of my readers, the idea of a parking lot is not a new strategy.  I’m sharing this idea with you as a professional organizational tool more than a classroom pedagogical tool for the sake of this blog entry.  

There is so much information that must flow from your brain to paper to complete the MOC Renewal portfolio for the National Board Certification for Teachers (NBCT).  This visual will be an asset for you to “park” your thoughts, ideas, and reflect daily.  It covers all the areas that most candidates feel overwhelmed in throughout the National Board Certification process.  Let’s unpack this document to see how it could help you.

  1. Questions – Each time you have a question about anything related to the process, park it in the upper left quadrant until you can get to your MOC renewal coach or into your NBCT support groups/cohorts.
  2. Like – Each time you “like” an idea that you believe fits within...
Continue Reading...

How do I understand what the Portfolio Questions are asking me to do, and what is the best way to plan to answer them?

Dec 11, 2019

This is the 24-million-dollar question that almost every National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) candidate asks themselves at one point or another during the initial, retake, or MOC portfolio process! The questions seem vague and repetitive at first glance.  Then you realize what it truly is they want you to do.  The National Board (NBPTS) wants you to unpack the question to fit your situation.  We are all different.  Our student population is not the same, and our professional experiences are unique to the communities we serve.  Therefore, you must tackle the written commentary portion of National Board Certification for Teachers (NBPTS) with the lens of a doctor.  Let’s look at an example of how this would look:

The first questions in a written commentary set are descriptive in nature.  THINK & WRITE DESCRIPTIVELY!

The doctor asks: “Describe to me your symptoms and what you have done so far to solve this health...

Continue Reading...

Reflective Writing for NBPTS Portfolio Success

Dec 04, 2019

In this post I will be discussing the third and final writing style that will prove your ability to reflect on your teaching and students’ learning in a deep and meaningful way.  This writing style will show convincing evidence to prove your ability to significantly impact student learning through your practice. 

In Components 1 and 2, reflective writing is used as a “thought process” that must be engaged in after each teaching or growth experience.   Through your reflection, you will determine how you would approach similar situations in the future and what changes you would likely make to improve the experience for your learners. This reflective writing is extremely important for the assessor to understand how you will use what you have learned from your lessons and PGEs to inform and improve your teaching in the future.

I know what you are saying now, how do I know the difference in whether the NBPTS wants me to write analytically or...

Continue Reading...

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.