The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is a nonprofit organization that mostly consists of educational professionals whose primary aim is to develop “high and rigorous” standards to strengthen teaching (NBPTS, 2012, p. 6). According to the organization, the certification will help teachers demonstrate their talent in the classroom and prove how dedicated they are to their students (NBPTS, 2017a). Moreover, since the NBPTS certification is recognized on a national level, district administration often looks for NBPTS-certified educational professionals who will be able to become good leaders in the educational environment. Various states and districts provide support for educators with board certification.
Two core principles described in the standards influence the local school system. All teachers are responsible for monitoring student learning by utilizing the necessary strategies and techniques. Another requirement is working in communities: all local teachers visit conferences and workshops to share their experience and teach or learn useful interventions. The support provided by the local school system includes support meetings for those who already have or aim to acquire NBPTS certification. Support providers also help educators transfer their license if necessary or re-issue a certification if the former one is lost/damaged or has to be altered.
The NBPTS standards include the following:
- Knowledge of Students
- Teaching and Learning
- Knowledge of Library and Information Studies
- Integration of Technologies
- Access, Equity, and Diversity
- Outreach and Advocacy
- Reflective Practice (NBPTS, 2012).
The understanding of the personal characteristics of students can help professionals in Educational Media evaluate their communication with students and become a supporter or leaders when necessary to assist students in learning (such support also aligns with the second and fourth standards). I conducted a brief interview with an educator who owns an NBPTS certification. According to her, the NBPTS certification helps educators become more efficient by utilizing information studies to provide students with all information they need. Librarians often become role models for students and even other professionals by sharing their unique experiences and showing others how education-related issues can be resolved with the help of the NBPTS standards. She believes that education professionals’ attention to student learning is what makes education more efficient and diverse. Without particular attention to equity and diversity, education would still suffer from an inefficient approach to students’ different needs and perceptions. She also admits that students who work with an NBPTS-certified teacher tend to display better performance than their peers who do not have such an opportunity, which aligns with the organization’s statements on their website (NBPTS, 2017b). As a certified professional, the person receives more possibilities in displaying his or her leadership qualities to students or in collaboration with other educators and administrators. Equity and diversity are also among the main parts of leadership in Educational Media because certified professionals are to protect the rights of their students, support their needs, and provide access to appropriate resources (NBPTS, 2012).
This activity allows engaging specialists in a conversation about the standards, thus helping them evaluate the efficiency of desired goals and whether they align with the initiatives of the local school system. They can also assess whether their leadership has a positive influence on minority and low-income students (NBPTS, 2017c). If not, additional self-evaluation would be necessary to address the challenges that interfere with professional goals. The activity demonstrates how education specialists can be beneficially self-reflective.
NBPTS. (2012). Library media standards. Web.
NBPTS. (2017a). Our vision. Web.
NBPTS. (2017b). Research. Web.
NBPTS. (2017c). Value for teachers. Web.