National Board Renewal

Jen Robinson Education, National Board Certification

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national-board-renewalI became a National Board Certified Teacher on November 19, 2004. At that time I was a kindergarten teacher and quite frankly I thought I would always be a classroom teacher. I had no idea the journey of accomplished teaching was just beginning.

In 2005, I left the classroom to become a Title 1 Intervention Specialist. In 2006, I switched schools and moved into the role of a Reading First Coach. In 2008, I changed districts and began my role as a K-5 Instructional Coach. In 2012, I stepped up to the challenge and become a K-5 Elementary Principal.

My goal was to go through the National Board certification renewal process as a principal. I know that the most important work in a school happens in the four walls of the classroom. Research says that the greatest impact on student learning is the teacher in the classroom. I want to be a principal who doesn’t lose sight of teaching and the work inside the classroom. That said, I sit here pondering my choices and wondering what on earth I am doing. The renewal process consists of four components. Simple enough, right?

Component One requires you to respond to prompts related to four areas demonstrating your professional growth. These professional growth experiences must include current content and pedagogical knowledge, as well as acquisition of effective and appropriate technology. They must be on going, varied and multifaceted. They must reflect continuous commitment and contributions to the professional activities that ultimately have an impact on student learning. You are required to prepare a 12 page written commentary and include 8 pages of samples.

Component two requires you to feature one of the professional growth experiences from component one and demonstrate its application in a classroom teaching in the same content and developmental level as your original certification. You are required to prepare a 10-minute video and a 3 page written commentary.

Component three requires you to feature one of the professional growth experiences from component one and demonstrate its application either in a classroom or with professional colleagues. This may be a 6-minute video recording or learner work samples and a 3 page written commentary.

Component four requires you to submit a written reflection in which you analyze the connections and patterns among all three components and your perspective as an educator.

Well, it’s as simple and as complex as that. I struggle with finding a balance between my role as principal and scheduling time to teach in a classroom. I know what I have to do; however I find every excuse not to do it. I have selected my professional growth experiences and begun writing component one. I have contacted two teachers and they have agreed to share their classroom and students with me to meet the component two requirements. I have even videotaped for component three. I feel confident that I can complete it, however I continue to push it down my list of things to do.

How would you approach the renewal process?


Jen Robinson

Maricopa, Arizona

Hello, my name is Jen Robinson. I have been in education for over 20 years. I began teaching in Buffalo, NY in 1992, as a pre-school special education teacher. My experience ranges from primary grades through high school. My husband and I moved to Arizona in 2001, where we were fortunate enough to teach at the same school. In 2004, I achieved National Board Certification and currently support candidates. In 2011 I completed my Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation. My dissertation research focused on supporting National Board candidates through their certification process. During the 2012-2013 school year, I completed my National Board renewal process. It was humbling and very powerful to step back into a classroom. I am currently an elementary principal. I am excited and hopeful for the new school year. I also serve on the Arizona Teacher Solutions Team where we are solutions focused in an effort to transform and elevate the teaching profession.

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Comments 2

  1. Traci

    I am very happy to see you are going through with the renewal process and stepping back into a classroom. I also understand the complexities you are facing. I am getting ready to renew this year and have only done as much as sign up and send them my money. Like you, since certifying I have gotten my administration degree but rather than going into a school administration role, I have joined our district curriculum team and work primarily with MTSS. I am having a difficult time focusing and even choosing my PGEs. Please continue to share your journey as it is motivating others of us to get moving.

    1. Alaina Adams

      The Arizona K12 Center has renewal support – contact them! I’m going through renewal this year too and would love to have a buddy at the support events that the Center has set up for renewal candidates. :)

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