Successful Strategies for Pursuing National Board Certification

by Bobbie Faulkner

Book Review by Dr. Ernie Rambo
When I was asked to facilitate our school’s NB Professional Development I felt prepared. I felt prepared until the first meeting with the cohort. The questions asked by my candidates engulfed me with memories of years ago, when I first received “The Box.” Contents of the National Board box required careful scrutiny and organizing before a candidate could begin working on one’s portfolio. In our current virtual age, finding one’s way through “The Box” involves navigating through a vast collection of web pages, printing out component directions, and building an understanding of what it means to be NB certified before any progress can be made. Despite a great amount of support for me as a facilitator, I felt as lost as when I’d first embarked on my NB journey.
A colleague shared Bobbie Faulkner’s What Works! Successful Strategies for Pursuing National Board Certification with me and within minutes of browsing through both volumes ( Components 1 and 2 and Components 3 and 4), I was able to organize my thoughts so that I could better support the NB cohort at my school. Faulkner writes as if she’s sitting next to a candidate and walks the reader through pragmatic steps to first understand the process and then how to complete each component. Reasons for why both books are helpful include:
• What to do first, second, third. Faulkner begins with a quick description of the 5 Core Propositions, breaking down the candidate’s standards, and then reading the portfolio instructions.
• Reading all four grading rubrics, not just the Level 4 Rubric to better understand the varying amounts of evidence recognized at each level.
• Clarifying the vocabulary used and required of candidates in their components.
I plan to use both volumes as a guide for my work with the cohort and also suggest each volume to my cohort members for recommended reading. Faulkner writes concisely and directly to candidates. No time to read? Faulkner comprehensively covers the massive task of getting Board Certified in no time – highly recommended as a make-time-to-read-this item!


Dr. Ernie Rambo is a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT), a middle school history teacher, and a National Board Professional Learning Facilitator.  She is a valued member of the Nevada National Board Network; facilitating the professional development of a cohort of colleagues within her school community endeavoring National Board certification. She also serves as a member of the CTQ (Center for Teaching Quality) community, with expertise in training virtual community leaders.


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