The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) is best known for two things: Its gold standard K through 12 certifications and its cornerstone document, What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do. Published in 1987, the five-chapter volume is one part call-to-action, one part how-to and 100% relevant and respected 30+ years later.
Challenges and Solutions
Challenges despite content that stands the test of time, What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do began to feel dated as the 2000s marched on. The straightforward presentation that once fueled its legacy made it a tough sell for new readers unaware of its importance and impact. At the same time, the style in which it was delivered—as a PDF email attachment—spelled ongoing download and access challenges. NBPTS needed a way to make its bedrock document appealing and available to a new generation of educators.
Committed to affirming the document’s relevance in a modern age, Weidenhammer proposed a fresh look and feel for What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do, as well as a forward-thinking delivery model: its own uniquely-designed microsite. Knowing the document is ideally read from beginning to end, AccomplishedTeacher.org’s interface discourages jumping around and skimming by subtly guiding readers through chapters via a linear user experience. More living, breathing document than microsite, AccomplishedTeacher. org supplements What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do with fresh material that underscores the document’s intent, legacy and relevance.
Other Weidenhammer-designed features that complement the digital document include:
- A homepage video in which real–life teachers discuss What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do’s impact on their teaching styles and careers
- Sharing options that let users post the microsite to popular social media platforms
- A downloadable PDF for saving content locally
- Subtle production value, including parallax and movement, that adds energy to the site without overriding professionalism or content
- Graphics that augment key points throughout the document