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National Board Certification for Illinois Educators

What is National Board Certification?
National Board Certification is an advanced, voluntary teaching credential that identifies teachers who have met the high and rigorous standards of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). It was designed to develop, retain, and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools across the nation.
 
More than 112,000 teachers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have become National Board Certified. As of 2016, more than 6,000 Illinois educators have earned this distinguished certification; Illinois ranks sixth nationwide in number of teachers earning National Board Certification.
 
IFT President Dan Montgomery is a former member of the NBPTS board, and Executive Vice President Karen GJ Lewis has earned this distinguished certification.


Who can become a NBCT candidate?
Applicants must hold a Bachelor's degree, have completed three years of teaching, and must have a valid state teaching or school counseling license.


Who established the Standards?
National Board Standards are developed by teachers, for teachers. A committee comprised primarily of practicing educators first determined what teachers should know and be able to do in 25 certificate areas. They also established five core propositions which set the profession’s vision for accomplished teaching.
 
The core propositions are:
    1.    Teachers are committed to students and their learning.
    2.    Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students.
    3.    Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.
    4.    Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.
    5.    Teachers are members of learning communities.  

The Standards and the National Board Certification assessment process are grounded in these propositions.  


What does the process entail?
Teachers seeking certification must analyze their teaching contexts and students’ needs, submit videos of their teaching, and provide student work samples that exhibit growth and achievement. It is a rigorous and time-intensive process. Completion instructions vary based on the certificate area in which you choose to certify, as do the Standards assessed by each of these four components:
    1.    Content knowledge
    2.    Differentiation in instruction
    3.    Teaching practice and learning environment
    4.    Effective and reflective practice


Why should I become a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT)?
National Board Certification is the most respected professional certification available in the education profession. Research shows that National Board Certified teachers have a powerful impact on student learning. That’s why many districts offer salary increases for those who earn National Board Certification.
 
Certification may also provide greater job or advancement opportunities, as school and district administrators may look for NBCTs first when making hiring decisions or identifying teachers who should serve as school leaders.
 

How do I begin the process?
Visit the NBPTS website to get started. Here you can learn about the NBCT eligibility requirements and view or print this detailed guide
 
You can also visit the NBRC (National Board Resource Center) website. This resource center at Illinois State University is partnered with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to provide administrative and technical support to NBCTs and candidates, including how to begin the application process, information on Illinois’ candidate fee subsidies, and more.

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