NBCT Header

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.

CELEBRATE! IFT candidates win across the board

by Beth Camplain | Nov 07, 2018
After four years of failed leadership and attacks on our unions under Governor Rauner, I am proud to say that today we can turn the page and focus on real solutions to Illinois’ problems.
IFT members and working families finally have something to celebrate! After four years of failed leadership and attacks on our unions under Governor Rauner, I am proud to say that today we can turn the page and focus on real solutions to Illinois’ problems.

These critical victories up and down the ballot would not have happened without the amazing work of dedicated IFT members and staff. From Zion to Marion and every city and town in between, you made phone calls, knocked on doors, had one-on-on conversations with family and friends, attended rallies, marched in parades, and did whatever you could to educate others about what was at stake in this election – for our state and our nation. Your commitment was inspiring and it made all the difference.

Watch this video about IFT election efforts.

Here are the highlights from Election Day.

Pritzker ousts Rauner
Bolstered by our efforts, JB Pritzker and Juliana Stratton easily defeated Bruce Rauner and will soon take the helm of our great state. After four devastating years, we now have a real opportunity to tackle the state’s fiscal mess, while also funding schools, colleges and universities, and our pensions.

Governor-elect Pritzker made support for a progressive, fair tax a centerpiece of his campaign and will give us the long-awaited chance to modernize the way Illinois taxes income. With a fair tax, the wealthiest will finally pay their fair share and working families will get a tax break – all while generating millions of additional dollars for public schools and services.

Raoul among other critical statewide victories
We can also celebrate the election of Kwame Raoul as attorney general. His campaign focused largely on fairness and fundamental rights, including healthcare access, collective bargaining, marriage equality, and more. As State Senator, Kwame Raoul has been a champion for all these issues, as well as an outspoken advocate for public education. We know he’ll be a strong attorney general who will ensure that Illinois has a powerful line of defense against federal attacks on the rights we hold dear.

Our union also proudly supported the proven statewide leaders who won re-election, including Secretary of State Jesse White, Comptroller Susana Mendoza, and Treasurer Michael Frerichs. They have been staunch advocates for workers and our union, and I know they will continue to work with us in the days ahead.

Illinois Congressional wins help Dems take back the House
Wins here at home helped to bolster the national “blue wave” and secure Democratic control of the U.S. House of Representatives. The victories for IFT-endorsed Congressional candidates included Sean Casten (CD-6) and Lauren Underwood (CD-14), who defeated powerful, long term Republican incumbents in high-profile races. In Washington D.C., they will push back on the Trump agenda and work to save affordable health care, especially coverage for pre-existing conditions. Unfortunately, IFT-endorsed Brendan Kelly (CD-12) and Betsy Dirksen Londrigan (CD-13) came up short in tough races against incumbents.
IFT members step up to run for office
The IFT is especially proud of our members who threw their hats in the political ring this year. We congratulate Brandon Johnson (Local 1), who was elected Cook County Commissioner, and thank Mary Edly-Allen (Local 504, HD-51), Paul Stoddard (Local 4100, HD-70), John Curtis (Local 4100, HD-93), David Seiler (Local 4100, HD-107), and Shirley Bell (Local 4100, HD-110) for their commitment and hard work. At the time of this writing, Edly-Allen’s race is too close to call and mail-in ballots are being counted. There's no better proof that every vote truly matters!
Overall, IFT-endorsed candidates fared well yesterday. We hope their voices in Springfield will finally lead to passage of a fair tax for Illinois, a reinvestment in public higher education, continued commitment to adequate school funding, and an end to the attacks on workers’ rights.

A new day
I can truly say that today is a new day for our state and nation. On behalf of our union, I look forward to working with all the newly elected and re-elected women and men to put Illinois and our country back on track.

As your president, I am incredibly grateful to every member who helped make this possible. THANK YOU! I have never been more proud to say, “I am IFT.”

In solidarity,

Dan Montgomery
IFT President



  1. RadEditor - HTML WYSIWYG Editor. MS Word-like content editing experience thanks to a rich set of formatting tools, dropdowns, dialogs, system modules and built-in spell-check.
    RadEditor's components - toolbar, content area, modes and modules
    Toolbar's wrapper 
    Content area wrapper
    RadEditor's bottom area: Design, Html and Preview modes, Statistics module and resize handle.
    It contains RadEditor's Modes/views (HTML, Design and Preview), Statistics and Resizer
    Editor Mode buttonsStatistics moduleEditor resizer
    RadEditor's Modules - special tools used to provide extra information such as Tag Inspector, Real Time HTML Viewer, Tag Properties and other.



    Copyright © 2020 Illinois Federation of Teachers