A Metric for the Big Picture: The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

Obtaining a National Board Certification is every teacher’s professional dream. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching created the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBTS) in 1987. The aim was to create a set of high standards for teachers and to certify teachers who meet those standards. The Carnegie Foundation has also established four steps in the career ladder of a teacher. These include the licensed teacher, the national board-certified teacher, the advanced teacher, and the lead teacher, based on several parameters.

The following are the requirements for applying for a national board certification:

1. Met all degree requirements

2. Certified by your state’s department of instruction

3. Minimum 3 years’ classroom teaching experience

The certification process lasts several years, and includes observations, assessments, and evaluations. Overall assessment is based on the following five items:

1. Commitment to students

2. Subject matter knowledge

3. Classroom management abilities

4. Instruction practices

5. Direct membership in the learning community

All these rigorous standards and procedures ensure that the teacher who emerges is at the top of the profession and a master of the art of the teaching. This is the greatest challenge to American teachers, who must strive to meet these high standards.

Whether it’s your first year or your fifth, orienting your teaching career towards the goal of obtaining a National Board Certification can keep you sticking to best practices and feeling motivated. Having a direction you’re working towards going will keep your teaching from getting stale or stalling. Being a teacher – like being a student – is about striving and thriving and growing from what you learn. National Board Certification will be a testament that you live that philosophy!

Check out all our posts for First Year Teachers here. 

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