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The National Board Certification process attracts teachers at all levels of experience and causes many different personal responses in candidates. National Board Certification is a process identifying accomplished teaching as measured by Five Core Propositions and the National Board Professional Te

Aug 28, 2017

The National Board Certification process attracts teachers at all levels of experience and causes many different personal responses in candidates.


National Board Certification is a process identifying accomplished teaching as measured by Five Core Propositions and the National Board Professional Teaching Standards. The propositions state what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. Teachers eligible for candidacy must complete a portfolio containing four components. These components show evidence of accomplished teaching in the areas of content knowledge, student work, learning environment, reflection, and planning.

Teachers begin this process for various reasons. Karen Bristow, a semi-finalist for Arizona Educational Foundation’s 2017 Teacher of the Year, started the process after attending Arizona K12 Center’s annual Teacher Leadership Institute in Tucson. She originally signed up for the institute to rejuvenate her passion in education, and there she met several National Board Certified Teachers who were as passionate as she was about their craft and student learning. A month after the institute, she started the journey by attending a Pre-Candidacy class.

There are various benefits to National Board Certification. One of the greatest benefits is the strong focus on accelerated growth of student learning throughout the process. Jena Phillips, an Ambassador for Excellence for AEF’s 2017 Teacher of the Year, explains that the best part of the process is dissecting her impact on student learning and analyzing evidence that leads her to make decisions that are in the best interest of her students.  

There are also many challenges to the National Board process. Elaine Veatch, another semifinalist for AEF’s 2017 Teacher of the Year, shares the hardest part is the journey itself. Veatch explains, “This is different from traditional professional development. National Board Certification is not about sitting in a workshop and coming out with classroom-ready activities. Instead, it is about embracing the Five Core Propositions and delving into the certificate area standards to learn more about your strengths and areas to refine. It is rigorous and requires dedication, time, and support from peers and family.”

If you or a teacher you know is ready to pursue National Board Certification, please visit www.nbpts.org for more information about the process. Also, be sure to visit our website to see how we can support you. We support National Board Candidates from Pre-Candidacy all the way to the end when we host our Celebration of Accomplished Teaching. We can’t wait to shake your hand on that stage!

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