Earning National Board Certification (NBC) is a significant accomplishment for teachers. NBC identifies teachers who meet the propositions and standards that describe what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do to have a positive impact on student learning.
The NBC assessment consists of performance-based, peer-reviewed components. Core propositions include teacher commitment to student learning; knowledge of subject matter and methods of instruction; management and monitoring of student learning; self-reflection on practice and teaching experience; and membership in learning communities.
Benefits of Certification
According to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), becoming board-certified offers many benefits. In addition to proving their effectiveness in the classroom every day, board-certified teachers can have an impact beyond their individual classrooms. Recognized as experts, NBC teachers are often sought out for leadership positions in their schools and districts. Significantly, they also serve as team leaders, department chairs and instructional coaches. Many NBC teachers advance to serve as school and district administrators or to roles within the state department of education.
More than half of all states offer free support, conditional loans and/or salary incentives to encourage teachers to become board-certified, and many states count board certification toward state licensure, renewal or step increase.
NEA Supports NBC
The National Education Association — a founding organization of the NBPTS — has stated that it supports “National Board Certification through its resolutions and other policy documents, and considers it a valuable professional development option for experienced teachers.” One reason is that research has linked National Board Certification with improved student achievement. Teachers attest to the benefits of the NBC process and what a powerful learning experience it is.
Kansas Has Room for Improvement
The state of Kansas currently employs 451 teachers who have achieved National Board Certification plus an additional 66 current candidates, as of June 2019. These numbers add up to roughly 1 percent of the teachers in the state and place Kansas 36th out of 50 states plus the District of Columbia for number of Board-certified teachers. Nationwide, there are now over NBC teachers, just under 3 percent of the nation’s teachers. When you consider that 23 states have more than 1,000 Board-certified teachers apiece, and some have many thousands, it is clear that Kansas has some catching up to do.
Combined with the 2018 teacher shortage of 612 unfilled teaching positions in Kansas, the opportunity for improvement is great.
Become an NBC Teacher
Emporia State University offers a fully online program for teachers to pursue a Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction (C&I) — National Board Certification PreK-12. Designed to prepare you for the review process to become a National Board Certified Teacher, ESU’s program will provide you with the tools you need to make a positive impact on student learning while becoming a highly qualified educator in public or private schools. An important note for those interested in becoming an NBC teacher, however, is that there is an additional cost associated with National Board process outside of their degree program. The total cost for certification is around $2,000, including the $475 fee per assessment (four assessements required) and the $75 registration fee.