Is National Board Teacher Certification Worth It?


Initially, I needed more experience to become a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) for EXCEPTIONAL NEEDS. I called NBPTS, who confirmed that I needed more time in the field. Is national board teacher certification worth it? Whether or not National Board Teacher Certification is worth it depends on your individual goals and circumstances. During my first few years of teaching, I focused on earning my Masters degree. This kept me occupied until my 6th year of teaching.

I searched Google for suggestions and guidance regarding the National Board process during that period, but my findings could have been improved. However, I did come across a helpful post on Cult of Pedagogy that provided valuable insights. The lack of available information prompted me to write about this topic to share knowledge and make the process less mysterious.

As a teacher, I always strive to reflect and improve my practice. In my fourth year of teaching, my mentor recommended that I pursue National Board Certification. This credential goes beyond state licensure and involves a rigorous and time-consuming process that is peer-reviewed. Despite the challenges, certified teachers have found it to be worthwhile, and it has enhanced their abilities.

Passionate teachers are constantly seeking ways to improve their skills. Through professional development or collaborating with colleagues, there are numerous opportunities to become a more effective educator both inside and outside classroom management.


What is National Board Certification?

National Board Certification (NBC) is the gold standard for teaching excellence in the United States. It’s a voluntary and advanced teaching credential that goes beyond state licensure.

Think of it like a black belt for teachers! It signifies that you’ve reached the highest level of professional competence in your field.

To earn NBC, you must go through a rigorous peer-reviewed assessment process that demonstrates your:

national board teacher certification
national board teacher certification
  • Deep understanding of content knowledge
  • Effective teaching skills
  • Commitment to student learning

Only about 30% of candidates who start the process earn the certification, so it’s a real achievement.


Can you teach anywhere with national board certification?

This certificate is widely acknowledged across most states, making it more convenient to pursue teaching opportunities elsewhere. However, it is crucial to emphasize that while a National Board Certification can enhance a state teaching credential, it cannot substitute it.

The answer is no; National Board Certification (NBC) does not automatically allow you to teach anywhere in the United States. While a prestigious credential recognizes accomplished teachers, it is not a substitute for state-issued teaching licenses.

Each state has its licensing requirements, and NBC does not bypass them. However, NBC can be valuable when applying for teaching jobs in other states. Many states offer reciprocity to NBCTs, meaning they will waive some or all of their licensing requirements for teachers who hold NBC.


Here are some of the benefits of having NBC when seeking a teaching job in another state:

  • Increased marketability: NBC demonstrates your commitment to excellence in teaching and can make you stand out from other applicants.
  • Streamlined application process: Many states have streamlined application processes for NBCTs, saving you time and effort.
  • Eligibility for additional benefits: Some states offer salary increases, bonuses, and other benefits to NBCTs.

If you are considering pursuing a teaching career in another state, be sure to research the specific licensing requirements of that state. You can also contact the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) for more information about reciprocity agreements.



Is National Board Teacher Certification Worth It? Pros and Cons

The value of National Board Teacher Certification varies depending on your objectives and situation.

Here are some of the pros and cons to consider:


  • Enhanced professional development: The certification process is rigorous and requires a profound reflection on your teaching practice. This can lead to significant personal and professional growth.
  • Increased salary and job security: Many states and school districts offer salary increases and other benefits to National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs). Having this credential can make you a more competitive job candidate.
  • Greater recognition and respect: NBCTs are recognized by their peers and administrators as leaders in the teaching profession.
  • Improved student outcomes: Research has shown that students of NBCTs tend to achieve higher academic results.



  • Time commitment: The certification process can be time-consuming, requiring several months or even a year.
  • Financial cost: The fees associated with the certification process can be substantial, including the registration fee, portfolio materials, and required assessments.
  • Stress and pressure: The process can be stressful, as it requires significant time and effort.
  • The decision of whether or not to pursue National Board Certification is a personal one. There is no right or wrong answer, and it depends on your individual goals.


Why You Should Get a Certified National Board Teacher?

Approximately 3 percent of the teaching force in our country holds National Board Certification. Various research studies have consistently demonstrated that students, particularly those from minority or low-income backgrounds who are certified teachers, tend to outperform their peers.

This is because certified teachers are highly regarded as experts in the field of teaching and are, therefore, dedicated to enhancing the quality of education in their schools and districts. They collaborate with state legislators and leaders to influence education policies effectively.

  1. The Core Propositions
  2. Eligibility
  3. Cost
  4. The Components
  5. Time Commitment

Through evaluating and contemplating my teaching practice with the National Board, I gained insight into my strengths as an educator. I improved my ability to tackle areas in which I needed improvement.

As an illustration, during the recording of my class, I observed that I tended to provide answers to my questions if students did not immediately respond. I should allow students to contemplate the question and formulate their responses.


1. The Core Propositions

The certification process revolves around five fundamental principles that demonstrate teachers’ dedication to their students and education, their expertise in the subjects they teach, and their ability to instruct those subjects to students effectively.

Moreover, National Board teachers are part of learning communities and are responsible for overseeing and evaluating their learning while also employing a systematic approach to their teaching.


2. Eligibility

To qualify for certification, it is necessary to possess a bachelor’s degree, have achieved three years of practical teaching experience, and have a valid state teaching license (or satisfy the state’s licensure criteria for a school counselor).


3. Cost

The National Board Certification process has been updated recently, increasing efficiency, and affordability. The overall cost is approximately $1,900, with each component priced at $475. Candidates now have the choice of submitting parts individually within two years.

I am lucky that my district offers reimbursement to candidates upon certification. In addition, there are states and school districts that provide financial assistance. For instance, up to $2,000 stipends in Maryland are available for candidates who teach in schools that still need to meet Annual Yearly Progress (AYP). It is advisable to inquire with your state’s superintendent or the Department of Education. Do you know why is general education important for? General education offers students the chance to improve their critical thinking skills, enhance their communication and mathematical abilities, foster their capacity for creative and innovative thinking, and expand their understanding of the broader social, cultural, and natural environments in which they will need to navigate and thrive.


4. The Components

To obtain a National Board Certification, individuals are required to complete four different components successfully.

  • Knowledge base content: This assessment is computer-based and administered at a testing center. It evaluates teachers’ knowledge and pedagogical practices for their chosen certificate area, considering the age and ability level of the students.
  • Differentiation in Instruction: Teachers analyze student work samples and instructional material to understand individual students’ strengths and needs. This helps them design effective instruction to promote student learning and achievement.
  • Teaching Practice and Learning Environment: Teachers submit two video recordings and instructional materials to demonstrate instructional planning, analysis, and reflection. Scorers assess instruction, student engagement, and learning environment for alignment with core propositions and certificate area standards.

 5. Time Commitment

Teachers can choose between completing their National Board Certification in one year or five years, but they are required to attempt all four components within the first three years of their candidacy. They will be given two chances to retake each part if they need it.


Benefits of National Board Certification

Here are some of the benefits of becoming a National Board Certified Teacher:

  • Increased salary and job security
  • Greater prestige and recognition
  • Improved student outcomes
  • Personal and professional growth
  • An automatic salary increase
  • The chance for promotion or advancement within your educational objectives or institution area.

If you’re a committed educator who aims to have a genuine impact on students’ lives, then National Board Certification is undoubtedly worth your consideration,


Advanced Placement Board Certification

Specialized training is provided to Advanced Placement (AP) teachers at the high school level.

The College Board offers these sessions, typically held for one week during the summer, to train teachers in the most up-to-date AP teaching methods for a specific subject. Teachers will be certified to teach that particular AP course. Even if you primarily teach standard-level classes, participating in an AP certification course can benefit your teaching in several ways.

  • Fresh concepts for classroom activities.
  • Rephrased text: Innovative suggestions for engaging classroom activities.
  • Innovative approaches to organizing for both educators and their students
  • With a validity of five years, your certification ensures that you will be prepared to apply for that dream AP job if it becomes available in the coming years.


Does the National Board Certification process make me a Better Teacher?


Whether the National Board Certification process made you a better teacher is a complex question with no single answer. It depends heavily on your experience, goals, and the effort you invested.

Here’s a balanced perspective:

Potential benefits:

  • Deep reflection: The process forces you to critically analyze your teaching practice, leading to self-improvement and growth.
  • Enhanced knowledge: Researching best practices and reflecting on your teaching can broaden your pedagogical understanding.
  • Improved skills: You develop and refine your instructional strategies through portfolio development and video analysis.
  • Increased confidence: Earning the certification can boost your self-efficacy and belief in your abilities.
  • Greater impact: Refining your skills potentially translates to better learning outcomes for your students.


Potential challenges

  • Stress and pressure: The demanding process can be emotionally draining and time-consuming.
  • Financial burden: Costs associated with registration, materials, and assessments can be significant
  • Limited impact: The certification may not guarantee immediate or tangible changes in your classroom or career.

Ultimately, you must evaluate your own experience:

  • Did you actively engage with the process and reflect deeply on your teaching?
  • Did you learn new strategies and refine your instructional skills?
  • Do you feel more confident and effective as a teacher?
  • Do you see any positive impact on your students’ learning?

If the majority of your answers to these questions are “yes,” then it is likely that the National Board Certification process has helped you become a better teacher. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that becoming an exceptional teacher requires ongoing dedication to continuous growth and improvement, regardless of whether or not you possess a specific certification.

Read also related topics: How to become a substitute teacher in California?

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Is teaching a White collar Job?

Why is general education important for?


People also ask

How much do national board-certified teachers make in Texas?


Starting from April 2021, Texas educator certificates of eligible National Board Certified teachers (NBCTs) will include a Recognized designation. Eligible NBCTs with the Recognized title will receive an annual allocation for their district, ranging from $3,000 to $9,000.


What percentage of US teachers are national board-certified?

Approximately 71% of individuals who undergo the National Board Certification process successfully obtain their certification.


Is becoming a national board-certified teacher worth it?

This post examines whether the effort to become a National Board Certified Teacher was worthwhile. I have already discussed it first.


How much do national board-certified teachers make in Texas?

Starting in April 2021, National Board Certified teachers (NBCTs) who meet the requirements will receive a Recognized designation on their Texas educator certificate. NBCTs awarded the Recognized title will be entitled to an annual allocation ranging from $3,000 to $9,000 for their school district.



Can you teach anywhere with national board certification?

Most states recognize this certificate, facilitating teaching in a different state. It is crucial to highlight once more that a National Board Certification will enhance a state teaching credential rather than serve as a substitute for it.


What state has the most nationally board-certified teachers?

The top states for the year were North Carolina (467), Washington (275), California (173), Alabama (166), and Illinois (164). In terms of overall rankings since the beginning, North Carolina is in first place (23,090), followed by Florida (13,559), Washington (11,645), South Carolina (9,277), and California (7,490).


Final Note

Teachers will be able to engage in nationwide discussions on teaching, deliver presentations at conferences, exchange best practices, and connect with other certified teachers from all over the country. It is an enriching experience that you should consider as a means of advancing your professional development.

Achieving national board certification is admirable, although it may only suit some. Numerous avenues exist to enhance your career and become a more proficient educator. I urge you to investigate various options before making any commitments. Whatever your path, conducting thorough research beforehand will undoubtedly benefit your classroom teaching.


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