National Board Certification: What is it?

This post originally ran in Maine Educator Magazine.

Grounded in the National Board’s Five Core Propositions that describe what teachers should know and be able to do, the certification process is designed to collect standards-based evidence of accomplished practice. In all 25 certificate areas, candidates are required to complete four components. A general description of each component follows. The specific instructions will vary by certificate area, as will the standards assessed by each component.

Component 1 : Content Knowledge This computer-based assessment asks you to demonstrate knowledge of and pedagogical practices for teaching your content area. You must demonstrate knowledge of developmentally appropriate content, which is necessary for teaching across the full age range and ability level of your chosen certificate area. This is assessed through the completion of three constructed response exercises and approximately 45 selected response items. An assessment overview containing additional details is found at

Component 2: Differentiation in Instruction This classroom based portfolio entry is primarily comprised of samples of student work and an accompanying written commentary. You will submit selected work samples that demonstrate the students’ growth over time and a written commentary that analyzes your instructional choices.

Component 3: Teaching Practice and Learning Environment – This is a classroom-based portfolio entry that requires video recording(s) of interactions between you and your students. A written commentary in which you describe, analyze and reflect on your teaching and interactions will also be submitted. Both the video and the written commentary should demonstrate how you engage students and impact their learning. Component 4: Effective and Reflective Practitioner – This is a portfolio entry that requires evidence of your impact across your professional responsibilities as an educator including your students, peers, and community.

The certification process is now more flexible than ever!
As we continue to roll out revisions to the certification process, you can set your own pace and sequence and pay as you go.

• Each component costs $475, and you have the option to pay for and submit components separately.
• All components must be completed within a three-year period. If you need to retake a component, you will have two opportunities. The National Board has advanced the teaching profession by establishing and maintaining the definitive standards of excellence in teaching and certifying more than 100,000 educators against those standards.

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