The journey towards National Board Certification (NBC) is a rich and rewarding one. During the two-year candidate support process provided to Chicago Public School teachers through the Chicago Teachers Unions’ Nurturing Teacher Leadership program, a teacher rediscovers the passions that brought them into teaching. Through reflection on their practice, and analysis of student work and videotapes of their teaching, NBC candidates have an opportunity to engage in a rewarding professional development opportunity. This authentic assessment of an accomplished teacher’s practice is the highest credential the teaching profession has to offer and is an indicator that a teacher’s practice meets the high and rigorous standards of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).  The Quest Center is proud to direct and manage all NBC initiatives and processes, and provide all professional development and candidate support for the Chicago Public Schools, to support teachers across Chicago in their pursuit of National Board Certification.

National Board Certification is an advanced form of voluntary certification that identifies teachers who meet the NBPTS’ high and rigorous standards. Teachers who challenge these standards must provide clear, consistent, and convincing evidence of how they master the National Board Standards in their practice through the submission of three evidence-based portfolio entries and a series of Assessment Center exams consisting of three on-demand extended responses and 45 selected responses.

Teachers who go through the NBC process with Nurturing Teacher Leadership remark about the value of the process as the best professional development they have ever had. It is grounded in one’s teaching practice, is job-embedded, and translates into improved student learning. The journey towards NBC provides increased opportunities for teacher leadership in Chicago (mentoring, Consulting Teacher roles, Framework Specialist roles, among others). The process itself is a profound experience that has the potential to have a transformative impact on one’s teaching practice.

There are more than 150 studies on NBC, and the vast majority of them indicate that National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) make a significant and measurable impact in their schools.

The process is challenging, yet rewarding. It will cause a teacher to question the educational choices they make in their classrooms every day.  Nurturing Teacher Leadership is confident that it will alter their perception on teaching as a career and their instructional practices. Like hundreds of Chicago’s National Board Certified Teachers, our candidates walk away from the experience saying, “I am a better teacher for having gone through the process of National Board Certification through the Nurturing Teacher Leadership program.”

We invite Chicago Public School educators with three or more years of experience in their certificate area to challenge the standards and become a National Board Certified Teacher.