Enrolling in the National Teacher certification program does not mean you don't have to pass the state licensing exams, but for many states, this has become a complement to their certification process. This program meets the requirements of most of the states in hiring ''highly qualified'' teachers. This also meets the states responsibility of adhering to the No Child Left Behind Act, which then will not be subject to sanctions when they fall short of the yearly expectations for student success.
The requirements teachers must meet in order to take part in this teacher certification program is that they hold at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, be licensed by the state in which they teach and demonstrate competence in the areas in which they teach. There is an experience requirement as well. Teachers must have three years of teaching experience. For many certified teachers, taking part in this program provides them with the opportunity to meet the criteria for obtaining a professional teaching certificate. As part of the courses in this program, teachers can strengthen their teaching practice and become more familiar with current instructional methodologies and ways of assessing students.
As a method of advancing teaching careers, participation in a teacher certification program, many states offer incentives for teachers. The cost of the program, though, is quite high. The initial application fee for processing your application is $65 and there is a non-refundable initial fee of $50, which is a deposit on the assessment fee of $2500. There is federal funding in place for teachers that will pay half the cost of the program. In addition, many school districts throughout the country provide bonuses to teachers who wish to become nationally certified. These bonuses can take the form of having the fees paid in full or in receiving annual bonuses in the amount of $1000 or $2000 annually for a five-year period. Since this is a national certification program, many states are now accepting this certificate when teachers move from one state to another, thus making portability easier for those in the teaching profession.
At the present time there are twenty-four different certificates available through the National Teacher Certification program. These include specific subject areas as well as age specific grades, such as a certificate in early childhood or middle childhood. In order to decide which certificate program you wish to follow, you should look at the area you presently teach or consider an area you would like to be certified to teach. There is an overview and a list of standards for each certificate, which you can preview to see if you already possess the knowledge necessary to pass the exam or if you should have a study guide to help you review the material.
There are two major portions to the National Board Certification Program. The first is a portfolio component and the second is assessment exercises at a teacher certification center. The portfolios must include documentation of the teacher in the classroom in such forms as videotapes of teaching practice, samples of student work and other artifacts that demonstrate effective teaching. In the assessment centers, teachers are faced with challenging issues related to teaching. These issues are designed to compliment the portfolios and help teachers refine and strengthen their practice.