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A flyer advertising the Nurturing Teachers Leadership, CTU/CPS Candidate Support, National Board Certification program.

Quest Center program is here to help

National Board Certification (NBC) candidates begin the journey towards Board-certification at many different points in their careers, ranging from teachers, counselors, and librarians who are starting their fourth year of teaching to veteran teachers in their 25th year or more.

Through the Quest Center’s Nurturing Teacher Leadership (NTL) program, the FREE CTU/CPS NBC professional development and candidate support program, National Board candidates engage in stimulating, rewarding professional development weekly with other candidates and NTL National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) mentors. They work collaboratively in certificate-alike groups to meet the rigorous standards of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).

The Quest Center directs and manages all NBC initiatives and processes and provides all professional development and candidate support for CPS teachers in their pursuit of National Board Certification, the highest credential a teacher can achieve. Nurturing Teacher Leadership is proud to boast a 94 percent NBC achievement rate, twice the national average.

On this two-year journey, candidates identify and describe in depth what they know about students as individuals and identify and analyze the impact they, as teachers, librarians or counselors, have on all students as learners.

NTL NBC candidates who have achieved certification and those presently going through the process say it is the most valuable and transformative professional development they have ever received—no other professional activity has taught them as much about their practice and its impact on students.

The process is grounded in one’s teaching practice, is job-embedded, and translates into improved student learning. A decade of research shows Board-certified teachers make a significant and measurable impact in their schools:

  • Students learn more. Students of Board-certified teachers learn more than their peers without Board-certified teachers. Studies also have found the positive impact of a Board-certified teacher is even greater for minority and low-income students.
  • Teachers improve their practice. Board Certification enables teachers to hone their practice, showcase their talent in the classroom and demonstrate their dedication to their students and their profession.
  • Teachers demonstrate a commitment to excellence. Schools with NBC teachers are characterized by better teacher morale and retention and increased community involvement.

Achieving NBC status provides increased opportunities for teacher leadership in Chicago, such as mentoring, Consulting Teacher roles, and Framework Specialist roles, among others. And CPS NBC teachers receive a yearly pensionable stipend of $2,295.

Further benefits of becoming an NBCT include:

  • Advancement on the salary scale.
  • Fulfilling all ISBE re-licensure PD hour requirements.
  • Full scholarship to cover all NBC fees.
  • Optional Master’s Degree and/or graduate and CPS Lane Placement salary credits.
  • Attainment of the ISBE National Board Master Certificate exempting NBCTs from half the required re-licensure PD hours.

We invite CPS teachers, librarians, and school counselors who will have completed three or more years of experience in their certificate area by June 2021, to take the NBC challenge and join the 2020-2023 cohort. You can become a better teacher, receive an annual, pensionable stipend, and join the ranks of 2,200 CPS NBCTs.

For more information about the two-year process and eligibility for certification, contact Lynn Cherkasky-Davis@ctuf.org or visit CTUF.org/NTL.

Lynn Cherkasky-Davis is Director of Teacher Leadership and Special Projects and CTU/CPS National Board Certification Program Manager.