EdNews Parent Backgrounder: Master Teacher

Q. What does the term master teacher mean?

A. The Master Teachers of Colorado represent an elite group of educators who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to education.

Of the approximately 40,000 teachers in Colorado public schools systems, there are currently 249 Master Teachers with active licenses. A total of 814 Master Teacher certificates have been awarded since 1994 when the State Board of Education adopted the current licensure system involving Initial Licenses for entry-level teachers, Professional Licenses for experienced teachers, and the Master Teacher Certificate for the most outstanding educators.

These Professional Licenses are awarded to any applicant certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. All professionally licensed teachers are eligible to become Colorado “Master Teachers.”

A Master Teacher has been continually involved in professional development, demonstrated outstanding performance and achievements in education, and shown expertise in teaching.

In order to become a Master Teacher, an educator must apply and demonstrate these merits through National Board of Professional Teaching Certification or a master certification portfolio. This portfolio must include support of advanced teaching capability regarding professionalism, leadership, assessment and instruction and of other contributions to education such as serving as a mentor, researcher, or writer.