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The American Board has certified over 6,000 teachers across the country in the last decade. With so many educators in the field holding an American Board certification, we thought we’d check in on some of our alumni to hear their stories. Below is part one of our American Board Alumni series.

Lauren Forste, American Board alumni
Lauren Forste, American Board alumni

When Lauren Forste and her teacher husband relocated to a new town in Missouri, she decided to substitute teach at the same school district. This allowed the duo to keep similar schedules, making visits back home more feasible.

As she began to sub, Lauren fell in love with teaching. “I found that the more I subbed, the more I loved being at the school and seeing kids learn, especially in the elementary (grades),” she said in an email to the American Board.

“It didn’t take long for me to decide to switch careers and become an elementary teacher, but I had already graduated college with a degree in economics and with our family beginning to grow at the time, (the) money needed to go back to school for a teaching degree just wasn’t going to happen.”

That’s when Lauren began searching for alternative routes to certification and found the American Board. “It was less money than going back to school and self-paced?! This was exactly what I needed. I did the week-long free trial just to see what kind of material and practice I’d be given and I wasn’t disappointed.”

Lauren enrolled with the American Board in September of 2015 and gave herself the goal of earning her certification by January of 2016 in order to be ready for interviews when schools began posting openings in February.

And? “I’m happy to say that I accomplished that goal and was offered a 4th grade position for the 2016-2017 school year! After telling all of my friends the good news on Facebook, I got several messages asking how I had become certified so fast and I told them about ABCTE. And it gave my sister-in-law the extra encouragement she needed to pursue teaching as well being able to see that I could do it without having to go back to school,” Lauren told us.

Her three pieces of advice to those in the American Board program? “One: substitute teach! Not only will you find out what grades or subjects you prefer before you sign up, but it will give you valuable experience being a lead teacher that you can take to interviews with you. Two: Use the practice quizzes and exams ABCTE gives you as much as you can – they are a great resource to utilize in preparing for your exams. And three: persevere! Keep at it! Put in the effort! It is all worth it when you get that offer.”

Thank you to Lauren Forste for that fantastic advice! If you are an alumnus of the American Board and want to share your story, drop us a line at


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