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The Power of Writing Begins with a Single Sentence
Bryan Christopher, NBCTFebruary 21, 2018

Late one Saturday night in March, a former student found me watching basketball at a bar. Despite passing my class by the skin of his teeth nine years ago he was thrilled to buy me a drink. We talked about his old teachers and the new principal. He told me about his family, the cars he fixes and his amateur boxing record, then he rejoined his friends and took off for another adventure. It was just one beer, but it made my weekend. Our conversation made me think about the current state of writing instruction. Nine years ago I was…

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Through the Years at the National Board Resource Center
David B. Cohen, NBCTFebruary 13, 2018

There’s a building on the Stanford University campus called the Center for Education Research at Stanford – CERAS – that holds a special place in my life. From the outside, it’s not especially interesting, and you can’t quite get a complete view of the building from any exterior vantage point. The interior has a unique open-center design, with all of the offices and classrooms arrayed on opposite sides and facing each other from a slightly offset elevation. I spent many long hours in CERAS while I worked on my master’s degree and teaching credential in the Stanford Teacher Education Program,…

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Common Denominator
Mandy Manning, NBCTFebruary 8, 2018

Every morning I wake up and am amazed I am the 2018 Washington State Teacher of the Year. It still feels like a dream and I often question how it is I got to this place. How is it possible that a teacher who struggled to articulate her classroom impacts until roughly 15 years into the game could be elevated to such a position? How do I fit in with this prestigious group? My research into my fellow teachers of the year gave me my answer – relationships. Getting acquainted with the 2018 slate of state teachers of the year,…

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Our Difference is Our Strength
Amy Andersen, NBCTFebruary 6, 2018

When I was seven years old, my mother took me with her to a sign language class two nights a week. I remember immediately connecting with signing and practicing all the time – I loved those classes. Things changed once I entered grade school. I started playing the flute and the more I practiced, the better I seemed to get. Although that instant connection to signing never left, my focus became music and I committed to becoming the best I could be. By high school, I was going to Philadelphia every weekend for private lessons and woodwind quintet rehearsal, even…

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My Why
Jane Butler, NBCTFebruary 2, 2018

A decade ago I was three years into my dream job. A middle school Language Arts teacher at my second school in so many years. I had dreamed of doing this since I was a young child and I was finally in it; up to my neck in papers to grade, lessons to plan, e-mails to respond to, parents to call back, students to manage and books to read. I was also 3000 miles from home and beginning a great adventure as a military wife. I heard about National Board Certification from a colleague and looked into the process. The…

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Five Insights from Running a School Newspaper
Ray Salazar, NBCTJanuary 30, 2018

School newspapers can be daunting, frightening ideas for teachers and administrators. Adults fear irresponsible reporting that proves to be gossip about the school, a staff member, or student. Or there’s the fear that some piece of news in the school paper will catch the attention of the mainstream news media and vans of reporters and cameras will bombard the school. Or there’s a fear that the poor quality of writing will embarrass the school. With the decrease in newspaper readership across the country and limited budgets, it’s easy for schools to decide against continuing to publish a school paper. But…

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Time to Reflect
Audra Damron, NBCTJanuary 25, 2018

The National Board certification process is akin to glimpsing into a reflection pool. Looking in, you see the best parts of what is happening in your classroom, your teaching practices and the areas that still need some work. I tell fellow educators that because of this, National Board certification is truly the greatest professional development I can recommend to teachers who want to fine tune their craft and grow to be the best they can be. So upon receiving the news that I officially certified and can put those four coveted letters behind my name – NBCT – I thought…

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National Endowment for the Humanities Reinvigorated My Teaching Career, and We Should Want More of That
Jonathon Medeiros, NBCTJanuary 22, 2018

“The world belongs to those who can imagine it.” – Luis Valdez Teachers hear many voices over the course of a career. We hear our own voices driving us. We hear students’ voices. We hear the voices of the public, sometimes calling us names, and the voices of our colleagues and administrators calling us in many directions at once. We also hear voices echoing from offices at the District or State or farther afield. Luis Valdez, activist, playwright, and director of Teatro Campesino, was a guest lecturer and inspiring voice at a summer course I attended recently. We studied the…

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A Journey Along an Educator’s Career Continuum
Shannon Cotton, NBCTJanuary 18, 2018

I became a health and fitness teacher because, like any other teacher, I wanted to make a difference in the lives of my students. I wanted to give them the opportunity to learn strategies and skills early in life that would help them to make informed life decisions and remain physically, socially, emotionally and mentally healthy through adulthood. After a few years in the profession I had sat through hours of professional development, attained my Master’s Degree and was becoming more involved in our local union activities, but something was still missing. I lacked the professional confidence to become the…

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A Teacher’s Community: It Takes a Village
Damaris Gutierrez, NBCTJanuary 11, 2018

I can remember the many emotions I felt when I became a newcomer ESL teacher. Excited because I was going to have different languages and countries represented in my classroom. Thrilled because I was going to truly have an ESL teaching experience – which in San Antonio is hard to find. Amazed because friendships were going to blossom, even those once separated by continents. Lastly, I was eager because I was going to be the first ever teacher for several of my 3rd and 4th grade students. With all these emotions, I really hadn’t thought about how I was going…

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