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My App Helps Fill a Void
Nivvi Tareen, NBCTAugust 16, 2017

I couldn’t have been more excited – during a staff meeting, my principal told me that soon my students would receive iPads. They would be ready to use and would be a great learning tool! There was a catch that left me feeling deflated. It was made clear that I could only use apps that were approved under two federal guidelines: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). These requirements left me with a limited quantity of apps to choose from and meant that however we chose to use the iPads…

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From the Memoir of a Teacher
Akinyi J. Edmonds, NBCTAugust 10, 2017

The Top Three Things Every North Carolina Teacher Should Experience Before Exiting the Teaching Field Note:  I’m from North Carolina and this post focuses on my experiences there. But the blog is relevant to teachers across the country. Get Board-certified. Renew your certification. And, stay in the classroom and find the right ways to rejuvenate yourself and your practice. These are win-wins for all teachers, no matter where you’re from. I am a veteran business education teacher in North Carolina and my journey has been a win-win discovery for me and my students for more than 20 years. There are…

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Top 5 Ways to Find Teacher Leadership Opportunities
Amanda Koonlaba, NBCTAugust 8, 2017

Recently, I taught a professional development course on teacher leadership for my district. I shared a lot of specific opportunities that exist and shared some opportunities that I’d tried myself.  I also shared these top five ways to find opportunities in hopes that participants would be able to search and find other opportunities. These are not research-based, but come from my personal experiences. These tips have served me well, and I am happy to be able to share them with you. Join Join associations and organizations that are relevant to your discipline and to the profession. Some will have membership…

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National Board Renewal: An Exercise of Intense Reflection
Karen Vogelsang, NBCTAugust 1, 2017

Ten years ago, I became a National Board Certified Teacher, and to this day it remains the most powerful, life-changing professional development experience of my career. The original certification process was grueling. I had only been teaching four years when I decided to pursue certification, so I was still young in the field, but not a young professional, per se: I had spent the previous 14 years in banking. Serving students in urban Memphis gave me a burning desire to be the best teacher I could be and National Board Certification seemed to be the way to achieve that goal.…

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Teach Well: Who Chooses for You and Why Does that Matter?
Maureen Devlin, NBCTJuly 18, 2017

Too often in the name of efficiency directors, coaches and other administrators choose for teachers rather than supporting the kind of collaboration and autonomy that gives educators the professional choice, voice and leadership they’ve earned through their education, experience and professional tenure. Why do professional educators allow themselves to be directed with little voice or choice? Why do they follow along without speaking up, advocating and using the talent, skill and investment they regularly bring to the profession? I know that both the way time is used and school structure is created often stand in the way of teacher voice,…

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Mental Health Awareness in the Classroom
Amber Rudolph, NBCTJuly 11, 2017

Famous comedian and actor, Robin Williams, once stated, “All it takes is a beautiful fake smile to hide an injured soul, and they will never notice how broken you really are.” Sadly, these painful words mirrored Williams’s true feelings, as he succumbed to suicide after a long struggle with addiction and mental health. Unfortunately, celebrities are not the sole sufferers when it comes to emotional well-being. Many adolescent students also need to conquer this battle, especially those with overwhelming external circumstances (i.e. sexual orientation confusion, bullying, disciplinary problems) and adverse childhood experiences (i.e. abuse, neglect, divorce, death). As both a…

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4 Ways Board Certification Prepared Me For Motherhood
Jessica Cuthbertson, NBCTJune 28, 2017

My journey to Board certification was the second hardest and most humbling thing I have ever completed. The first? Committing to and seeing through the international adoption process. Both took multiple years. Both required lots of steps, checklists, standards, guidelines, late night, and early morning reflection. Both involved healthy amounts of self-doubt and discernment. Both taught me that human beings are hardwired for community. I (eventually) certified in 2014, one year after deciding to commit to a local adoption agency’s Ethiopia program. In early 2017 (more than three years after starting the process) we finally became the legal parents of…

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Rise: Recognize, Inspire, Sustain, Empower
Amber ChandlerJune 21, 2017

When I teach the word “palpable,” I explain to my students that sometimes the energy is so strong in a room that you can feel it. Last month, after a long day of school, I walked into the ballroom at the Marriott Harborcenter in Buffalo, New York and there was an electricity that energized me immediately. We were gathered for the New York Summit on Teacher Leadership. There was a buzz in the air, the aroma of yummy food, and a palpable excitement. This, in itself, is quite a feat. I’d only had a small commute over the Skyway, but…

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Knowledge of Students
Kelly PaceJune 16, 2017

Life is all about connections. Early in my teaching career, I prided myself in connecting with my students. I thought I could relate to them easily, and that I truly understood who they were. Our proximity of age did not produce the disconnect that many veteran teachers experienced. Yet, as I think back to two separate situations among many, I realize in hindsight that I didn’t know my students at all. The first situation occurred in my second year of teaching. I was trying to help my students appreciate poetry by having them write their own original poetry. On the…

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Why Educators Must Build a Safe Environment for Our Students
Ambereen Khan-Baker, NBCTJune 12, 2017

On September 11 of my senior year in high school, I was in my ceramics class working on a project when I heard that an airplane crashed into one of the twin towers in New York. When the class ended, I rushed over to Mr. Hunt’s classroom, where we usually met for our student government class. It was the one place I felt safe. There, my classmates and I watched the twin towers collapse, and we stared in terror and disbelief at the devastation and destruction. We had yet to graduate from high school, and we were deciding what to…

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