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To Transform Schools, Slow Down
Mark Gardner, NBCTJuly 22, 2016

I’m a bit of a teacher-nerd in that one of my favorite parts of the job is lesson planning. I’m a notorious wheel-re-creator, as it is a captivating puzzle for me to build together just the right sequence of experiences to help my learners move from point-A to point-B. I don’t necessarily script out activities or transitions down to the minute, but the execution of the lesson is a purposeful performance on my part. I design each lesson not only with a clear intention of the learning I want my students to develop, but also the experience I want them…

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What They Don’t Seem to Understand about Certification
Corey Oliver, NBCTJuly 21, 2016

What they don’t understand about birthdays and what they never tell you is that when you’re eleven, you’re also ten, and nine, and eight, and seven, and six, and five, and four, and three, and two, and one. And when you wake up on your eleventh birthday you expect to feel eleven, but you don’t. You open your eyes and everything’s just like yesterday, only it’s today. And you don’t feel eleven at all. You feel like you’re still ten. And you are –underneath the year that makes you eleven. Like some days you might say something stupid, and that’s…

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NBCTs Take a Stand in Support of Educational Policies
Java Robinson, NBCTJuly 15, 2016

From July 2-7, 2016, approximately 10,000 delegates convened in Washington, DC at the National Education Association (NEA) Representative Assembly (RA) to advocate for legislation to promote academic and social justice for all students. Among those present were members of the NEA NBCT caucus. These NBCTs work diligently at the RA to do the necessary work, but they are not the only ones.  All around the country NBCTs are taking action by lobbying legislators, writing letters, reaching out to the community, educating all stakeholders, using data and statistics and other means to identify faults and propose improvements in education systems. On…

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A Call for Peace-Based Teacher Leadership
Jennifer Dines, NBCTJuly 14, 2016

The violent events of early July weigh heavily on my heart and mind. It seems that America is a pressure cooker that has exploded with hatred and brutality. I have read my friends’ sentiments on Facebook, but I haven’t been emotionally ready to even have a face-to-face conversation with them about all that is happening. As an educator and a parent, it’s difficult to believe that this is the world in which my students and children are growing up. However, I recently came across an artifact of inspiration while reading the community bulletin board at the Grove Hall Library, located…

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Addressing Core Proposition 1 to Engage Students and be Culturally Responsive
Liz Morrison, NBCTJuly 12, 2016

Teachers are committed to students and their learning is Core Proposition 1 of the National Board Standards. How do you demonstrate your commitment to your students and their learning? As the demographics of my community changed I realized the practices I used to engage students weren’t as effective as they were in the past. I wasn’t doing a good job of meeting the needs of my African American students nor the needs of my English Language Learners. It wasn’t about the kids not getting it – it was about me not getting to the kids. Knowing I needed to change…

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Giving Students the Skills to be an “Executive”
Joanna Schimizzi, NBCTJuly 8, 2016

It’s summer and the school year has ended… we had kindergarten graduation, high school graduations and college graduations. At this point, you know your students so well, maybe you can even picture what they’ll be doing when they’re adults. So, close your eyes and picture your class. Which of your students do you see having “executive” skills? No, I’m not talking about students who will end up as our future CEOs, COOs or CFOs. The reason I bring this term up is because I recently learned more about the neuroscience of “executive function” at the Teaching & Learning Conference, and…

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Letting go of “We’ve always done it this way” (Part 2 of 3)
David B. Cohen, NBCTJuly 5, 2016

If you want to start with Part One in this series of blog posts, here’s the link, though the sequencing is not essential. Being a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) is a source of pride for me, providing both a sense of professional accomplishment and sense of professional companionship with leaders in my field. The certification process provides us with a shared set of concepts and terms we can use to guide our ongoing learning and the improvement of our practices. Sometimes, the quest for improvement keeps us in comfortable territory, eager to try new materials and lessons that fit…

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Watching Dreams Become Goals and Goals Become Realities
Chris Murray, NBCTJune 28, 2016

A decade into my career in education and I felt as though I had checked off all the goals I set way back when I was a novice teacher. I had survived the first year, while meeting, and dating my now wife. Next, I had earned a master’s degree in curriculum design and instruction and then delved into earning a second master’s degree in special education. I added to my skillset by becoming certified in special education, ESOL and school administration. The final box on my list was to achieve National Board Certification (eight years into teaching).    But now…

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How Can We Best Address the Learning Needs of Our Students?
Java Robinson, NBCTJune 21, 2016

How do you overcome learning barriers in your classroom? What steps have you taken to address the needs of all learners? How are you able to keep your students engaged in their learning? These are the questions accomplished teachers frequently ask themselves. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) not only helps teachers answer these questions but also provides guidelines and strategies they can use to solve these problems. UDL is a set of three principles that helps teachers develop curriculum that gives all students equal opportunities to learn. We cannot continue with a single, one-size-fits-all approach for education. Many times we…

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Can we push accomplished teachers even further? (Part 1 of 3)
David B. Cohen, NBCTJune 16, 2016

The hallmarks of accomplished teaching are analysis and reflection, the disposition to think carefully about teaching and learning, past and future, with the goal of constant improvement. I think every teacher I know, and certainly every National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT), has the drive to improve. After all, no one wants to devise and deliver an ineffective lesson, and it’s never a pleasant experience to pick up the pieces of fragmented instruction when we occasionally mess up. And when we see the positive results of our efforts, the sense of satisfaction and utter joy can last for days. I wish…

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