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The Architecture of Accomplished Teaching…of Teachers
Mark Gardner, NBCTApril 22, 2016

Earning my National Board Certification was a professional turning point for me, as it was for many teachers I know. It was early in my career when I submitted my Blue Box (with VHS tapes!), but as soon as I connected with the community of National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) here in Washington state, hallways filled with doors of opportunity opened to me. As I’ve navigated through these new doors, my role has shifted from teacher of teenagers to teacher of fellow teachers and administrators. Stepping into this uncharted territory, I found that the skill set I brought as an…

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National Board Changed My Standards
Rhea IsenbergApril 15, 2016

A group of three, four and five year olds check out books with their teacher. Another small group of three year olds extends their learning from the classroom using the coding robot with a teacher assistant. Meanwhile, I work on a MakerSpace activity that guides students to build their own snowmen from healthy and unhealthy foods, which builds on a read-aloud I had conducted previously. This is our media center — a place to extend and expand on student learning, a place alive with student voices and student growth. Not so long ago, my students came to the library for…

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Hollywood Got it Wrong…But Washington Gets it Right
Joanna Schimizzi, NBCTApril 8, 2016

When educators take back education legislation Every Student Succeeds Act. The name leads us to wish for a world in which every student experiences a classroom designed specifically to help them overcome every obstacle that they’ve been dealt. As professional educators, we don’t want to be jaded, but it sounds a bit “Hollywood.” Think of those movies that depict the difficulties of being a teacher, but then the ending ties everything up in a beautiful red bow. Every student succeeding sounds a bit like every student being “above average” – mathematically impossible! And a new piece of legislation? Don’t teachers…

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NOW is the Right Time to Consider National Board Certification
Patrick LedesmaMarch 31, 2016

As the next candidate cycle begins on April 1, 2016, many educators around the country will ask themselves, “Is now the right time to consider National Board Certification?” or “Am I ready to become a candidate?” I remember asking similar questions when I saw an information session flyer about Board certification posted on a bulletin board in the teacher workroom at my school. I was very curious! Board certification was highly regarded; unfortunately, I did not know any National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs).  The whole thing was a mystery. I remember thinking about the “what’s” and “why’s” – wondering what…

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Reflecting on Teacher Leadership Through a Lens of Stewardship
Jennifer Dines, NBCTMarch 30, 2016

As a National Board Certified Teacher, I recognize that accomplished teaching practice begins with knowing my students. The National Board’s Architecture of Accomplished Teaching provides guiding questions around knowing our students’ identities:    Who are they?  Where are they now?  What instruction/support do they need and in what order do they need it?  Where should I begin?   At the 2016 Teaching & Learning Conference, Benjie Howard and Wade Colwell-Sandoval of New Wilderness Project demonstrated exemplary practice in building from a foundation of identity in their session, “Connecting Deeply Across Difference – Engaging Youth as Equity Stewards.” Although the focus of…

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It’s time to make the magic happen!
Sally Brothers, NBCTMarch 23, 2016

If someone had told me when I was a novice teacher that something truly magical would happen in my career twenty years later, I would have found it hard to believe. It was a perfect storm of sorts; it began with my journey of achieving National Board Certification. This achievement gave me the confidence to apply for a Teacher Leader role in a new initiative begun in my district. For four years now, I have had the luxury of teaching half days and spending the other half of the day helping teachers turn great ideas into possibilities and then into…

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Every Student Succeeds Act – NBCTs Can Act Now!
Luann Lee, NBCTMarch 21, 2016

No Child Left Behind has been left behind, after 14 years. Students in schools today have had their entire school experience influenced by NCLB. Teachers who have taught for fewer than 14 years have never known anything else, but that’s about to change with authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which has been titled Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). I learned about the changes coming with ESSA at the 2016 Teaching and Learning 2016 Conference, from Shelly Moore Krajacic, NBCT, and Donna Harris-Aikens of NEA, in the session titled “ESSA Implementation: Opportunity, Student Success, and Action.” Shelly…

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Board-Certified Teachers Engage in Dialogue on the Global Stage
Karuna Skariah, NBCTMarch 16, 2016

At 3:30 am, a few weeks ago, I took a taxi on a whim and asked the driver to take my picture at a popular graffiti art on the partially standing Berlin Wall. The artwork, by Dmitri Vrubel, portrays, “the Death Kiss” of Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker in brotherly love, which celebrated the 30th anniversary of the German Democratic Republic. Vrubal created his art after the collapse of The Wall and serves to remind visitors of East Berlin’s dark communist past, but one that succumbed to the increasing urgency for change—progressive thought, global dialogue and a unified vision of…

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What does a culturally competent classroom look like?
David B. Cohen, NBCTMarch 13, 2016

The Saturday [March 12] morning plenary session at the National Board’s Teaching and Learning Conference offered a powerful conversation about race and education. While I’m sure it benefitted everyone in attendance, I found it particularly powerful because it shows some continuity in focus from the National Board. Last year’s conference featured a similar panel discussion on cultural competency. During the summer academy in Scottsdale, National Board helped network leaders from around the country go deeper into those conversations. David Johns reprised his role as moderator extraordinaire, keeping the conversation balanced and well-paced, and engaging a large audience effectively as well.…

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Engaging students to create social change
Ambereen Khan-Baker, NBCTMarch 12, 2016

How do you prepare students to go beyond critical thinking and discussion, and to take action to better their communities and the world? How do we engage students to create social change? On March 10, I attended one of Teaching and Learning pre-conference sessions, Social Leadership: MALALA and How To Turn Your Students Into Activists at the Newseum. The topic spoke to me as a teacher of 11th graders in an  AP Language and Composition course. My students have to demonstrate that they are “informed citizens” of their community.  By understanding the craft of rhetoric, they are better consumers of…

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