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Thank you, Ron
Daniela Robles, NBCTMarch 11, 2016

Editor’s note: the following blog post was written in honor of our former president & CEO, Ron Thorpe, who passed away last July after a year-long battle with cancer. Thorpe will posthumously receive the prestigious James A. Kelly award at Teaching & Learning 2016. The death of Ron Thorpe brought up strong emotions for me: anger, stress, uncertainty, and an overwhelming sense of sadness. Ron Thorpe came to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) at a time when educational reform was the name of the game, and National Board wasn’t on the field. Before Ron Thorpe, educators spanning…

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Teacher Agency Unleashed
Patrick LedesmaMarch 7, 2016

A version of old professional development joke goes something like this: A man dies and goes to heaven. Passing the pearly gates, he notices that there are plenty of folks from all professions and walks of life standing around, but no teachers. “Where are all the teachers?” he inquires of God. “Oh, they’re in professional development,” God replies. “In hell.” I used to tell various iterations of that joke to teachers when I was an instructional resource teacher in my district’s Office of Staff Development. (This version is from Edweek.) The fact that we had to acknowledge these expectations and…

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Take a breather – and come back exhilarated!
Peggy Brookins, NBCTMarch 4, 2016

For some of us, this is the most wonderful time of the year. The time leading up to the annual Teaching & Learning conference is exciting and exhausting – a time full of possibilities. I come to the office and colleagues are buzzing. Will major figure X be coming? What about policy leader Y? Will we meet the deadline for that or this deliverable? The work is exhilarating because we know that thousands of people in the field will convene in Washington with one focus – stepping back for a couple days to improve their practice. The hard-working planning team…

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Board-Certified Teacher Walks the Red Carpet
Phillip Riggs, NBCTMarch 2, 2016

We had a chat with 2016 Grammy Music Educator award recipient, Phillip Riggs, NBCT, to learn more about his Grammy moment and his experience with Board certification. Read what he said below! When did you find out that you’d be winning this award? I was notified before the actual CBS This Morning announcement. It was really difficult not sharing the news with everyone I know. Did you get a trophy? That happens in April. The Special Merit Awards event is April 23 in Hollywood at the Dolby theater. One of the four Special Merit Awards is the lifetime achievement award.…

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Thank You Mr. Gulle, NBCT
Suzanne Farmer, NBCTFebruary 24, 2016

Editors Note: This is a guest blog from Suzanne Farmer, NBCT and director of the Kentucky Network to Transform Teaching. The views expressed are her own. As both a teacher and a parent of two school aged girls, I struggle with how to advocate for my children without becoming THAT parent. As a general rule, I follow my child’s lead. When issues at school arise, I reach out to the teacher on their behalf and with their permission. Being a parent has improved my instruction, and being a teacher has improved my ability to advocate for my kids. After teaching…

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Push or Pull: What do you need?
Stacey Hicks, NBCTFebruary 17, 2016

Truth be told, I needed both. I didn’t always know I wanted to be a teacher. I didn’t always know if my teaching was good. But there I was, regardless of the self-doubt, standing in a room every day with 30 third graders. I was their teacher, the one who was supposed to impart wisdom and a love of learning. I was the one who was charged with preparing them and learning with them every day. Who thought that was a good idea? My principal, for one, and my teacher husband was another. Let me give you some backstory and…

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How I Came To Pursue National Board Certification…A Look Back
Akinyi J. Edmonds, NBCTDecember 22, 2015

In 1998, a colleague came to my classroom and talked with me about National Board Certification – a new challenge for accomplished teachers. She had recently earned certification and suggested that I pursue it because she believed I was good enough! She based her conclusion on student work on the walls and by passing my classroom regularly and hearing my teaching voice spill into the hallways. My initial steps to pursue Board certification I learned more including the fact that Board certification was the highest K-12 certification you could earn. My colleague was honest, telling me that it was time…

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Game Plan
Daniela Robles, NBCTDecember 4, 2015

Do you remember when you were a National Board Candidate? Do you recall the first time you encountered “NBCT” after someone’s name? Feelings of longing most likely ensued. I recall that time. I was determined that when I achieved National Board Certification, the first thing I would do is add those 4 letters after my name. But, then I achieved, and I typed NBCT after my name, and I deleted it. I retyped NBCT, and once again, I deleted it. In that moment, I pondered, “Is it about the letters after my name, or is it about me?”   I…

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Student Learning Parallels Educator Learning in National Board Certification
Luann Lee, NBCTNovember 16, 2015

Editor’s Note: Luann Lee is an NBCT teaching chemistry and AP/dual credit chemistry at Newberg High School in Oregon. She is a founding member and current president of Oregon Accomplished Teachers, Oregon’s National Board network. The views expressed in this blog are her own. The goal of every educator is to help students learn. Perhaps our more important goal is to help students become independent learners, actively guiding their own learning. There’s nothing sweeter in my classroom than when students own and drive their learning. This kind of learning is not just student-centered; it’s also student-driven. Getting students to this…

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Are NBCTs more bankable?
Mike Lee, NBCTOctober 28, 2015

Editor’s note: This is a guest blog from Mike Lee, NBCT and Professional Development Director for the Paradise Valley Unified School District in Arizona. The views expressed are his own. Recently, I had a conversation with an administrator who was struggling to choose teacher leaders for a long-term initiative at her school. She indicated her school has suffered an epidemic of staff members experiencing dramatic turns in their personal lives, beginning to waver in their commitment to teaching, or even pondering whether they even wanted to stay in the profession. It was particularly disheartening because these had been teachers that…

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