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Do You Have What It Takes?
Java Robinson, NBCTJune 5, 2015

Editor’s Note:  Java Robinson, NBCT, teaches second grade in Montgomery County, Md. She supports her colleagues in pursuing and achieving Board certification as a coach, recruitment coordinator and candidate support provider. She is also a Teach Ambassador, working to recruit minority candidates into the teaching profession.  The views expressed in this blog are her own. “I tried it once and did not achieve. I quit!” “It’s too much work! That was the hardest thing I ever had to do.” “You are crazy for doing this!” These are some of the comments I generally hear from people in reference to National…

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Learning Never Stops for a Teacher Nerd
Jane Fung, NBCTJune 2, 2015

Editor’s Note:  Jane Fung, NBCT, is a first-grade teacher in Los Angeles. The views expressed in this blog are her own. “Hello teachers! Just wanted to share the news that the district has posted summer trainings for the new math program and spaces are filling up fast.” This was the text sent out by one of my colleagues last night. Within minutes several of us had signed up for the training too. With only two weeks of school left, you would assume that teachers would be talking about vacation plans rather than learning opportunities, but you would be wrong. It’s…

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What calls you to teaching?
Ambereen Khan-Baker, NBCTMay 28, 2015

Editor’s Note: Ambereen Khan-Baker, NBCT, teaches AP Language and Composition in Rockville, Md. As an Ambassador for the Montgomery Institute, a partnership between NEA and Montgomery County Education Association, she works with teacher leaders across the country on collaborative problem solving to improve the quality of teaching and learning. The views expressed in this blog are her own. Why do you teach? That may be a relatively easy question to answer. But I didn’t truly understand my purpose and calling to teaching until this past year. That’s when I became an ambassador for Montgomery Institute, a partnership with the NEA…

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The Teacher’s Pledge of Relationship
Corey Oliver, NBCTMay 22, 2015

Editor’s Note: Corey Oliver is a National Board Certified Teacher in English Language Arts. He teaches 7th grade English in the Conway Public School District in Conway, Arkansas. The views expressed in this blog are his own. Walking proudly across the stage at his high school graduation, Julien wears a smile that expands as cheers erupt from his adoring friends and family members and as he approaches his principal, who hands him his long awaited high school diploma. Julien’s fan club consists of not only his friends and family, but also at least one of his former teachers, who beams…

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T is for Teacher
Daniela Robles, NBCTMay 19, 2015

Editor’s Note: Daniela Robles is a Curriculum/Instructional Coach at Griffith Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona. She serves on the Board of Directors for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and the Arizona K-12 Center. The views expressed in this blog are her own. One night recently, I found myself filling out the mundane insurance paperwork at Urgent Care. Perhaps it was the mind-numbing act of completing forms requiring information that I have completed fifty times before that prompted me to pause when I encountered the word, Occupation. Maybe it was my daughter’s high fever transferring to me, but I…

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Why my students’ AP scores matter. And why they don’t.
Ray Salazar, NBCTMay 13, 2015

Editor’s Note: Ray Salazar, NBCT,  teaches high school English in Chicago Public Schools and  is an award-winning blogger. The views expressed in this blog are his own I fight the obsession with testing and over-testing in our classrooms.  Yet, given the choice, I choose to teach AP English Language every chance I get.  After months of intense writing and thinking, over sixty of my students take their AP test this morning.  This is the sixth time I’ve taught this class.  And each year, I value this course—and the experience of teaching it—more and more.   Focused on examining non-fiction and…

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We Can Do Better
Java Robinson, NBCTMay 11, 2015

Editor’s Note:  Java Robinson, NBCT, teaches second grade in Montgomery County, Md. She supports her colleagues in pursuing and achieving Board certification as a coach, recruitment coordinator and candidate support provider. She is also a Teach Ambassador, working to recruit minority candidates into the teaching profession.  The views expressed in this blog are her own.   We Can Do Better! This has been the battle cry of the Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA) ever since the election of the new governor in Maryland, who has proposed policy changes and budget cuts to public education.  So what could we do? Nearly…

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If you see her, tell her
Mike Lee, NBCTMay 6, 2015

The year was 1981. The place was Tempe, Arizona. The shorts were corduroy. The socks were tubed. The hair was feathered and, according to my birth certificate but not necessarily my maturity or performance, I was ready for sixth grade. I’d originally come to Fuller Elementary near the end of 3rd grade, one week before the culminating Plastic-Version-of-a-Flute-Called-a-Recorder-Thing evening performance for parents.  I proved a natural at pretending to play that poor excuse for a flute, by inflating my cheeks and randomly wiggling my fingers, and survived the concert with nobody the wiser.  The next day, I demonstrated that I…

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How I taught my high school students to analyze a complex text
Ambereen Khan-Baker, NBCTApril 30, 2015

Editor’s Note:  Ambereen Khan-Baker, NBCT, teaches AP Language and Composition in Rockville, Md. As an Ambassador for the Montgomery Institute, a partnership between NEA and Montgomery County Education Association, she works with teacher leaders across the country on collaborative problem solving to improve the quality of teaching and learning. The views expressed in this blog are her own. Have you ever had that feeling where you want to slam your head on the desk because your students just didn’t get it? I think every teacher has experienced that frustration at some point; students may see a concept, but not understand…

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The Lasting Impact of National Board Certification
Mark Gardner, NBCTApril 24, 2015

Editor’s Note:  Mark Gardner, NBCT, is a high school English teacher in southwest Washington state working in a hybrid role that also allows him to work on professional development experiences for teachers. The views expressed in this blog are his own.   It has now been ten years since my students first got used to the idea that when I was video recording class, I wasn’t doing it to “catch them” doing something wrong. I remember trying to explain to my ninth-grade special-education inclusion students what this whole “National Boards thing” was about–and to be honest, I wasn’t so sure myself,…

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