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A Powerful Three Letter Word: TRY
Java Robinson, NBCTDecember 19, 2017

There is a poster hanging in my classroom with the quote, “You never know what YOU can do until you TRY.” Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. I remind my students of this idea every day. As a child I was always referred to as a “tomboy.” This was because I could always be found climbing trees, scaling buildings, or doing other things typically associated with my male counterparts. My mom would always get on me for coming home with my knee scraped and cut marks all over. Being a “lady” was not in my DNA. I wanted…

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Persevering Through My Journey to National Board Certification
Susan Collins, NBCTDecember 15, 2017

I wanted to love teaching. I wanted to be creative and enjoy watching my students learn. I had hit mid-career burnout, and I hated it! I needed to find my purpose and passion again. Was it possible? I knew about National Board Certification. Colleagues told me how it changed their teaching and they encouraged me to investigate. I wanted to be a better teacher but didn’t want another degree. I wanted to dig deep into what I do and make it better. I became a National Board Teacher Candidate. During the first year, I worked tirelessly: writing commentary, video recording…

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Podcast: Pushing to Succeed
Joanna Schimizzi, NBCTDecember 12, 2017

Joanna Schmizzi, NBCT was inspired by other educators in her department to pursue Board certification, and now she inspires teachers and students alike. The certification process encouraged her to push herself to be a lifelong learner, but it also made her push her students to be their best and pursue their goals. Listen as she details her NBCT journey. Download Episode

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John Lewis – The Greatest Living American!
Doug Graney, NBCTDecember 4, 2017

My Political Science class and my Philosophy class met a man who I consider to be “The Greatest Living American.” Congressman John Lewis is one of the giants of the Civil Rights era. Early on, he participated in sit-ins in Nashville and then became leader of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. It was in that capacity that he gave a hard-hitting speech at the March on Washington. His biggest achievement was bringing black people the right to vote in the South. He marched for voting rights and, of course, was the leader when state troopers attacked him and other marchers…

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I Can Accomplish Difficult Things, and So Can My Students
Heather Byington, NBCTNovember 21, 2017

In mid-October, I opened an email containing National Board renewal scores and saw “Congratulations!” It was a high point of my day. The 129 likes and 23 congratulating comments on Facebook left me with warm fuzzies, but as I sit and reflect on the most rewarding part of this renewal journey, I have to admit that the ways that I’ve become a better teacher through completing the National Board certification and the renewal process mean the most. Entering my initial certification process nine years ago, I saw myself as a strong teacher. The process made me analyze my teaching. I…

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Protecting Teacher Individuality in an Age of Standardization
Virginia DeCesare, NBCTNovember 14, 2017

Think for a moment about a particular teacher that impacted you over the course of your life. Most likely what stood out was that he or she did something different – something that other teachers before or after had not done. Whether through method or personality, this teacher was unique. It is this uniqueness, this individuality in great teachers that I fear is at risk in an age of standardization and collaboration in education. There has been a major push towards standardization in instruction over the last few decades. This standardization has shown itself in many forms, from use of…

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Podcast: The Joy is in the Teaching
Jim Brooks, NBCTNovember 9, 2017

Jim Brooks, NBCT from North Carolina, finds joy in helping students make connections. Something he loves most about his career is each year is a chance to refine how he teaches and to make things better for his students. Listen as Jim explains how National Board Certification plays into this. Download Episode

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How a Bad School Year Led to Renewed Certification and Dedication
Devon O'Brien, NBCTNovember 6, 2017

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a video interview of an amazing athlete who had broken a world record. The athlete talked about the difference between motivation and dedication. Motivation, he argued, is fleeting. Dedication is what carries us across finish lines. Experienced teachers have this encoded in our DNA. We know that dedication is the bridge across the tough days and weeks. But what can we do beyond putting one foot in front of the other? Do we ever get to press the reset button? Over the past two decades of teaching, I have experienced only two really…

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The Changing Face of STEM
Michele Chamberlain, NBCTOctober 30, 2017

The Changing Face of STEM In 2011, I was invited, along with other K-12 STEM educators, to a symposium of the Washington State Academy of Sciences (WSAS). From the mountains of data presented, two bits of information stuck with me: in the coming years, 80% of all new US jobs would be in computer science and engineering fields; although women comprise 47% of the total workforce, women are seriously underrepresented in these two STEM fields even though more woman are achieving STEM degrees overall. Wait a minute- how could this be happening? Since 2009, I’ve supported my 8th grade students…

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Fast Forward to Board Certification
Belinda Furman, NBCTOctober 24, 2017

Where has the time gone? It seems like yesterday that I was sitting at the computer waiting to hear the news whether or not I had become a National Board Certified Teacher. I remember that moment so vividly and how proud I felt when I saw the word “Congratulations!” appear on the screen. All of the time, effort, videotaping and writing had paid off and I was ready to wear the title NBCT with absolute pride. I wanted everyone to know that I was an NBCT which even prompted me to buy a license plate that read “NBCT ‘09”. Now…

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