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Akinyi J. Edmonds is a renewed National Board Certified Teacher who has taught in the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) in NC for 19 years and is currently serving as a NC Hope Street Group Teacher Voice Fellow. She has written curriculum, mentored teachers, and facilitated computer technology professional development sessions. She mentors students outside of the classroom through the student organizations, Future Business Leaders of America and Student Council. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Education from East Carolina University and holds from North Carolina State University both a Master of Education and a Master of School Administration.
From the Memoir of a Teacher
Akinyi J. Edmonds, NBCTAugust 10, 2017

The Top Three Things Every North Carolina Teacher Should Experience Before Exiting the Teaching Field Note:  I’m from North Carolina and this post focuses on my experiences there. But the blog is relevant to teachers across the country. Get Board-certified. Renew your certification. And, stay in the classroom and find the right ways to rejuvenate yourself and your practice. These are win-wins for all teachers, no matter where you’re from. I am a veteran business education teacher in North Carolina and my journey has been a win-win discovery for me and my students for more than 20 years. There are…

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Top 5 Ways to Find Teacher Leadership Opportunities
Amanda Koonlaba, NBCTAugust 8, 2017

Recently, I taught a professional development course on teacher leadership for my district. I shared a lot of specific opportunities that exist and shared some opportunities that I’d tried myself.  I also shared these top five ways to find opportunities in hopes that participants would be able to search and find other opportunities. These are not research-based, but come from my personal experiences. These tips have served me well, and I am happy to be able to share them with you. Join Join associations and organizations that are relevant to your discipline and to the profession. Some will have membership…

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Teach Well: Who Chooses for You and Why Does that Matter?
Maureen Devlin, NBCTJuly 18, 2017

Too often in the name of efficiency directors, coaches and other administrators choose for teachers rather than supporting the kind of collaboration and autonomy that gives educators the professional choice, voice and leadership they’ve earned through their education, experience and professional tenure. Why do professional educators allow themselves to be directed with little voice or choice? Why do they follow along without speaking up, advocating and using the talent, skill and investment they regularly bring to the profession? I know that both the way time is used and school structure is created often stand in the way of teacher voice,…

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Mental Health Awareness in the Classroom
Amber Rudolph, NBCTJuly 11, 2017

Famous comedian and actor, Robin Williams, once stated, “All it takes is a beautiful fake smile to hide an injured soul, and they will never notice how broken you really are.” Sadly, these painful words mirrored Williams’s true feelings, as he succumbed to suicide after a long struggle with addiction and mental health. Unfortunately, celebrities are not the sole sufferers when it comes to emotional well-being. Many adolescent students also need to conquer this battle, especially those with overwhelming external circumstances (i.e. sexual orientation confusion, bullying, disciplinary problems) and adverse childhood experiences (i.e. abuse, neglect, divorce, death). As both a…

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4 Ways Board Certification Prepared Me For Motherhood
Jessica Cuthbertson, NBCTJune 28, 2017

My journey to Board certification was the second hardest and most humbling thing I have ever completed. The first? Committing to and seeing through the international adoption process. Both took multiple years. Both required lots of steps, checklists, standards, guidelines, late night, and early morning reflection. Both involved healthy amounts of self-doubt and discernment. Both taught me that human beings are hardwired for community. I (eventually) certified in 2014, one year after deciding to commit to a local adoption agency’s Ethiopia program. In early 2017 (more than three years after starting the process) we finally became the legal parents of…

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Rise: Recognize, Inspire, Sustain, Empower
Amber ChandlerJune 21, 2017

When I teach the word “palpable,” I explain to my students that sometimes the energy is so strong in a room that you can feel it. Last month, after a long day of school, I walked into the ballroom at the Marriott Harborcenter in Buffalo, New York and there was an electricity that energized me immediately. We were gathered for the New York Summit on Teacher Leadership. There was a buzz in the air, the aroma of yummy food, and a palpable excitement. This, in itself, is quite a feat. I’d only had a small commute over the Skyway, but…

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Knowledge of Students
Kelly PaceJune 16, 2017

Life is all about connections. Early in my teaching career, I prided myself in connecting with my students. I thought I could relate to them easily, and that I truly understood who they were. Our proximity of age did not produce the disconnect that many veteran teachers experienced. Yet, as I think back to two separate situations among many, I realize in hindsight that I didn’t know my students at all. The first situation occurred in my second year of teaching. I was trying to help my students appreciate poetry by having them write their own original poetry. On the…

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Why Educators Must Build a Safe Environment for Our Students
Ambereen Khan-Baker, NBCTJune 12, 2017

On September 11 of my senior year in high school, I was in my ceramics class working on a project when I heard that an airplane crashed into one of the twin towers in New York. When the class ended, I rushed over to Mr. Hunt’s classroom, where we usually met for our student government class. It was the one place I felt safe. There, my classmates and I watched the twin towers collapse, and we stared in terror and disbelief at the devastation and destruction. We had yet to graduate from high school, and we were deciding what to…

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Staying Close to Home to Increase Impact
Daryl Comery, NBCTJune 6, 2017

I am a product of Donaldsonville, Louisiana. That’s where I went to school, it’s where I played football and basketball and it’s where I learned about life’s ups and downs. It’s still my mother’s home. I have spent 12 of my 17 years as an educator in Donaldsonville including serving now, as the principal at Lowery Middle School. Lowery is the school I attended as a preteen and It’s great to give back to my community. But it’s a challenging community. We struggle with poverty and crime far more than pedagogy. So, this is a story of an educator being…

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Seeing the Intersections: The National Board and LDC
Kimba RaelMay 31, 2017

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) have teamed up to build a new course for all LDC CoreTools users to “Differentiate for All Students.” This is a natural collaboration due to the symbiotic relationship that exists between quality teaching and the LDC tools and resources. The National Board’s Five Core Propositions are the qualities and characteristics of practice that highly effective educators share. LDC provides a system that supports teachers in practicing these qualities in our work in concrete ways. The LDC tools and resources provide a practical way to enact the Five…

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