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Jennifer Dines is the Director of English Language Learners at the Lilla G. Frederick Middle School, a Pilot School in the Boston Public Schools. Jennifer is a National Board Certified Teacher in the area of English as a New Language. She is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, Lesley University, Northeastern University, and the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. In addition to blogging for The Standard, Jennifer currently maintains her personal blog http://www.literacychange.org as well as a newer collaborative blog focused on writing across the curriculum: http://www.writingisthinking.org Follow her on twitter @literacychange.
From Isolation to Collaboration via National Board Certification
Jennifer Dines, NBCTAugust 27, 2015

Editor’s Note:  Jennifer Dines, NBCT, is the Special Education and Student Services Coordinator at the Gardner Pilot Academy K-8 School, a Pilot School in the Boston Public Schools. The views expressed in this blog are her own.   Becoming an NBCT has enabled me to articulate my thinking about our profession, with the confidence and credentials to be an outspoken advocate for our students and their needs. The National Board assessment process served as a catalyst to my transformation from teacher to teacher leader. Although I showed strengths in many areas on my National Board assessment, the scores I received on…

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Candidate Recruitment: When Does It End?
Java Robinson, NBCTAugust 14, 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. “Hi, I remember you from National Board support sessions. How can I help?”   That was refreshing to hear from a newly certified NBCT. But what can we do to keep the enthusiasm up for others? Unfortunately, once they become NBCTs, many teachers never consider…

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Teaching Writing on the Side of a Coffee Cup
Ray Salazar, NBCTAugust 7, 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. Writing matters to students when they see how words survive in the real world. Yes, our classrooms are the real world. But if the writing in class does not connect to students’ hearts and minds and what matters to them, the lessons can disappear like a Snapchat. I want students to remember the value, the power our writing. When I worked at a high school in downtown Chicago, I treasured the day (every…

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Leading From Inside the Classroom
Jane Fung, NBCTAugust 4, 2015

Editor’s Note:  Jane Fung, NBCT, is a first-grade teacher in Los Angeles. The views expressed in this blog are her own. Several years ago I met a university supervisor working with my school’s cohort of student teachers. I don’t remember her visiting my classroom, observing my student teachers, or ever discussing classroom instruction. What I do remember was her underlying message to the student teachers that being a classroom teacher should be temporary. She told them to be a success in the teaching profession, you need to move out of the classroom as soon as possible, and to stay longer…

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Yearbook: A teacher’s reflection on a school year, well captured
Ambereen Khan-Baker, NBCTJuly 29, 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. A 220-page book.  Five different sections: Student Life, People, Groups, Senior Tributes, and an index that lists the names of 1,600 individuals that make up our school. This is the yearbook.  But it’s more than just a book: It’s a historical document…

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Developing Specialized Knowledge by Pushing Myself as a Reader
Jennifer Dines, NBCTJuly 24, 2015

Last year, while mentoring a second-year middle school English teacher, I complimented her knowledge of books for young adults. I was impressed by the expertise she demonstrated when making personal book recommendations to each of her seventh graders, helping them develop into successful independent readers. I asked her how she knew about all the different titles. “Well, I read them,” she replied. “You really read all of those YA books?” I asked in awe. “I feel like it’s my job,” she said. And she was absolutely right. In every version of the National Board standards, for each certification area, there…

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Shifting the Culture
David B. Cohen, NBCTJuly 22, 2015

Visionary. Advocate. Transformative Leader. These words were on the screen Tuesday morning at the National Board Academy in Scottsdale, AZ, as Dr. Mike Lee asked us to consider the small steps, the decisions of individual teachers at their schools, that are necessary to transform our professional culture broadly. These particular words were widely used by people describing National Board President and CEO Ron Thorpe in the wake of his passing on July 1. For the teachers and education leaders attending this meeting, the challenge is to take on a some of those same qualities, to advance the goals Thorpe articulated so well. Thorpe…

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Aligning Learning and Standards
Luann Lee, NBCTJuly 17, 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. Standards are changing, again. Presently, both my state and my district are working through a full-blown implementation of both Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). I’ve been asked to by my state submit a review of their draft NGSS High School Model Content Framework. And I’m one of 9 high school science teachers in…

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My Struggle with Classroom Data
Mark Gardner, NBCTJuly 8, 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. I am not afraid of numbers. Yes, I teach high school English, but was raised by a math teacher, found calculus comfortably challenging, and rather enjoy the cognitive acrobatics of math. Yet viewing my students as numbers —  as mere data points — was something I struggled with for years. Each fall when the spring’s test data rolled in, I’d…

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Talking Back to Silence: My Pledge to Speak on Community Violence
Jennifer Dines, NBCTJune 24, 2015

Editor’s Note:  Jennifer Dines, NBCT, is the Special Education and Student Services Coordinator at the Gardner Pilot Academy K-8 School, a Pilot School in the Boston Public Schools. The views expressed in this blog are her own.   I live in Roslindale – a sleepy residential neighborhood in the city of Boston, Massachusetts. There are three public elementary schools within half a mile of my home, as well as a handful of parks and playgrounds, a small grocery store, and a branch of the Boston Public Library. Recently, Roslindale made the national news. Roslindale is where Usaama Rahim, a 26-year-old man…

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