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Susan Lafond, a National Board Certified Teacher in English as a New Language (EAYA ENL), has 20 years of combined experience teaching ESL and foreign language. Currently at New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), she works with statewide professional development training for educators through the Education & Learning Trust (ELT). She serves on AFT’s ELL Educator Cadre and is an expert practitioner and advisor to Colorín Colorado.
Teachers are Members of Learning Communities
Susan Lafond, NBCTFebruary 22, 2017

Recently re-released, What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do articulates that National Board’s Five Core Propositions for teaching. Similar to medicine’s Hippocratic Oath, the Five Core Propositions are held in common by teachers of all grade levels and disciplines and underscore the accomplished teacher’s commitment to advancing student learning and achievement. This blog focuses on core proposition 5 that states, “Teachers are members of learning communities.” What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do provides a general understanding of the teaching profession while the Standards define it across the content areas and pedagogical levels. For me, the…

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Developing Your PLN, Early and Always
Sarah Giddings, NBCTFebruary 10, 2017

From the first day I stepped foot into my class in a small urban public high school, I realized one reality about teaching. Traditionally, the classroom can be one of the most isolating places to be for an educator. Although this is not my experience today, it took me a long time, many tears, and much frustration to find a sustainable network of educators that I could learn from regardless of classroom, location or grade level. This accessible group of educator peers is usually called a professional learning network, or PLN. When I graduated from college, I stayed in touch…

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Meaningful Parent Engagement
Ambereen Khan-Baker, NBCTFebruary 8, 2017

Recently re-released, What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do articulates the National Board’s Five Core Propositions for teaching. Similar to medicine’s Hippocratic Oath, the Five Core Propositions are held in common by teachers of all grade levels and disciplines and underscore the accomplished teacher’s commitment to advancing student learning and achievement. This blog focuses on core proposition 5 that states, “Teachers are members of learning communities.” How can teachers and school leaders engage parents and families in meaningful ways, to ensure that we are meeting students’ needs? What kind of audience are we for the voices of parents…

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Stuffed Neurons and Growth Mindset
Tammy Ranger, NBCTFebruary 1, 2017

When I was growing up in Central Maine, my parents owned several businesses—some did well, some did not. The beauty salon thrived, as did the sandwich business. The tanning salon brought our family to the brink of bankruptcy, but the ceiling cleaning business, the last of my parents’ entrepreneurial adventures, was extremely successful.  Over the years, my father’s friends, always curious about his business ventures, would ask questions like, “Harry, what ever happened with that tanning business, anyway?” My dad would smile, shake his head and say, “Hey, I don’t know–everyone got tanned and we got burned!” And when they…

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See the System
Mark Gardner, NBCTJanuary 25, 2017

Of the National Board’s Five Core Propositions, teachers being part of learning communities was long the toughest for me as an NBCT teacher-leader to connect with, largely because of my schema around what “learning community” should mean. For a dozen years, we have been a DuFour Professional Learning Community (PLC) District. We’ve carved out time for teams to meet, but in those dozen years of “implementation,” the systems as constructed were producing what one of my colleagues accurately described as “Professional Compliance Communities.” For years, our PLC system felt like hoops we teachers were obligated to leap in order to…

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Thinking Systematically and Learning From Experience to Impact Student Learning
Leslee Milch, NBCTJanuary 18, 2017

Recently re-released, What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do articulates the National Board’s Five Core Propositions for teaching. Similar to medicine’s Hippocratic Oath, the Five Core Propositions are held in common by teachers of all grade levels and disciplines and underscore the accomplished teacher’s commitment to advancing student learning and achievement. This blog focuses on core proposition 4 that states, “Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.” My journey started in 2002, when my superintendent at the time handed me a flyer about National Board Certification. She said, “I think this is something you need…

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Networking for Success
Stacey McCluskey, NBCTJanuary 12, 2017

Before the end of the year, I experienced a perfect day for a hike. It was breezy and cool. The air had that sweet smell and the sky was cloudless. I had driven for about an hour to reach my destination, and upon my arrival, stepped out of my car, took a deep breath of fresh air, hoisted my bags onto my shoulders, and walked down a paved pathway to sit inside for the next four hours. The Bigelow Mountains would have to wait. This day was for networking.* Teaching is like hiking. Preparation helps to ensure an enjoyable experience,…

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I Think We Won: Revising What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do
Robyn Seglem, NBCTJanuary 9, 2017

Recently re-released, What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do articulates the National Board’s Five Core Propositions for teaching. Similar to medicine’s Hippocratic Oath, the Five Core Propositions are held in common by teachers of all grade levels and disciplines and underscore the accomplished teacher’s commitment to advancing student learning and achievement. This blog focuses on core proposition 3 that states, “Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.”   Administer. Dominate. Govern. Supervise. Manage. To oversee, supervise, or regulate. To watch closely for purposes of control, surveillance, etc.; keep track of; check continually. Monitor. As an English teacher and literacy educator, I am constantly reminded of how much words matter. They…

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Fire up the Reflective Practitioners
Kathleen Shahan, NBCTJanuary 5, 2017

My own fiery reflective journey began in earnest over a decade of three attempts at certification in the National Board Certification process.  I speak from experience when I suggest that for some, the “reflective practitioner” (Danielson, 2013) is not as much born; as is instead, forged in the twin fires of doubt and failure.  Questions like “What went wrong in my class or with this lesson? Why did this end up this way?” are indicators that you too have been fired up in the reflective process.  Danielson, 2013 recognized over time professional educators could develop this skill of reflective practice,…

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Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students
Dat Le, NBCTDecember 21, 2016

Recently re-released, What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do articulates the National Board’s Five Core Propositions for teaching. Similar to medicine’s Hippocratic Oath, the Five Core Propositions are held in common by teachers of all grade levels and disciplines and underscore the accomplished teacher’s commitment to advancing student learning and achievement. This blog focuses on core proposition 2 that states, “Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students.” As part of the committee that worked on revising, What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do, I am excited about how it…

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