Joanna Schimizzi is a National Board Certified Teacher in her 8th year teaching Biology and AP Biology in public schools in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District. Schimizzi has been passionate about helping increase student interest in science and careers and has pursued that passion by forging a variety of community and university partnerships. To help ensure that all students have access to excellent teaching, Schimizzi has also collaborated with organizations that advance the teaching profession, and presented at conferences including the 2014 Teaching & Learning Conference.
Are you a “Yes” or a “No” teacher?
February 21, 2019
How many times do you think you say “no” every day? Whether it’s telling a student not to mix two chemicals together in a science lab or telling a class they can’t eat their lunch on the walk to the cafeteria, the word “no” is definitely a part of a teacher’s vernacular. When you video record yourself as a National Board candidate, you often “see” some of your habits for the first time. You might wonder about your outfit choice or your hair style, but the more important aspect of the video is what you are saying and why you…Read More
Podcast: Pushing to Succeed
December 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 EpisodeRead More
Stop the self-doubt. Why are you afraid of your idea?
November 10, 2016
I’ll bet you have an idea. It’s been itching in your brain. Keeping you up at night more than a newborn baby. This idea is not one of those maybe I’ll try this in class tomorrow kinds of ideas. More like one of those massive, life-consuming, I’m so scared ideas. But it’s also one of those Eureka! I think I can change the world ideas. However, you’ve been letting it scare you. I’ll bet you’ve pushed this idea aside. You’ve told yourself that it’s unrealistic. But it keeps hiding in a corner of your brain, creeping up at random moments.…Read More
Ban the word “Parents”
August 24, 2016
This school year, I want to challenge you to ban certain words from your vernacular. We each have our own set of words and phrases that are taboo in our classroom, like “stupid” or “I can’t”, but this year I want to challenge you to stop using the word “parents”. This may sound like a strange request – don’t we want parents to be engaged in our classrooms and schools? Absolutely, but I want to challenge you to realize that many of our students live in settings where “parents” are not the only figures who are important to their success.…Read More
Giving Students the Skills to be an “Executive”
July 8, 2016
It’s summer and the school year has ended… we had kindergarten graduation, high school graduations and college graduations. At this point, you know your students so well, maybe you can even picture what they’ll be doing when they’re adults. So, close your eyes and picture your class. Which of your students do you see having “executive” skills? No, I’m not talking about students who will end up as our future CEOs, COOs or CFOs. The reason I bring this term up is because I recently learned more about the neuroscience of “executive function” at the Teaching & Learning Conference, and…Read More
Hollywood Got it Wrong…But Washington Gets it Right
April 8, 2016
When educators take back education legislation Every Student Succeeds Act. The name leads us to wish for a world in which every student experiences a classroom designed specifically to help them overcome every obstacle that they’ve been dealt. As professional educators, we don’t want to be jaded, but it sounds a bit “Hollywood.” Think of those movies that depict the difficulties of being a teacher, but then the ending ties everything up in a beautiful red bow. Every student succeeding sounds a bit like every student being “above average” – mathematically impossible! And a new piece of legislation? Don’t teachers…Read More
Hold a mirror up to your CORE
October 23, 2015
As the holiday season approaches and the holiday goodies start to appear (yay candy corn!), we should all stop to think… Have I been working on my CORE? If I held up a mirror, what would I see? Are you excited for caramel apples and pumpkin spice lattes? Are you already planning your Thanksgiving Feast? While fall is full of wonderful treats, some of us might be thinking about our CORES! Maybe you think I mean your CORE abdominal muscles… or maybe I’m talking about the Common Core and diving deeply into math and literacy standards. For me, this year…Read More
What are your #NBCTtunes?
June 17, 2015
Editor’s Note: Joanna Schimizzi, NBCT, is a biology teacher in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District in North Carolina. The views expressed in this blog are her own. Is your classroom a headphones-free zone? Headphones-free zone!! When students walk into my classroom, they know they should never ask if they can listen to headphones while they are working. My position was always that we were doing cognitively complex work in my class, and I had read the research on multi-tasking versus switching – like this NPR story that cites the research of a professor of neuroscience at MIT. Turns out that what we…Read More
Am I an NBCT Fanatic?
April 15, 2015
Editor’s Note: Joanna Schimizzi, NBCT, is a biology teacher in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District in North Carolina. The views expressed in this blog are her own. When the NCAA basketball tournament comes each spring, my husband becomes a March Madness fanatic, but I recently realized that there’s something I’ve become obsessed with: encouraging other teachers to begin the National Board Certification journey. Unlike March Madness, where there are 67 losers and only one winner, all NBCTs can be successful, which is a win for all of our students as well. I’m at a new school this year, and many of the…Read More