Our Blog: The Standard

Tales from the Pandemic: Lessons learned as an administrator during COVID-19
Yolanda Harman, NBCTSeptember 2, 2021

Starting the School Year. As a school-based administrator entering my 3rd year in a building, I have experienced very little “normal.” I thought this year would be different.  Er, rather, I hoped. Here we are on the Friday before teachers return.  COVID-19 numbers are surging.  Mask wars are on full-scale. Staff members are stressed already. My question is – How do I take care of everyone and still take care of ME? COVID ponderings. On March 13, 2020, the sudden, unexpected halt to education (& sort of the world in many ways) came at us like a freight train in…

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Why administrators should consider National Board Certification
Yolanda Harman, NBCTAugust 25, 2021

Is NBCT for me?  Of course! In the year 2000 when I achieved National Board certification, nobody in my district had attempted nor had achieved certification. So I decided to take that plunge! I initially sought National Board certification because I wanted to continue to build my mastery of teaching and I thought going through the process would be a challenge, and ultimately worthwhile. Turns out, there are also some potential, and enticing incentives waiting around the corner for administrators with National Board Certification. Money should never be the motivator for growing professionally (although it does not hurt)!   Why NBCT? …

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Seeing Dyslexia through three sets of lenses
Chris Murray, NBCTAugust 17, 2021

From as early as I can remember in elementary school, I had difficulties with words, spelling, and sounds. That difficulty was diagnosed when I was in fourth grade (currently the majority of cases of dyslexia are not identified until at least third grade), but I truly did not begin to understand that it is dyslexia that I have until last year when my son was diagnosed with it. I learned that dyslexia is often genetic, that my father, a successful architect, who, to this day, never reads for fun, inherited it from his father who was never a fan of…

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The Silver Lining of the Black Box
Mia Manduca, NBCTJune 10, 2021

I teach to Black Boxes. At the beginning of the school year teaching, psychology to high school seniors on Zoom was intimidating and confusing. Black boxes with names like “Saucy” and “Nugget” didn’t match my roster and with no visual cues, I couldn’t tell the difference between Kiana and Kiara. But I did understand protecting their privacy. A camera in your home is invasive. Some Boston students are homeless or live in crowded situations, and sometimes a teenager is just a teenager — self-conscious and easily embarrassed. Yet, while these black boxes persisted, a few months into the year something…

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Student Voices: The Intersection of Mindfulness, Mental Health, and Social Justice in the Classroom
Linda Yaron Weston, NBCTMarch 23, 2021

The challenges of this time have magnified the need for including mental health tools within the student experience. As an educator who has taught both academic and well-being courses at the high school and college level, I have come to realize that including well-being supports alongside the academic curriculum is essential for students to fully thrive. As part of our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion week at the University of Southern California, students who took my Introduction to Mindfulness course in the Department of Physical Education were invited to share their diverse stories and views on how learning mindfulness practices impacted their…

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Tales from the Pandemic: Silver Linings and Lessons Learned
Michael Ida, NBCTMarch 1, 2021

Unless you’re a journalist, it’s dangerous to write history while it is being made.  However, as teachers, we don’t always have the luxury of waiting for the dust to clear before taking stock.  We have a tremendous opportunity in front of us.  Having no choice but to try new things during the pandemic, we have the rare chance to rebuild things from the ground up.  When things do return to some semblance of “normal,” we can’t just go back to business as usual.  Before we lose the moment’s sharpness and the adrenaline fades, let’s seize the moment and maintain focus…

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“Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor” Jackson Brown, Jr.
Tracey Idica, NBCTFebruary 16, 2021

Dedicated to Stacy Nishina, HSTA Deputy Executive Director In the summer of 2013, I received a phone call from an NBCT on a neighbor island who had created a small network of NBCTs. She had received an invitation to attend the National Board Leaders Convening in Raleigh, North Carolina and was unable to attend. I couldn’t believe that she was asking me. I immediately agreed. Then, she continued, “Oh good. I’ve asked all the NBCTs I know and none of them could attend.” My heart dropped. I suddenly felt like the girl who is asked to dance only after all the…

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COVID, Community, and Connections
Erin Medeiros, NBCTFebruary 9, 2021

Twenty rectangles appear. First Kylee, in double French braids and her lashes. Then Tapa, outside working on a lei for his project. Eden is by her bed, and Gardenia sits with her back against the white wall. Lili chats that she just got up and that Lei is with her. Lele sits with the toddlers on the recliner. Sela is at a desk looking like a boss.  These are just a few of today’s mix of our 9-12th grade students. It is the end of January. We are approaching a year since we replaced the hum of our traditional classrooms…

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Sharing your pronouns: Becoming a Gender Affirming Educator
Chris Murray, NBCTJanuary 28, 2021

On Thursday, January 7 more than 50 educators from Montgomery County Public Schools (MD) continued their journey to a deeper understanding of how gender impacts our students. This PD provided educators an opportunity to learn from experts in the field about ways to make our schools and school systems do everything they can to allow all students to find gender congruence, the feeling of harmony in our gender in their lives.  In that session, we discussed some of the key recommendations from Gender Spectrum and GLSEN. They left an impact on all who attended. I want to share them with…

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A Call to Re-Invest
Dr. Dolores Cormier-Zenon, NBCTJanuary 19, 2021

Throughout 2020, the world experienced much tribulation. Last January we opened the year hopeful but unaware of what enormous turmoil was yet to come. A pandemic rising to a magnitude, so clearly unfathomable, that we’d lose hundreds of thousands of lives. In addition, we quickly ascertained how aggressively the pandemic would change the trajectory of how we live, breathe, and educate our students today. As a result, COVID-19 has revealed much in the way of challenges and opportunities. We have been forced to reimagine, re-engage, and reflect on what it means to teach effectively without compromising the impact to student…

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