Our Blog: The Standard

Following to a T – and add a rap!
Nicholas Westfall, NBCTJanuary 12, 2021

I was in sixth grade during the “No Child Left Behind” era. I was told to choose a career path and somehow determine whether I should take advanced placement, college-prep, or college-tech prep courses in high school. I was eleven years old. I had no career in mind so, with tears in my eyes, I asked my father, “What should I do?” “Well, Nick, you can be anything you want… Just as long as it’s not retail.” My father explained how much he hated working weekends and the absurdly long hours from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I was convinced, but his…

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Informing Instruction with Holistic Assessment
Heavenly Montgomery, NBCTJanuary 5, 2021

Great teachers dedicate time to learn about their students. Getting a holistic picture of each child allows proficient educators to design instruction to meet specific needs. The COVID 19 pandemic has put new obstacles between teachers and students that seem insurmountable at times. I am impressed with the way some educators have adjusted amid turmoil and suffering. Initially, the threat of federal accountability loomed large, as if there was not enough for teachers and students to bear. Formative assessment is more critical than ever. The majority of teachers in the nation are working hard to meet student needs and deserve…

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Questioning Our Most Dearly Held Beliefs
Jonathon Medeiros, NBCTDecember 17, 2020

Aunty Puanani Burgess, a Hawaiian activist, poet, and community leader, writes about how to build community, how to help people know themselves, and each other. She focuses on finding and sharing our moʻolelo, our stories. In examining our lives to find words for our stories, she underscores the power of asking questions, of questioning even, and especially our most closely held beliefs. There is value in the kind of questioning Aunty Pua asks of us. Especially valuable is to question the institutions that are so ubiquitous we forget that certain aspects of them could be different; we forget that these…

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In the Very Beginning
Renee Woolard, NBCTDecember 2, 2020

As early as I can remember, I was a teacher. When I was young, I even asked for a chalkboard for Christmas so I could teach my imaginary students. However, my family struggled with money and nonessentials were not on our list-not even for Christmas. However, my passion for teaching would continue.   I continued to teach my students -who were made from stuffing and cloth- in the room that I shared with my mom. I marched around pretending to read books that I had memorized or simply made up as I went along. I wrote on my pretend chalkboard, and…

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Shake it Off and Step Up
Michelle Morgan, NBCTNovember 11, 2020

There is a story about a farmer’s donkey who falls down a well. The farmer tries to get the donkey out, but decides that the animal is too old to bother saving, and the well needs to be covered up anyway. He and his neighbors start shoveling dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realizes what is happening and starts to cry. But then he quiets down. The farmer looks down at the donkey and is amazed at what he sees. With every shovel of dirt that hits the animal’s back, the donkey shakes it off and takes a…

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What Does National Board Certification Mean To Me
Claudine James, NBCTOctober 19, 2020

To strengthen as well as improve the teaching profession, educators must become a spokesman for the profession. By highlighting the vast positive and personal rewards of becoming an NBCT educator, spokesmen are able to strengthen the profession by showcasing the success/advances of students who are taught and/or mentored by passionate NBCT educators. In all my projects and speaking engagements, my main objective is to strengthen the teaching profession by always shedding a positive light on the role teachers play in the overall growth of their students. Why? Strengthening anything makes it stronger and builds it up. Completing and achieving National…

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Leading, Teaching, & Learning in the Moment: Sustaining Excellent Teaching During a Global Pandemic
Tonia Holmes-Sutton, NBCTOctober 1, 2020

The number of teaching colleagues retiring or simply resigning as schools reconvene throughout the country has been sobering. The news has arrived via social media as millions of our colleagues ready classrooms for face-to-face, hybrid, and remote instruction, preparing to receive students. It’s difficult to believe that only six months ago school doors were shuttered due to the still-growing coronavirus pandemic. Remote learning immediately ensued. Teachers and families, immersed in new partnerships with one another as we navigated our students’ academic and social-emotional needs; wondered and worried, anxiously waiting for reopening plans and implementation guidance and strategies from state departments…

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Differentiate Better: The time is now
Nicole Greene, NBCTSeptember 21, 2020

Differentiation. For some, this single word describes their entire teaching practice. This same word, though, causes heart palpitations in many others. Our job description gets longer with no sign of reprieve (or appropriate pay, but hey, that’s for a different blog). Differentiating feels like the icing on the top of the unattainable cake. In this new strange era of hybrid/remote learning, where reaching students has never felt more challenging, effective differentiation has never been more important. My hope is to provide you with ways to start today, without increasing your workload or changing your practice. What differentiating is…and what it…

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You Matter, Don’t Forget to Breathe
Jacquelyn Fabian, NBCTSeptember 14, 2020

I’m staring out at my classroom. The tables are all facing one way, front and center. Tape designates each chair’s placement. I hesitated to put up decorations in my new classroom because I’m not sure what decorations are even allowed right now. Everything simply feels eerily – cold. Let me be clear. I did not expect this school year to be “normal.” However, I was optimistic about the challenges and opportunities for growth. I would be remiss, however, to neglect the fact that in our hybrid setting, everything has been completely turned on its head. Bathroom breaks for students and…

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Time to Get Health Literacy off Life Support
Carol Hofer, NBCTAugust 18, 2020

It’s hard to compete with an octopus – no, not at arm wrestling – but at capturing and sustaining a young reader’s attention. Three hearts – in one body!  Blue blood — the real, not fake princess, stuff!  But just as COVID-19 changed how we teach, it’s time to change what we teach. As much as I love books about animals, we need to turn inward and learn more about us humans. Unlike cars, people don’t come with owner’s manuals, and the pandemic blew open the hood to expose a U.S. population that is health illiterate.  The National Assessment of…

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