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What is my Purpose?
Lauren Brown, NBCTJune 12, 2019

“What is my purpose?” This is a question I seem to ask myself frequently, and if you are honest with yourself, I’m willing to bet it is a question you’ve often found yourself asking as well. While my answer is consistent, the certainty of that answer seems to change throughout the seasons. My purpose is to teach. This may seem simple, but keep reading. I’ve come to learn that there are three types of educators in any building. The first type I call the “professor.” This person has an expert knowledge of his/her content and is an expert in the…

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How I found My Voice By Exiting My Comfort Zone
Amy Steger, NBCTMay 29, 2019

It all started the day I received a rejection letter for a job that, at the time, I was sure was my “dream job”.  My husband encouraged me to complete this fellowship application that I had been pushing off and, as per usual, talking myself out of. I thought he was absolutely crazy. The application consisted of five essays. I was sure I didn’t have a chance at the fellowship, and I had just two days to complete it. I started typing. Flash forward a week or two,  I am en route to Albany, New York to present at a…

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Sparking Passions through Service Learning
Kate Highsmith, NBCTMay 21, 2019

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not,” is a familiar quote from Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax. The summer before I was a fifth grader, I was swimming at the beach when a loggerhead sea turtle surfaced beside me sparking my passion for protecting the sea turtles of North Carolina. This is a passion I have continued to pursue over the past 25 years.  We must teach our children to care about big ideas that matter. It is these childhood passions, developed as young learners, that will carry through to adulthood..…

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Navigating My Career Pathway
Lorna Baniaga-LeeMay 15, 2019

Ten years ago, after earning the maximum professional development credits and reaching the highest class in our teacher pay-scale, I began to wonder if there was more for me. How could teachers in my situation afford the cost of continued professional development without financial incentive? To think that my current path, my growth as a teacher, might stop there, made me uneasy. How would I continue to grow so I could provide the best for my students? Becoming an administrator did not appeal to me at the time, but building leadership skills did. So I began  volunteering to take on…

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C.E.O of your Classroom? Why not?
Stephanie Johnson, NBCTMay 7, 2019

Some of my best memories as a child occurred when I was in elementary school.  Since I was a child, community has been a large part of my life. I attended a community school that played a significant role in my upbringing.  There were many activities and programs at school and church that encouraged participation.  I distinctly remember the happiness and presence of family, members of the community, and my peers when there were PTO meetings, school performances, or school carnivals.  There were always local leaders such as nurses, firemen, and policemen with “McGruff,” the crime dog, who assisted in…

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Accomplished Teachers Help Create Informed and Engaged Citizens
Elizabeth Schley, NBCTMay 2, 2019

As a National Board Certified Teacher, I feel empowered and propelled to advocate for the best possible civic education for all students in order to create informed and engaged citizens who feel confident to participate in civil discourse. Nothing is more exciting than having one of your students hurry to class to tell you that they registered to vote, or that they watched a debate on TV, or that they are changing their major because they have become passionate about the subject of political science and history. I get so excited when I see my students engaged and enthusiastic about…

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NBCT Takes Red Sox Starting Pitcher to Bat
Carlee Soto, NBCTApril 25, 2019

What do you do when you and your students are researching a current American hero and they “go wild”? I work at an International Baccalaureate school where we promote taking action on societal issues. After much discussion with colleagues and students, I wrote a letter to inform Red Sox starting pitcher, Rick Porcello, of his behavior and its effects on my lesson plans and students. On opening day at Spring Training in Ft. Myers, I gave the letter to Porcello along with a gift bag of children’s books. Porcello read the first sentence of the letter and asked me to…

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What have you failed today?: Strategies on how to deal with our bad days
Lory Peroff, NBCTApril 16, 2019

It had been a tough day. After the bell rang, I collapsed into my chair and reflected on the failures of the day.  The list was long. I had failed to communicate effectively with a student resulting in his mother telling me he thought I didn’t like him.  I failed to input my progress report grades properly and had to rewrite them all. I failed at checking in with a student on his weekly goals because I was preoccupied with students who were fighting during recess.  I failed to eat lunch during my lunch break because I was helping students with…

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To One’s Own Standards Be True
Rebecca Blouwolff, NBCTApril 11, 2019

Exploring Project-Based Learning Through the Lens of National Board Standards After I achieved National Board certification in 2017, I found that I had “Standards Glasses” newly, and permanently, welded to my face. Every lesson, project, and unit prompted in me these tough questions: (How) does this suit my particular students? Is this appropriate at this point in the year? Is this worthy of precious class time? Will this be suitably challenging for my students? How will this contribute to my students’ overall learning? I guess you could say I’d internalized the Architecture of Accomplished Teaching. Asking these questions prompted me…

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Why I Still Give My Students Zeros
Ray Salazar, NBCTApril 4, 2019

Above: My journalism student finally turned in his editorial. I didn’t lose anything by letting him turn it in late. This was an accomplishment for him and–even though it was almost a month late–he felt proud of himself. A couple of months ago, a high school senior taking graduation photos came up to me in the hallway and desperately asked, “Can you tie my tie?” I answered, “Nope. But I can teach you how.” “But the photographer is waiting,” he responded. I said, “Then you better learn fast.” One of the disappointing changes I’ve seen in my 23-year career in…

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