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To Renew or Not Renew: A Principal’s Dilemma
Derek Minakami, NBCTFebruary 5, 2019

The letter sat on the corner of my desk for nearly six weeks. I knew what it said before I opened it. My certification fell within two years of expiring and so it must be NBPTS notifying me that I could begin the renewal process. There it sat within my peripheral vision whenever I stared at my laptop, beckoning me to make a decision. While I valued being a National Board Certified Teacher, things were different. When I initially became certified, I was newly married and childless. I taught high school science while my students were Livinʻ La Vida Loca.…

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Push Past the Boundaries
Elizabeth Schley, NBCTJanuary 29, 2019

I initially became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2009, and the process completely rocked my social studies world. For so long, I had understood assessment as more or less a regurgitation of facts or the ability to write an essay where everything was correct. During my initial process, I was required to dig deep and really look at how what I was doing in my classroom affected my students. Besides the standards, what did I really want them to know? How was I going to assess that? Would I be comfortable pushing for change in social studies assessments? The…

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View Master or Master View
Stephanie Haecherl, NBCTJanuary 22, 2019

As an educator, it is important to ensure that student learning extends beyond the regular classroom curriculum and standards. Students need to have opportunities for real world practice and application of skills that prepare them for life. They need to develop a strong sense of self, an ability to see different views, and a respect for the values, opinions, and feelings of others. With this in mind, it is essential for educators to recognize their authentic role as a facilitator of learning, free from biases and prejudices, so that students may come to their own understandings in their journey to…

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A Student’s Perspective on Excellent Teaching
Sofie FarmerJanuary 14, 2019

We have all had teachers and moments in the classroom that have altered and shaped our education and, ultimately, our lives. I have been in the public education system for 12 years, beginning with public preschool, and have had many teachers. Some of my teachers I will never forget because they have had a lasting impact, and some, sadly, were not the best. The difference between the two were their abilities to get to know me both as a student and a person, collaborate with me to ensure I was getting a meaningful education, and encourage me to meet my…

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Teacher Leadership is About Relentless Improvement
Deborah Gatrell, NBCTJanuary 8, 2019

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Too often we distill solutions to challenges into catchy slogans like this misattribution and expect miracles from teachers working in isolation.  This is wrong.  Gandhi actually said, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him…We need not wait to see what others do.” This suggests a more interactive process: As we work to improve ourselves, others see us in new ways.  We gain credibility by virtue of experience…

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Rolling into a Classroom Near You: The NYSTEAMBus
Frank Adamo, NBCTJanuary 4, 2019

One of the biggest joys of teaching comes from the conversation that you have with a former student who comes back to find you, letting you know that your work helped to ignite their love of something. Sometimes that love comes in the form of a book, sometimes it’s a problem they had to solve. We hope that ours is a bus. The NYSTEAMBus is a mobile STEAM classroom designed to travel to schools, challenging and motivating students to think in uncommon ways. This project started in our media center between myself and Steve Wolfort, our Media Center Specialist, considering how…

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At Least They Didn’t Fire Me: Reflections on Work and Learning
David B. Cohen, NBCTJanuary 2, 2019

My earliest experiences in the workplace occurred back in high school, and each setting provided some memorable failures. As a volunteer in our local hospital, I made mistakes like goofing off in a wheelchair trying to improve my speed going up and down an isolated basement corridor. A more unsettling mistake was my clumsy and protracted effort to tell an elderly, agitated, blind patient why I was delivering a newspaper to her room. My first paid work was doing some filing in my dad’s medical office. I developed a crush on the office accountant and when work was slow I…

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I Was Determined!
Erica Reid, NBCTDecember 12, 2018

My journey for National Board Certification was a long one! I felt the sting of disappointment three times. The first two I questioned myself as an educator. Was I in the wrong profession? Was I not an effective teacher? I was following the guidelines down to the letter. Why wasn’t I certifying? Still, I tried again. I knew I could do it. I just had to work a little harder. Results came on my third attempt, and, yet again, I did not certify. This time I was not only disappointed, but, I was angry. At myself, at National Board, the…

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Student perspective: I knew this would be a good class
Alex KleinDecember 11, 2018

As a 7th grader, I’ve had lots of teachers. Some have known me well and others not so much. Some teachers make learning fun and others don’t. I recently talked to my friends about why Ms. Kaiser, my World Studies teacher, is so good – why do we like her, why are we learning so much and why do kids who don’t normally participate in class pay attention during this class? My friend Will said that Ms. Kaiser is funny and makes lessons really interesting. Amanda Kaiser, NBCT Ethan told me that she relates to her…

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National Board Certification: Be teachable, and let the “fun” begin
Kyle Bragg, NBCTDecember 10, 2018

Becoming a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) can seem like an insurmountable task. It is a process that pushed me out of my comfort zone as I began to write and reflect on my teaching practice.  I quickly learned I need to allow myself to be “teachable” to be successful through the process. An important step I took in reaching out to others was to join my district cohort. Here, I met people going through the same process. We were fortunate to have many excellent NBCT’s leading our cohort, including Bobbie Faulkner and Susan Leonard. Faulkner is one of the…

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