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Bald Caps and Basquiat: How the Arts Transform Learning
Jeff Fessler, NBCTNovember 9, 2018

When I was nine, I auditioned for a musical and in my first ever role played a bald, evil king in a purple satin robe. I discovered two things: (1) I was passionate about theatre, and (2) not so passionate about wearing a bald cap. Bald caps aside, I marvel at how that single theatrical experience shaped my future. From that time on I performed in every school production, sang in choirs, was a traveling drama troupe actor during two summers in high school, participated in oratorical contests, and started at the University of Illinois as a theatre major. And…

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From NBCT to TIME Magazine
NaShonda Cooke, NBCTNovember 6, 2018

I remember it like it was yesterday. Sitting in my principal’s office… typing in my information to log on… and when I did I saw the words, I honestly wasn’t expecting to see them: CONGRATULATIONS!!!! YOU ARE A NATIONAL BOARD CERTIFIED TEACHER! My heart stopped and all I remember is screaming at the top of my lungs and my principal rushing in to make sure everything was okay. It was the most amazing professional moment of my career. Me… an NBCT! Well, that was only the beginning. Since then I have served as a mentor and advocate for public education…

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The Moral Imperative of Voting – Civic Education Begins at Home
Jana Bryant, NBCTOctober 30, 2018

Recently, my young adult children informed me that there are two “taboo” topics that shouldn’t be discussed around the kitchen table or at family gatherings: politics and religion. So, if politics isn’t discussed at these events, then when are future young voters getting the opportunity to engage in purposeful conversation with their peers, their families, and other community members to become informed in local politics? According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University, roughly 50% of 18- to 29-year-olds voted in the 2016 election. However, less than 20% of young people eligible to…

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Can Executive Function Skills be a School-wide Focus?
Beckett Haight, NBCTOctober 23, 2018

I would be willing to contend that every teacher has had that moment when for some reason they were next to a student who opened their backpack and it was filled with handfuls of loose papers, maybe one notebook for all subjects, and sometimes an old snack at the bottom. Or you may be able to easily think of those students in your class this year who don’t know when things are due, struggle to hit deadlines, spend half the independent work time in class doing other things, or generally wait until the last minute to get work done. These…

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Ace in the Hand: Principal Support for National Board Candidates
Jess Ledbetter, NBCTOctober 9, 2018

In a game of cards, drawing the right card at the right time makes all the difference. It’s primarily a game of luck, and skilled players have better chances. In schools today, having the right teachers makes all the difference. But this is not a game of chance. Skilled principals can stack the deck to nurture teacher success, especially when teachers are pursuing their National Board Certification. So how can a principal make a teacher feel like s/he has an ace in the hand? A few months ago, I started asking myself this question. I’m a Candidate Support Provider, and…

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Is it Important for Students to Want to Learn in Order to Succeed in Learning?
Cheryl Moertel, NBCTOctober 4, 2018

Throughout my teaching career, I have pursued a variety of instructional strategies to increase student learning to a deeper and lasting level for all students. Through this endeavor, I found that one especially prominent underlying cause for student failure or success was student motivation and willingness to learn. Although there are many factors that play into motivation, instructional strategy has been shown to affect it. For the past several years I have been grappling with a variety of teaching strategies that increase student motivation to learn biology and have explored motivation types in various groups of students. Motivation is defined…

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My National Board Journey: Reflections From a National Board Fellow
Melissa Collins, NBCTSeptember 26, 2018

What motivated me In 2006, I was approached by my former principal, Mrs. Parks, to pursue National Board: until then, I had never heard of the National Board Certification process. When examining the National Board process, I looked at the standards in my desired content area, Early Childhood. The standards were age appropriate for my grade level and I learned how to implement them into my instruction. I noticed the standards encouraged me to use an interdisciplinary approach which challenged students. After a careful analysis, I knew that the process was for me, and I was ready to be engaged…

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“Why are you still in the classroom?”
Laura Bradley, NBCTSeptember 20, 2018

My first year of teaching was so traumatic that 30 years later I still shudder at the memories. Not only was I woefully unprepared for the challenges of working with middle school students, but I had no idea how to plan engaging lessons and long-term units. I remember sitting alone at my desk on a staff development day, after our principal told us to work on our year plan. I stared at my blank lesson plan book and thought, “I don’t know what I’m doing next week, let alone next month and the rest of the year!” Of course I…

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The One Thing Every Great Leader Has Figured Out
Tiffany Osborne, NBCTSeptember 11, 2018

A newly hired assistant principal asked me, “What qualities make an effective leader?” His goal this year is to observe established leaders in the field and identify commonalities. There is no shortage of research on the topic. Hundreds of books have been written about leadership, but my advice to him was simply this: become yourself. Take what you learn and make it applicable to you. That’s easier said than done when the current climate sends a different message. I have taken a dozen personality and leadership style inventories. Each attempts to identify areas of leadership strength and weakness. In my…

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Students Deserve Accomplished Teachers
Claudia Swisher, NBCTAugust 22, 2018

This post originally appeared on Claudia Swisher’s blog. I love students… I’ve often told my classes that my mission in life is to show the world how brilliant they are. I saw this brilliance on display last week, and I was reminded of the humble joy it is to spend time with young people in the classroom. “Every student deserves an accomplished teacher.” That statement reflects on the bedrock values of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and the Five Core Propositions of accomplished teaching. Everything starts with these Core Propositions. Teachers are committed to their students. Teachers know…

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