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Building Culturally Proficiency Into My Classroom and Yours
Heavenly Montgomery, NBCTJuly 8, 2020

The landscape in the United States is heavy with turmoil and change. We live in a national education climate that has changed, whether it is acknowledged or not because COVID-19 is changing the way students learn.   Adding to the complexity is the Black Lives Matter Movement, which has opened a discussion about how Black people, my people, are treated. The initial protests ignited as a reaction to police brutality, generated a sense of urgency to address inequity and racism. Many fellow educators announced their unmasked feelings using social media. People are waiting for educational leaders to address equity issues that…

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Introducing Magic Into Distance Learning
Aimee Perdue, NBCTJune 29, 2020

Kudos to all of the teachers who have kept their students engaged during our time away from school. When presented with the challenges of distance learning, I asked myself, how will I manage to get my students excited about learning at home? I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy task!  The first thing I worked on was establishing a feeling of connectedness. Using Google Classroom, I came together with my students each day and started with a morning message in our Daily Message classroom. I discussed things to be excited about during the week and observations I had…

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Building Community: One at a Time
Colleen McDonald, NBCTJune 25, 2020

Yesterday a local farmer stopped me. “COLLEEEEEENNNN” his voice boomed from his truck across the yard, “I GOT A QUESTION FOR YA’, are teachers still gettin’ their full salary?” With schools still shuttered, students and teachers working from home, the budget vote just behind us, and mail-in ballots still waiting to be counted, this taxpayer was concerned. Unfortunately many are under the false assumption that with school now forcing students and teachers to work out of their homes, that teachers are in some way doing less, or not doing their full-time job which typically means 20, 25, or 125 students…

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Embracing the social in Social Distancing
Dr. LaTonya Barnes, NBCTJune 22, 2020

It’s the first day of summer! This is the time of year children look forward to all year long; however, due to the COVID -19 pandemic, this year may not be what children imagined. Instead of playing Tag, Musical Chairs, or Red Rover, children are now being forced to play Simon Says… and Simon says: Pause! If anything this “Great Pause” has taught us, is that we should always remember to make our health and well-being a priority, without forgetting that social connections are essential to nearly every aspect of health and well-being. Results from the lack of prolonged social…

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Prioritizing Self Care in Times of Crises
Tonia Holmes-Sutton, NBCTJune 17, 2020

Co-authored by Tonia Holmes-Sutton, Ed.D., NBCT & Brittany Holmes-Sutton It has been nearly three months since schools closed.  The shutdown impacted education in unanticipated ways as schools transitioned to distance learning overnight – with many teachers unprepared to engage and teach their students through digital platforms. The digital divide made visible inequities that persisted prior to the COVID-19 crisis, most specifically in underserved communities of great need. As the shutdown continued, the opportunity gap and the digital divide widened.  Passionately committed, teachers advocated for access to technology and connectivity for their students and families, recognizing that many would continue to…

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Being a Black teacher in America today
Peggy Brookins, NBCTJune 8, 2020

I am a Black woman in America. I am a Board-Certified teacher in America. I am fighting for America.  Like many Black Americans, I have experienced racism my entire life. I have been followed while casually browsing in stores. My brothers have been thrown to the ground by police and by white neighbors. I have been denied entry to restaurants. These humiliating and painful moments are etched on my soul. The nonstop cadence of violence against Black people in America makes clear that the bigotry I have known since my childhood continues uninterrupted. Last week, a man casually put his…

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When Human Life is Quiet, We Can Hear What’s Important
Megan Allen, NBCTMay 26, 2020

I listen to NPR frequently in the mornings (self-confession of a middle-aged woman). One story in particular this week pointed out something I have been noticing lately—it sounds like my neighborhood birds have multiplied and found microphones. During the past eight (gulp) weeks of hunkering down at home, the songbirds in my small Massachusetts town are in full force and not practicing social distancing—but chirping loudly, early, and in a beautifully large symphonic nature.  People are noticing this phenomenon in more places than my sleepy little New England town. In one call with a colleague in New York City, he…

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Growing Your Own Practice & Putting Students First
Troy Fredde, NBCTMay 18, 2020

I think most educators have a natural inclination to grow our own practice. We have the inner drive to learn more and become better at our craft. It is easy to lose that drive, however. In current times of high stakes testing teachers face the pressure for kids to look good on paper, which in turn makes schools look good on paper. This can breed a form of competitiveness that is toxic for any workplace, but especially in schools. In one instance, educators are being asked to be team players, to be productive members of their team. They have been…

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8 Leadership Moves From Women We Can Learn From the Covid Crisis
Megan Allen, NBCTMay 14, 2020

During times of crisis, there’s always a lesson-in-motion in leadership—a real-time case study, as we watch who steps up to support others, who steps in to the hard work, or who steps away from the challenge. I’ve been observing and learning from some dynamic women during the pandemic. If there is a silver lining to what is happening in the world right now, it’s that some people have really highlighted what leadership is (and isn’t). Let’s learn from and with them! So what are those leadership moves?  Find a way to get stuff done, and done well. San Francisco Mayor…

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Finding Meaning in Challenging Times
Laura Havill, NBCTMay 11, 2020

In times of crisis, humans seek meaning.  The ripple effects from the COVID-19 pandemic shook my existence. In the blink of an eye, my school was closed.  My colleagues were distanced. My materials and resources were across town. My students were out of reach. I was disoriented and disconnected. I went in search of answers. I turned on the news, flipped through social media, reached out to friends only to find confusion, misinformation, and catastrophizing. What I needed was guidance, clarity, and direction. The National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) emailed about a webinar concerning their response to the…

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