Our Blog: The Standard

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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Education on the Pulse of Change: Virtually Closing the Gap
Elizabeth Brown-Davis, NBCTJuly 27, 2020

The surge in media coverage on the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests overwhelmingly exposes systemic oppression within our country’s institutions. Of such institutions, public education embodies an oppressive system adversely impacting various ethnic subgroups. Studies indicate that inequitable structures in education sustain negative outcomes for Black male students, especially those with disabilities (Booker, 2018). Inequitable structures include, (but are not limited to), biased standardized testing, a lack of resources, inexperienced teachers (Harris, Ingle & Rutledge, 2016). Distant learning amplifies structural inequities for disadvantaged African American male students with ADHD. The inequity of e-learning is amplified by the…

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Honest Reflection: A Necessary First Step in Doing No Harm
Lory Peroff, NBCTJuly 21, 2020

“I don’t wear a cape. I teach.” “Teaching is my superpower, what’s yours?” I had been enticed to become a teacher nearly two decades ago with inspiring slogans such as these. I was totally committed to teaching my heart out and helping children be their best and brightest selves. I pledged with all my heart to become a “teacher hero” for my students. With this calling in mind, I worked tirelessly to craft engaging lessons, build community partnerships, and create authentic assessments. I created rubrics, anchor charts, and self-reflections. I worked hard daily to meet the standards in interesting hands-on ways.…

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There’s No Substitute for Authentic Human Connection
Kisha Tolbert Simmons, NBCTJuly 13, 2020

The following column is courtesy of the Alabama Best Practices Center in Montgomery.  Movement restrictions aimed to slow down the spread of COVID19 have brought about a time of connectedness and isolation for many people. As days have turned into weeks and weeks into months, it’s clear that people have experienced similar yet different problems and challenges. For some, spending more time with household family members was time long overdue. Even so, many found it challenging to spend 24 hours a day, week after week, without much personal time and space. Then there are the single-person households where there wasn’t anyone but…

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Building Cultural 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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