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Top 5 Strategies for Motivating Students
Luke Wilcox, NBCTJune 4, 2018

Teachers spend years of hard work and thousands of dollars to become experts in their content areas, with degrees and teaching certification to prove it. We develop curriculum maps and teaching calendars to be sure to cover the appropriate standards. We endure hours of professional development so that we are well versed in all the current educational pedagogy. We collaborate with colleagues so that we are all using best practices in the classroom. We develop assessments for students so that we can track their progress. When all this doesn’t work, we have intentional interventions aimed at getting students back on…

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The Inequality of Education
Chris Megaffin, NBCTMay 30, 2018

In many countries around the world education has been in the headlines for many reasons, but the one main thread that runs through these stories is this: If we want to see the world as a just and fair place where everyone is given equal opportunities, a quality education is what is required. I work at the American International School of Johannesburg as an international teacher and every year during the week of Classroom Without Walls we take the 8th grade students to visit Bongimfundo primary school, a farm school in rural South Africa, to promote cultural exchanges. On my…

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How to Save a Class Discussion That’s Dying
Ray Salazar, NBCTMay 22, 2018

Effective whole-class discussions are part thoughtful planning and part luck. Sometimes an instructional approach works so well that we expect the same results the next time we use it. And sometimes, that works out. Other times, we wonder, “What the heck happened?” I thought I had found another consistent way to engage as many of my students as possible in whole-class discussions. It worked really well last week. But this week, I got crickets. Last week, we listened to a podcast about the concept of success – This American Life’s “Three Miles.” Students annotated, reflected, and shared in small groups. I…

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The Power of Community and Storytelling
Jennifer Dines, NBCTMay 16, 2018

I believe in the power of community to provide support during a time of need. I realized the potential of storytelling within a community on a recent Saturday. I was feeling incredibly low from a challenging week at work – two former students at my school were murdered – one a 17-year-old at a party and another gunned down in broad daylight outside of the Burger King near my school. On the day of the murder at Burger King, I taught with helicopters flying outside the window and my students and I in lock down mode. At a meeting after…

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They Will Always Be My Students
Michael Dunlea, NBCTMay 11, 2018

It has always baffled me how we as teachers can go from practically adopting our students in September to saying goodbye, sometimes forever, in June. The entirety of my success in teaching has rested on the relationship building I achieve each year. I connect with students, use humor, and focus on changing how they see themselves as learners. Together we redefine what they say they are able to do, know or overcome. What I say to them can become part of their internal voice that has the power to build them up or tear them down. So after an intense…

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Supporting Our Students Means Supporting Our Teachers
Peggy Brookins, NBCTMay 7, 2018

I have the good fortune of leading one of the country’s outstanding education organizations. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards does many things – we define the standards of accomplished teaching; we run an assessment certifying that teachers teach to those standards; and we advocate for policy that integrates National Board Certification and capitalizes on the expertise of NBCTs. With all the work we do in our National Board offices, I get the most pleasure out of my work when I’m with classroom teachers and their students, seeing our impact firsthand. It’s you, the teachers who have earned and…

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Anyone Can Teach
Java Robinson, NBCTApril 24, 2018

This past year, a member of our second-grade team of three teachers experienced a major illness and could not work at the start of the school year. Our school was able at the last minute to secure one of our frequent substitute teachers to take over the position long term. So, what is the problem you ask? This person has been subbing for years and therefore was the perfect person to join the team long term, or so we thought. She quickly found out what we already knew: teaching is hard. This experience provided a valuable reminder of the nuances…

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Embassy Sweets
Lucy Solano, NBCTApril 18, 2018

Growing up in Colombia, South America, we were always exposed to different aspects of life. My dad’s side of the family gets darker the farther back I look and my Afro ancestry is even more obvious. On my mom’s side, they get lighter and the Caucasian genes get stronger. My mom was Catholic and religious and my dad was a Physics professor with a scientific mind that could not simply grasp the concept of believing by faith. They were very respectful of each other’s points of view, though and wanted us to have a well-rounded education and open minds. I…

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Five Core Propositions Applied
Amanda Klare, NBCTApril 10, 2018

For those of you who are at the beginning of your journey to become a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT), you are about to become very familiar with the foundation of National Board Certification: the Five Core Propositions. Since I started my love affair with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, I have started to associate people from my professional learning network with each of the Five Core Propositions. I always say, “You are what you surround yourself with,” and lucky for me I am surrounded by amazing teacher leaders to strive to be like. Proposition 1: Teachers are…

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A Timeless Flight
Kara Ball, NBCTApril 3, 2018

Over the past four years, I have worked as my school district’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Coordinator. I was given the opportunity to develop an elementary STEM program in my school as a teacher for the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). We educate, engage, and empower military connected students to succeed in a dynamic world. Our students in DoDEA are the children of active duty military and DoD civilian families on military installations in 11 foreign countries, seven states, Guam, and Puerto Rico. Together, we will pursue excellence in education for every student, every day, everywhere. I…

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