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To One’s Own Standards Be True
Rebecca Blouwolff, NBCTApril 11, 2019

Exploring Project-Based Learning Through the Lens of National Board Standards After I achieved National Board certification in 2017, I found that I had “Standards Glasses” newly, and permanently, welded to my face. Every lesson, project, and unit prompted in me these tough questions: (How) does this suit my particular students? Is this appropriate at this point in the year? Is this worthy of precious class time? Will this be suitably challenging for my students? How will this contribute to my students’ overall learning? I guess you could say I’d internalized the Architecture of Accomplished Teaching. Asking these questions prompted me…

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Why I Still Give My Students Zeros
Ray Salazar, NBCTApril 4, 2019

Above: My journalism student finally turned in his editorial. I didn’t lose anything by letting him turn it in late. This was an accomplishment for him and–even though it was almost a month late–he felt proud of himself. A couple of months ago, a high school senior taking graduation photos came up to me in the hallway and desperately asked, “Can you tie my tie?” I answered, “Nope. But I can teach you how.” “But the photographer is waiting,” he responded. I said, “Then you better learn fast.” One of the disappointing changes I’ve seen in my 23-year career in…

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Parents and Teachers Demand NBCT Leaders
Sarah Yost, NBCTMarch 27, 2019

Because I believe so deeply that the National Board certification process makes great teachers even better, I’m constantly encouraging accomplished teachers to pursue certification. It’s not uncommon for teachers to deflect by saying they plan to pursue building administration and that becoming an NBCT won’t help them achieve goals of becoming a principal some day. I could not disagree more. As a teacher, it is highly motivating to be led by an administrator who took the time to achieve National Board certification. When a principal is an NBCT, their teachers know they highly valued teaching and worked hard to hone…

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Why I Wear My Teacher ID Badge
Rick Joseph, NBCTMarch 21, 2019

In 25 years of teaching I never used to wear my district-issued teacher ID badge. I figured everyone in my building knew who I was. It seemed unnecessary. Last year, however, I started wearing it on a daily basis. What changed? I recently served on former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s School Safety Task Force. As an NBCT (MC/Gen) and Michigan Teacher of the Year 2016, I have embraced opportunities to serve as an advocate and spokesperson for teachers. I was honored to join fellow educators, a high school student, a parent, members of the law enforcement community, and mental health…

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A Badge of Honor
Amanda Klare, NBCTMarch 6, 2019

After signing on at 5 AM on the National Board Score release day in November 2013 and seeing the words, “Congratulations! You are a National Board Certified Teacher!” I remember feeling the excitement, a sense of relief, and nervous for my friends who went through the process with me who would also be signing on bright and early that morning. Being a self-proclaimed data nerd, I couldn’t wait to delve into my detailed score report to see how I did on the different components. Through the course of working towards becoming certified, you pour your heart and soul into each…

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From 3 to 43
Dave Wright, NBCTMarch 1, 2019

In 2006 I arrived at Tahoma High School after 19 years teaching in a neighboring district. I certified in 2003 (AYA Math) and tried to start a facilitation program in that district. I moved before that program took roots but when I arrived in my currrent district I asked my principal, Terry Duty, about starting a facilitation program. I had previously received training from my state and was excited to help my colleagues earn their national certification. From my experience I knew there was tremendous potential for professional growth by pursuing National Board Certification. I also knew sharing this potential…

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Are you a “Yes” or a “No” teacher?
Joanna Schimizzi, NBCTFebruary 21, 2019

How many times do you think you say “no” every day? Whether it’s telling a student not to mix two chemicals together in a science lab or telling a class they can’t eat their lunch on the walk to the cafeteria, the word “no” is definitely a part of a teacher’s vernacular. When you video record yourself as a National Board candidate, you often “see” some of your habits for the first time. You might wonder about your outfit choice or your hair style, but the more important aspect of the video is what you are saying and why you…

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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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