Our Blog: The Standard

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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The Digital Divide: National Board Teachers Have Arrived “Tips for Engaging & Educating Your Students During Uncertain Times”
Ursela Garvin, NBCTApril 7, 2020

It’s hard to believe that just two weeks ago; I was happy in my classroom teaching, answering questions, building relationships with my students and preparing them for upcoming summative assessments. I really love a routine and I had it perfected. I never would’ve thought that today, I’m preparing to address my 206 students virtually via Google Classroom for the second week in a row.  I had a week to prepare for this transition and was provided the opportunity to implement my strategies during my scheduled virtual classes last week. As a National Board Certified Teacher, I am always implementing and…

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A Message From Our President and CEO
Peggy Brookins, NBCTMarch 26, 2020

I hope that this message finds you and your families healthy as we all adjust to massive change in a short period of time. I know that each of you is learning new ways of being involved with your colleagues, families, and communities. I believe that calm, consistent approaches to working and living while being responsive to this challenging time period will see us through. By the very nature of our mission, the National Board values educators’ dedication and commitment. Teachers are often our children’s first responders, and the country is witnessing how vital that role is—not only academically, but…

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The Five Core Propositions: A Framework for Community and Connection
Tonia Holmes-Sutton, NBCTMarch 18, 2020

It’s 12:26 A.M here in Las Vegas. It’s only been a few hours since Governor Steve Sisolak ordered a statewide closure of all casinos, restaurants, bars, and nonessential businesses for the next 30 days. This latest response to COVID-19 comes only two days after Governor Sisolak announced the closure of all public, charter, and private schools, and five days after he held a press conference to declare a state of emergency for Nevada. Circumstances have changed quickly. It seems not that long ago that news of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China was being reported. Tonight, as I watch the…

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The 1 Million Pennies Project: A K-12 Classroom Project
Jillian Folino, NBCTMarch 13, 2020

“I hate math.” How many times have you heard this statement from adults and students alike? As someone whose job is centered on math and math education, it hurts every time I hear it; and like most math teachers, I’ve heard it a lot. I’ve recently switched roles from a high school math teacher to a 6th-12th grade math instructional coach. My new role has taken me in a million different directions, but one of my main focuses is developing a positive outlook towards math in our middle-high school. Each year I’ve tried to develop a project that highlights math…

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