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Can Executive Function Skills be a School-wide Focus?
Beckett Haight, NBCTOctober 23, 2018

I would be willing to contend that every teacher has had that moment when for some reason they were next to a student who opened their backpack and it was filled with handfuls of loose papers, maybe one notebook for all subjects, and sometimes an old snack at the bottom. Or you may be able to easily think of those students in your class this year who don’t know when things are due, struggle to hit deadlines, spend half the independent work time in class doing other things, or generally wait until the last minute to get work done. These…

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Ace in the Hand: Principal Support for National Board Candidates
Jess Ledbetter, NBCTOctober 9, 2018

In a game of cards, drawing the right card at the right time makes all the difference. It’s primarily a game of luck, and skilled players have better chances. In schools today, having the right teachers makes all the difference. But this is not a game of chance. Skilled principals can stack the deck to nurture teacher success, especially when teachers are pursuing their National Board Certification. So how can a principal make a teacher feel like s/he has an ace in the hand? A few months ago, I started asking myself this question. I’m a Candidate Support Provider, and…

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Is it Important for Students to Want to Learn in Order to Succeed in Learning?
Cheryl Moertel, NBCTOctober 4, 2018

Throughout my teaching career, I have pursued a variety of instructional strategies to increase student learning to a deeper and lasting level for all students. Through this endeavor, I found that one especially prominent underlying cause for student failure or success was student motivation and willingness to learn. Although there are many factors that play into motivation, instructional strategy has been shown to affect it. For the past several years I have been grappling with a variety of teaching strategies that increase student motivation to learn biology and have explored motivation types in various groups of students. Motivation is defined…

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My National Board Journey: Reflections From a National Board Fellow
Melissa Collins, NBCTSeptember 26, 2018

What motivated me In 2006, I was approached by my former principal, Mrs. Parks, to pursue National Board: until then, I had never heard of the National Board Certification process. When examining the National Board process, I looked at the standards in my desired content area, Early Childhood. The standards were age appropriate for my grade level and I learned how to implement them into my instruction. I noticed the standards encouraged me to use an interdisciplinary approach which challenged students. After a careful analysis, I knew that the process was for me, and I was ready to be engaged…

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“Why are you still in the classroom?”
Laura Bradley, NBCTSeptember 20, 2018

My first year of teaching was so traumatic that 30 years later I still shudder at the memories. Not only was I woefully unprepared for the challenges of working with middle school students, but I had no idea how to plan engaging lessons and long-term units. I remember sitting alone at my desk on a staff development day, after our principal told us to work on our year plan. I stared at my blank lesson plan book and thought, “I don’t know what I’m doing next week, let alone next month and the rest of the year!” Of course I…

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The One Thing Every Great Leader Has Figured Out
Tiffany Osborne, NBCTSeptember 11, 2018

A newly hired assistant principal asked me, “What qualities make an effective leader?” His goal this year is to observe established leaders in the field and identify commonalities. There is no shortage of research on the topic. Hundreds of books have been written about leadership, but my advice to him was simply this: become yourself. Take what you learn and make it applicable to you. That’s easier said than done when the current climate sends a different message. I have taken a dozen personality and leadership style inventories. Each attempts to identify areas of leadership strength and weakness. In my…

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Students Deserve Accomplished Teachers
Claudia Swisher, NBCTAugust 22, 2018

This post originally appeared on Claudia Swisher’s blog. I love students… I’ve often told my classes that my mission in life is to show the world how brilliant they are. I saw this brilliance on display last week, and I was reminded of the humble joy it is to spend time with young people in the classroom. “Every student deserves an accomplished teacher.” That statement reflects on the bedrock values of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and the Five Core Propositions of accomplished teaching. Everything starts with these Core Propositions. Teachers are committed to their students. Teachers know…

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Passionate About Teaching
Jada Reeves, NBCTAugust 6, 2018

This past year was my 15th teaching.  The group that was entering my fifth grade class had been a challenge ever since they entered the school.  I did not let this interfere with how I was going to teach them. This group of students ended up being one of my favorite groups.  During the school year, I was even chosen as teacher of the year for my school. I went on to compete at the county level and was chosen as my county’s teacher of the year. In June, I was selected as one of the top five finalists for…

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Best Year
Amy Barsanti, NBCTAugust 6, 2018

After 18 years of teaching in an elementary school in rural eastern North Carolina, it was time for a change. But I definitely didn’t get the change I had in mind. When an opening in a school in a neighboring county was available, I pursued it quietly, just as we do in the South. It was my dream job, and sure enough, I got it: small classes, administrative and parental support, a degree of professional autonomy I hadn’t known since I taught in New York years ago. I was immediately accepted and valued, and I thrived. So much so that…

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The Power of National Board Resources in Career and Technical Education
Sarah Yost, NBCTJuly 19, 2018

“When I first came on, no one believed that an automotive kid would be going to college,” says Matt Watkins, principal of the Arvin Center, a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center serving students in Oldham County, Kentucky. “But anymore, those jobs in the automotive industry require higher order skills like computer science. The high-paying jobs on the line are becoming automated; but that doesn’t mean kids aren’t still interested in working in this field.” From his first year overseeing the Arvin Center in 2009-10, Matt has envisioned CTE as more than an alternative track for students who are not…

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