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Shifting the Culture
David B. Cohen, NBCTJuly 22, 2015

Visionary. Advocate. Transformative Leader. These words were on the screen Tuesday morning at the National Board Academy in Scottsdale, AZ, as Dr. Mike Lee asked us to consider the small steps, the decisions of individual teachers at their schools, that are necessary to transform our professional culture broadly. These particular words were widely used by people describing National Board President and CEO Ron Thorpe in the wake of his passing on July 1. For the teachers and education leaders attending this meeting, the challenge is to take on a some of those same qualities, to advance the goals Thorpe articulated so well. Thorpe…

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Aligning Learning and Standards
Luann Lee, NBCTJuly 17, 2015

Editor’s Note: Luann Lee is an NBCT teaching chemistry and AP/dual credit chemistry at Newberg High School in Oregon. She is a founding member and current president of Oregon Accomplished Teachers, Oregon’s National Board network. The views expressed in this blog are her own. Standards are changing, again. Presently, both my state and my district are working through a full-blown implementation of both Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). I’ve been asked to by my state submit a review of their draft NGSS High School Model Content Framework. And I’m one of 9 high school science teachers in…

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My Struggle with Classroom Data
Mark Gardner, NBCTJuly 8, 2015

Editor’s Note:  Mark Gardner, NBCT, is a high school English teacher in southwest Washington state working in a hybrid role that also allows him to work on professional development experiences for teachers. The views expressed in this blog are his own. I am not afraid of numbers. Yes, I teach high school English, but was raised by a math teacher, found calculus comfortably challenging, and rather enjoy the cognitive acrobatics of math. Yet viewing my students as numbers —  as mere data points — was something I struggled with for years. Each fall when the spring’s test data rolled in, I’d…

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Talking Back to Silence: My Pledge to Speak on Community Violence
Jennifer Dines, NBCTJune 24, 2015

Editor’s Note:  Jennifer Dines, NBCT, is the Special Education and Student Services Coordinator at the Gardner Pilot Academy K-8 School, a Pilot School in the Boston Public Schools. The views expressed in this blog are her own.   I live in Roslindale – a sleepy residential neighborhood in the city of Boston, Massachusetts. There are three public elementary schools within half a mile of my home, as well as a handful of parks and playgrounds, a small grocery store, and a branch of the Boston Public Library. Recently, Roslindale made the national news. Roslindale is where Usaama Rahim, a 26-year-old man…

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What are your #NBCTtunes?
Joanna Schimizzi, NBCTJune 17, 2015

Editor’s Note:  Joanna Schimizzi, NBCT, is a biology teacher in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District in North Carolina. The views expressed in this blog are her own. Is your classroom a headphones-free zone? Headphones-free zone!! When students walk into my classroom, they know they should never ask if they can listen to headphones while they are working. My position was always that we were doing cognitively complex work in my class, and I had read the research on multi-tasking versus switching – like this NPR story that cites the research of a professor of neuroscience at MIT. Turns out that what we…

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For Whom the (School) Bell Tolls: What Calls You to Teaching?
Corey Oliver, NBCTJune 15, 2015

Editor’s Note: Corey Oliver is a National Board Certified Teacher in English Language Arts. He teaches 7th grade English in the Conway Public School District in Conway, Arkansas. The views expressed in this blog are his own. “Mr. Oliver, if you find a job you love, you’ll never work another day in your life.” Although I had heard this saying before, hearing it directly from a 13-year-old gave it much greater impact. On a break from activities during a weekend retreat for an extracurricular organization I sponsored during my first year of teaching, Cody (one of my students) and I…

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A Teacher’s Evolution through Board Certification
Luann Lee, NBCTJune 10, 2015

Editor’s Note: Luann Lee is an NBCT teaching chemistry and AP/dual credit chemistry at Newberg High School in Oregon. She is a founding member and current president of Oregon Accomplished Teachers, Oregon’s National Board network. The views expressed in this blog are her own. Most teachers write notes in lesson plans or course units about what worked and what didn’t work. It may be a single element that needs to be rewritten, modified, re-purposed, but sometimes, the whole plan just needs to be thrown out. A skilled, reflective practitioner has a system for making these lesson-planning decisions. This decision-making process…

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Do You Have What It Takes?
Java Robinson, NBCTJune 5, 2015

Editor’s Note:  Java Robinson, NBCT, teaches second grade in Montgomery County, Md. She supports her colleagues in pursuing and achieving Board certification as a coach, recruitment coordinator and candidate support provider. She is also a Teach Ambassador, working to recruit minority candidates into the teaching profession.  The views expressed in this blog are her own. “I tried it once and did not achieve. I quit!” “It’s too much work! That was the hardest thing I ever had to do.” “You are crazy for doing this!” These are some of the comments I generally hear from people in reference to National…

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Learning Never Stops for a Teacher Nerd
Jane Fung, NBCTJune 2, 2015

Editor’s Note:  Jane Fung, NBCT, is a first-grade teacher in Los Angeles. The views expressed in this blog are her own. “Hello teachers! Just wanted to share the news that the district has posted summer trainings for the new math program and spaces are filling up fast.” This was the text sent out by one of my colleagues last night. Within minutes several of us had signed up for the training too. With only two weeks of school left, you would assume that teachers would be talking about vacation plans rather than learning opportunities, but you would be wrong. It’s…

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What calls you to teaching?
Ambereen Khan-Baker, NBCTMay 28, 2015

Editor’s Note: Ambereen Khan-Baker, NBCT, teaches AP Language and Composition in Rockville, Md. As an Ambassador for the Montgomery Institute, a partnership between NEA and Montgomery County Education Association, she works with teacher leaders across the country on collaborative problem solving to improve the quality of teaching and learning. The views expressed in this blog are her own. Why do you teach? That may be a relatively easy question to answer. But I didn’t truly understand my purpose and calling to teaching until this past year. That’s when I became an ambassador for Montgomery Institute, a partnership with the NEA…

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