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We Can Do Better
Java Robinson, NBCTMay 11, 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.   We Can Do Better! This has been the battle cry of the Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA) ever since the election of the new governor in Maryland, who has proposed policy changes and budget cuts to public education.  So what could we do? Nearly…

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If you see her, tell her
Mike Lee, NBCTMay 6, 2015

The year was 1981. The place was Tempe, Arizona. The shorts were corduroy. The socks were tubed. The hair was feathered and, according to my birth certificate but not necessarily my maturity or performance, I was ready for sixth grade. I’d originally come to Fuller Elementary near the end of 3rd grade, one week before the culminating Plastic-Version-of-a-Flute-Called-a-Recorder-Thing evening performance for parents.  I proved a natural at pretending to play that poor excuse for a flute, by inflating my cheeks and randomly wiggling my fingers, and survived the concert with nobody the wiser.  The next day, I demonstrated that I…

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How I taught my high school students to analyze a complex text
Ambereen Khan-Baker, NBCTApril 30, 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. Have you ever had that feeling where you want to slam your head on the desk because your students just didn’t get it? I think every teacher has experienced that frustration at some point; students may see a concept, but not understand…

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The Lasting Impact of National Board Certification
Mark Gardner, NBCTApril 24, 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.   It has now been ten years since my students first got used to the idea that when I was video recording class, I wasn’t doing it to “catch them” doing something wrong. I remember trying to explain to my ninth-grade special-education inclusion students what this whole “National Boards thing” was about–and to be honest, I wasn’t so sure myself,…

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A Big Step Forward for ESEA Reauthorization
Seth Gerson & Sarah PinskyApril 22, 2015

The last iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), aka No Child Left Behind (NCLB), was slated to be reauthorized in 2007. Everyone agrees that the law needs to be updated, and it seems like the time is ripe. At the beginning of the year, the Senate Education Committee indicated they would take up the reauthorization this year and held several hearings seeking input on the best way to change the law. In January, NBCTs Rachelle Moore and Stephen Lazar testified in two of these panels to discuss how federal funds can better support a teaching continuum and…

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Wanted: Creative and Smart People
Jane Fung, NBCTApril 21, 2015

Editor’s Note:  Jane Fung, NBCT, is a first-grade teacher in Los Angeles. The views expressed in this blog are her own.   “If you’re a creative, smart young person, I don’t think this is the time to go into teaching unless an independent school would suit you.” When award-winning educator Nancie Atwell recently uttered these words, the press was quick to interpret her words as, don’t go into teaching right now. She went on to explain, “It’s an intellectual enterprise, and that’s been stripped from it by the current climate.” Well, I beg to differ. Although teaching is hard and…

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Am I an NBCT Fanatic?
Joanna Schimizzi, NBCTApril 15, 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. When the NCAA basketball tournament comes each spring, my husband becomes a March Madness fanatic, but I recently realized that there’s something I’ve become obsessed with: encouraging other teachers to begin the National Board Certification journey. Unlike March Madness, where there are 67 losers and only one winner, all NBCTs can be successful, which is a win for all of our students as well. I’m at a new school this year, and many of the…

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No Decision About Me Without Me: Honoring the Aspirations of Our African-American Males Through the Special Education Process
Jennifer Dines, NBCTApril 9, 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.     The words of the panelists from The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans at last month’s Teaching & Learning conference connected deeply with my practice as the Special Education Coordinator at the Gardner Pilot Academy (GPA). GPA is an inclusive K-8 school that supports all students in mainstream classrooms; this includes students with differences in ability, home language, race…

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The Profession is Ours: Teaching and Learning 2015
John Holland, NBCTMarch 23, 2015

Editor’s Note: The following blog is from John M. Holland, an NBCT and speaker at the Teaching & Learning conference that took place in Washington, D.C. on March 13-14. This conference reflection was also published on the Center for Teaching Quality blog and is reprinted with permission. — I heard the sound of a great gear clicking into place last weekend. I attended the Teaching & Learning 2015 Conference with a sense of joyful calm. I knew I was presenting, but I also felt comfortable with what I was presenting. I didn’t have the added stress of being on a…

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5 Reasons Why Future Teachers Should Attend Teaching and Learning 2015
John Holland, NBCTMarch 11, 2015

Editor’s Note: Coming to Teaching & Learning? Check out John at his In-The-Classroom Workshop on Friday at 2:30 p.m. in Room 156 on Making the Standards Real in Early Childhood. He will discuss what accomplished teaching looks like to support child development in early childhood classrooms. This blog was also published on the Center for Teaching Quality blog and is reprinted with permission.   One of the most important questions I ask my teacher preparation candidates to consider is “Who benefits?”   There is so much in education that has become convoluted in terms of benefits. Who does does testing benefit? Students?…

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