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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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Navigating the Decades
Daniel Bartsch, NBCTJune 22, 2018

I just finished my 25th year of teaching. As this year wound down, I found myself reflecting on my career and how much the students, the world, and I have changed since the early nineties. As a kid, I never imagined I’d be a teacher, much less that I would stay in any profession for 25 years. Through this reflection, I realized that I had a really good year this year, largely due to the wisdom of my colleagues and the effects of renewing my NBCT status last spring. “Focus on your kids, and everything else will fall into place.”…

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Top 5 Strategies for Motivating Students
Luke Wilcox, NBCTJune 4, 2018

Teachers spend years of hard work and thousands of dollars to become experts in their content areas, with degrees and teaching certification to prove it. We develop curriculum maps and teaching calendars to be sure to cover the appropriate standards. We endure hours of professional development so that we are well versed in all the current educational pedagogy. We collaborate with colleagues so that we are all using best practices in the classroom. We develop assessments for students so that we can track their progress. When all this doesn’t work, we have intentional interventions aimed at getting students back on…

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The Inequality of Education
Chris Megaffin, NBCTMay 30, 2018

In many countries around the world education has been in the headlines for many reasons, but the one main thread that runs through these stories is this: If we want to see the world as a just and fair place where everyone is given equal opportunities, a quality education is what is required. I work at the American International School of Johannesburg as an international teacher and every year during the week of Classroom Without Walls we take the 8th grade students to visit Bongimfundo primary school, a farm school in rural South Africa, to promote cultural exchanges. On my…

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