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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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How to Save a Class Discussion That’s Dying
Ray Salazar, NBCTMay 22, 2018

Effective whole-class discussions are part thoughtful planning and part luck. Sometimes an instructional approach works so well that we expect the same results the next time we use it. And sometimes, that works out. Other times, we wonder, “What the heck happened?” I thought I had found another consistent way to engage as many of my students as possible in whole-class discussions. It worked really well last week. But this week, I got crickets. Last week, we listened to a podcast about the concept of success – This American Life’s “Three Miles.” Students annotated, reflected, and shared in small groups. I…

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The Power of Community and Storytelling
Jennifer Dines, NBCTMay 16, 2018

I believe in the power of community to provide support during a time of need. I realized the potential of storytelling within a community on a recent Saturday. I was feeling incredibly low from a challenging week at work – two former students at my school were murdered – one a 17-year-old at a party and another gunned down in broad daylight outside of the Burger King near my school. On the day of the murder at Burger King, I taught with helicopters flying outside the window and my students and I in lock down mode. At a meeting after…

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They Will Always Be My Students
Michael Dunlea, NBCTMay 11, 2018

It has always baffled me how we as teachers can go from practically adopting our students in September to saying goodbye, sometimes forever, in June. The entirety of my success in teaching has rested on the relationship building I achieve each year. I connect with students, use humor, and focus on changing how they see themselves as learners. Together we redefine what they say they are able to do, know or overcome. What I say to them can become part of their internal voice that has the power to build them up or tear them down. So after an intense…

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Supporting Our Students Means Supporting Our Teachers
Peggy Brookins, NBCTMay 7, 2018

I have the good fortune of leading one of the country’s outstanding education organizations. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards does many things – we define the standards of accomplished teaching; we run an assessment certifying that teachers teach to those standards; and we advocate for policy that integrates National Board Certification and capitalizes on the expertise of NBCTs. With all the work we do in our National Board offices, I get the most pleasure out of my work when I’m with classroom teachers and their students, seeing our impact firsthand. It’s you, the teachers who have earned and…

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Anyone Can Teach
Java Robinson, NBCTApril 24, 2018

This past year, a member of our second-grade team of three teachers experienced a major illness and could not work at the start of the school year. Our school was able at the last minute to secure one of our frequent substitute teachers to take over the position long term. So, what is the problem you ask? This person has been subbing for years and therefore was the perfect person to join the team long term, or so we thought. She quickly found out what we already knew: teaching is hard. This experience provided a valuable reminder of the nuances…

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Embassy Sweets
Lucy Solano, NBCTApril 18, 2018

Growing up in Colombia, South America, we were always exposed to different aspects of life. My dad’s side of the family gets darker the farther back I look and my Afro ancestry is even more obvious. On my mom’s side, they get lighter and the Caucasian genes get stronger. My mom was Catholic and religious and my dad was a Physics professor with a scientific mind that could not simply grasp the concept of believing by faith. They were very respectful of each other’s points of view, though and wanted us to have a well-rounded education and open minds. I…

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