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Racism, Privilege and Implicit Bias: One Teacher’s Journey, Part 1
Ben Lathrop, NBCTDecember 6, 2019

I can vividly remember the first time I encountered racism. A white student, a senior in high school, had just finished reading Richard Wright’s Native Son. It was, to my knowledge, the first book by an African-American writer that he had ever read. Another white student asked him whether it was difficult to read. “Well, no,” he said. “I mean, the author is black.” “That’s racist!” she replied. And of course, she was right. It was a good thing she said something, because until that moment, the student had never really given any thought to his implicit biases or entertained…

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Every Student Succeeds Act – NBCTs Can Act Now!
Luann Lee, NBCTMarch 21, 2016

No Child Left Behind has been left behind, after 14 years. Students in schools today have had their entire school experience influenced by NCLB. Teachers who have taught for fewer than 14 years have never known anything else, but that’s about to change with authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which has been titled Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). I learned about the changes coming with ESSA at the 2016 Teaching and Learning 2016 Conference, from Shelly Moore Krajacic, NBCT, and Donna Harris-Aikens of NEA, in the session titled “ESSA Implementation: Opportunity, Student Success, and Action.” Shelly…

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A Math Teacher Goes to the Capitol…And Why You Need To Do the Same
Gina Wilson, NBCTApril 26, 2016

If you had asked me six months ago if I would be requesting meetings with legislators and sharing my experiences as an educator with them, I would have laughed at you. But that is exactly what I did this month and will be doing in the future. If you are an educator you need to do this too. Let me tell you how.   This month, I attended the Michigan Educator Voice Convening and spent most of the day in the Michigan Capitol building. I first met with Michigan Representative Adam Zemke (@adamzemke) with a team of three teachers and…

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What Does National Board Certification Mean To Me
Claudine James, NBCTOctober 19, 2020

To strengthen as well as improve the teaching profession, educators must become a spokesman for the profession. By highlighting the vast positive and personal rewards of becoming an NBCT educator, spokesmen are able to strengthen the profession by showcasing the success/advances of students who are taught and/or mentored by passionate NBCT educators. In all my projects and speaking engagements, my main objective is to strengthen the teaching profession by always shedding a positive light on the role teachers play in the overall growth of their students. Why? Strengthening anything makes it stronger and builds it up. Completing and achieving National…

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A Call for Peace-Based Teacher Leadership
Jennifer Dines, NBCTJuly 14, 2016

The violent events of early July weigh heavily on my heart and mind. It seems that America is a pressure cooker that has exploded with hatred and brutality. I have read my friends’ sentiments on Facebook, but I haven’t been emotionally ready to even have a face-to-face conversation with them about all that is happening. As an educator and a parent, it’s difficult to believe that this is the world in which my students and children are growing up. However, I recently came across an artifact of inspiration while reading the community bulletin board at the Grove Hall Library, located…

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Board-Certified Teachers Engage in Dialogue on the Global Stage
Karuna Skariah, NBCTMarch 16, 2016

At 3:30 am, a few weeks ago, I took a taxi on a whim and asked the driver to take my picture at a popular graffiti art on the partially standing Berlin Wall. The artwork, by Dmitri Vrubel, portrays, “the Death Kiss” of Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker in brotherly love, which celebrated the 30th anniversary of the German Democratic Republic. Vrubal created his art after the collapse of The Wall and serves to remind visitors of East Berlin’s dark communist past, but one that succumbed to the increasing urgency for change—progressive thought, global dialogue and a unified vision of…

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Practice & Policy

Practice and Policy In addition to setting standards of accomplished teaching and certifying that teachers meet those standards, a central part of the National Board’s mission is to advocate for related education reforms to integrate National Board Certification in American education and to capitalize on the expertise of National Board Certified Teachers. To ensure that great teaching is the norm and that Board certification is the expectation for all teachers, we need policies that strengthen the coherence of the teaching career continuum. The National Board’s policy and advocacy efforts work with federal, state and local lawmakers to advance this mission.…

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How a Bad School Year Led to Renewed Certification and Dedication
Devon O'Brien, NBCTNovember 6, 2017

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a video interview of an amazing athlete who had broken a world record. The athlete talked about the difference between motivation and dedication. Motivation, he argued, is fleeting. Dedication is what carries us across finish lines. Experienced teachers have this encoded in our DNA. We know that dedication is the bridge across the tough days and weeks. But what can we do beyond putting one foot in front of the other? Do we ever get to press the reset button? Over the past two decades of teaching, I have experienced only two really…

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Making Instructional Shifts with Video Cases
Mark Ellis, NBCTApril 29, 2016

We’ve all been there. In the current education environment, we’ve all faced the challenge of figuring out how to translate instructional shifts from theory to practice. Is this even feasible in a real classroom? How will that work with my students? Variations of these questions are coming up frequently, I suspect, for educators all over the country right now. At least they are in my world, as they represent common concerns voiced by my colleagues and peers as we determine the best ways to support deeper learning that’s reflective of changing state standards. They are valid concerns as well, coming…

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The Architecture of Accomplished Teaching…of Teachers
Mark Gardner, NBCTApril 22, 2016

Earning my National Board Certification was a professional turning point for me, as it was for many teachers I know. It was early in my career when I submitted my Blue Box (with VHS tapes!), but as soon as I connected with the community of National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) here in Washington state, hallways filled with doors of opportunity opened to me. As I’ve navigated through these new doors, my role has shifted from teacher of teenagers to teacher of fellow teachers and administrators. Stepping into this uncharted territory, I found that the skill set I brought as an…

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