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Fast Forward to Board Certification
Belinda Furman, NBCTOctober 24, 2017

Where has the time gone? It seems like yesterday that I was sitting at the computer waiting to hear the news whether or not I had become a National Board Certified Teacher. I remember that moment so vividly and how proud I felt when I saw the word “Congratulations!” appear on the screen. All of the time, effort, videotaping and writing had paid off and I was ready to wear the title NBCT with absolute pride. I wanted everyone to know that I was an NBCT which even prompted me to buy a license plate that read “NBCT ‘09”. Now…

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Leading Together to Transform Teaching
Luann Lee, NBCTAugust 25, 2016

It seems everyone has an opinion on teaching as a profession, these days. Nearly everyone can speak fondly of a favorite teacher, describing meaningful experiences and the impact that teacher had on students. Putting a label on the specific skills and qualities that made this teacher effective is not as easy. What attitudes, strategies, philosophies, or practices did this wonderful teacher possess that can be observed and developed in other teachers? How do we apply these criteria to teachers as we evaluate their work? And how might we develop such habits of excellence in other teachers? The National Education Association…

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Bald Caps and Basquiat: How the Arts Transform Learning
Jeff Fessler, NBCTNovember 9, 2018

When I was nine, I auditioned for a musical and in my first ever role played a bald, evil king in a purple satin robe. I discovered two things: (1) I was passionate about theatre, and (2) not so passionate about wearing a bald cap. Bald caps aside, I marvel at how that single theatrical experience shaped my future. From that time on I performed in every school production, sang in choirs, was a traveling drama troupe actor during two summers in high school, participated in oratorical contests, and started at the University of Illinois as a theatre major. And…

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National Endowment for the Humanities Reinvigorated My Teaching Career, and We Should Want More of That
Jonathon Medeiros, NBCTJanuary 22, 2018

“The world belongs to those who can imagine it.” – Luis Valdez Teachers hear many voices over the course of a career. We hear our own voices driving us. We hear students’ voices. We hear the voices of the public, sometimes calling us names, and the voices of our colleagues and administrators calling us in many directions at once. We also hear voices echoing from offices at the District or State or farther afield. Luis Valdez, activist, playwright, and director of Teatro Campesino, was a guest lecturer and inspiring voice at a summer course I attended recently. We studied the…

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Welcome to Teaching
Doug Graney, NBCTOctober 4, 2017

In late November 1985, I was interviewed by a young principal who seemed like a cool guy and a verging-on-elderly woman who was the social studies department chair. I was talking with the principal and the rapport was fine, we were connecting, the interview was going well. You know when you’re killing it, and I was. I had been asked to bring a sample lesson plan, and while I was talking to the principal I saw the old gal looking it over. Every few seconds she would shake her head sadly and roll her eyes. Well I’m going to have…

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Knowledge of Students
Kelly PaceJune 16, 2017

Life is all about connections. Early in my teaching career, I prided myself in connecting with my students. I thought I could relate to them easily, and that I truly understood who they were. Our proximity of age did not produce the disconnect that many veteran teachers experienced. Yet, as I think back to two separate situations among many, I realize in hindsight that I didn’t know my students at all. The first situation occurred in my second year of teaching. I was trying to help my students appreciate poetry by having them write their own original poetry. On the…

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Can Executive Function Skills be a School-wide Focus?
Beckett Haight, NBCTOctober 23, 2018

I would be willing to contend that every teacher has had that moment when for some reason they were next to a student who opened their backpack and it was filled with handfuls of loose papers, maybe one notebook for all subjects, and sometimes an old snack at the bottom. Or you may be able to easily think of those students in your class this year who don’t know when things are due, struggle to hit deadlines, spend half the independent work time in class doing other things, or generally wait until the last minute to get work done. These…

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Senior Manager, Network Advancement

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (National Board) is the nation’s pre-eminent standards-setting board in teaching. Since 1987, the National Board has certified more than 112,000 accomplished teachers through the rigorous performance-based, peer-reviewed process of National Board Certification. The National Board is pursuing an ambitious agenda to scale Board certification throughout the teaching profession, with the aim of strengthening a differentiated, performance-based career continuum for teachers and, ultimately, building teaching into the true profession it deserves to be. Role Description: The National Board is seeking a dedicated professional to join the Network to Transform Teaching (NT3) team in the…

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Letting go of “We’ve always done it this way” (Part 2 of 3)
David B. Cohen, NBCTJuly 5, 2016

If you want to start with Part One in this series of blog posts, here’s the link, though the sequencing is not essential. Being a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) is a source of pride for me, providing both a sense of professional accomplishment and sense of professional companionship with leaders in my field. The certification process provides us with a shared set of concepts and terms we can use to guide our ongoing learning and the improvement of our practices. Sometimes, the quest for improvement keeps us in comfortable territory, eager to try new materials and lessons that fit…

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Listening to Students’ Voices through Audio Essays
Ray Salazar, NBCTAugust 16, 2016

I aim to teach my Chicago high-school students that writing is not always about the writing. Yes, the ideas, the sentence structure, the connotations matter. But sometimes, the process before the writing or after matters more. I start every year with a challenging non-fiction narrative unit that pushes students to focus on one key event in their lives—something that led to a shift in their habits of mind. I want it to be more than a personal essay, I tell them. “I want it to be something that matters to more people than you,” I explain. One of the texts…

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