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Educators as Explorers – Developing a “Deeper, More Discerning Matrix of Understanding”
Jennifer Burgin, NBCTSeptember 22, 2017

“I’m about to say something that requires you to be mature. Can you handle it? I know you can.” “I saw a blue-footed booby!” I proclaimed. “It did a special dance to show off its blue feet to a potential mate as if to say, ‘Hey there, I have bright blue feet which means I’m very healthy and we should lay eggs together!’ and then it pushed back its tush and raised up its sweet head and honked as a sign of interest!” The rising 1st and 2nd graders all burst into contained giggles, attempting to keep the promise of…

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Leading From Inside the Classroom
Jane Fung, NBCTAugust 4, 2015

Editor’s Note:  Jane Fung, NBCT, is a first-grade teacher in Los Angeles. The views expressed in this blog are her own. Several years ago I met a university supervisor working with my school’s cohort of student teachers. I don’t remember her visiting my classroom, observing my student teachers, or ever discussing classroom instruction. What I do remember was her underlying message to the student teachers that being a classroom teacher should be temporary. She told them to be a success in the teaching profession, you need to move out of the classroom as soon as possible, and to stay longer…

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7 Experiences New Teachers Should Seek Out for a More Satisfying Career
David B. Cohen, NBCTNovember 15, 2018

Congratulations, or belated congratulations, on starting your new (still relatively new) career! While teaching could certainly be a more lucrative profession, it offers a variety of rewarding experiences you can’t find in any other work. The relationships we build with students, families, and communities can be powerful, even transformative. Knowing the work our fellow teachers are doing, we also have the opportunity to make contributions to our profession, and indirectly affect the learning and the lives of even more students. If your teaching preparation was like mine, and like that of most teachers I know, you may have focused so…

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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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I Was Determined!
Erica Reid, NBCTDecember 12, 2018

My journey for National Board Certification was a long one! I felt the sting of disappointment three times. The first two I questioned myself as an educator. Was I in the wrong profession? Was I not an effective teacher? I was following the guidelines down to the letter. Why wasn’t I certifying? Still, I tried again. I knew I could do it. I just had to work a little harder. Results came on my third attempt, and, yet again, I did not certify. This time I was not only disappointed, but, I was angry. At myself, at National Board, the…

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To One’s Own Standards Be True
Rebecca Blouwolff, NBCTApril 11, 2019

Exploring Project-Based Learning Through the Lens of National Board Standards After I achieved National Board certification in 2017, I found that I had “Standards Glasses” newly, and permanently, welded to my face. Every lesson, project, and unit prompted in me these tough questions: (How) does this suit my particular students? Is this appropriate at this point in the year? Is this worthy of precious class time? Will this be suitably challenging for my students? How will this contribute to my students’ overall learning? I guess you could say I’d internalized the Architecture of Accomplished Teaching. Asking these questions prompted me…

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Why Certify?

Reasons to Certify? There are many reasons to become board-certified. Board-certified teachers prove their effectiveness in the classroom every day: Students learn more. A decade of research shows that students of Board-certified teachers learn more than their peers without Board-certified teachers. Studies have also found that the positive impact of having a Board-certified teacher is even greater for minority and low-income students. Teachers improve their practice. Board Certification allows teachers to hone their practice, showcase their talent in the classroom and demonstrate their dedication to their students and their profession. Demonstrate a commitment to excellence. Schools with National Board Certified Teachers…

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What calls you to teaching?
Ambereen Khan-Baker, NBCTMay 28, 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. Why do you teach? That may be a relatively easy question to answer. But I didn’t truly understand my purpose and calling to teaching until this past year. That’s when I became an ambassador for Montgomery Institute, a partnership with the NEA…

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This Vision Keeps us Focused From our founding in 1987, the National Board’s mission has been to advance the quality of teaching and learning through a voluntary advanced certification. That vision is inspired by the model from other professions, such as medicine, where board certification symbolizes accomplished practice, both within the profession and in the larger community. Teachers, administrators and others who work to support best practice in our schools should embrace that vision to rethink the trajectory people follow to become accomplished teachers. Getting that path right, and making sure all teachers follow it, can strengthen our shared understanding…

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Teachers Aren’t Soldiers
Tony Zani, NBCTOctober 18, 2019

I am a National Board Certified Teacher and a ten-year veteran of the United States Army. Two things I know well are education and weapons. Let’s not mix them. There are companies that offer concealed carry permit classes to teachers. Politicians across the country have expressed that armed teachers are a good way to stop school shootings. Some even suggest paying teachers a stipend for getting weapons training and carrying a gun at school. In my time in the Army, I spent an extraordinary amount of time learning to accurately fire a weapon in all sorts of stressful situations. It’s…

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