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Karuna Skariah, NBCT, is currently working as an Instructional Program Coordinator and TAG (Talented and Gifted) teacher at Robert Goddard Montessori Prek-8 School in Prince George's County Public Schools, Maryland. She has been an educator for twenty years. She is also a mentor for National Board candidates in the district. As an adjunct professor, Karuna has taught graduate courses on teacher leadership at the National University, California. Recently, Karuna and her students were featured in the National Geographic Educator of the Week Blogspot. She is currently working on a Teach to Lead idea project which advocates for a Teacher Action Committee in Prince George's County Public Schools. Follow her @KSkariah.
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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What does a culturally competent classroom look like?
David B. Cohen, NBCTMarch 13, 2016

The Saturday [March 12] morning plenary session at the National Board’s Teaching and Learning Conference offered a powerful conversation about race and education. While I’m sure it benefitted everyone in attendance, I found it particularly powerful because it shows some continuity in focus from the National Board. Last year’s conference featured a similar panel discussion on cultural competency. During the summer academy in Scottsdale, National Board helped network leaders from around the country go deeper into those conversations. David Johns reprised his role as moderator extraordinaire, keeping the conversation balanced and well-paced, and engaging a large audience effectively as well.…

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Engaging students to create social change
Ambereen Khan-Baker, NBCTMarch 12, 2016

How do you prepare students to go beyond critical thinking and discussion, and to take action to better their communities and the world? How do we engage students to create social change? On March 10, I attended one of Teaching and Learning pre-conference sessions, Social Leadership: MALALA and How To Turn Your Students Into Activists at the Newseum. The topic spoke to me as a teacher of 11th graders in an  AP Language and Composition course. My students have to demonstrate that they are “informed citizens” of their community.  By understanding the craft of rhetoric, they are better consumers of…

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Thank you, Ron
Daniela Robles, NBCTMarch 11, 2016

Editor’s note: the following blog post was written in honor of our former president & CEO, Ron Thorpe, who passed away last July after a year-long battle with cancer. Thorpe will posthumously receive the prestigious James A. Kelly award at Teaching & Learning 2016. The death of Ron Thorpe brought up strong emotions for me: anger, stress, uncertainty, and an overwhelming sense of sadness. Ron Thorpe came to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) at a time when educational reform was the name of the game, and National Board wasn’t on the field. Before Ron Thorpe, educators spanning…

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Teacher Agency Unleashed
Patrick LedesmaMarch 7, 2016

A version of old professional development joke goes something like this: A man dies and goes to heaven. Passing the pearly gates, he notices that there are plenty of folks from all professions and walks of life standing around, but no teachers. “Where are all the teachers?” he inquires of God. “Oh, they’re in professional development,” God replies. “In hell.” I used to tell various iterations of that joke to teachers when I was an instructional resource teacher in my district’s Office of Staff Development. (This version is from Edweek.) The fact that we had to acknowledge these expectations and…

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Take a breather – and come back exhilarated!
Peggy Brookins, NBCTMarch 4, 2016

For some of us, this is the most wonderful time of the year. The time leading up to the annual Teaching & Learning conference is exciting and exhausting – a time full of possibilities. I come to the office and colleagues are buzzing. Will major figure X be coming? What about policy leader Y? Will we meet the deadline for that or this deliverable? The work is exhilarating because we know that thousands of people in the field will convene in Washington with one focus – stepping back for a couple days to improve their practice. The hard-working planning team…

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Board-Certified Teacher Walks the Red Carpet
Phillip Riggs, NBCTMarch 2, 2016

We had a chat with 2016 Grammy Music Educator award recipient, Phillip Riggs, NBCT, to learn more about his Grammy moment and his experience with Board certification. Read what he said below! When did you find out that you’d be winning this award? I was notified before the actual CBS This Morning announcement. It was really difficult not sharing the news with everyone I know. Did you get a trophy? That happens in April. The Special Merit Awards event is April 23 in Hollywood at the Dolby theater. One of the four Special Merit Awards is the lifetime achievement award.…

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Thank You Mr. Gulle, NBCT
Suzanne Farmer, NBCTFebruary 24, 2016

Editors Note: This is a guest blog from Suzanne Farmer, NBCT and director of the Kentucky Network to Transform Teaching. The views expressed are her own. As both a teacher and a parent of two school aged girls, I struggle with how to advocate for my children without becoming THAT parent. As a general rule, I follow my child’s lead. When issues at school arise, I reach out to the teacher on their behalf and with their permission. Being a parent has improved my instruction, and being a teacher has improved my ability to advocate for my kids. After teaching…

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Push or Pull: What do you need?
Stacey Hicks, NBCTFebruary 17, 2016

Truth be told, I needed both. I didn’t always know I wanted to be a teacher. I didn’t always know if my teaching was good. But there I was, regardless of the self-doubt, standing in a room every day with 30 third graders. I was their teacher, the one who was supposed to impart wisdom and a love of learning. I was the one who was charged with preparing them and learning with them every day. Who thought that was a good idea? My principal, for one, and my teacher husband was another. Let me give you some backstory and…

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How I Came To Pursue National Board Certification…A Look Back
Akinyi J. Edmonds, NBCTDecember 22, 2015

In 1998, a colleague came to my classroom and talked with me about National Board Certification – a new challenge for accomplished teachers. She had recently earned certification and suggested that I pursue it because she believed I was good enough! She based her conclusion on student work on the walls and by passing my classroom regularly and hearing my teaching voice spill into the hallways. My initial steps to pursue Board certification I learned more including the fact that Board certification was the highest K-12 certification you could earn. My colleague was honest, telling me that it was time…

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