The Standard

Teacher-led professional development leads to innovation
Carly Baldwin, NBCTDecember 20, 2016

My professional journey actually started when I was born.   My mom was a middle school math teacher for more than 30 years. She is a National Board certified teacher and one of the first Presidential Award of Excellence for Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST) winners. Many vacations were taken around math conferences and professional development opportunities. These car rides included finding and raising Monarch caterpillars and solving math word problems for fun.   I just assumed that’s what teachers did; they taught their students and never stopped learning or improving their craft. So when I started teaching, I became…

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The Power of a National Board Crew
Anna BaldwinDecember 15, 2016

I knew National Board certification made sense. I knew it would be a gift to myself, some way to address my own needs as a teacher and reignite the passion for reaching every student. I just couldn’t do it alone: I needed a crew. In a tiny rural district, finding a crew for any purpose is tricky, and some of the steps required by the National Board process can present barriers. Instead of giving up, I started brainstorming ways to navigate the steps and help my colleagues along the way. Step One was exposure. There are still plenty of teachers…

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Helping students learn starts with learning about students
Jaime Festa-Daigle, NBCTDecember 14, 2016

Recently re-released, What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do articulates the National Board’s Five Core Propositions for teaching. Similar to medicine’s Hippocratic Oath, the Five Core Propositions are held in common by teachers of all grade levels and disciplines and underscore the accomplished teacher’s commitment to advancing student learning and achievement. This blog focuses on core proposition 1 that states, “Teachers are committed to students and their learning.” As a high school government and economics teacher, I sometimes taught as many as 170 students each semester. Every hour a new group of students, with different ideas, personalities and…

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How I Got Over (Becoming NBCT)
José Vilson, NBCTDecember 13, 2016

It started from a chance meeting in North Carolina. The Center for Teaching Quality had invited me to be part of a large coalition of educators writing about the future of the teaching profession. It was aptly titled Teaching 2030: What We Must Do For Our Students and Our Public Schools – Now and In The Future. Before this immersive experience, I spoke mostly from a New York City perspective, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s individualistic, corporate-style management of public schools reigned, and trickled down to most of the adults involved. The genius of CTQ is and always will be the…

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Counting My Blessings
Courtney Cochran, NBCTDecember 12, 2016

To say that this year has been the most rewarding in my career is an understatement. When I found out that my colleagues had voted for me for our school’s Teacher of the Year, I was over the moon. I never could have imagined the path that would unfold before me. Next came district Teacher of the Year, then Top 14 State Regional Finalist, and so on until 2017 Arkansas Teacher of the Year became a title that will forever rest after my name, everywhere that I go, in everything that I do.  Looking back, there was a clear turning…

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Teachers Across America are Invited to Join Me For a #Workfreelunch
Jewel Mitchell, NBCTDecember 7, 2016

American teachers are gifted multi-taskers. We, who conduct stealthy paper-grading sessions in the middle of staff meetings and keep at least two internal conversations going at all times. Many of us have found that this is absolutely the only way to survive. As a bona fide multi-tasker-in-recovery myself, I can testify to the exhilarating feeling of check marks on my task list – but I can also speak to the frustration and guilt of never getting it all done. As an instructional coach, in only my second year of this role, I have to concentrate on many dimensions of classroom…

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Guiding Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families through the IEP Process
Jennifer Dines, NBCTDecember 2, 2016

The Special Education evaluation process can be a labyrinthian course fraught with confusion and misinformation. However, it also has the potential to be a rich source of information and a time for deep planning around the needs of a particular student. For teachers of students who come from culturally and linguistically diverse families, it is essential to deeply consider how we are ensuring understanding of this complex process at each step of the Special Education journey. I worry about the effects of poorly-facilitated special education processes on children and their families, given the importance of ensuring that families of all…

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Caring. Reflection. Accomplished Practice in Life.
Colleen McDonald, NBCTNovember 29, 2016

This past June, I retired.  As a 32-year educator, a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) achieved and renewed; I knew this was going to be an interesting adventure.    And what have I discovered? My identity hasn’t changed. I still strive to be “accomplished” in what I do, by being analytic and reflective. Collaborative. By inviting critical feedback and feeding the need to learn. I continue to seek community. So while I have put down my chalk, grade book and building ID, what has become focused, without the hectic bustle of school, is how the thinking of accomplished practice resonates…

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The Process of Earning Board Certification Made a Difference for Me and My Students
Amanda Koonlaba, NBCTNovember 17, 2016

I completed the field experience for my undergraduate degree in education with a brilliant third grade language arts teacher. She was just dynamite in her classroom! Her students loved her. Her lessons were engaging. Her classroom was a positive place where students were actively learning. I was incredibly inspired by her teaching. Yet, there was something else about her that was unlike any other teacher I’d ever known. She was a leader in the school and community. It was the first time I’d seen a teacher lead so strongly beyond the four walls of her classroom. When she wasn’t teaching,…

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Stop the self-doubt. Why are you afraid of your idea?
Joanna Schimizzi, NBCTNovember 10, 2016

I’ll bet you have an idea. It’s been itching in your brain. Keeping you up at night more than a newborn baby. This idea is not one of those maybe I’ll try this in class tomorrow kinds of ideas. More like one of those massive, life-consuming, I’m so scared ideas. But it’s also one of those Eureka! I think I can change the world ideas. However, you’ve been letting it scare you. I’ll bet you’ve pushed this idea aside. You’ve told yourself that it’s unrealistic. But it keeps hiding in a corner of your brain, creeping up at random moments.…

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