National Board Academy 2014

The following post is from NU NB Leadership Center Program Ambassador Joanna Murray:

The National Board Academy 2014, held at the beautiful JW Marriot Camelback Inn Resort, in Scottsdale, Arizona, was a wonderful event. I attended along with my colleagues from the National University National Board Leadership Center.  Here are some key takeaways from the event:

  • The new Candidate Support websites are chock full of wonderful resources. Go to www.boardcertifiedteachers.org This website is for 2014-15 candidates who will be embarking on the new certification process, and already has many great resources available.
  • For those supporting candidates, the National Board just finished another wonderful page for this website: www.boardcertifiedteachers.org/resources Check out this page for materials that will help to serve candidates.
  • A great table of the current certificate areas by content and developmental area, resource explaining the research on National Board Certification, as well as a rationale for why one should choose to pursue certification, and, most valuable to this support provider, links to “At a Glance” documents for Component One and Component Two of the new assessment process.
  • Another document is an explanation for a Field Test opportunity for both National Board Certified Teachers and any qualified educator to do just that, field test the new National Board for Professional Teaching Standards assessment Components. The process is:
    • no cost and no risk
    • for research purposes only
    • will not count towards Certification, and,
    • offers a way to “practice” the process.

The day continued with a session on supports and challenges of the process. Facilitators offered an Improvement Science Strategy, put forth by the Carnegie Corporation, to help us brainstorm, within our different networks, strategies toward improving teaching and learning, with a lens on supporting the National Board Certification Process, especially in this time of transition. A great quote was that NBCTs are “Changing the narrative of our testimonial.” I learned that the National Board took on the challenge of making this great and current transitional shift in the assessment process based on the use of the Architecture of Accomplished Teaching. Over the last several years, in gaining knowledge of students (i.e. teachers and other stakeholders in the National Board community), learned a great deal about the changing faces of teachers and teaching, and realized that a shift had to be made. The big question was whether to completely shut down the program during the process, or keep an “Open while under construction” approach. To ensure that the system is kept alive during transition, the folks at National Board for Professional Teaching Standards chose the latter. I find the transition exciting and the rationales for the changes well grounded (more flexible, less costly, for example).

The event continued with break out sessions focused around two strategic goals of the National Board: building educator effectiveness across the career continuum, and promoting a vision of accomplished teaching that elevates the profession. Sessions during the rest of this event focused around strategic priorities, advancing education policy, empowering educators by nurturing expertise, and promoting student learning, growth, and achievement. Sessions were facilitated by some of the most amazing educational stakeholders in the nation, in this blogger’s opinion.

The resort itself is quite spectacular, as the images included will give testimony (see our event slideshow HERE). As one can imagine during these are the dog days of summer in Arizona, the weather outside was very hot and dry. With this in mind, our hosts really went above and beyond to offer every comfort to the 150 plus participants, including a wonderful first-night dinner and lots of other opportunities to stay hydrated, well-fed, and in a constant state of making contacts and connecting with friends and colleagues in this beautiful oasis.

In reflecting on the event, and the two goals of the National Board (noted above), it is apparent to this participant, that the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards team is really making every effort to achieve those goals, while maintaining their original mission: The mission of the National Board is to advance student learning and achievement by establishing the definitive standards and systems for certifying accomplished educators, providing programs and advocating policies that support excellence in teaching and leading and engaging National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) and leaders in that process. (See more at: http://www.nbpts.org/mission-history#sthash.a2Ikdksk.dpuf)

I am really excited about what I see happening at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards!

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BYOD Follow Up

In our spring newsletter, we invited members to participate in our BYOD poll question: Does your district allow students to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)?  Results (see graphic below) are in and show that districts are fairly evenly split between having a full, district-wide BYOD policy in place and not allowing students to BYOD.

Revisit the post if you would like more information on BYOD, including links to helpful resources.  You can access the post HERE.  Look for our new poll on the Common Core coming out soon.

 

BYOD Poll Results

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Feeling Powerless?

At times, every teacher, even accomplished NBCTs, can feel powerless in the face of all the challenges we encounter in the world of education.  This blog post is a great reminder of just how much power we truly do have.  Take a look:

Why I Hated Meredith’s First Grade Teacher: An Open Letter to America’s Teachers

 

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Do You Use a Backchannel in Your Classroom?

We’ve been experimenting using Today’s Meet as a backchannel for a lot of our professional development and support sessions at the National University National Board Leadership Center. Many teachers are finding it to be a great tool for student engagement and formative assessment in the classroom as well. Using a backchannel tool is a great way to bring technology into the classroom (something that Renewal candidates really need to incorporate…hint, hint).

Check out the post below for more information about backchannels and links to tools that you can begin using today:

The Backchannel: Giving Every Student a Voice in the Blended Mobile Classroom

Are you using a backchannel program in the classroom? If so, please share some example/strategies by posting a comment.

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Have You Considered Teaching Abroad?

Check out the article below on opportunities for teachers to work in international schools–GREAT for NBCTs who are anxious for travel!

K-12 Teachers Needed at Int’l Schools

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