Ah...back home. I'm unpacked, readjusted to Pacific Daylight Time, and planning what to do with my remaining days before school starts. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards 2009 Conference and Exhibition is now history, but I've brought back plenty of information - packets, handouts, lists, web links, business cards. What next? I face this situation any time I attend a conference, and if you're reading this blog after having attended NBTPS or any other conference or workshop this summer, maybe you can relate. While I was there, I had so many ideas about how I could apply what ...


I can't leave Atlanta without mentioning one of the more exciting projects I heard about. Lori Nazareno is about to take the helm as the Lead Teacher at Denver’s brand new Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy. Nazareno is an NBCT on the Board of Directors of NBPTS, and a member of Teacher Leaders Network. Her new school will be run entirely by the teachers, and it is a project that has certainly attracted attention, reflected in the full enrollment, the number of teachers who applied to work there, and the promises from staff at Denver Public Schools to lend ...


"I'm not a teacher, but as a parent..." That's not the type of prefatory statement commonly heard in discussions at an educational conference. The speaker was Sarah Hubbard, of Belmont, California, and when she spoke up, I think every teacher's attention grew a little sharper. There were thirty to forty teachers in the room, and we applauded her for being here and speaking up. Hubbard is attending the NBPTS Conference, as she attends other conferences, in a professional capacity for her employer, Professional Publications Inc. However, in this particular session on the topic of teacher leadership and promoting National Board ...


In educational organizations and discussions, when we're talking about schooling up to high school graduation, we often shorthand the age range as "K-12" and leave out the "PK" - pre-kindergarten, or early childhood education. However, National Board Certification in Early Childhood education does include the first teachers who work with our youngest students. Michael de la Torre is an NBCT and a bilingual pre-school teacher at Bryson Avenue Elementary in Los Angeles Unified School District (and also a member of the NBPTS Board of Directors). I met him at a Saturday morning conference session about teacher leadership, and I asked ...


Last night, I finally had my peach cobbler. Ever since I arrived in Atlanta, I've been waiting to enjoy a good peach dessert, but without getting into all the particulars, let's just say it took a while. I liked it more than the kangaroo burger I ate a few weeks ago in Katoomba, Australia. Whenever I travel, for work or pleasure, I try my hardest to sample some of the local food, music, and other culturally distinct elements of the place. In addition to the peach cobbler, I've had collard greens, black-eyed peas, and fried okra while in Atlanta. I ...


I've been struck by the sheer size of our nation today, the complexity and diversity of the United States. I've been talking with people from every region of the country, from Hawaii to Maine, Florida to California, Wisconsin, Michigan, Alabama, and the list goes on. And what really stood out this afternoon was how different our situations are. Our states vary significantly in terms of the structure and funding of education, and how teachers and students are assessed. In some states teachers are unionized, and in some they're not, and the mythical "union" position on any given issue dissolves when ...


Today's luncheon panel at the NBPTS Conference included two principals from schools in or near our host city, Atlanta. Both gentlemen, Shannon Flounnory and Darian Jones, lead schools that have made broad use of Take One! - an introductory version of National Board Certification - as a professional growth and school improvement strategy. They were able to cite multiple measures of the impressive results for students that followed from having their teachers engage in a genuine learning community, doing work based on National Board Standards. Here are some of the notes and quotes I took from their talk, in which ...


"Research says…" How often have you heard that phrase tossed about? As teachers, we certainly want good information about how to help our students and our profession, but too often, we struggle with the gap between what “research says” and what we experience in our own schools and classrooms. Friday morning of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards 2009 Conference kicked off with a panel of National Board Certified Teachers discussing a report they helped write. Measuring What Matters was commissioned by NBPTS and published last year by the Center for Teaching Quality, (parent organization of Teacher Leaders Network). ...


Before flying out to Atlanta, I asked a number of National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) who aren't attending the conference to share their thoughts about the event and the organization. The cost of travel was naturally one impediment, while other teachers had to make choices about which learning opportunity to take and ended up at other programs this week. Most teachers who replied to my queries would have liked to attend, but some feel little connection to the National Board after certifying. There's that idea again - all dressed up with with nowhere to go. But maybe some change is ...


Tectonic plates are colliding under the ocean of knowledge and information, and a tsunami is coming that will radically change the face of education as we know it. That was the message that Tom Welch delivered in today's opening session of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards 2009 Conference and Exhibition. Welch (seen here talking to Michelle Johnson) set out to affirm and inspire the National Board Certified Teachers in attendance, and also warned us ahead of time that he intended to challenge us. As someone who likes a challenge, I sat up a bit straighter in my seat ...


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Recent Comments

  • David B. Cohen: A video of this talk has now been posted online: read more
  • Jolynn Tarwater: David - Wow - great job on capturing the essence read more
  • David Cohen: Nancy, and Kris - Thanks for your comments. Regarding the read more
  • Kris: Thank your for these informative and inspiring entries. There is read more
  • Nancy Flanagan: Wonderful blog series--thanks! You really captured the big ideas and read more

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