Yes, I know it's a cliché, but I hear it used to describe National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) from time to time. After achieving certification, many NBCTs would be glad to have additional opportunities to work with the National Board, or to take on additional roles and responsibilities in their schools and districts. And many do. But the interest seems to outpace the opportunity in many places, leaving some certified teachers who want to help lead in their profession feeling "all dressed up with nowhere to go." Studies of the National Board certification process show that teachers overwhelmingly find it ...


Attending a national conference is energizing not only because of the opportunity to learn from some of the leaders in the field, but also because of learning that comes from meeting other attendees. We learn from talking with people diverse places, facing diverse challenges. We learn from the differences, and we learn from seeing that there are similarities as well. In a session I attended Wednesday morning, I found myself talking with a fellow English teacher, Delilah Stitt, of P.D. Jackson-Olin High School in Birmingham, Alabama. Stitt is a National Board Certified Teacher, and the new chair of the ...


My first full day in Atlanta is turning out to be rather quiet. This is the day of the pre-conference workshops – the “real” conference begins tomorrow, and I’m looking forward to a little more noise and activity. Many of the signs of a conference are evident. Groups of people are strolling or bustling through the wide and windowless hotel corridors, looking at signs and room names. We carry our NBPTS logo tote bags and try not to spill our coffee, as we peer at the session titles on foam core poster board resting on easels outside the meeting rooms. ...


Late Tuesday night in the hotel restaurant, when I finally had a chance to eat dinner, I watched parts of the Major League Baseball All-Star game. I was sitting with some teacher leaders from North, South, East and West, and try as we might, we couldn't avoid talking about education policy for very long. But with the game on in the background, I started thinking about the notion of being an All-Star. Players in the MLB All-Star game were selected by fans, peers, and the All-Star team managers, in a process that admits plenty of bias and relies greatly on ...


My suitcase is packed, all of my materials and electronic gear accounted for, and I’m heading to Atlanta for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards 2009 National Conference and Exhibition. This trip will be my third in as many years to participate in national teacher leadership activities with NBPTS, but there’s an important difference this time, as I’ve taken on this live-blogging assignment for Teacher Magazine. I’m also proud to be writing under the banner of the Teacher Leaders Network (TLN), an outstanding group of educators whose collective wisdom and support helps to shape nearly ...


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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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