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Teaching Profession Blog

Live From NBPTS

David B. Cohen teaches English at Palo Alto High School in California, and is a National Board-certified teacher and a member of the Teacher Leaders Network. From July 15 to 18, he will be writing this opinion blog from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards annual conference in Atlanta. (Live From NBPTS ceased publishing in July 2009.)

Education Opinion Final Thoughts
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?
David B. Cohen, July 20, 2009
3 min read
Education Opinion Teacher Leadership in Action
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 the school its full support.
David B. Cohen, July 18, 2009
1 min read
Education Opinion Connecting With Parents
"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.
David B. Cohen, July 18, 2009
1 min read
Teaching Profession Opinion The First Teachers
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.
David B. Cohen, July 18, 2009
2 min read
Education Opinion Peach Cobbler, Please
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.
David B. Cohen, July 18, 2009
2 min read
Education Opinion Putting the N in NBPTS
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.
David B. Cohen, July 17, 2009
1 min read
Education Opinion Music to My Ears - Principals as Instructional Leaders
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.
David B. Cohen, July 17, 2009
2 min read
Education Opinion Research Says...
"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.
David B. Cohen, July 17, 2009
3 min read
Education Opinion All Dressed Up... And Heading Out
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.
David B. Cohen, July 16, 2009
3 min read
Education Opinion Tsunami Warning
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.
David B. Cohen, July 16, 2009
2 min read
Education Opinion All Dressed Up, Nowhere to Go?
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."
David B. Cohen, July 16, 2009
2 min read
Education Opinion Bringing it Home to Alabama
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.
David B. Cohen, July 15, 2009
3 min read
Education Opinion Echoes in the Hallway
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.
David B. Cohen, July 15, 2009
1 min read
Education Opinion Building the All-Star Team
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.
David B. Cohen, July 15, 2009
3 min read