Winter Newsletter 2015
From Our Caucus Chair, MaryKay Scheid
Connect with the Caucus on Twitter @NEANBCTCaucus

Thank you for your membership in this caucus, a group that aspires to encourage accomplished teachers to participate in education on a larger stage. Aspiring and credentialed National Board Certified Teachers know effective teaching. They strive to collaborate and inspire their students; they shape the future through the work they do inside their classrooms. But the voices of these powerful educators need be heard by a larger audience than the students they serve. Our district administration, our local legislators, and our national leaders routinely establish policies that affect us behind our closed classroom doors. We need to make sure that these leaders are crafting policies with an informed mind. In this newsletter, you will learn of multiple opportunities to network with other outstanding educators, to develop the teaching craft, and to share your wisdom so that the classrooms of the future will continue to feature accomplished teachers and accomplishing learners. Enjoy!



Ronarae (Rae) Adams, NBCT. Director and Lead Faculty,

National Board P20 Leadership Center, National University Headquarters

“What do you do with an idea? Especially an idea that’s different, or daring, or just a little wild? Do you hide it? Walk away from it? Do you pretend it isn’t yours?” So, begins the story of one brilliant idea and a child who helps bring it into the world. Written by author Kobi Yamada, “ What Do You Do with an Idea?” is a beautiful children’s book that speaks as eloquently to adults . As the child’s confidence grows, so does the idea, until something amazing happens. This story parallels the very “grown up” version and journey of teachers who strive to develop ideas aimed to change the world by leading the profession and impacting the lives of P12 learners.

There are plenty of ideas that teachers want to develop, but rarely do teachers fully engage with each other in ways and places aimed to cultivate, facilitate and propel specific ideas to full implementation. According to a recent poll, only one-third of teachers feel that their voices are heard in their district, 5% feel heard in their state and just 2% believe that their voices matter at the national level. The Teach to Lead initiative was “born” to provide a platform and an opportunity to elevate, maximize and mobilize the voices of teacher leaders from across the country for the purpose of improving and inspiring excellence that is measured in terms of improved learning for every child, every day, everywhere.

The initiative has grown far beyond its inception in March of 2014 when the US Dept. of Education and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards announced a joint effort to “advance student outcomes by expanding opportunities for teacher leadership, particularly in ways that would allow them to stay in the classroom.” In a nutshell, TEACH to LEAD seeks to take the mystery out of “what is teacher leadership” by providing a space, time and structure to capture evidence of teacher-led work that is emerging in states, districts and schools around the country.

What started out as a gathering for a single Teach to Lead Summit in Kentucky, last year, has expanded to Summits in Boston, Denver, Seattle and more to come as a result of the overwhelming number of teachers who want to participate. So how does it work? Initially, teachers submit ideas on the Commit to Lead website. Teachers on staff at the department of education, along with more than 86 support organizations, review submissions with a rubric and applicants with “top ideas” are invited to attend a Summit. Those who are selected pay for travel to the Summit, but their lodging and meals are covered.

What happens at a Summit? First, of all, you experience a professional and respectful environment that inspires thinking, learning, planning and purposeful outcomes. Each idea team (up to five or individual) is matched to a “critical friend” who helps to move the team and the idea forward during 2 ½ days. Beginning with a logic model, they shape a message about the value of their idea, gaining insights and resources from organization leaders and finally, produce an amazing display of ideas that have developed into solutions to problems and opportunities to advance teaching and learning. These are NOT presentations or proposals, but projects that start with an idea, move to incubation stages and for some, move to a LAB level where additional stakeholders are invited to support and champion the idea for broad support and policy development.

What happens after the Summits? Each team continues to interact with Teach to Lead staffers and their assigned critical friends so that the projects continue to evolve and gain traction. To date, nearly 2,500 educators have shared their leadership ideas through and the virtual community, and moving forward, more local Labs and additional Summits will be rolled out in 2016.

National Board Certified Teachers are encouraged to participate. Projects can vary in scope from building-level to regional or even state-level teacher leadership ideas; you might want to elevate the role of librarians in your district or you might want to introduce aspiring teachers to NBCTs in redesigned teacher education programs in every university. Think of the power of your idea as a solution or innovation that addresses problems and opportunities for learners, at any level and at any state of your thinking and planning. And come be part of the conversation!

February 26-28, 2016, Dallas, Texas

  • Early Registration ($225): Dec. 1-31, 2015
  • Late Registration ($300): Jan. 1-22, 2016
  • Registration Closes: January 22, 2016

The official theme and sub-theme for the 2016 Leadership Summit is: Unite, Inspire, Lead: Empowering Educators for Success. Please do not hesitate to forward questions or requests for additional information. Finally, we ask you to visit the Summit website and we look forward to seeing you in Dallas!

Teaching and Learning Conference
March 11-12, 2016, Washington, D.C.

“This year, we pay special tribute to Dr. Ronald Thorpe, our founder. Thorpe, a lifelong advocate for excellence in education, imagined a conference that would bring together educators and education leaders with two common goals: advance the teaching profession; and, help all students meet their potential in and out of the classroom. Through nine years of T&L, his vision became reality.” Click here for more information and to register.

The Teach to Lead Team Announces...

On October 6th, 2014, Secretary Duncan and Ron Thorpe from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards announced that 31 organizations had pledged support to Teach to Lead. Since that time, we have added ASCD as a third partner, and we have grown to over 88 supporting organizations.” We are pleased that Teach to Lead will now be hosting our sixth Teacher Leadership Summit in Baltimore, MD, February 12-14, 2016. At the Summits, educators from around the nation will work to collaborate, problem solve, and develop action plans to put their own teacher leadership ideas into action. Our hope is to attract the best teacher leadership ideas from exceptional educators across the country. The deadline for idea submissions for the Baltimore Summit is Dec 13, 2015 at 11:59pm ET. All applications must be completed and submitted by this date and time. Click here to learn more and submit your idea. We hope to see you in Baltimore! Connect with Teach to Lead on Twitter

Get the latest updates and read meeting minutes on the Caucus website.
Learn more about National Board Certification Teacher Academy at National University.
Find out more about hte upcoming Teach to Lead Summits.
Save the dates for upcoming NEA meetings and events.
An Invitation from Joanna Murray, NBCT

Let Your Voice Be Heard.

If you could take 4 minutes to complete this survey, it would go such a long way in advocating your importance, and help us to put NBCTs into new roles and positions. Thank you so very much, in advance!

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