Friday, July 29, 2011

Reboot! Teaching Transformed

Thursday was the beginning of the 2011 National Board Conference “Reboot! Teaching Transformed,” and so far it has lived up to the theme.

Governor Bob Wise, current president of NBPTS, kicked off the conference by outlining changes we will be seeing on the national level within the year.  The new NBPTS theme will be “Grow Great Schools.” More info will be available at by the end of December.

Governor Wise emphasized that as America’s partner in education, NBPTS will continue to:
·      Advance Student Learning and Achievement
·      Support Excellence in Teaching
·      Engage Leaders
·      Transform Education School by School

Next, we had the pleasure of listening to and engaging with Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind, and Drive.  Mr. Pink pointed out that many experiments over the past fifty years have shown that motivation and positive behavior do not usually increase with rewards.  He explained that the theory worked well in the 19th and 20th centuries, but not at all in the 21st.  Research indicates that time after time, when teachers are to receive a reward for an increase in their students’ test scores, those scores do not rise.

One of the exciting takeaways was to learn about schools that have one day when students can work on any project they choose. Mr. Pink called these “FedEx Days.” Read this blog post to see how one school executed this exciting concept: He concluded that in order to achieve enduring motivation, people need autonomy, mastery, and purpose.  You can watch a nine-minute video that captures the essence of Daniel Pink ideas at

Julie Ramsay and I then headed to the Network Affiliates presentations.  The AL NBCT Network table was filled with resources and occupied a prime location at the front of the room.  We emphasized our annual conferences and social networking and the many free resources available to anyone who visits our website.  I also had the opportunity to talk with other affiliate leaders and develop a great list of wonderful ideas we may want to incorporate.  Julie and Mary also presented information about how to be involved with the Second Life NBCT Network.

Finally we all had the unique opportunity to hear Diane Ravitch.  She is truly remarkable and, as Julie tweeted, a champion for teachers.  In her opinion, No Child Left Behind is a ticking bomb that will destroy public education.  She also believes that the current Race to the Top is no better.  Using numerous examples, Dr. Ravitch argued that teachers should never be evaluated by students’ standardized test scores. She further emphasized that politicians should not be involved in education.  In closing, she issued this imperative—all teachers need to be active in order for “the beatings” to stop and to enable educators the opportunity to make vital decisions for the profession.

The conference continues on Friday. We look forward to being able to share what we are learning with all of you. Watch our Alabama NBCT Facebook page and our Twitter feed for updates throughout the day.

~Nancy Turpen


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