Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Truth about the Common Core and Alabama Standards

In our effort to continue to keep the Alabama NBCT Network members informed regarding current legislation, we felt that this graphic breaks down the the bill and sheds light on the truth behind the Common Core (College and Career Readiness Standards).

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Call to Action

One of our missions at the Alabama NBCT Network is to keep all of our members informed of developments that impact the quality of teaching that we can provide for our students. Following is a message from Tammy Dunn, who is not only one of our network members, but also serves on the National Boards.
I am writing in hopes that we can mobilize the members of the Alabama NBCT network to contact their legislators about the importance of continuing our work with the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards (CCRS).  I do not know if you are aware, but the standards are under intense attack in the current legislative session.  The legislation is in the state Senate right now, Senate bill 190.  This bill would repeal the CCRS and would prohibit the SDE from developing a longitudinal data tracking system for students.

As NBCT’s, we are know the importance of challenging standards for ALL of our students.  We know the value of helping students to conceptualize understanding and to learn the process skills that will equip them to be life-long learners, no matter what course they take upon exiting schools.  While schools, districts, teachers, and students have struggled to learn how to implement the new CCRS math standards during the 2012 – 13 school year, their presence and implementation have opened up new forms of dialogue around how to raise expectations for our students and our teachers.  It would be such a shame for us to take a backward step.

The senators and representatives are hearing A LOT from opponents of these standards.  Unfortunately, they are not hearing much from supporters.  I think the NBCT voice needs to be LOUDLY heard.  We should be one of the groups advocating for our belief that all ALABAMA STUDENTS can learn and deserve to have rigorous standards and expectations.  We also know that student learning is the root of everything we do.  We need to have data tracking systems that helps schools, districts, teachers, students and parents easily see a student’s progress or lack thereof.

I am asking you to help me to contact the members of the NBCT network to ask them to contact their representatives.  Jabo Waggoner, my senate representative, is a sponsor of this bill.  I have called his office three times this morning and finally left a message.  I have asked for him to call me.  I have been told that a call is superior to an email. 

We need to educate ourselves about this potential legislation and weigh in.  We need the NBCT voice to be heard on behalf of deserving Alabama Students. ~Tammy Dunn 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Greeting from Your President

Hello, my name is Pamela Harman and I am so honored to be representing the NBCT’s of Alabama. 


I have always wanted to become a teacher.  Having grown up in St. Petersburg, Florida in a single-parent home in a low-income neighborhood, I was not sure how I would accomplish my dream.  Although I received a scholarship to attend a local, community college, it did not provide enough funding for me to complete my schooling.  So, in 1986 I joined the United States Marine Corps.  I spend 4+ years in the Marines and gained not only funding for college, but also greater self-confidence and the realization that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.

I completed my BS in education at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, my MS in geoscience at Mississippi State, and am currently working on my Ed.D  in teacher leadership through Walden University. 

I have been teaching high school science for 15 years and am currently working at Spain Park High School in Hoover.  I was honored to represent Alabama as the 2008 Alabama Teacher of the Year.
Professional Practice

I am the first person in my family to attend college and I strongly believe that all students should be equipped with the skills necessary to successfully attend college, if they choose to do so.  Instilling students with critical thinking skills, opportunities to collaborate, and avenues to gain mastery of the content are major tenets of my teaching philosophy.  I also feel that students are better equipped to learn when the teacher differentiates instruction (DI).  I have lead professional development training in DI locally, statewide, and nationally. I feel so passionately about differentiated instruction that it is the focus of my doctoral studies. 

Vision for Alabama NBCT
I feel the mission of Alabama NBCT is to support all teachers in growing professionally, to provide support for future NBCT’s in improving their professional practice, and to inform school systems, the general public, and legislators of the value of having NBCT’s as teachers.   It is my hope that NBCT’s across Alabama will come along side me to make my vision a reality. 

Pamela Harman, NBCT