Academic journal article The American Biology Teacher

From the President

Academic journal article The American Biology Teacher

From the President

Article excerpt

Well, we didn't win. But Time Magazine's Person of the Year nomination is not about receiving an honor or being popular; it's about being recognized for leadership in difficult situations; situations with long term impact on the global societal, economic, and political scene. Congratulations! It may not be what you signed up for, but I can't think of a more dedicated group with whom I would rather share the responsibility. As biology teachers, we all have to deal with engaging students in the beauty of and respect for life while addressing what have become our political flash-point concepts. As biology teacher-leaders, it is important that we model leadership qualities in our classroom and in our professional practice.

A core skill recognized as essential for effective leadership is reflection with a set of guiding principles as your reference point. My guiding principles have come from a paper cube that has been on my desk for 15 years. I received it in a BSCS publication called Developing Biological Literacy (1993). Several NABT teacher-leaders were involved as authors, PIs, advisory board members, and reviewers on this NSF-funded project. Each side of the cube has guiding principles and themes for teaching biology in a way that fosters understanding; what students should remember and be able to do years after they leave the classroom. The side I have facing out, so that I can see it every day, addresses what a biologically-literate person should understand and be able to do.

These guiding principles reflect the mission and values of NABT as an organization and through membership, the values of 5,500 biology teacher-leaders. NABT supports biology teacher-leaders through professional development, communication, and our partnerships with other organizations. Attracting funding for development of resources and the implementation of programs requires a support staff and a conduit to a large cadre of teachers. NABT is that conduit for biology education. …

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