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Becoming an EMPOWERED biology educator.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) as an organization. NABT has been a leader in biology education in the past and will continue to be a leader in the future. NABT encourages and provides opportunities for educators to be EMPOWERED to provide the best possible biology education for their students. As we start 2013, biology content knowledge, learning theories, and technologies used in education are changing at an astonishing rate. At the same time, there is one aspect of biology education that has not changed: all students have maximum opportunities to learn when they have the best teachers. This applies across the board to public and private K-12, two-year, and four-year college students and educators. NABT provides educators at all levels opportunities to stay current, excited, and energized about teaching biology.

Since the mid-1990s, I have attended most of the NABT Conferences; my first was in Denver in 1992, early in my teaching career. That first conference "hooked" me on the NABT, and transformed me into an NABT "junkie." The relationships formed through NABT and the many other benefits from being an NABT member have shaped my teaching over the years. NABT has provided me many opportunities, directly and indirectly, to stay current with the latest developments and teaching methods in biology.

Like most everyone else, I had biology educator mentors who introduced me to NABT and greatly influenced me as an educator. Richard Borinsky first introduced me to NABT; he was the AP Biology and biology teacher at my school, Broomfield High. He encouraged me to attend the 1992 NABT Professional Development Conference in Denver. Over the years, he and I traveled to many more NABT's together. We split the sessions up, shared what we learned, and we returned to our classrooms energized and empowered to try new things. Later I became more involved with NABT by presenting at Conferences. By being an NABT member, I learned about other opportunities for teachers, and in 1996, I was selected to attend the Woodrow Wilson Institute. I met many friends at Woodrow Wilson, many of whom I still stay in touch with today. The man who ran the institute was Dr. Donald Cronkite, and he and one of the other instructors, the late Dr. Charlie Drewes, inspired me to give back to teaching and become more involved in the biology community. These two men had a passion for teaching and learning that was contagious, and they significantly changed my approach to teaching and exhibited the importance of being able to "think outside the box" and be creative. I owe Charlie Drewes and Don Cronkite - along with many others, including Richard Borinsky - a big thank you for mentoring me along the road at NABT.

One of the strengths of NABT is our membership and its diversity; there are many great mentors at NABT waiting to help you, whether you've been in the classroom 2 years or 20 years. Start by becoming more involved with NABT, try volunteering for a committee or presenting at the Professional Development Conference. Holding local workshops for affiliates and other teachers is an additional way to become involved. I encourage you to talk to your colleagues about NABT and its benefits. Consider giving an NABT membership to a new colleague for a year; Bob Melton, who is Secretary Treasurer for NABT, does this on a regular basis. This year, I plan to start giving an NABT membership for a year to a colleague, and I hope you will consider doing the same. When we reach out and invite a colleague to join and become part of the NABT family, we help our colleagues and ourselves become excited and energized biology educators.

Please feel free to contact me at mark.little@bvsd.org with your thoughts, suggestions, ideas, and/or concerns. I look forward to hearing from you in the future.

DOI: 10.1525/abt.2013.75.1.1

Mark D. Little

NABT President-2013
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Title Annotation:From the President
Author:Little, Mark D.
Publication:The American Biology Teacher
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2013
Words:663
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