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This special bonus episode explores how we can find a more sustainable way to teach in coming school year. Because while it’s natural to hope for “getting back to normal” after so many constantly-shifting expectations ... we know that “normal” wasn't really working for all teachers or kids. What would it mean to truly reimagine education--not just …
 
Systemic problems need systemic solutions. Here's what's new to support your school in creating better work/life balance. Click here to skim the transcript instead of listening Click to learn more about: 40 Hour Teacher Workweek 40 Hour Leadership 40 Hour Instructional Coaches
 
LAST EPISODE OF SEASON 13! Education is in a time of transition. We’re not quite to the point of post-pandemic teaching, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Moving forward, there’s going to be a lot of talk about what expectations to keep and what to let go of, and it’s critical to reflect: What parts of pre-pandemic teaching do we w…
 
There’s a big focus now on the teacher attrition and shortage crisis. So what does that mean for the teachers that stay? How can schools keep their best teachers and attract more folks to the profession? I believe there are leadership principles that any administrator can internalize and apply to immediately help their faculty feel better supported…
 
What made teaching easier and more sustainable this school year, and how can we carry those principles over into next year? Those are the questions I'm exploring in this podcast episode with my guest, Amy Stohs. She is currently a 2nd grade teacher in Northern Virginia, and was named Teacher of the Year in 2019 while she was teaching 6th grade. Amy…
 
This was the most challenging school year of almost every educator’s career. We’re used to certain aspects of the work getting easier over time, but there were so many new challenges in 2020-2021 that even the most experienced teachers often felt like it was their first year all over again. You had lots of personal and professional growth, of cours…
 
When a problem seems insurmountable, try creating change one name at a time. Because if you can solve a problem for one person, that means it IS a solvable problem ... and you can solve it for the next, and the next. In this episode, I’ll share how often the solution to big problems is solving smaller ones. You’ll hear NYT bestselling author Dan He…
 
There are few things more frustrating than working hard and not seeing a ton of results. It’s even worse when your hard work is unappreciated, and you’re criticized for not doing enough or for doing things wrong. When you’re trying your absolute best to teach well in a pandemic, the reality is that your best might not always be good enough. Sometim…
 
How do you develop confidence in your teaching when you’re constantly hearing about everything you’re doing wrong? How do you know what you should and shouldn’t be focusing on, and discern what’s a good use of your time and what’s not? And most importantly, how can you be sure you’re showing up as the person your students need you to be? Answering …
 
We’ve all had moments this school year when making it to summer felt impossible. You might even be feeling that way right now: like your job has just taken everything out of you, and you have nothing left to give. Being in that headspace is very normal, and it’s fine to allow yourself to feel exhausted and overwhelmed. You don’t have to talk yourse…
 
Constantly issuing reminders and following up with kids is exhausting. Helping kids understand how their brains work and explore ways to funnel their focus, time, and energy is fascinating. So, how do you approach time management through this lens? The teachers who are most successful at managing their time don’t see doing so as a burden. And, they…
 
The uncertainty and constant changes have been one of the most stressful parts of this school year. Nearly every teacher I know has invested countless hours into setting up a system for one approach to learning, only to find out that everything’s going to be completely different the following day … and then it’s all going to change again two weeks …
 
What if this is the perfect time to normalize outdoor learning and make it a permanent part of how we do school? What exactly does outdoor learning look like, and how can we provide equitable access to it? These are questions I’ve been mulling over for quite some time, and I’ve collected some fantastic photos, links, resources, and case studies to …
 
Has your workload created a huge strain on your family, friendships, and/or marriage/partnership? Being a teacher often means making an impossible choice: when you’re focused on your loved ones, you feel like you’re neglecting your students. When you’re focused on your students, you feel like you’re neglecting your loved ones. Trying to add on your…
 
How can we make SEL more than a buzzword? School psychologist Dr. Byron McClure is here to go beyond what’s trendy, and give an honest overview of the mental health and socio-emotional support students really need from us right now. Byron shares 3 specific practices you can do with kids to address their social-emotional needs on a daily basis in yo…
 
I know what many (most?) of you are being asked to do right now is NOT reasonable or sustainable. And because you could never have enough time and energy to do everything that kids need right now, the solution could never be for you to just work harder. We are still in a pandemic. This is not a “normal” school year. Regardless of how much districts…
 
“Better listeners are better learners,” says my guest Monica Brady-Myerov. She’s the Founder and CEO of Listenwise, an award-winning listening skills platform and the sponsor for this episode. Monica explains that audio is a powerful tool for equity and differentiation, because most kids have a much higher listening comprehension level than reading…
 
Need something to look forward to in the final weeks of school? This new Wednesday morning podcast series will provide 5 minutes of audio encouragement and sound therapy instruments. It's designed for you to listen mid-week to get re-energized. If you'd also like a written version/transcript, sign up for the 6-week email series of free bonus teachi…
 
“I've never worked so hard in my life to try to reach students, and yet never felt like such a big failure. That carries a lot of emotional weight. But when we are dismissed to ‘just figure it out’, we're not actually given credit for all of the incredible work that has happened.” Those are the words of my guest Pernille Ripp, a 7th grade ELA teach…
 
Want to develop your students into digital detectives? Join me as I talk with Jennifer LaGarde and Darren Hudgins, who are co-authors of the book Fact vs. Fiction: Teaching Critical Thinking In the Age of Fake News, and also a new book coming out in July 2021 called Developing Digital Detectives. This is the second episode in our 2 part series abou…
 
In a time where there’s so much to be sad or upset about, we have the power to choose thoughts that feel better. And, we can actively look for evidence that those thoughts are true and that good things are happening. In this article and podcast episode of Truth for Teachers, I'll share a couple of examples of how this has worked in my own life and …
 
investing in our own news literacy is one of the best things we can do for kids. But with so much disinformation, how can we as educators ensure what we're finding and sharing is accurate? Join me as I talk with Peter Adams. He's the head of the education team of the News Literacy Project, a national education nonprofit offering nonpartisan program…
 
Extending grace shouldn’t be a one way street. And yet, many educators feel like they are constantly told to accommodate students and families while they themselves are held to rigid, unrealistic standards. When you start to feel the resentment and frustration building, here are 3 shifts that can help: Instead of giving grace, think of giving peopl…
 
Need practical tips for doing “fewer things better” in a remote/hybrid setting? Check out this episode with Dr. Catlin Tucker. We’ll talk about simplifying assessment, virtual station rotations, student engagement, and more. We’ll also discuss specific steps teachers can take to advocate for more realistic expectations for themselves and their stud…
 
The spring and summer of 2020 were some of the darkest times of my life, both personally and professionally. In this episode, I want to offer a bit more of myself and my journey with you: My struggle with depression and anxiety Professional burnout and lack of motivation COVID and the disillusionment of offering solutions for schools when there are…
 
For 2021, I want to have a single-minded focus on the destination ahead. A train can’t go in multiple directions at once. So, what is my mission? My contribution? What is the thing I can be doing right now in the world to make it a better place? I want to decide that and get on board the train. I’ve wasted far too much time hanging around the stati…
 
This is a deeply personal podcast episode, so if you’re new here, I encourage you to revisit previous eps that are probably going to be more helpful and along the lines of what you’re hoping to get. This one is all over the map: part inspirational, part confessional, part political, part visionary. I've decided to end the podcast early, for reasons…
 
What happens when you’re asked to follow bad pedagogy or teach topics that seem irrelevant for kids? You can do exactly as you’re told...or you can quietly subvert the system, and find ways to do what’s best for kids. Listen in as Dr. Robyn Jackson and I talk about ways that we’ve done this in our teaching practice, and how we’ve supported other te…
 
I decided to scrap the topic I had planned for this week and speak to the teachers who feel like they’re drowning. I know what's expected right now of many kids, families, and teachers is not humanly possible on a long-term basis. And in this episode, I want to counter the system-wide gaslighting that is occurring. What many (most?) of you are bein…
 
“We didn't forget how to be teachers. It’s the same passion, engagement, and relationships — you already know how to do that. What we have to learn is a few tech tools, so that we can accomplish the teaching moves that we want, but we did not forget how to teach ... Human beings know how to develop relationships, and sometimes they develop from a d…
 
If you're frustrated with kids who don't seem to be putting forth any effort, this episode can help you shift your mindset and think about the problem in new ways. We’ll examine 3 limiting beliefs that are a very common part of many people’s worldview, and look for ways to choose perspectives that are more constructive and helpful. When you feel li…
 
When teaching from a distance — either 6 feet away or remotely — it can feel challenging to get to know your students well. "The top thing we can do with overwhelm is return to our strength, return to our knowledge, return to our experience. Every teacher in the world knows ways of connecting with students and humanizing a classroom. These things d…
 
Sometimes what you’re able to give is not sufficient. It’s frustrating when you know what you’re capable of under optimal circumstances, but also know you’re not working with optimal circumstances or anything close to it. So the only options are to try to single-handedly compensate for all the adverse circumstances and perform at a superhuman level…
 
Breakout rooms are transforming how we do one-on-one conferencing and small group work. There are so many things we CAN’T do right with kids, so in this episode, I’m exploring the new opportunities for differentiation which may not have been possible in pre-pandemic teaching. You’ll hear from a diverse group of 5 teachers from around the world who …
 
When the learning curve is overwhelming (especially with technology), these 5 guiding principles can help: Start with the outcome you want to achieve, and choose the best tool accordingly (rather than vice versa). Approach technology as a tool to support learning, not the focus of the learning itself. Use tech to enhance, not dominate, what you’re …
 
Adapting a flexible, resilient pedagogy will allow us to roll with any changes that might come, and will carry us through to post-pandemic teaching, as well. The goal? To emerge from this school year with more equitable, sustainable, and relevant ways of teaching and learning. So what exactly does flexible resilience pedagogy look like in practice?…
 
In our rush to figure out logistics, we can’t forget that who we ARE impacts how we teach more than anything else. Unpacking our own identity and the “why” we bring to the classroom can be a grounding force that holds us steady through change. Listen in as I have a laid-back yet energizing conversation with Tanesha Forman, a middle school teacher e…
 
Whether you’re with kids face-to-face daily or a few days a week or totally online, I think it’s fair to say that your lessons for back-to-school this year are not going to be what you wish they could be. You probably won't be able to do what you did in previous school years. The sooner you can accept that, the easier it will be to plan because you…
 
I’ve been thinking a lot about where I personally can add the most value, and how I can offer support and resources in the way I do best. I’m going to share part of my manifesto here with you. These are my beliefs and goals that will shape the work I do around the changes coming this fall to our schools. You will see these perspectives interwoven i…
 
If you've been feeling like you can't make a difference right now, listen in for how you can stand up for racial justice and create positive change. I'll share why I am hopeful that uprising we're experiencing as a nation is leading us toward racial healing and equality, and what YOU can do to help. You have the power to uncover and root out discri…
 
We’re wrapping up Season 11 of the podcast in this episode, and talking about how to wrap up the school year, as well. The usual end-of-year activities won’t quite fit the bill right now, so I’m sharing how other teachers are creating closure for the year, even when they can’t be face-to-face with their students. I’ll also share a crisis classroom …
 
Perfectionism is not always about needing things to be perfect. It can look like an “all-or-nothing” mentality that keeps us from creating the change we want. My working theory is that everyone struggles with perfectionism, it simply manifests differently for different people. We all have our things that we are extremely particular about. Even folk…
 
How do we reimagine schools and use this interruption to our lives to create a better normal post-pandemic? My guest in this episode is Dan Heath, a New York Times bestselling author of 5 books, the most recent being “Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen.” This book is a MUST read for anyone who’s curious about how to create sys…
 
Crisis distance learning has improved teaching and learning in some surprising (and not-so-surprising ways) over the last couple of weeks. There’s no doubt that it’s been stressful trying to make the transition so abruptly, but I thought it might be helpful to do an episode on the positives some folks are seeing, too. Whether you secretly prefer re…
 
Spending a LOT of time in a confined space with the same people day in and day out can exacerbate tension. If you’re finding yourself increasingly agitated, impatient, and annoyed by the folks around you, this episode can help! I’m talking with Kara Loewentheil, who has a B.A. from Yale and J.D. from Harvard Law, and works now as a Master Certified…
 
Work/life balance doesn't mean creating a total separation between teaching and everything else. It’s about integrating work with the rest of your priorities in a way that allows you to give appropriate time and energy to each. Balance IS possible and worth striving for, even when teaching remotely from home for the first time. If you feel like you…
 
During distance learning, look for small, simple ways you can center kids’ physical and mental well-being, which will, in turn, be energizing and uplifting for you, as well. I’ve collected 12 types of ideas from members of the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club to give you some insight into how other K-12 teachers from around the world are facing the ch…
 
A sudden switch to teaching remotely is so difficult to manage. But what if it allows us to let go of all our previous assumptions about what we “have” to do with kids? If schools can simplify the curriculum, cancel standardized testing, and put kids’ socio-emotional wellness first right now ... why can’t we do that all the time? In this episode, I…
 
With all the COVID-19 upheaval in our world right now, I wanted to do a special check-in with you. We are all struggling with the uncertainty, but this episode shares 5 things I know for sure. I've added calming background music, so this is ideal to listen to when you're anxious and having trouble focusing on getting anything done. I hope it's reas…
 
“You can break motivation barriers for disengaged students by recognizing that motivation is an investment decision. Students have time, attention, and effort, and they are making a decision every single day about whether they want to invest those things in our classrooms or in something else. Making your classroom worth investing in is about creat…
 
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