Episode #162: Todd Simendinger
Todd is a lifelong educator with over twenty years of experience in education, and presently a consultant for Navigating Challenging Dialogue for Schools. He’s a 2002 graduate of Ohio State University where he earned a B.A. in History, and a Master’s degree in Education/ Curriculum Design and Development. Over the course of his career Todd’s worked across the entire K-12 spectrum as both an administrator and teacher, and has experience working in suburban, urban, and vocational settings. His ten years as a school administrator include leadership positions in the roles of Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator, HS/MS Assistant Principal, and for the past seven years as an Elementary Principal. Todd’s a certified NCD trainer with coaching and professional development delivery experience in both education and business settings, and has served as a mentor and coach for numerous aspiring and sitting school administrators.
Trench story: early on in 1st principalship. School had significant cultural issues. Found self drowning in cultural issues. Found someone who was doing PD around communication. Learned how to manage conflict. Returned and put it into action. Made a difference how teachers saw him as a leader. Training was at the beginning of 2nd year. Superintendent suggested it. It was for executives at all levels, gave him a unique perspective.
Am I the Drama? Creating a positive and focused culture as a leader. What impact does a leader’s ability to manage challenging dialogue have on both culture and the change process? When you look at principalship, that is the driving force. Supporting culture of change. Challenge themselves. Outcomes of convos dictate how you drive culture in the building. Listening & understanding people’s concerns. Mutual respect. A lot of change needed in schools. Principals don’t always have a say. Assumptions, past history. Take time to remove emotional part from it.
What are the most common communication errors that leaders make and how does it impact staff? They under share info because they’re protecting staff, info may not be well received. You can’t protect other’s emotional well-being if they need the info to make decisions. “Clear is kind”. It needs to be professional. A big struggle early on was how to communicate it. Teachers appreciate being able to hear it clearly.
What leadership and communication skills should aspiring leaders focus on to improve? Considering a principalship, it’s important to be vulnerable as a leader. Be prepared to say “I don’t know the answer to the quest, I’ll find out for you”. Open communication. You’re not perfect, you’re going to make mistakes. Conversations that are meaningful. He is a personable person. He knew a lot about staff & families. Ppl have diff comfort levels around that. Adapt communication style to person in front of you. Staff have past history with leaders. Majority of communication shouldn’t be formal. Be visible in building to check in.
What’s the focus of Navigating Challenging Dialogue for Schools www.ncbforschools.com -how has it improved your life as a leader and those around you? Also includes Understanding and Managing your Triggers as a Leader Navigating structured convos around problems admin have communicating. 1) Preparing himself for convo- in terms of climate. Learning your triggers as a leader. training he took as a principal in MA. Took from a consultant who dealt w/ Fortune 500 Companies. He loved it & took it 2 more times. They spoke a lot about the huge need in schools for leaders to deal w/ challenging convos. Will become a really valuable skills on how to manage things that are important, handle things that aren’t important. Sometimes people are sort of overwhelmed. How do you handle it? One of his triggers was a t passing off a kid to him. How to handle your emotions? It’s really deadly if you have a bad relationship. What are you going to do to solve the problem (to staff)? How to help staff with skills. Can talk about inter-collegial conflicts. Remove things that aren’t fact. He took over a school that way a “hot mess” as a principal, veteran staff. Challenging to navigate. Investing in people. He’s had the good fortune of having a unique experience. He acts a clarifying quest to bring tone of convo down to work in a productive way. It comes up in eval cycle. It’s much harder than anything else. Social awareness is important in schools. Need to be aware of it. Understand the energy you’re bringing to the room. Vulnerability piece is hard. He was a very young principal with a veteran staff. He lost ½ staff in first 3 years from retirement. It can be a positive in situations when you’re not coming across as being authentic. During pandemic he had no problem saying to staff “I don’t know what I’m doing”. Students want you to understand their struggles.
Reducing Drama in the Workplace– we talk about the ability of how to decipher what is fact, what is emotion. 2-3 central facts. 90% of every story isn’t fact. Get down to factual piece. Have a process based on facts. He took 6 of his own staff thru the training. They acquired the skills. He allowed them to be able to resolve situation as teachers. Unraveled what is important when there is a conflict between colleagues. Be direct what behavior expectation is. Get to bottom what’s causing the conflict. Resolution. Drama piece was hard for him. You don’t have to take on everything that’s thrown at you in terms of conflict. He sunk very quickly between he was solving everyone’s problem. Used language “what are you going to do to resolve that issue?” As a principal he says he’s happy to help, they need to solve it on their own. It allows you to cipher out what they need to handle.
Key quotes: piece of approaching everything with “clear is kind”. Be clear with what the concern is. It’ll make your life much easier. Advances school improvement consistently. He wants school leaders to understand attrition of t’s is w/in their control.
Episode #163: Barbara Ann Mojica
Barbara Ann Mojica is a historian and retired educator. Her education career spans more than forty years serving as a teacher, special educator, principal, and school district administrator.
Using the whimsical Little Miss History character to narrate her book series, she makes learning history a fun-filled adventure. Barbara firmly believes, “If you don’t know your history, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Trench story: has a couple of those, was teaching for about 6-7 years there were no protection for new moms. Decided to take the approach to it being a couple of weeks before contract signing. Her secretary passed on the message to sign a contract. Took an aggressive approach, was there 15 years. Went into special ed. Became principal of a special ed school. 2nd story, met the needs of parents, developed IEPS. Reorg in NYC dept of Ed. Got laid off. Was unable to get a job in admin so went to public schools to teach. Had to sub. Landed a job in a school that was wonderful for her. Provided her many new opportunities. Taught Wilson reading program, worked with kids in many different roles. She connected with questions kids came up with.
Why should anyone care about history? Her love of history began very young. Didn’t plan to go to college. Teacher encouraged her. She was able to go for a free with the grade merit system, graduating in 3 yrs. Decided she loved kids, so combined her passion for history with working with kids. History is one of the best ways to teach kids about critical thinking. It’s nothing but memory. History is “story”, not dates & facts. It’s important for us to discover our place in the family. Extended to our communities. She has a 14 reasons fact sheet on her website.
How did your children’s series come about? She wanted to keep working with kids. Given the opportunity to enjoy learning history. History is largely ignored in schools today. Children need to develop critical thinking skills. Her hubs developed character. It’s based on a younger Barbra. Series is based on ppl, places & events that are of interest to children.
Can you talk about your journey as an author and what are some of the perils in the publishing world today? she has a YouTube video on her website for teachers who want to publish. She is currently publishing thru a small publishing company, it’s kind of a hybrid model. Didn’t know what she was getting into. Had no idea of the multiple aspects of the publishing industry. Need to be patient & persistent. Need to adapt to changes in marketplace. Deal with whims of publishing distribution. You have the aspect of you’re writing for the adults who are buying the books for kids. Need to develop brand, identity. Depends on the kind of audience. Be aware of scammers. Piracy issues. Trademark your logo.
How has social media changed the way we think and behave? Big hot topic, keep in terms of kid’s behavior. A Lot of things parents say, they say don’t do, yet they do it anyway. Social media is a barrier to critical thinking. Schools are teaching to the test most of the time. It’s made us more attuned to opinion rather than fact. Children/parents are doing more than 1 thing at once. Look at how the info is communicated, is it a fact or gossip? We can expose kids to a variety of things. The news is often ppl’s opinions. Tell kids you can’t always believe everything ppl say. Ask ppl what they think about something, have them look at it another way. Parents have to be careful not to be too judgmental. She shares tools on her YouTube channel.
What are some ways parents can help their children become critical thinkers, especially if the school isn’t teaching critical thinking? our brain is often underused. When we make snap decisions, it isn’t using CT. WE have to learn the difference between emotions and logic. CT is looking at things and developing strategies, to resist reacting w/o looking things thru. Look at evidence you can use to support things. We can’t form a conclusion until we look at a whole set of issues. We can’t solve a problem if we’re not solving tasks. Parents/t’s can set limits. Teach that discovering new things is a good thing. Encourage children to come up with alternate ways to do things, be bold. Teaching that change is a good thing. Encourage curiosity.
Key quotes? if you don’t know your history, you don’t know what you’re talking about. (her slogan). Look at alternatives to prepare for a better future. Look at how we can look at it and improve.
Find Barbara online: www.LittleMissHISTORY.com all her links are on website. She reviews family-friendly books. Include YouTube channel. Has teaching videos.
View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Jidg1dx14ec
Episode #164: Rae Hughart
Rae Hughart is the Executive Director of the Association of Middle-Grade Schools, CXO for the Teach Better Team, TEDx Speaker, Educator, and author of “Teachers Deserve It” and “Teach Better” books.
Growing up with IEP support after being diagnosed SLD in Reading, Writing, and Math, Rae has worked with other educators and districts on designing mastery learning classrooms nationwide to reach all learners. Rae continues to facilitate rich discussions with educators around mastering personalized learning, providing targeted student-focused feedback, and the impact of incorporating purpose into student daily learning. Through building partnerships with local businesses, Rae continues to support educators in designing dynamic, impactful, effective, and connected content – showing the impact of teaching beyond the four walls of a classroom and altering a community into an authentic resource for developing leaders.
After being inducted into The Illinois State University Hall of Fame in 2017, Rae was awarded the 2018 First Place Henry Ford Teacher Innovator Award for her innovative educational impact through the Teach Further Model. In 2021, Rae Hughart presented on the TEDx stage challenging educators, students, and community members to consider progressive, data supported practices to further 21st century learners.
Trench story: Transferring what you learned as st on IEP to own skills as a teacher. She is proud of time in Sped. From K-11th grade. General disability. Found school to be a challenge. First moments in trenches was being a child on IEP. Credits Sped t’s and general ed teachers who provide resources. Rae pushed away those resources. Today she uses those. Understanding the types of resources, the WHY. Her t’s were dedicated to giving her resources that were relevant. Always searching for new tools.
2018 First Place Henry Ford Teacher Innovator Award for her innovative educational impact through the Teach Further Model. What did you have to do for this? Power of being someone nominated. Also can discuss the Hall of Fame award. Had to submit a portfolio/documentation work. Approval process. They awarded 3 the year for Hall of Fame. Educators are all different. Took an Angiogram test. Found out she’s drawn to awards/accolades. It’s how she refuels. For t’s who love a sticker, they might understand. How is our world acknowledging things happening in our field. Ford award given by museum. 2 ways to win an educator award- someone’s nominating you or you’re nominating yourself. It’s OK to know you’re awesome. Doesn’t need to come across as pompous. Series of questionnaires. Her challenge would be to earn a grant or an award- nominate self or 2 other ppl. Even if you loose, you may loose to someone awesome.
TedEX presentation. TEDx Talk: TeachBetter.com/TEDxRaeHughart Applied to do a ted talk. Did in Chicago. She had on bucket list. Learned more doing that PD than other PD’s she’s done. Very rigorous, stressful. TedEX can occur other places than CA. Person had to apply to be a part of this. Struggled preparing b/c presentation mandates/strategies. Needed to craft perfect message. Didn’t have a life audience due to COVID. She feeds off ppl’s energy so she would have preferred speaking to a crowd. Topic has reached a lot of educators to do work with a lot of districts. You get a Ted coach if you’re accepted. Harsh feedback, criticism, outstanding. Had to turn in a word-by-word script.
How you transition to working with Teach Better Team? Did you speak at conferences before, yes, she did but not to the magnitude. TB found her. Excited about having highlighted at Conferences. She wanted to have a free ticket to the conference. As a new t wanted to share what she was doing. Connected with TB via Twitter. Did #tlap chat with Dave Burgess. Came across TB account. They wanted to know more. They wanted to collaborate, not sell things. She loved the concept of helping teachers. 26 team members strong. Grown into a large network.
Transitioning out of the classroom, just did 21/22. Was MS math/science teacher. Was working PT with TB team, did more speaking engagements. Team grew quickly. Managing projects became tough PT. Was at a cusp of determining what she wanted for self. Enjoyed it all. Different scenario than for many ppl. Became a struggle to support 20 TB team members when she wasn’t accessible. She’s glad educators can be fluid in their careers. May return to CR. Current position- PM, branding, marketing, etc. Learned marketing along the way. She thinks everything is marketing. It’s truly audience experience. How are they exposed to the information?
Putting together TBT courses you’re putting together. She overseas branding, marketing, project management. Lots of ways to consume TB info. The homepage is a great place to choose blogs, podcasts, mm discussions, etc. TB Academy has been around since ‘17. Helps with teacher licensure. New course every 30 days. Every topic speaks to audience’s needs. Tips & tricks to applying to speak at conference. Master learning at ES level. Strategic planning for Admin. Membership $9/m. Don’t just buy courses outright.
Co-authored Teachers Deserve It (2020) Teach Better (2019), what got into writing. How did you fit it into your busy life? Writing process. Pros & cons to writing. Teach Better was a goal & mission for her team @TB. At the time, the team was 4 people. Mindset is being better than yesterday and a little better tomorrow. Floored when accepted by Dave Burgess. Collaborated via google docs. came out right before ‘19 conf. Was then approached by Adam Welcome. He pitched the idea to Kids Deserve It book- kind of like a sequel. Wrote her favorite book. She was able to craft the narrative. What can you do to be a part of the solution, action steps? Educators are now taking control over own narrative. They tackle a lot of topics in the book. We can take steps to be part of the solution- even if it takes a while.
Join us for the Teach Better conference Oct. 14-15 in Akron, OH. Very small event. Designed to have one-on-one conversations. 4-500 ppl. Used to be innovation museum. Will have a local vibe. Teachbetterconference.com Lots of speakers already announced.
Key quotes? she had shoulder surgery 2x’s. in 2019, she was waiting to go into surgery. Dr walked in w/ massive shot. He needed to put it into her neck. “Turn your head, you’ll be fine”. She loves leaving that message to educators. If you problem-solve together, no shot too big. Become active participant in your network.
Find Rae online- it’s important to connect with her & the Teach Better Team.
Social Media Handles:
View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/NFpjaJAVsQo
Episode #165: Iggy Perillo
Iggy Perillo cultivates leaders who are building the habit of emotionally intelligent leadership so they can shift culture and make the world a better place. She facilitates masterminds for professionals who want to lead with wisdom as they excel in their work, sport and life. She created WSL Leadership to embolden leaders who value connection, communication and trust. Iggy works with individuals and teams around the world to overcome challenges and function like champions.
Trench story: her experience isn’t in a traditional school environment. Still works with outward bound schools. Decades of experience has led expeditions, canoeing. Not constrained to timeline. See development. She did work in summer & winter (ski expeditions). Did groups week after week. Was worn out. Couldn’t get out of bed. Had to step away. Moved away from working with students to working with adults. She wanted to do longer & longer expeditions.
How to cultivate new leaders She learned a lot about communication, decision making. Reality is that everyone who comes is unique. Authenticity is so important in leadership. Cultivate goals/mission alignment. Ppl sometimes try to squeeze themselves into types of leadership they aren’t. There are times you need to be directive. It fell flat.
What to do when your team goes off the rails how to reel them back in. Sometimes there’s a mutiny. Disfunction that happens sometimes. Helpful but happens because of unspoken expectations. Dial back to “where are we all going?”. What do we expect of each other? Open lines of communication.
Communication breakdowns are killing your productivity – let’s fix that. Trust is huge. You have to solve a trust problem. It’s one way to build up trust. When people are unintentionally disrespectful, you have to make sure you rely on authenticity. Be accountable for your actions. You’re responsible for creating environment, “mistakes were made”, as leader you need to fix it. Say some mistakes you make to rebuild trust. It takes work.
What if I have to work with that super annoying person? What is the best way for a leader to deal with a “problem personality”? Conflict can mean people aren’t always fighting, you can get at it in many. Some behaviors are “I expected you to do this…”. People took on role of being devil’s advocate. Build connection w/ person to know what they think their role is. Wayne Glasser’s basic needs theory. Find out what ppl really value. How to meet individual vs team needs. As a leader, if you avoid conflict for too long it won’t work out. Put them in a different role.
How do I deal with the toxic culture in a team? Esp. when a new leader comes in. Culture is job of leadership broadly. Look at behaviors that are problematic. If your culture has work to do you need to get on it. It fuels distrust among staff. Happiness/senses of fulfillment drops. You can’t go wrong with building individual connections. Plenty of people are quietly going along. How to get them on board. Students know. They see non-verbal communication.
Emotional Intelligence and Psychological Safety in the workplace, school culture isn’t a new concept. It has to do with staff climate, staff culture matters. This has become more talked about recently. Part 1: Self-awareness. Brene Brown’s Atlas of the Heart. Asking people how they feel. part 2: self-regulation: such as her time in the trenches. Bringing parts of yourself into regulation to bring a lot of excitement or calm. Part 3: intrinsic motivation. Internal vs. external reward. Part 4: cognitive empathy. More cognitive empathy. Part 5: social skills, how we react in social skiils. You can discover which ones you’re not great. Read Daniel Goldman’s book Prime to Lead. Daring to Lead by Brene Brown. Clinical research side- how to you apply it? You’re better able to bring self-regulation. Ties back to authenticity. Those who are EI are ppl we trust more.
What do people need to know to do their best? Alot to be said for talking to introverts around you, “Quiet” by Susan Cane. She says talk to those around you in order to know where to start. Experiential education- if people are bring forward their authenticity. Learn what’s going on. Listen & learn.
Key quotes… “You have power of influence in the world around you”.
Find Izzy online- One thing your listeners might appreciate is the free Emotionally Intelligent Conflict Management Checklist she offers via her website at: wslleadership.com/conflict
Dealing with Bozos and Bullies: An
Emotionally Intelligent Conflict Management
View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/g6V9hIF1uiM
Episode #166: Latrese Younger
Latrese D. Younger has over fourteen years of education experience across several different school districts. She began her journey as an English Language Arts teacher in Dinwiddie County, VA, which she credits with firming her foundation in education excellence. Throughout her career, she has taught ELA for grades 6-12. She is currently an AP at the high school level. Mrs. Younger currently serves the students of Patrick Henry High School. She possesses a Bachelor of Arts in English Education from Virginia State University and a Master of Educational Leadership with a concentration in Technology Education from Strayer University Henrico Campus. Currently, she is pursuing her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership & Policy from Virginia Tech University (2024). She is a writer, Virginia Teachers of English (VATE) board member, and Founder and Executive Director of the non-profit, Black Women Education Leaders, Inc (BWEL).
As an educator, she has also been privileged to serve in several leadership capacities such as Effective School-Wide Discipline Incentive Coordinator, School Newsletter Advisor, Teacher Appreciation Committee Chair, Mentorship Director, Administrative Intern, District-Wide Professional Development Presenter, In-Service PD Coach, Cooperating Teacher of a Practicum Student, District Representative at a fall Virginia Department of Education- ELA conference, and ELA curriculum writing partner for two districts. In 2016, Mrs. Younger served as Director of Achievement in Literacy with Catapult Learning, Inc.
In 2017, she accepted the role of an Instruction Assessment and Data Analysis Specialist with Richmond City Public Schools. She was shortly after promoted to serve as one of three Assistant Principals at Elkhardt-Thompson Middle School in 2017. She transitioned to Culpeper Middle School in the fall of 2018 and served with that team shifting culture and building teacher capacity until summer of 2021. Mrs. Younger currently serves the students of Patrick Henry High School. She believes that the perfect recipe for teachers is a wonderful blend of empathy, resolve, content knowledge, and passion for students. Her work is driven by the virtuous quote: “Intelligence, plus character…that is the goal of true education”- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She believes that her role is to serve and attributes that to her active membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and her undying faith in Christ. She lives in Caroline County, VA with her husband, son, and English bulldog.
Trenches story: She has told this one several times, when she comes to a new building as admin, she tells them her biggest failure was when literacy coach she envisioned leadership was just telling ppl what to do. Noone wants to follow someone who is arrogant. She had a team who refused to do anything she asked. Didn’t get to know teachers as team. She wants ppl to know she’s imperfect. She hopes people will learn from their mistakes.
Tell me about how you founded Black Women Educational Leaders, and what your vision is? Were there colleagues you started talking with about it? Started as social media posts, created a Twitter pg in Nov. 2019. Was preparing self for possibly pursuing her doctorate. Jan. 2020 branched into an org. Request for interested volunteers for steering committee, people reached out, sorority sister Regina accepted challenge. Labor of love. Platform for Black women in Ed leadership. Didn’t intend it to be more than a Twitter page during the pandemic. Ppl saw it. So few Black women & women in general in ed leadership. Positive impact they’re making. Created membership, was already doing Wedn. & Mond. motivation. Highlighted women internationally. Service org. They mentor, coach & support women. $500 scholarship program. Book club, twitter chats. Civic minded.
Tell me about BWEL’s programs and services for Black women who are interested in joining: They can reach out to them w/ whatever they need. Members reach out for help w/ interviews. Free PD via zoom, mentorship. BWEL book club written by BWEL’s or Black ppl in general. Sisterhood Aspect. Challenges being a woman in ed leadership. Not for faint of heart. Relationships change. This will help them navigate thru these experiences. Membership scholarship for principal licensure test, doctoral program, a lot of teachers are in the aspiring admin in the group. All new members put info on slide. Mentors aren’t always BWEL women.
She wrote a chapter for Jami Fowler-White’s book that’s coming out (yet to be released as of episode release). She wrote about authentic leadership. It’s a lot about her trench story, imposter syndrome. What she has learned in doctoral classes is that you’re willing to get in there & engage. Brene Brown, stepping into the arena. Work toward solution to help others. Wrote for Josh Stamper’s Aspire book as well. Authenticity in leadership, was on Josh’s podcast. Not trying to be like others. Be transparent.
Tips for overcoming the imposter syndrome? she stays true to her core values. You need to love & support your staff, have high expectations. Couple w/ things you want to do. She gifts her staff on their birthdays. Shows she values them personally. When having difficult convos keep the main thing on track.
Key quotes…Be authentic leaders, trust self. She gives action steps in how to be authentic leader. Knowing your skill set & understanding core values. If you understand skillset, it will improve the convo a bit. Don’t be afraid to be exactly who you are. Labyrinth of leadership-working title.
Find Latrese online https://www.blackwomeneducationleaders.com/
Twitter & Linked In @latreseyouger
View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/HazSulE–UY
Episode #167: Mark Kronenberg
Mark Kronenberg is a passionate math educator, small business owner and tutor. He has had a life-long love of learning and teaching math. Mark founded MATH 1-2-3®, which specializes in private and group home math tutoring and test preparation, over twenty-five years ago.
In his career, Mark has taught math in public, private school and faith-based schools. He has taught and tutored hundreds of students, seen math education trends come and go and has always enjoyed helping students gain confidence and competence in math.
Mark holds a dual degree in Math & Economics from Vanderbilt University and a Master’s Degree in Applied Statistics & Decision-Making from Fordham University’s ‘s Graduate School of Business.
Trench story: Has 1 from as student self. Was in lower-level class in 6th grade. He knew this very quickly. Worked extra hard, they elevated to an ind. study class. Taught self. Could ask t to step. Worked thru 6-8th gr math books. Classmate signed yearbook that he was a “real brain” except for algebra. Got back that hurdle. Actuary field- exams that start w/ tests for employee benefits. High mathematical field. Taught & liked it a lot. Trenches as adult- challenging situation at a private school he taught at 10 yrs ago. Was replacing teacher. was teaching a calculus course. Holes in trig, then started calculus. The teacher had taught over the student’s head. Kids were in bind. 2.5 months with remedial math. Gave essential skills needed. They had excellent work ethic.
We talk about summer brain loss-as this will be released end of school year. Such as preview next year’s material. He offers a calculus boot camp, they can pre-learn material. Boot camp is an advanced strategy. Students have holes in knowledge during any type of year. St’s have gaps. You want to build a good foundation just like a house. Make sure you’re on track with current material. Know ideas of topics coming up next yr. They can get a textbook from upcoming t. Can take course a 2nd time.
Trends in Math Education-post-pandemic, what teachers are using now and what they continue to use post-pandemic. He can talk about kids who had learning loss. Lots of great aps. Smart Boards. The notes are pdf’ed at the end, can import docs. Those notes go up on the website every night. “don’t feel you have to write down every word”. HW will be easier. Ixel.com- quick problem sets can look up math topics. Teacher side by side to guide you. Desmos online calculator. Edit out Gavin on video. Good idea to be efficient in using regular calculator.
How To Get The Most Out of Math Tutoring- learning pod or one-on-one. Followed pod trend, 3-5 kids. They aren’t able to play video games etc. Ideally you already know students. Ideally be at same school or in same course. Synergy is there. Ideally students will prepare ?’s beforehand so there won’t be dead minutes. Typically motivated students. Different than zoom rooms during pandemic. Mostly max groups of 6.
When to know when they don’t need tutoring anymore or when to know the tutor they’re working with is effective or not. If the student is super confident, it’s a sign they don’t need tutoring anymore. some families want to hire tutor as insurance policy. Important for test prep. Not effective- parent will have a private convo w/ child. tutor isn’t always completely prepared to answer the ?. Sometimes they’re expecting a resume hire. Not a lot of checking if tutor is actually a subject-area expert. It’s really easy to get hired as a tutor. Is the tutor able to teach in an efficient way? Does the tutor muddle thru the problem? Parents can see confidence from student. His job is to make sure a tutor isn’t ruining his company’s reputation. A trained tutor knows when a st is trying to move on the to next question. Could be a personality issue. He changed his screening process. It’s like a tutoring session in itself.
How can parents set their children up for success in higher levels of math? Good foundation-they’re going to have a lot of confidence thru solid knowledge from tutor, you can’t just push them. Push back on negative self-talk, the subconscious is incapable of disbelief. Have a teacher/tutor who will empower you. Go for mastery, not just exposure. Meet students where they are. Don’t just take “honors” label for given. Does a student leaving honors Algebra 2 knowledge going into pre-calc? Have they tackled advanced/trick questions?
How can parents support a child who has math anxiety? How can parents support a child who struggles in math class? anxiety comes from not having confidence in material, lack of knowledge. Need to push back on negative self-talk. You have to push back on it as a parent r teacher. “The subconscious is incapable of disbelief”. Ways to remedy- you know yourself they have a strong foundation. Can study w/ friends, social conditioning. Going for mastery, not just exposure.
Anxiety going into SAT/ACT it needs to be in the time allotted on test day. Simulate real testing conditions. Whatever tine you’re allotted, practice that. You can make yourself a speed drill. 30 ?’s in 30 m. Mastering the material. Walk in with confidence. Check your work.
Key quotes? Comes back to foundations & mastery. Work efficiently. Mental math, doing things in head. It can buy you extra time and build confidence.
Find Mark online on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-kronenberg-mhk15/
View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/sMuwZOwBTm8
Episode #168: Melissa Wright
Melissa Wright is a passionate educator that is driven to help schools create a place where students belong, and everyone feels like they matter. By sharing ideas that work in her school, she helps educators and students see they can improve their culture and climate. She is known for her passion and desire to see students succeed, and find their inner leader.
In 2014 Melissa was awarded the Make it Matter Award from Jostens Renaissance for the impact Renaissance has made on her school. Renaissance is a nationally recognized program that focuses on improving the culture and climate in schools. That same year she was also awarded the Tom Hanley Advisor of the year award from the New Brunswick Student Leadership Association. She was also awarded the Leader of Distinction Award in September of 2018 from the Canadian Student leadership Association to recognize her contribution to Student leadership in New Brunswick.
Melissa also sits on the National Advisory Council for student leadership as the representative for New Brunswick. This group works to improve and promote student leadership across Canada.
Melissa has been teaching for 14 years as a mathematics and dance teacher at Kennebecasis Valley High School. Her career has shown her that when you believe in someone and/or something amazing things happen.
Through stories and ideas, Melissa brings a passion for inspiring others, helping to improve school culture and climate, and making schools a place where everyone matters.
Trench story: was her very first year teaching, was hired to teach math. Taught 1 science class. Taught applied math, for struggling students. 32 kids were in the class. 17 had probation officers. Had fist fight break out 1 day. Another student lit their jeans on fire. It was baptism by fire. She showed it got to her even in her other classes. Found out what made a difference in kid’s lives.
Talk about PD topics and speaking engagements you’ve had recently, or are upcoming in the summer. Around school culture & climate. Recognize staffulty. Proven ideas that have worked in her school. Team-building in terms of student leadership. Building connections in schools. This summer she is speaking at the Jostens Renaissance conf. in Orlando.
Jostens Renaissance how did it come about at your school? 16 years ago, her 2nd year of teaching, how the program has grown at your school. It all goes back to her teaching internship. Where she got hired, 9-12, 1100 kids. Much bigger than where she went as st. Attended workshop after school year teaching. Took students with them. Had school-wide assembly. School has an established st council. Picked 3 things they wanted to improve- tardies, kindness, recognizing students. Took 3 years to get established. Trying ideas from diff. schools. Spilled to other aspects of building. If someone wants to bring the program to school, they need the desire to start. Talk to the admin. Have their support so you can get support from the rest of the building. Need it for funding. They had PTA help work with principal on diff. aspects. Bring stakeholders together. Form a st team. They have great ideas. You mentor, guide, let students lead. Also a learning opportunity for students. Pick things you want to work on. Jostens has many ideas on their website on how to do diff ideas. Every school’s implementation looks different. What is the area of need? You may need to bring in Josten’s trainer.
Can talk about student leadership, how long have you been connected to NB student leadership. Became president in ‘14, is still the president. When she was a student, she attended that conference. Her school student council hadn’t attended it for a while. That year, position of VP was open, she was selected. Was VP for 3 years. Kids from all over the province come.
Book: Titled “Inspired”- previous title (as of recording) was “The Blond at the end of the Hall”. Focuses on the positive relationships that lead to improved school culture & climate. Relationships. The Story behind previous title– Melissa was working with a colleague down the hall, the colleague didn’t call her by name. The colleague didn’t know her name. It’s about trying to find her place as a teacher. 1 chapter about her mom who was a teacher. It taught her a lot at home about school culture/climate. It’s been in the works since Mar. 2020.
Teaching dance: she wrote the curriculum for the province. It becomes a local option course. She has been teaching difference styles of dance, has danced since she was three. When she started teaching, took ballet. Was at a council day for NB. A lady shared how she had created a dance curriculum. Not every province has a dance curriculum. She has to go thru whole process. She has been running since 2011. In fall of 2018, had football, soccer players who didn’t have dance experience. Sometimes brings in guest speakers. Vice principal learned bachata who helped teach that. Kids have wanted to do it at prom. Different way to showcase their dance (in cafeteria). It helps recruit new kids to class. We need movement/exercise in the day. It helps break up the day.
Key quotes: Never underestimate the impact you’re having. Sometimes we don’t know the impact we have. You don’t always hear about that impact. Know you are making an impact.
Where can ppl find you? Instagram: @wrightmelissa_ Authors (roadtoawesome.net)
Find out more about Jostens Renaissance: Jostens Renaissance – Jostens Renaissance EducationJostens Renaissance Education
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