Episode #205: Jay McTighe
JJay McTighe is a veteran education and accomplished author, having co-written 18 books, including the award-winning and best-selling Understanding by Design® series with Grant Wiggins. His books have been translated into fourteen languages. Jay has also written more than 50 book chapters, articles and blogs, and been published in leading journals, including Educational Leadership (ASCD), Edutopia and Education Week. Jay has an extensive background in professional development and is a regular speaker at state, national and international conferences. He has made presentations in 47 states within the United States, in 7 Canadian provinces, and internationally in 38 countries on six continents.
Trench story: quite a few. One experience as a st, in college, undergrad (sophomore year). College of William & MAry. 3 of 5 classes. English lit. It wasn’t by design. It was an aha he made. He made a connection inter-disciplinary to art. As t. When he taught upper E.S. he wanted kids to see connections. B/c the world doesn’t fall neatly into silos. We need to be mindful of the world around us.
What got you interested in writing about Understanding by Design? PPl asked him to write about things he’d presented on in Workshops. He was working at Maryland Dept of Ed. late 80’s-early 90’s. Was in a team developing standards-based reform. Wanted to make a shift into perf. based assessments. Brought in Grant Wiggins. Someone with ASCD had him & Jay at a dinner meeting to collaborate on a book. They decided it should be more than an assessment. That was the genesis of UbD. Published first in 1997.
Explain why schools who have not used UbD should discover it? Qu’s UbD as a framework could help answer: How do we avoid trying to “cover” content? Are we assessing everything we need to value? Are st’s getting truly engaged in learning vs. going thru the motions? How do we teach in ways that is lasting learning rather than superficial? What does it mean to create a guaranteed and viable curriculum that’s coherent and aligned across the grades? UbD addresses these ?’s. Any district interested in deep learning & wants a curriculum that’s coordinated.
Talk about your latest book ”Assessing Student Learning by Design”: How can we help teachers use classroom assessments to gather appropriate evidence for all valued learning goals, and to use those assessments not just to measure learning but to promote it? Student-driven learning, student self-assessments. Book begins w/ the primary purpose of CR assessments is to enhance learning & support better teaching (check glitches here 10:10 and 10:26 for audiacity). He is an unapologetic advocate for performance-based tasks. To engage st’s in meaningful learning. We need to see factual knowledge kids should know, habits of mind. Look at standards. We need to use diff. forms or types of assessments to get to our goals. Can use MC or short answer formats to get to goals. Opportunity to apply learning in a situation or context. Analogous to play or theater. Preparing ppl for performance. It’s not either-or. Give kids practice for applying learning w/ fdb. This is how he’ll talk about classroom assessments. It should be fair. We should allow st’s to show their learning in ways that work best for them. We may ask st. to explain orally or visually. Good for ELLs or dysgraphic st’s. Framework in their book w/ goals.Your choice of assm methods need to be based on what you’re assessing & for whom. 2 types- diagnostic or pre-assessment. Coaches have tryouts. It informs differentiated instruction. They’re as essential as formative or on-going assessment. Its purpose is to inform. Analogy: The goal’s to remember to find out what they’re calling for ppl to be able to do. Ppl get caught up trying to cover everything. Teach for understanding and transfer, like a playbook for athletics. They’re formative assessments w/ on-going fdb.
UbD is standards-based planning framework.He says there are too many grade-level standards. His argument is #1- we have to unpack the standards to find out which one are most impactful. Don’t get caught up trying to cover them all. His colleage Marzano’s Guaranteed & Viable curriculum- if there’s too much curriculum and not enough time (purposeful, what can you truly cover?). If you’re truly standards-based you would assess them all. Rarely is listening & speaking assessed. It’s a real tension. They’re the underpinnings of literacy. Good oral communication is a top competency. Don’t claim to be standards-based if you’re not teaching to ALL the standards. Even given the challenge of covering most standards- just talk faster, don’t have kids take notes. You have to be able to prioritize the content. Think carefully about what you want st’s to be able to do with their learning. What are the big ideas you want st’s to know-transferrable skiils. Essential ?’s that frame & focus around big ideas. State testing: What are the most widely missed test items? Can look up. They’re not items of factual knowlege. Level 3 in DoK scale. Notion of covering everything isn’t a solid assertion. Best test prep is focusing on key skills & processes.
From ASCD: This book provides an answer in a practical, proven, and principled Assessment Planning Framework that moves away from solely multiple-choice tests toward a wide range of approaches to classroom assessment activities, including performance-based assessments. The Framework examines four different types of learning goals, considers various purposes and audiences for assessment information, reviews five categories of classroom assessment methods, and presents options for communicating actionable results. To the authors, the primary purpose of classroom assessment is to inform teaching and learning, rather than simply to assign grades. This concise resource will be a reliable go-to reference for teachers, school leaders, mentors, and coaches in guiding classroom assessment practices and understanding their underlying principles.
When did you retire from public ed to become a full-time speaker? What do you miss the most being in a particular school/district? Long career, 51st year. 25 yrs was at school, district, state level. When UbD was published, he got calls for conf. Took an early retirement- now 26 yrs. Is still working w/ schools & districts who want to work with UbD. He misses kids sometimes, colleagues. Doesn’t miss going to mtg he doesn’t want to go to.
Out of everything…summarize around concept of deep & engaged learning. Think about what you see around kids, even your own or grandkids. What they’re most engaged in is something that’s performance-based. Like extracurriculars. Authentic tasks/projects. T who makes them think & supports kids in it. Engaged learning, it’s the kind of teaching we want- UbD. Send him links, he’ll post on his website.
Articles to peruse: UbD White Paper Three Key Questions on Measuring Learning – Educational Leadership
Where can ppl find you online? www.jaymctighe.com has a lot of hotlinks, articles, podcasts. Twitter @jaymctighe
View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/RgUeF2LmYpQ
Episode #206: Dr. Christopher Wyatt
Dr. Christopher Scott Wyatt is an autistic self-advocate and father of two neurodiverse daughters. He earned a doctorate while researching online education for students with autism spectrum disorders. His experiences living with physical and neurological differences shape his parenting. Wyatt consults with schools, businesses, and non-profit organizations on issues of autism, Neurodiversity, and active inclusion.
Trench story: is still there. Were forced to return to homeschooling for 3rd graders. IEP would have taken until Nov. to get eval done. COVID revealed that Sped services are severely underfunded. Retention has been a natl. issue. New t couldn’t handle daughter. It isn’t unique to his location. Chris was in the process of renewing his TX credential. In the greater Austin area, suburbs are self-contained. Micro-districts around Austin with 1 or 2 HS. Staffing shortages throughout the SW, Midwest. They had hoped to return this year after covid. District told them the school was getting 20-30 new enrollments every day. He was a univ. prof and his dept closed. Lost 4 M univ students nationally. Districts are getting inundated by families who are moving to “bedroom communities”. They have lived in CA, MN and now TX. CA & MN are community schools, district overlaps city. TX has charters w/in suburb limits. Similar to Beverly Hills who is its own school district. White collar flight. Not race/ethnicity. It’s parents’ type of work. His district isn’t set up for sped. They are set up for G/T. He asks (rhetorically): What would someone who doesn’t have K-12 training do as a parent? He went into preparing 3rd grade lessons. He knows parents who went into education & got cert. to help because they have sped child. He’s seen shortages increase since going into teaching in ‘88. It’s not just the $ being offered, it’s the lack of certified specialists. In PA, a charity funds paras go into CR. Subcontractors. They deserve the benefits. Don’t ask volunteers to staff schools is insane.
How does being autistic change parenting? He’s aware of the time he spent with special supports or without. He wouldn’t have a doctorate w/o supports. He knows how to advocate from his mom’s model. He gives input during his kids’ 504/IEP mtgs.
What are some of the challenges of being autistic with Neurodiverse children? He can explain daughter’s light sensitivity. Daughter isn’t body aware. Optometry appt. Had to go thru 1.15 hour vision test. Can’t really explain why the scoliosis brace is hurting. Lack of awareness of their needs. She cries b/c something overstimulates them. Behavior is a form of communication. Teachers don’t always understand that. We see kids from minority backgrounds as “troublemakers” when they actually have a neurodiverse condition.
Why do you suggest “awareness” and “tolerance” of autistics isn’t enough? Acceptance is putting the students in the classroom, mainstreaming. Peers may not integrate with the child. In this case, if he notices a child who is awarded socially (on ASD spectrum), he will say “I’m not part of the class.” He doesn’t feel valued. It isn’t the same as embracing. Integration into society is the key. His Ph.d. research was about an accommodation being offered to univ students was online learning- he concluded it wasn’t better for neurodiverse students. Computer-mediated communication isn’t the same as actually seeing someone smile in the same room. Success in our society isn’t just about academics. Neurodiverse students need to self-advocate. Undergrad students and K-12 students need to hone skills they’ll use in the workplace. If you’re already in a career, online edu is fine.
Why are questions about sex and relationships the most frequent you receive, even at education conferences (he’s spoken at in-services and at Sped conf)? 2-3 schools would be together in a district, talk about disabilities, cultural awareness. Social aspects of schools in 5-6th grade start to affect schools. He’d talk about twice exceptional children. Many teachers will ask him these ?’s after he talks at conf. Relationship topic comes out talking with HS teachers and univ. instructors, their students end up socially isolated/depressed. Self-harm. He’s lost 3 students during career to suicide. He can’t keep everything that’s going on outside of CR from happening. Social aspects interfering with academic performance. Many autistics have complicated gender-identity issues. They can’t be disentangled, they are entangled. ADHD girls are expected to fit in & feel a certain way. Neurodiverse kids often misunderstand romantic attn. being put on them. They’re often in abusive relationships. Often with females, gender fluid, non-binary. Nothing is worse for these kids than being rejected by parents due to their religion. Neurodiverse children aren’t always aware of abusive behaviors. As educators, we need to report what we see. Act as an advocate. Peers bully, sexually assault, discriminate against student with diverse gender identity. Temple Grandin, f.ex. has reported she is asexual.
Why do you suggest autistics disclose their needs at school and work? It’s not legal protection. Univ, tech schools, etc don’t fall under IDEA. Those kids expect an IEP/504 there. Parents, clergy, psychologists, etc. can teach student to politely request accommodation. By 5-6th children can learn this. Say “here are my needs, how can we work together?” story from Forbes about a gentleman about a man sitting after a leg injury on an assembly line. He was reprimanded. Hadn’t self-advocated.
How can educators embrace Neurodiversity? Our educational system/culture isn’t neurodiversity friendly. We want kids to sit @ desks w/ lots of stimulus, noises. They train new t’s for SLAANT techniques in a culture that doesn’t embrace neurodiversity. With neurodiversity it’s something we have to catch quickly. As t’s you walk a fine line, asking certain ?’s can get you in trouble. IT’s not your job to be an advocate for xyz community. Get the students to counselors. Know how to communicate w/ counseling staff. In some states, you’re mandated to report gender identity…Autistics sometimes have impaired executive functioning. We cram too much into 1st year t education programs. Teacher prep programs are influenced by BF Skinner, Piaget who wrote about the neurotypical child. Find ways to bring child in “How would you feel if I was on the floor screaming?” A truly integrated CR has a recording of notes, like during hybrid/remote teaching. Key to success is listening to your students, parents, sped advocates.
Out of everything…for teachers to listen to the students. On his own podcast, he talks 6 m, guests talk 50m. A good teacher will wait until someone answers. Give wait time. If your hunch says they don’t understand something, trust that hunch. Read their body language. Ask your child “what was good about it” when asking about their day.
Find Chris online: @theausticicme on most social media on FB @autisticme Perspectives on Neurodiversity podcast
View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/7vebPzA7pR0
Episode #207: Megan Balduf
Megan Balduf is a middle school English teacher with nineteen years’ experience. Being a teacher has always been Megan’s dream, and her dedication to students and their learning opened opportunities to become a teacher-leader. Megan continues to grow and learn to be a better teacher today than she was yesterday. Since entering the classroom, Megan has earned an MA in Gifted Education, an MA in English for Language Arts Teachers, and became a National Board Certified Teacher.
Trenches story: when she first started at her current school. It was a different community. Felt flustered. Wanted to be successful in a new space.
Teaches MS English. Has taught for 19 years. Only 1 year as a 6th grade teacher. Now teaches 8th grade. Biggest shift in kids’ needs If you deemphasize the test. It’s how kids are doing that day emotionally. A bad interaction can throw them off.
Tell about the process getting NBCT certified in Language Arts: It’s how you engage students in conversation about texts. Venue in English class is about sharing ideas. Filming interactions & reflection. Learned more about self as a teacher. You reflect a lot on what did you do to get there in the lesson.
Teach Better Blogging: started during COVID, encountered some issues & wanted to share out. Addressed situations she was seeing in her classroom. Now her focus is how can a student’s grade reflects what they’ve understood.
Key quotes: Standardized tests aren’t end all be all. Single measure fed in part by the day’s experience. Focus on do they know the content. Dig into upper levels of Blooms.
Find Megan online: on Twitter @mbalduf
View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/lVQ_E04o3U8
Episode #208: Tre Gammage
Tre Gammage is a Social-Emotional Learning is his passion, he helps educators build social-emotional competence through in-person, virtual, and self-paced professional development. Because to impact students, you have to support teachers.
My greatest strength is helping make it easier for educators to do what they love. Educators who practice SEL report higher levels of well-being, less stress, and improved student social-emotional and academic outcomes.
Was a dean for 2 years until this summer. Now FT consultant Gammage Consulting Group (has run for 7 years).
Trenches story: 2nd stint as fulltime consultant, was previously a dean in a K-12 charter, growing a grade a year.
Consultancy: He is public speaker, residence life coach. 1asset=based community development. Used that for PD. Impact report- put in data.
How do we shift mindsets in some (secondary schools especially) to ensure that they implement SEL more with adults, especially for principals who seem only to be preoccupied with the daily job of keeping the school running? he’s been in multiple situations, can u make an investment like 7 Mindsets, Panorama education. It’s a systematic approach. Do we have an effective onboarding process? Is it part of PLC meetings? Secondary- SEL should start to translate into college &career. Establish a committee. Denise Superville- “Keeping your students motivated all year long”, EdWeek. You’re not too busy to acknowledge 1 t. What gets prioritized gets done.
Tell me about the Dash Podcast, also on the Teach Better podcast network: started in 2017. Passion, process for making dream a reality. Ep. 72-226 are about interviewing school leaders who are solving community problems. Solo episodes, review articles.
Out of everything? intention is everything. Wayne Dyer “Power of Intention” Asset based development.
Where can ppl find you online? @tregammage, LinkedIn Visit https://www.seleducators.com/ for more details
View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/0iCfnvSCHf0
Episode #209: Robert Dunlop
Robert Dunlop is a middle school teacher and technology & assessment consultant. His experiences in the classroom and throughout his district have given him a deep insight into the importance of teacher happiness. He credits working with thousands of educators as paramount to his research for this book. Robert’s teaching journey has been one of peaks and valleys. His work in schools and his role in creating the Terry Fox Lesson Plans for educators around the world, led to him being honored with the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence. Although Robert has enjoyed many peaks throughout his career, he credits his valleys for his greatest learning. The message he shares in this book, online and through his speaking comes from his passion to reconnect to his love of teaching. Robert looks forward to inspiring many more educators to find Happiness in Education. Lives in St. Catherines, ON.
Trenches story: Was on the verge of leaving education several times. He talks about almost leaving the profession in his keynote. His admin was looking at making changes to his schedule. He felt like he deserved reign over his schedule. Was administratively transferred. Prior to teaching, was personal trainer around the world. Realized why he got into education. What he learned in the trenches is he wasn’t willing to change. Had to own behaviors. Then got tech consultant position. First seed of writing his book. He studied positive psychology/motivation. He does a timeline of happiness activity in his book. Other admin made a decision he thought wasn’t fair. Was almost hired by edtech companies. Wife came home w/ Book Before Happiness. He saw relationships with students, impact, etc. It changed the way Robert saw things. Has a better way of looking at things. In his school, sub shortage during pandemic. Went in w/ a better attitude during subbing.
What was your role in creating the Terry Fox Lesson Plans? Day of recording was Terry Fox run day. here’s a 5K or bike ride next Sund. for foundation. This was back in ‘81. It was Robert’s source of motivation when he was a teen. Robert had a paper route, didn’t do it when it rained. Was touched by movie about Terry. The foundation suggested he should help make lessons. There are 4-5 million downloads now. The $ goes to cancer research.
How did that lead to you getting the Prime Minister’s award? He applied, got it and donated $ back to the Terry Fox foundation. Parent can nominate you for the award. Highlighted friend, Lee who also got the prime minister’s award.
Talk about your book, Strive for Happiness in Edu, published in 2019. It’s based off positive psychology in education. He was worried about demotivation in his job. STRIVE is an acronym (listen to recording to get what it stands for). Used a whiteboard to brainstorm. He also presents to ppl outside education. Design the book cover himself. “There’s nothing more powerful than an educator who loves coming to school every day”. Ever teachers deserve to be happy. Connect to your why. Navigating valleys. Is fueling questions from Suzanne Daily w/ her book. (Teach Happier podcast). Part of his book is random acts of recognition.
Any speaking engagements coming up? He only wants to do 3-4/year. Did a lot more pre-pandemic, esp. in ON. Did even virtual presentations for pharmaceutical conferences. His book is like sprinkles on a Sunday. He wants to be in a school not touring all over. He didn’t set out to write it. His wife said it needed to come out. It’s all he talked about for 4 years.
Out of everything? Teachers deserve to be happy. We leave our happiness up to the world. There are controllable things. We need to practice gratitude daily- Happy Feet app. A small investment gets him through times in a positive way. Make happiness your priority.
Where can ppl find you online? Twitter @robdunlopedu LinkedIn www.motivatedu.com
He has a staff wellness section with media staff can use for meeting.
View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/XxQ6WhO7RH4
Episode #210: Brandi Kelly
Mrs. Brandi Kelly has been in the field of education for over 20 years. She has recently assumed the role of Superintendent at Mt. Olive CUSD #5 in Mt. Olive, IL. Mrs. Kelly has served as a Principal previously, over a 10 year period, in three districts: Ramsey School District (Pre-K-8), Mt. Zion School District (Pre-K-1), and Sangamon Valley Middle School (6-8). Prior to going into administration, Mrs. Kelly was a school social worker/counselor for Effingham Unit #40 in Effingham, IL.
Mrs. Kelly’s goal is to build teacher and student capacity by providing tools and strategies that empower and inspire others toward greatness! As a life long learner, Mrs. Kelly believes that everyone can learn and has the potential for greatness. Relationships are incredibly important to the learning process. It is necessary for educators to invest time in students to build relationships in an effort to maximize their influence and impact. Education is a powerful tool for empowering others to realize their full potential!
She just moved from a principal to a district sup. role. Is LCSW, worked alongside teaching. Heart is for students. Her brother was undiagnosed ADHD.
Trench story: When she sends the google site will have a lot of info about her & her why. She was catapulted into her career path. When she was 15, on mother’s day wk.end her family experienced tragedy. Brother Dustinwas w/ him at the age of 13, he was a daredevil. Her brother Brandon died that day. They found him the day after mother’s day. Dustin was able to pull himself out of the muddy creek. “The bumps are what we climb on”. We can take adversities and learn from. The educators in her small town community have given alot to help learn from. It’s helped her in her career. Her faith tells her God has a plan/purpose for our lives.
Teach Better guest blogging: She wrote a 4 part series TB blog “Lead with Hope”.Can discuss the series she did, and any upcoming blogs. It’s about connection w/ why, optimism, passion, purpose and excellence. Is in the process of getting a doctorate.
Team dissertation on building systems that foster collective efficacy in schools. Will turn in May 2023. How do you use a system to foster it? Did a survey w/ principals. Single most significant important factor according to Haddie. Was able to work w/ Haddie, Jim Donahugh, Steven Catts. Accd. to Haddie’s visible learning research they’ve compiled systems. She is working with 2 others on her dissertation team.
Talk to me about your “Lead with Hope” presentation you give at your staff? When she was principal at the MS, thought it was important for t’s to connect with their why. Helped them find their why. Changing/growing are synonymous terms.
she wanted to look at macro system so she went into admin. More of an SEL teacher than academic lessons. When she started her superintendent, ISBE awarded them a community partnership grant. She’s excited about openness to educators on a more foundational basis. Being open to exploring things & taking risks. SIU medicine- will do a needs assessment for sudents grades 6-12. Will implement a screener. Supports are varied, the most imp thing is relationships. Many indiv. are craving human connection.
Win Time book study, is this something you facilitate on a regular basis? Came across when at MS. Find time to provide st’s what they need. They were able to provide SEL, literacy, other interventions in small groups. She loves trying something new. Was a successful venture.
Out of everything…would be that we’re all leaders. We have a choice to tear down or build up. Can’t control what happens to us, but can control how we react. Every moment is an active choice!
Where can ppl find you online? @jbmrkelly Twitter, LinkedIn, FB for Mt. Olives School Distrct.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/oPTjqyymsao
Episode #211: Ashley Hubner
Ashley Hubner is an Instructional Coach and Curriculum Specialist who has served in many roles in education from elementary school teacher to Curriculum Lead. Her degrees include a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education, a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction, and Principal Certification. She served 13 years in the public school system, then transitioned into an educational consultant role where she has worked with curriculum companies to build quality educational experiences for students and with school districts to build instructional capacity among staff.
Trenches story: When her father in laq passed, COVID was spread across the family, and it became hard for her mentally to focus on work. Her emotional capacity had been spent. She had to rebuild relationships and set work boundaries. She had been working to implement an online curriculum with virtual learning. She coaches teachers about going through the emotional cycle of their work life. She had been off campus more than on campus. Her personality changed + her teachers observed it. Had to reset boundaries. Took her almost ½ the school year.
Talk about your new book: Foundations of Instructional Coaching (went live 9/13). Why now, who can benefit from it? How is this different from other books about Instr. Coaching? Stemmed from 8 years of being an instr. coach. Left the public school system in 2021 to go into consultancy. Coaches are told “go coach”. They needed something to relate to in order to navigate the position. Different from Knight, Aguliar, etc. because it’s more about her personal journey. How people can find community, process within the theme of the book. She has tons of resources. Inst. coaches may be hired for literacy, math, tech.
What are your hopes for the book? Will do an online book study, started on FB in Dec. 1x/wk. 6 chapters, will offer for free. Book study is meant for newer coaches who just left the CR. Is advertising on IG. It’s on Confessions of a Coach.
She works FT for Reimagine Classroom as a team leader. It’s a curriculum company. K/12, higher ed. Stem focused. Does her consulting on the side. Talk about the shift from a school level, was the district curriculum lead to the RC org? RC contracts w/ any district. Has from Australia to private schools, works w/ state level agency.
Interventions– she was a math interventionist= it was her first jump into coaching. Had to close math gap. She helped t’s look at data, disaggregate it. W/in PLCs, t planning. Supported it as an instruct. coach. Progress-monitoring, 3 wk cycle.
Speaking Engagement topics: Was at TCEA (coaching conf) in Austin, TX in Oct. Talked about the coaching framework within your campus/district. Coaching equity within the CR. Supporting teachers and analyzing CR resources. Was @ Teach Better ’22-had a coaching framework session for administrators. She has a bank she can use to share with them. Walk thru what she believes guidelines should be. Will also have coaching equity in CR.
What kind of services do you provide thru the consultancy? I provide quality professional development at the campus and district level to improve classroom instruction within schools. I am dedicated to impacting student growth by building capacity within schools through coaching, mentoring, and professional development. I enjoy working with stake holders to build instructional effectiveness within classrooms while cultivating a positive school culture. She thinks she has a gift of PD and providing experiences with teachers. Teachers coaching, coaching coaches. Mentor training. PLC team coaching. what is the PLC process, how to implement it.
Out of everything? in a pot of roses, choose to be a sunflower. Sometimes you have to have a hard shell. We’re always planting seeds.
Where can ppl find you online? Website: https://coachingaccess.net
FB Business Page
FB Private Group
View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/dHEdk_tGkFo
& Receive a Free Chapter of My Book