Episodes #241-248

Episode #241: Brian Zevotek


As a 25+ year veteran teacher, Brian has served many roles from Middle School Science teacher to Department Chair, Instructional Technology Specialist, STEM Coach, and PBL Coach. In 2012, he was one of ten teachers honored as National Teacher Innovators by PBS and The Henry Ford Foundation. He became a two-time author in April 2022 with his new book, Recalculating! and his other book, Nothing More (a 40 day devotional).He’s always considered himself a lead learner. Half comedian, half philosopher, he tries to make his events fun and impacting. The best trojan horse for reflection is comedy. I live by the thought, “Until you have engagement, you have nothing!” He loves helping people, but teachers hold a special place in his heart. He’s here for you! Was/still is in youth ministry for 20+ yrs. 

Trenches story: He took 20 yrs to realize he was in one for 10+ yr. When his daughter was born in ‘18, he was over 40. He didn’t realize he was burnt out. Felt exhausted, it wasn’t undoing the damage. He needed to be avail, alive. Don’t judge how you got there. Ask where you want to be. Student story-early on when kids were still retained. He wanted to be perceived as a rowdy kid. Brian lost it in a comedian sort of way. Gave kid a cheesy smile. Brian saw kid crack a smile too. He became a completely diff. kid. Another sped student who was pushing a button to be annoying. Said he didn’t have the skills. He wanted to help kid. Met kid where he was, instead of sending him out. It’s in a co-taught class. After connecting w/ students.

What is the story behind the book Recalculating? What the book about and the story behind it? It came from story w/ daughter. When went on lockdown, daughter was 18m. Brian loves tech so he was fine w/ online. It was like a 1-2-3 punch. Starts w/ hero’s mindset. You can blame 1 million ppl. You won’t get out of burnout that way. “Recalculating” is the metaphor of the GPS in the car. Look at life holistically. Recalculate what you really want & what do I do next. Forbes article- 55% of educators left education 20/21. Brian stayed but wanted to make a difference. 

How do teachers know if they’re burning out? Look at your morning. Do you dread going in? He talks about personal development, personal development. He can talk about burn out and addressing the needs of kids in a modern culture. When t’s take too much of their job home, it’s a problem. You’re free to design what life as an educator looks like. 

What is something every teacher could do to quickly change the dynamic of their job? He talks about the P’s- assessing your personality. Some ppl don’t enjoy their job cause it doesn’t fit their personality. Position: in Brian’s various roles, he’s done fun things like stem teaching. People-some make your job fun. Pedagogy-tread lightly w/ some t’s. The things you’ve chosen to do sometimes are part of a story of yesteryear. Grades-they’re not feedback- more of an autopsy. Convo around feedback means more than letter/# grade. Added a 5th one: personal development: if you’re doing something for self, it will spill over into other things. We give & give all day. 

How can teachers deal with disengagement with students? He pitched an idea of getting rid of study halls but having affinity-based electives w/ no grades. During hybrid learning, he started mind mapping. Small class sizes gave ideas of things they were interested in. Did a class on wild horses with a group of girls. What are we doing to drive student-centered learning? Do exit interviews @ end of semester. Activity: Get 2 diff. color sticky- switch colors. Ask what product they could get out of research. Kids in 6-7th grade love it.

How are technologies like AI (like ChatGPT) going to disrupt education in the next few years, and what can teachers do to prepare? First of all it’s fascinating. Fear around replacing t’s isn’t going to happen. It’s like calculator ? in the 80’s. Asked Chat GPT base-level ?’s like telling story about elephant who has a problem finding friends. Then his school blocked it. It’s like Mad Libs. You could give it to ELA teachers who have students change the ending. Or give to art t who can have kids illustrate. Use the AI but give kids the opportunity to think. Use it to supplement teaching. Could use it to individualize instruction, remediate tasks. Don’t be afraid of it!

What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned from your different roles in education? He wishes he’d gotten out of his CR sooner, in terms of sharing more w/ others. Last 6-8 yrs before he retires, he wants to help t’s find a better path for themselves.

Out of everything: Realize you’re not a t to everyone in your life! Value of who you are can’t come from just your job. You need something to stand on that’s higher.

Where can ppl find you online? @ClassKicker www.Kicksandclass.com  Does PD on TikTok. View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/1oy3E9icHH8

Episode #242: Grayson McKinney & Zach Rondot



Grayson McKinney & Zach Rondot are co-authors of The Expert Effect: A Three-Part System to Break down the Walls of Your Class 

Grayson McKinney is an elementary educator from East Grand Rapids, Michigan who is known for his innovative approaches to teaching and learning and is a true agent for change. Co-author of The Expert Effect: A Three-Part System to Break Down the Walls of Your Classroom and Connect Your Students to the World and the picture book companion, The Expert Expedition, his mission is to empower students to connect their learning to the world in order to improve their own lives, the lives of others, and the environment around them.

 Zach Rondot is a 4th grade teacher from Michigan. His main mission as educator is to empower my students to be strong, confident kids for more success, happiness, and fulfillment in their lives. He has a Master’s Degree in Educational technology and loves using technology to deepen learning, enhance creativity, and create opportunities that would otherwise would not be possible.

Trenches story: Zach- met Grayson in his 4th yr teaching. They were the only 4th grade teachers. The janitor removed walls, co-taught. Had an amazing student teacher who is now a colleague. Were exhausted. Kids were really excited, flexible. Ended up being a positive experience.  Grayson-early days of pandemic. Amazing time of collaboration. What are we going to do to make students want to sign in & see us daily? Tapped into creativity. Got to know st’s on another level. They were able to strip away non-essentials like formal evals of student progress.

Talk about writing of book: The Expert Effect: A Three-Part System to Break down the Walls of Your Class. They teach together at same school, co-taught together for a while. Presented at district PD. Will share about 3 ideas in book. Very beginning- they first met when Zach graduated, had had 20 interviews in 2013. He got a last-min call to teach a lesson in Grayson’s room. They split a building tech chair position. Some ppl mentioned writing a book. District had gone 1-1 with ipads. Became a philosophical shift. Changed who students were learning from. Lined up opportunities to Skype. Some ideas became blog posts. They had a 3 part vision of how it all connects.

Tips for getting started with this: Get students to learn from outside experts. They share tips & tricks on PBL. Sharing like an expert to authentic community. Learn from, become expert in their knowledge. Celebration on how far they have come. Don’t just find random speakers, have it tie into units of study. Taking class to the field. Lots of times during presentations, ppl say they have many ideas, they encourage them to start w/ 1 unit. Speaking to expert doesn’t have to be the 1st course of action. Could be best at the end. Expert could be giving feedback. A lot of examples are ES based. They have worked w/ 6-12 graders in the last 2 summers. Youth Innovation Lab. Challenge that periods are shorter. REcord a virtual session & show to the other classes. Gather ?’s from each class period. 

Just had a children’s book release The Expert Expedition. Goal is to inspire teachers to change their teaching to impact kids. Gives kids opportunity to explore passion projects. They advocate for kids being able to learn from the classroom teacher. Talk about their illustrator (shows book on screen). Every pg is illustrated w/ pics of projects their st’ have undertaken. Picture of gymnasium filled w/ products of their studying of entrepreneurship. 

Zach- student-led podcast- Grayson has done it, but no more. It’s been around since 2018. They record about 5-7 x’s a year. Goal is a way of spreading positive messages around the world. Conversations from morning meetings. Documented candid convos during pandemic of kids’ perspective. Everyone who choses to be on. Zach’s favorite project. He attended PBL seminar. Wanted to give st’s a platform where st’s could share their learning w/ world. Started using anchor.fm. Over 5000 downloads, 45-50 countries reached.

Usually talk about… conferences you’ll be presenting at? They do local ones, check their website. 

Out of everything? Grayson- when you combine excitement of learning & what effect podcast has on kids, it can be a powerful shift for students. Choose a single unit, lesson. Zach-taking a risk pays off. Gratifying experiences in education. Dive in! 

Where can ppl find you online? http://www.experteffectedu.com @gmckinney2 IG:@ZachRondot, Blog: zachrondot.com

Find Grayson on Twitter: @Gmckinney2, Instagram: @ExpertEffectEDU Website: http://www.experteffectedu.com

View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/-H6C0evw7P8 


Expert Effect Amazon Link paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/195385219X 

 Expert Effect Amazon Link Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Expert-Effect-Three-Part-Classroom-Students-ebook/dp/B092XQKM9F/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=the+expert+effect&qid=1621300985&sr=8-2 

Amazon Hardcover link: https://a.co/d/ftD50Ug Amazon paperback link: https://a.co/d/126jAdZ 


Episode #243: Darcy Bakkegard


Darcy Bakkegard is an English/theatre teacher and professional development coach who got tired of traditional sit-n-get PD and now creates the type of PD she always wanted with the Educators’ Lab. With 10 years of experience teaching English and theatre, Bakkegard specializes in interactive strategies for the classroom, meaningful tech integration, and building relationships with students. Bakkegard is an ISTE Certified Educator, an experienced international presenter, and empowerer of teachers. She co-wrote The Startup Teacher Playbook to help teachers rekindle their spark for teaching and make PD meaningful. 

Trenches story: has been a disruptor. People are scared of the why. She asks ?’s. When she taught Engl with a team of 15 teachers & she asked a lot of why’s. Why curriculum designed for kids who are college-bound. Why couldn’t they provide choices aligned with  strenghts/goals. They were trying to get elective credits approved for college credits. Was in a mtg where no one called out a teacher who didn’t want to disrupt status quo. Gave up that fight shortly after. PD back to school next year, in mandatory suicide prevention WS. They spoke about every child needing a connection. Knew she had to keep fighting for kids like him. 6 years later changes are starting to happen. 

Co-Founder with Educators’ Labshe is a change consultant for edu. She empowers t’s as change-makers to help them solve problems, it’s all about better PD. Co-founder w/ Michelle. Help t’s design lessons to support students. Darcy’s passion is focus on your purpose as t. Your why? True self-care is reconnecting to your purpose. Reignite what fuels you. Through that, reignite joy in the classroom. Laughter is powerful in the CR. Learning should be a joyful experience. All the other stuff gets in the way. It’s hard to find joy when you’re not connected to your purpose. Conduct book studies, workshops, etc. Teachers should get cont. ed. credit for this work. Admin can help alleviate some of these problems like tardy passes. 

TB Blogs/Edutopia blogs:  does some on tech integration- flip how to do speeches, interactive discussion strategies, interdisciplinary units, did some on gratitude and gifts admin can bring, making more effective book studies. Wrote 1 on problem-solving to reconnect to your joy. She has 3 y.o. triplets. She wanted to complete something that went well, purposeful problem-solving. It’s also true as a teacher. https://www.edutopia.org/article/5-steps-book-studies-teacher-professional-learning/

It all connects back to The Startup Teacher Playbook– think about what isn’t working in your CR right now. Go & seek answers. Structure and take time to implement structure. A lot of work she does is supporting teachers with inspiration. Take a little time to reflect. We’ll cultivate what we choose to see. Start a post-it stack with joy. where are areas in the day that don’t have as much joy as you’d like. A problem is a possibility waiting to happen.  

Personalized PD challenge cont. ed course– free, step by step walks you through the design process. Some t’s do a lesson, others do outline for the year. Depending on someone’s capacity. She doubles down on purpose and joy, sees t’s get excited again. By implementing the ideas, t’s get cont. ed. credit for their work thru some of N.Dakota Univ’s. Their time is playing multiple roles. “First we vent, then we reinvent”- choose to focus.

Talk about becoming an ISTE Certified Educator, presenting at ISTE this summer:  ISTE cert. process is pretty intense. Need artifacts, etc. She can share syllabus/course info w/ English teachers who’d like to see her portfolio. Right now she isn’t doing a lot of tech integration/support these days. It also connects back to her joy/purpose. To her, tech includes crayons, post-its, crayons, anything she can use to create. How are you ensuring kids are understanding content? How do we hear everyone? ISTE trainings are expensive & time consuming. Her ISTE ‘23 June 25-27 her presentation is “Turn ISTE inspiration into action”. It’s about having a system to capture ideas to take back to the CR. She’d love to do a qualitative study about how many ideas from conf. actually make it into CR. some isn’t immediately relevant. 

Out of everything? it’s OK to ditch what isn’t joyful. Some things aren’t fun but you have to do them. Suck it up then celebrate by doing something cool. How can you find those connections to joy? Like having students be “joy spies”. 

Where can ppl find you online? www.theeducatorslab.com Twitter @dbakkegard insert email: info@educatorslab.io.

View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Vkx2LVSscmw

Episode #244: Kip Shubert


Kip is an educator and coach who is driven to lead and love staff and students to believe and discover that they are the greatest miracle in the world. Having almost thirty years’ experience in education, Kip is sharing that secret sauce as an educator, coach, author, speaker, and as a podcast host of The Secret Sauce with Kip Shubert. Kip recently moved from Oklahoma to the mountains of Colorado where he now teaches and coaches for the Woodland Park School District. 

Kip has climbed mountains that once seemed impossible to him. He uses his experiences of being homeless, an alcoholic, losing custody of his daughter, and his wife’s diagnosis with an incurable blood cancer to share how he used adversity to find his advantage, his secret sauce. His WHY is to use those powerful stories, combined with building real, authentic relationships to reach back over the mountains he has climbed so that he can be that sherpa to guide and empower others. 

Kip is fierce in his belief that our school’s culture and success depends on us being all in and all together in cultivating connections that ensures all stakeholders are seen, heard and valued. 

Kip is a proud father of four great kids, three amazing grandchildren and blessed husband to his wife Cindy. He loves to be outdoors, hiking, and especially college football season and Italian food. He is excited to be joining the Road To Awesome family and is grateful that each day he “gets to” share that secret sauce and make a difference in the lives of staff and students. His newly released book is titled: “Struggle to Strength: Finding the Ingredients to Your Secret Sauce”.

Trenches story: Missed 7 days of school yr before he went into rehab. Principal was a good friend. Started teaching career in ‘91 with that principal. Kip was drinking 7 days/wk. Barely parenting. Didn’t share his alcohol problems with others. Leaned on oldest son to pick him up. Kipp threatened to shoot himself. Didn’t pull trigger. God had something bigger planned. Went into rehab 1 week later. Still didn’t think he had a problem. Counselor told him he’d lost all parental rights of then 5 year old. Felt compelled to go into chapel. Began to cry. Had nothing left except teaching. Certificate & job @ MS. A voice said, “It’s not about you anymore”. It flipped like a switch to work on self, get daughter back. Before, it was always about what he could get not give. Took 3.5 years to get daughter back.

Move to CO from OK a few years ago: went from an urban district (TPS). The biggest district from TPS to WPSD is diversity. In his classes in WP, there is an absence of diversity. Kids are open-minded & resilient. They moved because of Covid. Had vacationed a lot in WP. Now feels more a part of the entire district. 

Wife’s cancer and what that taught you?  Wife’s cancer- 5 yrs. ago-he was back on his feet in Tulsa Public Schools, Cindy’s blood proteins were increasingly higher. She said “I’ll live, I will not die”. They live big. She helps him create an impact. Does a gratitude journal, focuses on the good. He thought “rock bottom” recovery slangs are for other ppl. 

What you teach and coach? He teaches 6th grade social studies. Wants studens to experience more diversity first hand. He learned a lot in TPS, still in contact with those kids. He coaches soccer, started coaching before he got out of college. Retired from coaching in 2008. Was OK W side coach of the year (to drink more). In 2016 a friend who was a friend thru recovery asked him to coach in Sapulpa. Was asked to be asst. coach. Then was offered the head coach job. Wife said “if you’re not uncomfortable you can’t grow”. Turned the program around. Allowed him to get in & give. 

Why you call it the “secret sauce”? Book- title is “Struggle to Strength: Finding the Ingredients to Your Secret Sauce”: He shares his story more in depth. He breaks down in chapt. perseverance, grace, understanding “We before me” mindset. We all have the “secret sauce”, he has learned things through his story that others haven’t. Struggles that become our strength. Peeling back onion layers. Use natural gifts to impact others. Kids related to demons he held. They were keeping him alive. Your position drives what you do. He spent 3-4 years starting the book. Wrote about heavy recovery period.  

Out of everything: whether you’re in education or not, you’re there to create an impact. we have big ability to change trajectory of ppl’s life. Relays stories to kids he teaches about not giving up. If you can make yourself authentic & real, kids will learn what you teach. Be vulnerable & raw with your stories.

Where can ppl find you online? Twitter: The Secret Sauce with Kip Shubert (@SecretSauceEDU) / Twitter  On FB the most-podcast episodes are on podbean. 

https://www.facebook.com/secretsaucewithkip/  https://www.instagram.com/secretsauceedu/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kip-shubert-8215a7174/   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiSiHiVSKcquwS4MlXBp2fg

View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/VMHGspvzcIE

Episode #245: Destiny Wagner & Kristofer Thurston

Episode #245: Destiny Wagner & Kristofer Thurston | The Out of the Trenches Podcast (podbean.com)

Destiny Wagner (edtechnerds.com) Chief Education Nerd @ edtechnerds Destiny is an educator with over 20 years experience as both a classroom teacher (physics) and an instructional technology coach.  With a proven record of creating and delivering professional development, presenting at numerous national conferences, and focusing on staff wellness, her goal is to leverage her expertise to help educators succeed in achieving their objectives while maintaining an effective work-life balance and to overcome the struggle with burnout that has become all too common in recent years. She is also developing a workshop series around addressing educator burnout with school administrations towards her 500 hr. yoga teacher training. 

Kristofer Thurston is the Chief Technology Nerd Technology Director, Fixer of the Broke, Herder of Cats, Untangler of Wires, Semi-pro Yoga Model. After 22 years in Education Technology, he’s learned that CHANGE is the soul of the game. Starting with computer labs, moving through 1:1, into BYOD and beyond, change is the only thing that remains constant. I believe that change is now taking us back to the concept of 1:1, but this time, it means something completely different. Through the purposeful use of the right technologies, teachers can focus on building relationships, meeting each and every student where they’re at, driving engagement and empowering life-long learners, with a goal of every student feeling like they have a 1:1 student to teacher ratio in every class. Recently completed a 3 year term as the Technology Chair on the Prince of Peace Catholic School Advisory Committee. Currently serving as the Director of Technology at John Paul II High School.

Trenches story: stepped away from the classroom, felt like her needs weren’t meant. She was in CR teaching AP physics and tech coach. Stepped away. Missed working with teachers. Doesn’t want teachers to feel that way. Kris: his whole career. Has done tech support for other districts. It’s all about getting buy-in from t’s to make the changes to learn & grow. Some days are good, some are bad. Loves teachers seeing brilliant ideas.

Ed Tech nerds: Started in Nov. 22. It’s just her & Chris. He’s the tech director at the school she was at. They’d presented together @ conferences. He brings the IT side. Their primary focus is the front line, the teachers in classrooms. They finish each other’s sentences. fill in when presenting on the fly. Get past feeling of 1 more thing. From website: “Everything we do is to improve the lives of those who deliver the goods day after day. When the picked the pillars for the company they wanted mindfulness to be at the center. Mindfully choose to present your lessons. Creativity into the community. But, we don’t stop there. Teachers can’t do it all on their own. So we’re also here to help  support staff, coaches, administrators, and school and district leadership so they can stay aligned to your mission, providing better support for the classroom.” 

Do you work mostly with schools in certain states? right now it’s TX and anything within driving distance. ½ day’s drive of DFW area. Is building a workshop series around addressing educator burnout with school administrations towards her 500 hr. yoga teacher training. Wants to do this in person. Skills course with TCEA “cultivating calm”. Will start with workshop series in June, will be available in Aug. for schools. Does Webinars otherwise. 

Webinars? working on summer cooldown series. Starts June 26- early July. Starting with Wakelet. Doing Screencast O’Matic. Also blended learning, agile lesson planning. differentiation, cultivating calm, formative assessments. Presenting with Pizazz-avoiding the “slidedeck death”.  

Has an online course from TCEA, Kris is doing one on Google Workspace Admin. Created teacher mindfulness planner, that’s being beta tested by teachers. She took a deep dive into personal development with reading Brene Brown, etc. Wants to take ideas of skills learned from corporate development. Bulit a daily mindfulness planner with assessments. 2 months worth of training days. 10-20 teachers beta testing it. Will be paper-based & digital. 

Talk about your blog: new to them. Hope to publish every 2 wks, alternate w/ mindfulness tech & trips. Wants to write around 5 pillars they’ve created at Edtech Nerds. Most important is mindfulness. Other pillars: efficiency- don’t get bogged down in minitia. Efficacy- make sure what you’re doing is working. Creativity & community. They work on relationships w/ st’s, we want to make sure they’re observing & learning what we want them to learn. Each blog post will highlight pillars. 

Upcoming conferences, such as ISTE (didn’t apply)? Session topics? They always present together. They banter back and forth. Destiny was at the Learning Forward TX conf. June 20-21st as a featured speaker. Will do 2 more 90 m presentations. Also spoke at TCEA elementary teacher conf. Kris- they’re pretty regular w/ TCEA events. TCCA Aldine ISD (NW side of Houston 1 day conference)-Sat. in OCT. Top 10 ways to make a splash with Wakelet June 26 at 11 CST (register here)  Simply click on the title(s) of the webinar(s) you wish to attend. All webinars will be held on Mondays at 11:00am CST.

Each webinar earns you a certificate for 1 hour of PD

Out of everything: Destiny: Avoid idea of burnout. IF I can give you 1% of your day back, I’ve done my job. See what you need and what’s important Kris:don’t be afraid to fail- FAIL- first attempt in learning. It’s an investment in yourself.

Where can ppl find you online? Destiny’s links are:

Twitter – https://twitter.com/edtechdestiny 

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/edtechdestiny/ 

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/destiny-wagner-69064646/ 

Fb groups: Calm teachers use tech  @kristhurston @EdTechDestiny on Twitter

View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Y8RyjjEYHaM

Episode #246: Dawn Harris 

Episode #246: Dawn Harris | The Out of the Trenches Podcast (podbean.com)

Dawn Harris is a passionate and energetic educator who lives by the motto, “Relationships First.” Her enthusiasm for creating connections is infectious and she thrives on the opportunity to learn about the things that motivate and inspire teachers and students alike. In her roles as a secondary English Language Arts Educator, Gifted and Talented Teacher, and Associate Professor of Teacher Education, Dawn continually strives to bring authentic and engaging learning experiences to students of all ages. 

Throughout her career as an educator, Dawn has taught in urban, rural, and suburban districts meeting the needs of children from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures. In addition to general ELA coursework, Dawn’s classroom teaching experience also includes teaching English as a second language, creative writing, film studies, and response to intervention instruction. Dawn’s professional teaching experiences have been showcased in scholarly journals and at local, regional, national, and international conferences.

Prior to becoming an educator, Dawn spent more than 10 years in marketing and publishing in the private sector. This experience has given Dawn insight into the skills and knowledge students need in order to be prepared to enter into a competitive, global workforce or into college once they leave high school. This insight helps to support Dawn’s work in developing veteran, novice, and pre-service teachers as they seek to educate students for tomorrow’s work today.

As a licensed Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development Specialist, Dawn’s primary goal in all things is to support educators with planning learning that ignites curiosity and that engages and inspires students in a way that impacts their growth and achievement every single day. 

Dawn’s first book, Plan Like a Pirate, was released in 2021.

Trenches story: isn’t currently going through one, but coming out of COVID was. Managing students’ learning styles. Differentiation post-COVID is different than pre-COVID. Calls for us to lead students to prepare for post-secondary skills.

Talk about transition from marketing sector to education. She worked for the yellow pages. Needed multiple skillsets, strategic job. Led & taught ppl in that position. 2008-9 with economic fallout, company disbanded. Was inspired by a friend who went into education. Teaching HS kids is a bit more challenging. Marketing experience, does it help you when getting your book out there? Authenticity is key. 

Current role-still teaching ELA? Right now, she teaches film analysis, also teaches G/T, year 11 (ACT Prep), grade 10- rough year. Kids have big tests in OH. Focus on critical thinking, taking new knowledge & making it more transferable. What is our obligation to share it with others? How do we help kids craft messaging. Using The Crucible to focus on current events. They need to find out who they are as creators. What are they passionate about? 

Talk about book Plan Like a Pirate, what are important take-aways you tell ppl in breakout sessions? She talks about becoming the teacher she is today. It’s a manifesto of sorts. She’d lost interest in education ½ way thru E.S. Wonderful teacher her junior year who changed her trajectory.  Talks about crafting a good learning experience for students. How are we covering academic & content-related vocab in our learning? Anti-racist teaching & learning. Helping students understand structures in place. How do we manage the eval process? Manuscript- had written 60-80 pgs. just so happened to be in a Twitter chat. Said she’d written this. Shelly Burgess asked about it. Not difficult to write. Enjoyed the editing process.

Teach Better ‘22? (editor’s note: we mention Teach Better ‘23, at the time of recording the conferences was planned for October ‘23 in Akron, OH. It has since been canceled. **) Where will you be speaking in the summer? She gets work through Burgess and schools who come to her for consultations. Is working w/ a local counseling firm. Charles Williams & her work with Waterloo district in ON. She does book study groups for Plan Like a Pirate. Just attending ISTE, not presenting. Just to hang out. She does a lot of local stuff in Oh, Pennsy. OH teacher leadership summit. Does G/T prep for her district. 

Out of everything: Don’t be afraid to be creative how you invite st’s into learning. Go beyond that. Ask them what they need. We don’t have to make all the decisions as educators. Develop kind of CR Culture where they know what it means to learn. Internalize, obtain, transfer.

Where can ppl find you online? Twitter @dharriseds Lead Like a Pirate Twitter chat Sat. morning 10:30. Educationundone.com she has lots of resource libraries (check email for other links). dawn@educationundone.com 

View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/kn_fErglYFk


Episode #247: Bryson Tarbet


Bryson Tarbet is a preK-6th grade general music teacher just outside of Columbus, Ohio. He received his Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education from Ohio Wesleyan University his Master of Music in Music Education with a Kodály emphasis from Capital University.

Bryson spent his first year out of college as part of an elementary school intervention team and he fell in love with working with students with disabilities. Due to this experience, as well as his personal experience as a neurodiverse individual, Bryson feels very strongly about advocating for sensory and emotionally-inclusive classrooms.

Bryson started That Music Teacher, LLC with the goal of sharing different perspectives on issues pertaining to the lives of music educators across the country. He also hosts That Music Podcast, a podcast for elementary music teachers and is the educator behind the Elementary Music Summit.

Trench story: when he was undergrad, had a lot of depression, anxiety. Took huge step back. Had to rebuild his life. 

Why do you believe that music is for everyone, even as kids grow older, secondary level? Are we making our educational systems for everyone. Removing barriers to access. It looks like being very precise on how lessons are set up. Have over-the-ear headphones. In general ed CR, we’re not teaching our subject, we’re teaching children. Let st’s express themselves creatively. Put kids on the path to success.

What are accessible classrooms and how can teachers create them? can talk about his classroom with kids with behavioral issues or who are SSN? these ?’s are being asked a lot. Ppl don’t know the answer. When he’s able to ensure students can access the curriculum, they’re more engaged. Increase sensory/emotional regulation. He allows fidgets. Only ½ the lights on. He doesn’t ask kids to do something they’re not able to do. Kindergartners, we have to adjust, for example. Move kids around a lot. Re-engage them into the lesson. It allows students to be successful. He released an episode on Classroom Zones. Kids get to know what those spaces are. He uses claps, songs, while they move to other areas of CR. 

How does play-based learning help student development? How to plan for purposeful play and make it relevant to K-4 and 5.6 schools? His position is split between 2 schools, has been at them pretty much whole career He loves play-based learning. Getting engagement higher is helpful. Giving students ingredients, seeing what they can come up with. Like British Bake-Off show. How to sort pile of instruments? Classifying? Working together. Kids have active agency in learning. For gen.ed. how could we let the students take charge? How can we give kids “free reign” and see what happens. On playground they’re learning lots of skills. How can we allow skills to be playful & fun? He loved “Sparkle” when he was a kid. Gamify the learning. How can we make it joyful? Ask the kids! relinquish control.

How has growing up with SPD (Sensory Processing discovering) and ADHD changed your approach to teaching? He did go into college planning on becoming a music teacher. There’s a lot of sensory input in music. Sometimes students have a lot of issues controlling body. He switched languaging. Didn’t say “I need you to..”. Instead said “What can I do to help you?” The student who is giving 120% to focus w/ SPD, allow them to understand how they can advocate for themselves. 

Getting into music teaching? went to magnet arts school in 5th grade. HS was in music theater. Wanted to go into HS choir teaching but observed a class, then observed 2nd grade music. Saw joy & ability to make music how they want to.

Why did you create an online business serving other elementary music teachers? That Music Teacher-serves ES music teachers, gives content-specific PD. He’s created it based on what he’s learned throughout the years. Started the business in 2017. Started IG lives, spiraled into the That Music Podcast. Turned into a guest series on IG live. There’s a lack of ES-specific PD. Ohio music edu. the conference doesn’t have a ton for ES teachers. He doesn’t primarily solo episodes but some guests. He spent 1st year after undergrad working in sped. What happens in their CR is one of the best foundations in music. He likes sharing practical tips. The Elementary Music Summit 2400 educators, runs July 10-14. Register at www.elementarymusicsummit.com

Out of everything: regardless of who you are, you have experience they’ve not lived. IS your CR a place they can be successful? Take steps to make sure it happens.

Where can ppl find you online? More information about Bryson and That Music Teacher can be found at www.ThatMusicTeacher.com. Bryson can also be found on Instagram and Facebook @ThatMusicTeacher. 

View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/kof462sfjTU

Episode #248: Terri Eichholz



Terri Eichholz has 29 years of classroom experience from K-12. M.A. in Teaching. She specializes in Gifted and Talented Education, Maker Education, Ed Tech Integration, and STEAM. She’s worked for SAISD and NEISD in San Antonio, Texas, and currently consults, conducts professional development, and writes articles about education. I enjoy engaging all students, including adults, with hands-on, student-centered learning.

Trenches story: in 29 yrs has been there many x’s. First was 7 yrs into career. Had been at same school teaching same grade level. Felt like she wanted to quit teaching. Was searching for jobs outside profession. Teacher @ school became her mentor. This t taught G/T. They worked w/ some of same students. Suggested Terri become a pull-out G/T teacher. Terri didn’t feel qualified. Highly competitive. Had to take $300 course. She was going to recommend Terri for a position that was opening up. Terri went to interview. Dressed in jeans/t-shirt cause she found out last minute. Didn’t feel like anything would come if it. Got the job, had the training over the summer. Changed her teaching career- taught 21 more years. Pivoted to a new school-refound her love for teaching. 

Talk about your Consulting with companies regarding educational technology. Does w/ edtech companies, local school districts, presented a TX computer edu conference. Has done G/T PD for a region in AR. Has revised curriculum for an online course. This grew organically. Had shared on her blog posts about resources she’d found. Got involved on Twitter. Was contacted about piloting a new app, being involved on Twitter chats. Also presented at district mtg. on G/T. When she decided to retire, was unsure what to do. Then was invited to present. Had built reputation of sharing resources on blog.

Developing educational content and curriculum, conducting professional developmentone of the ones that has become popular is “Harnessing Hexagons” presentation. Can involve any student at any level in Hexagonal thinking. Encourages students to discuss & be comfortable in speaking. Open-ended. St’s talk about where to place the hexagons. She also does presentations of visible thinking strategies. Was recognized early on for genius hour. Used it as she moved on to be master teacher grades 4-12. Classes were then larger. Was able to cater to multiple abilities. 

Writing blogs and advocate for exciting and equitable education for all. Mostly blogs on her website, she has done articles for Edutopia in the past. Highlight a recent blog post. Her goal w/ one is to get a genuine, unbiased sharing of a resource. Sometimes companies will send her something to check out for her blog. Not all t’s have the time to glean the internet-has t’s who have emailed her about how they’ve used the tool. She has a folder where she keeps these kudos. She does “Gifts for the Gifted” series. Fun learning gift for st’s. Everyone gets to try a piece.

Out of everything: in career, she knew what was best, yet wasn’t ready to listen to what ppl had to say. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Show students you’re trying something new. It helps develop a growth mindset. We have a tendency to help students a lot, we can learn alongside sometimes, so they’re becoming better problem solvers. 

Where can ppl find you online? Twitter @terrieichholz www.engagetheirminds.com tons of resources, free downloads, Wakelet activities for all times of the year. Alot of resources are aimed at anyone. All levels. View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/PAq_o9OTquE

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