Episodes #249-256

Episode #249: Dr. Christopher Slaton


Dr. Christopher Slaton practices Education and Science to help you inform your brain and to discipline your body through the process of how you focus to live, learn, think, and respond to tension, stress, or pressure. He is the author of ‘Education and Science’ literature and the founder of the Human Systems Science: the study of brain, body, and sense events to improve the sense and receive path functions of people that have been hurt by major life events in the home, school, neighborhood, and workplace networks. 

Trenches story: He refers back to when he first moved into consultancy. Had a research subject child (8) who had been exposed to drugs in utero. Had an IEP. Grandparents were raising her, he had to intervene, figure out how to neutralize disagreement. Couldn’t understand why they wrote the IEP the way they did. Child hadn’t experienced success in school. Why are her responses happening such as they are? He had to look at family, medical, how to put together an IEP. Didn’t know how to inform grandma about how to help granddaughter. School psych were only looking at diagnostics. When brain is damaged, it impacts how child interacts with people. He observed how she interacted. Talked to the grandparent first. Had data and needed to use it to help child do better in school. They automatically resist to “normal” school environment. They didn’t initially look at mental health. Child couldn’t recognize pain of the emotion. The reason she was misbehaving was b/c she wasn’t processing. Had to obtain education records. Teachers working with this kid began working with his team & responded to her. She graduated on time. The county had a different opinion. He showed them w/ literature how it relates to sensory path damage. He’s in education trying to correct problems. You need to show her signs of care so she doesn’t withdrawal.

What is Human Systems Science, and how does it relate to the Brain’s Body? His researcher is taking notes as he observes the way the child is responding. They record the environment with video & audio digitally, analyze and see how child can evolve. IEP process is how environment has impact on child. Child (8) had problem controlling her anger. They had to figure out how to calm her down. The research they take the publish reports on. Schools don’t understand science of informing the brain. Ppl were trying to steal his work. Researchers confirmed his work. Was able to change community participation levels.

What are sense and receive path functions, and how do they relate to educators when you’re working with students with classroom management? Explain in layman’s terms. Translates to brain’s body research. It’s about contact interaction. You can understand what you feel like. What you need to know, adrenaline running through the brain. You look @ body to see whether they have discipline & control. If he’s working with teachers about improving CR discipline, he asks “can you feel this experience”, “is this kid prepared to receive instruction”. Kids need to sense, feel and focus. His theory comes back to criminal justice classes, early development of schools. Discipline is teaching a child to sit still in relation to school, getting the proper grade. Real discipline is informing the child’s brain of the expectation of them. It’s a mental/physical process. Over time the child can begin to understand this. It separates them from instruction b/c of fear. Encompasses how children make contact, interact, experience interconnectivity. Synthesize. When kids see teachers response, they modify their own behavior. There wasn’t anything wrong with  brain, it was trauma. They taught him how to connect his emotions to predict safety. When they trust you, they help you realize how to better address their needs. Teach the kid how to experience teacher. It’s not your body I’m talking to, it’s your brain. Calm comes from the inside out. It’s Bloom’s Taxonomy.

He’s also worked with severe cases of TBI. His lane is understanding how to help children how to move thru the crises of self. Teach a child how to transfer experience to interaction to understand the experience they’re having. He developed his practice from using 30 yrs hands-on interactions with children & parents, has written 5 books on research.

He runs a non-profit who can reach out for services. He examines brain paths of children, runs community-based events. Mentee/mentor relationship. He looks at improving child-family community relationships. Child, development, community projects. Police, fire dept, social services. They want to figure out children/families.  Community-based learning project. Then they understand how to process math. Going back to school is easier to learn how to do school. You have to manage the process of becoming focuses. They look at how the process has evolved. Dealing with human relationships. Understand that we have to have platform to build human assets. He wants people to not put negative energy into others. The officer has to show signs of care. Respond to the care- like putting hands up. Teasing, bullying, peer pressure is how gangs suck kids out. It’s the labor from kids the gangs want. Teach kids sense of self & the brain. Connection b/w person (object). body, brain. Something inside you that allows you to make choices. It’s basic human learning. Studies of watching how humans make contact & interact. You fear the unknown, the interaction. Human-based learning in a community is a practice. Progressive investing. Relates it to parents-how does it feel to be your age, w/ lost sense of self. Kids today are on edge b/c they are doing many thing expected of adults. He can assess energy, action, feelings by assessing blood temperature. Contact interaction-experience how they feel the brain. Reading, writing, drawing, perf. arts, talking to the brain. Harder for males to move thru school. Misunderstanding of the labor.

Talk about your latest book: he’s an advocate who has had special needs kids who have grown & involved. His own daughter has intestinal difficulties. It’s all about understanding sensory & receive functions. When a kid doesn’t understand structure. Sensory/receive paths have been warped. His group formats kids, to understand how to sit still. Over series of classes & workshops. 

Out of everything: it’s education science- the power of the brain. Plato, Socrates, talked about the brain. It all ties into the philosophical perspective of the brain. He talks about disciplining the body on how to focus the brain.

Where can ppl find you online? https://www.drchristopherkslaton.com/

https://www.facebook.com/christopher.slaton.71 he has a blog. Also has begun to podcast. BuzzSprout, YouTube: Brain’s Body. Amazon profile: Amazon.com: Christopher K. Slaton: books, biography, latest update

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


Episode #250: Ryan Steuer

Episode #250: Ryan Steuer | The Out of the Trenches Podcast (podbean.com)

Ryan Steuer inspires educators across the country as the founder of Magnify Learning, a PBL professional development organization that equips educators to engage learners, tackle boredom, and transform classrooms. Prior to founding Magnify Learning, Ryan was an engineer for a Fortune 50 company, 8th grade English teacher, and missionary. He shares his education and leadership insights through PBL Simplified the book, which released in January, YouTube, and podcast.

Trenches story: Had just left engineering. Right out of Purdue, he went into engineering and then jumped ship. Taught 4 yrs traditionally. talked about starting PBL in MS in 2005 (2007-2010) that wasn’t well received. Some colleagues didn’t appreciate the good work. He wasn’t a lone wolf. His evaluators saw it differently. The attendance was higher. Was transparent with the work. 

What got you into PBL work? He tried PBL in an F school. All his learners turned in projects. Grassroots movement. With them and other schools, it led to work with Magnify Learning.

He’s a data-driven person. His favorite days were working with kids in afterschool program.

Walk me through Magnify Learning from its inception to where it is today (30-40 teachers who train for them)? Started as teachers who did PBL in the CR. Asked each other what worked for them. Had a free conference, traded tools. Used grant learning. Has been doing it 7+ yrs. It’s a mindset, not a set of tools. Takes multiple days. Teachers teaching teachers. You can ask trainers “what does this look like in a kindergarten CR”. It’s magnify, not replace learning.

Can you give us a story of how a student can be transformed through Project Based Learning? The authenticity answers the transformation. Move the “why” closer to the st. Kids fighting over garabage & recyclables, to make the best bar graph. “Lone wolf”. He talks about Skylar’s story. In 3rd grade he realized he didn’t have to do work. Did that for several yrs. Asked “do you want to help parents find out more about this genetic disease?” Once a Skylar sees that, it flips his paradigm. Gets into idea of being a life-long learner, is now a photographer. Got 5K followers a day  as HS sophomore. Has clients like Monster Energy drink. He grew up in generation poverty.

You offer workshop resources to attendees, and offer PBL workshops for after-school activities, why? They have a summer (2 day) or virtual workshop. It can be used in makerspace or robotics club area. PBL is the vehicle for makerspace. You can make PBL units so English, science t know what to do in that space. Help them get that up & running. It’s for after-school organizations, like boys/girls club. There are some free resources. Can link into show notes. 5 possible group contracts. 

How can education change to meet the new demands of the workforce? Tie into bringing community partners into your school. Can get into specifics of where they can fit at the beginning of the lesson. Whether you’re doing PBL or not. They needed to hire locally. Needed kids who could problem solve. Employability skills-how are we preparing them for workplace? Moving from passive to purposeful. Then the st is engaged.

How can industry leaders get involved in supporting their local education systems? and why they should! Advanced moves, community partner breakfast on a Friday morning. Learners come in & talk about what they’re doing. How could someone planning a PBL unit plan around having guest speakers. Need ppl who have real world problems. Ask “who could help”? As team or individual, just start the process. Don’t be afraid.

Why should teachers do more than just try PBL, make it a practice (why PBL and why now)? Ask yourself- what would you improve on? If you’re really in, get some training. Hear from others who have been doing it. You don’t have to recreate the process. Can provide links. Visit a school whose doing PBL. Ask students what’s happening.

 Go check out PBL Simplified, he’ll offer the book study for free (insert link from email). It’s written in the 6 steps of PBL. There is a piece for principals & implementation. Link that helps you build out your PBL. You can bring ?’s like “how long should my unit be”. They’ve seen 20+ yr teachers who start w/ it. It gives you structures to tackle big things they want to implement.

Out of everything: back to trench story-it’s about the local t’s rallying around each other-what’s your goal & vision for your CR? He also works with business leaders. Relationships among teachers are so strong. Lean on each other, what sparks your interest?

Where can ppl find you online? What is PBL? — Magnify Learning (magnifylearningin.org) Twitter @ryansteuer use headshot on podmatch include links to YouTube, his podcast PBL Simplified Podcast — Magnify Learning

View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/o2IJnwzu9d0


Episode #251: Angela Jerabek


Angela Jerabek is the founder and executive director of BARR Center. Jerabek developed the BARR model 20 years ago and has expanded it from one school in the Midwest to more than 200 schools. Jerabek has published five books, several op-eds and articles in various publications, including being featured in USA Today, National Public Radio, and CNBC. She has also presented at the White House at the “Evidence in Education Roundtable” in 2016. Her Education: M.S. Counseling Psychology, B.A. Music Outside of work: Enjoys time with family and friends, music, golfing, reading, and the outdoors. 

Trenches story:  She talks about her works in schools prior to the foundation of BARR. Angela started The BARR Model (1999), she was working with kids in Minneapolis. Wanted to resign. Principal encouraged her to come up w/ a bigger system. Her kids were small. Had handful of crayons. Called her grandma. Realized she was a better parent cause she had info about her kids when they weren’t there. Realized they needed to focus on relationships & data. Putting all the pieces together. Cut failure rate ½ the first year. Over 10 yrs failure rate stayed in half. Does research grants-78 schools randomized trials-does the system work?

(from website) The BARR model allows staff to better understand and build on students’ strengths, proactively address the non-academic reasons why a student may be falling behind in school and identify what resources they need and steps they can take to thrive. The BARR model uses eight interlocking strategies that build intentional relationships, utilize real-time data, and enable schools to achieve concrete academic, social and emotional outcomes for each and every student.

Talk about some of your books, wrote Building Assets, Reducing Risks, which was created in 1998 to combat the problems of failing grades, substance use, truancy, and discipline referrals taking place at a Minneapolis-area high school Look at ABCs, initial assessment looked at risk results- coach and train for 3 yrs. Robust training/coaching model. Coach works w/ them weekly or more. How is the school working w/ the community. Acknowledge the power of the CR teacher. They need to work together to come up w/ solutions. Put expectation on teachers to find the community resources. Within one year of implementation, the course failure rate at that school decreased from 44 percent to 28 percent and has remained at 14 percent for the last fifteen years. She wants to talk about how to upload students strong talents.

Talk about the upcoming natl. conference, scheduled for Apr. 26-27 in Rancho Mirage, CA. You’re doing one of the keynotes. Talk a bit about what you plan on speaking to. Proposals & when they’ll be up? 600 attendees this yr, Admin, policy makers, thought leaders. Started as a research study. Bring schools together 1x/month. All these schools will come together- policy makers, geographically distributed. Shows the power of educators. Schools lead breakout sessions. Share successes. Animated/excited group who like to grow their network. Proposals will open up in the summer. Follow their website. Keynotes-focused on natl. issues. 

Can mention proposed legislation… (has been working with MN legislation for $5 million for BARR) schools who have done BARR want to expand upon it. Tier 1 Evidence for reading, math, equity, prevention of drugs. Federal govt. doesn’t do systems-level work. Large barrier. Wants to bring larger issue to the conversation. Schools have to get funding from different buckets. Have bi-partisan authorship. Angie was blown away by strong metrics, rural, urban schools. Lived experience was powerful. She’s humbled t’s can share. Built edu system long time ago, BARR helps revised them.

Does some intl consulting- would love to have more intl. schools become BARR Schools. 

Out of everything: fact that our staff is incredibly gifted, Schools they work with don’t have turnover. Students enjoy studying there.

Where can ppl find you online? www.barrcenter.org 

https://twitter.com/BarrCenter, https://www.facebook.com/BARRCenter/, https://www.instagram.com/barrcenter/, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCop1v_JGzQjIc5XPXVaVhdw, https://www.linkedin.com/company/barr-building-assets-reducing-risks-/

View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/QRJc5OxPlCQ

Episode #252: Hans Hageman

Episode #252: Hans Hageman | The Out of the Trenches Podcast (podbean.com)

 Hans Eric Hageman is a graduate of Princeton and Columbia University Law School, He has started and led organizations for underserved children in Harlem, NY, Kenya, and Lucknow, India.  He is a recipient of the Robin Hood Foundation Heroes Award and the Essence Magazine Award. He is currently the executive director of the Tutwiler Community Education Center – a community and youth development organization located in the Mississippi Delta.

His middle school and high school students learned the educational and healing power of nature on service trips to places like Nicaragua and Senegal, where they helped build a vegetable garden for AIDS patients.

His goal is to be “An Ancestor Worth Remembering.” 

Trenches story: several years ago when he ‘d started independent MS. Brother & him raised $, got some $ from JFK jr. This pre-dated charter school. Challenges of running school from the ground up. 2400 homicides in NY. Community was at the epicenter of it. Didn’t allow drug dealing in front of school. There was a contract out on his life. Sat in the office late at night in tears. #1: police offered 24 hr protection. Hans got a carry permit for a weapon.

One evening, saw a white guy at door, community was mostly Hispanic & Black, he had a statue of St. Michael. There was then no drug dealing around the block. School still being run by his brother 31 years later. Didn’t find out who gave them the statue. Disappeared in a move. 

Who or what were your most important teachers? His parents, who worked themselves to death in service to others. Mom, black woman from Chicago. Father-white man from NE. They gave ppl 2nd chance. His family lived in the residential drug treatment center. George Mitchell-5th grade teacher-demanded rigor from them. Joe De Angelo- English t & karate instructor he still has contact with. Dean of Princeton chapel Ernest- he spoke with him about S. African Apartheid govt. Another guy- Al Therry, former marine who supported him.

How can we achieve “Time Under Bliss™”? Carl Jung said “the world will ask who you are, if you don’t know, the world will tell you. Think about one’s life purpose and ask why you’re here. Be clear about it, in order to attain joy. Be clear about what’s most important to you. These underpin his work. SMART goals- you add more layers on, who will achieve that outcome-is it a desirable goal. Creating morning routines. Don’t just jump into day. Establish appropriate boundaries. Have balance in life. Boundaries-who’s around you? Who’s in your circle? Daily practice of mindfulness. He’s certified in mindfulness, works with staff, young ppl. 5 m. mobility routine. Get body out of hunched position. Fostering social connections. Sleep, nourishment, etc. Figuring out #1-do you have routines #2, are they serving you. WIN-what’s important now

What does it mean to be a Heart-Centered Leader? The benefits of vulnerability and transparency in creating trust, building strong relationships, and fostering collaboration. Being compassionate, there are many connections going from the heart to the brain. Do you care about staff personally? Can you challenge when things aren’t going well? Message needs to be deliberate, not just assumed. You can make it a priority in a school- or start-up tech company.

How did a guy who grew up in Harlem, NY end up in the Mississippi Delta? He also works with senior citizens, not just youth. He’s a big believer in post-traumatic growth. He never thought he’d end up in Miss. in Feb 2002, someone knocked at his door. Delivery-his wife had filed for divorce. He asked himself “now what”? Made lemonade out of lemons. He asked universe & God about new steps. Was a finalist for a school in Co. Took a step back, Tutwiler Comm. Education Center was started by nuns- she found someone who got her able to walk. At age of 40-something this nun went to med school. Mayor of Tutwiler wrote back, got funding in 1992, nuns retired, he now runs it. has been there 4 months. Schools he works w/ are rated D-F. Poverty rate very low. Least educated populated. He works w/ young ppl who need to learn to dream. He wants the kids who leave to come back to the “Home of the Blues”. People are kind, curious. Has community veggie garden.

Empathy in Leadership: The importance of emotional intelligence in leading teams, driving success, and fostering a positive work environment. He wants to get everyone centered around a common vision. Being able to be candid while being caring. Ability to honor, respect, give ppl confidence their voice will be heard. Different decision-making models. Restorative circles. Give everyone a part -change to talk. Had to figure out what the outcome would be. Trust-big part of bigger vision. Common vocabulary.

Out of everything: His goal is to become an ancestor worth remembering. IT’s become that simple-it’s his north star- try it regardless of your age. Concept of being grounded in wisdom, self-mastery and love.

Where can ppl find you online?  www.tutwilercommunityeducationcenter.org 

This is my guide to finding your innate resilience after a setback. https://coachhans.ck.page  https://facebook.com/hanshageman  https://linkedin.com/in/hanshageman  https://instagram.com/roninforlife  https://twitter.com/hanshageman  

View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/4JkfkEsH7ZE

Episode #253: Dr. Ryan Donlan



Ryan Donlan, EdD, professor in the Department of Educational Leadership in the Bayh College of Education at Indiana State University, served for 20 years in traditional and charter schools in K–12 education—in teaching as well as school and district leadership. Ryan has taught for years at the college and university level in the areas of leadership, communication, and education.

Ryan is a member of various professional organizations and enjoys robust teaching, scholarship, and service, and has been awarded the Holmstedt Distinguished Professorship and the Faculty Distinguished Service Award.

Trenches story: 30 yrs in edu. Talks about ones dug for him. When he was principal, t walked in, they’d inherited a tradition about cannons being made in a metal/woodworking class. Cold clima

te, kids set off cannons w/ gunpowder. Blew holes in garage, others in building. He’s also had t’s in trouble w/ law. Had school also on marginalized list. Made differences about where it could go. Dug for self-said on PA he’s have the t’s car towed. Other things he’s done as idiot. Encouraged debate w/ music t. bought out parents. marathon trenches- those leveraging vs prioritizing. 1) his own convictions, board swung, became complicated 2) needed to get on board w/ community. Didn’t realize it was communities. 3) leveraged where others were in terms of their perspectives. Productive struggle. That’s what allowed him to crawl out of those.   

Experience Charter school-as superintendent & director for 11 years. Has been at Univ. level for the last 12. In part, due to his convictions. Was 9 yrs into leadership. Constant drumbeat-reasons ppl would tell him what they couldn’t do something. Was also like that as Alternative Ed director. At this point, almost left education. Resourceful finance director invited him to graduation of charter school. Saw kids, met families, didn’t take think tank opportunity. Was for HS students who’d had difficulties in regular schools. Consortium protected the school & chartered it. Worked there 11 yrs. 2 county region boundaries. Helped him protect equity & access. Consensus-building models. College & career readiness. Has written about chartering being a superpower- helps those who needs it the most. Was collaboratively received by school superintendents.

Tell about the courses you teach-he teachers principal & superintendent-prep. Is there an increase of ppl going into the program? He’s finishing up 12th academic season at ISU. Had finished EdD. Knew leadership was his calling. Enrollment has remained pretty steady. Have in-person residency. Asynchronous instruction. Intentional for busy people at M.A. and Ed. S. level.St’s command of them, that they are relevant. Can talk about scholar-practictionership, esp at the Ph.D level. AP’s need something intentional. Best instructional leaders could be t’s. Allow t’s to inspire their own-collective efficacy. More space & time to APs to support teachers. All other duties as assigned for the AP new book by Solution Tree, they elevate his thinking. Teacher mattering. Pandemic made clear those who can and those who can’t. More realization of importance of t’s. Book shows the power of AP. He still is in schools, doing tech/curriculum assistance. Meets people who are “better & smarter” who he learns from. Univ. allows him to get things in head & heart out. He hopes that he’s a conduit. He’d love to be an AP, teacher or super.

Started Indiana Principal Leadership institute (all year long).They spent 2-3 days this week, cohort. In his 3rd year, Steve was sketching out conceptual model. State leveraged $ for PD, they got a hold of Ind. Assn. of School Principals, shared ideas w/ legislators. Idea to carry. 6 mos later legislators toured univ. Then IPLI was born. Whole year- principal’s leadership capacity. Year 2: School-focused capacity, w/ teacher leaders. Have had incredible presenters. Facilitate intense PD, also w/ Rhonda Rose from Solution Tree. If principals are in 1st yr, there’s another institute.

Todd Whitacher brought him to Indiana State, have written 3 books together. Todd Whitacker started presenting at the charter school. He applied to open position, Todd was at screening interview. Lo and behold, the Whitackers drove him back. Todd & wife are so giving of their time. Steve Grunert was dept chair. Steve Grunert, Todd & him taught same class. Each prof talked about his own way of doing things. They all talked about their own approach. Banter/friendship. Steve & him co-teach the program.(Todd left 6 yrs ago). They’ll be at ASCD next wk-both him & Steve. 

Out of everything: Humbled to remind himself, each day we’re only as good as our next day’s best work. 

Where can ppl find you online? He’s on Twitter @ryandonlan or website: www.ryanndonlan.com, google Indinana State Univ (insert his dept’s website)-reach out by phone. runs the dept.’s FB.

View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/sSaaJv3Naf8

Episode #254: Crystal Frommert

Episode #254: Crystal Frommert | The Out of the Trenches Podcast (podbean.com)

Crystal Frommert, M.Ed, has over 20 years’ experience as an educator in middle and high school. Crystal has taught math, computer science, and social justice in public, parochial, and international schools. Beyond teaching, she has served as an instructional coach, school board member, adjunct college instructor, technology coordinator, and assistant head of middle school. She has presented at local, national, and international educational conferences on topics ranging from social and emotional learning to technology integration. She currently teaches middle school math in Houston, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and fluffy dog.

Trench story: was in one many yrs, didn’t know. She gave 0’s for missing HW, hard & fast rules. Value of learning she’s learned over time.

Book “When Calling Parents isn’t Your Calling” Tell me what the book’s about? Why did you want to write this book and when did you start thinking of writing this “how to” book? Wrote it for an audience of someone who is reluctant. Who understands teachers can have boundaries. Principals who listen to it can buy it for new staff. She’s never considered herself a writer since elementary school. Told self-she’s not good @ writing. Wrote for Edutopia about parent partnerships. Darrin & she connected after this article. 700-word article turned into a 200 pg book. Wrote to 22 yr. old new teacher self. Also, about effective emails. Always follow up in writing. She gives a lot of limits to when she calls. Puts self in driver’s seat. “Do you have 5 m to chat”. Parents are going thru a lot. You’re voice on the other end. Edit “empathize” 4 x’s. Perhaps the culture of school has gone down email path. If it turns hostile, t’ can end the mtg. 

Talk about your service on a school board (small Catholic school board-where she goes to church) and how you approached that as a practicing educator? interesting- she teaches at a private school different from the dioses. Resources are very different. Saw whole different side of private schools. 

Talk about your presentations- pick one about what you may present at conference? Tech w/ math, SEL, gave one on MS metacognition. Will present in Houston at Rice U & Texas A& M summer program.

Out of everything? we evolve as t’s. Don’t be afraid of growth. Is follower of Building Thinking Classrooms approach to math. Put the thinking on the kids. St-centered. Don’t be afraid of change.

Where can ppl find you online? www.crystalfrommert.com Twitter @mrsfrommert

View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/gc8KRNmOeIE


Episode #255: Adrian Gordon



Adrian Gordon is an active performer, composer, and music educator living in Charlotte, NC. His colorful compositions are captivating for musicians of all ages from very easy to advanced levels. Over the years Gordon has written several acclaimed works for string orchestra such as “Apocalypse” and “Song of the Ocean Winds” to name a few.

 Adrian takes pride in creating music that is fun and pedagogically sound at all levels. Mr. Gordon currently serves as the orchestra director at Providence Day School in Charlotte, NC. He received his B.A. in music from the University of Miami, and his Masters degree in Music Education at Florida International University.

 In addition to teaching, Mr. Gordon is a composer with Alfred Music Publishing and the founder of Leap Year Music Publishing which publishes string music for elementary, middle, and high school ensembles. Mr. Gordon’s compositions appear on the California, Florida, Texas, Maryland, and Georgia Orchestra Association Music Performance Assessment Lists. His compositions are distributed through JW Pepper and have been performed throughout the world. Adrian resides in Charlotte with his wife Kelly and their two sons.

Trenches story: in previous position. Genesis for writing his book. As he transitioned into last position, journaled, fleshed out why having hard time. They weren’t accepting of his outlook. He has outlook “assume they can achieve”. Prev. school not fond of that way of thinking. Had to think of his own worth as a professional. Helped him write a lot of the book. 

When did you get started playing music? age 8, sat & watched mom play piano. He’d sit & mimic. Parents put him in music program in 6th grade. Sang in chorus. Got put into magnet music program in MS. Picked up guitar in HS, was in a band. Natural progressions.At U of Miami, principal instrument was violin.

What age are your students at Providence Day School K-12? *refer to compositions for diff grade levels* He teaches and composes for all 3 levels. For sale thru JW Peppard & his website.

What got you into composing? college-age, but first composition was in 7th grade. He’d understood after college ranges of his instruments.  He’d put it in front of st’s blind.

Exciting to hear it played by others. He wanted to be change he wanted to see in his life-so came up w/ LEap Yr music. JW Pepper is vendor for his music. Solo piece has been played by famous violinist.

What is your favorite type of music to compose? he has done a few alternative style. composes contemporary string music. More geared towards K-12 string players. Apocalypse-strings w/ bass drum, sounds like it’s out of a movie. He’s an educator, conductor & composer. 

Talk about your workshops-are they for conferences or for coming out to schools? Last 2 were him conducting diff. groups. Schools may invite him in b/c they’re playing his music, may want to do a q & a.  Special to meet the composer. He also works w/ st’s, coach them. 

Tell me about why you wrote your book Note to Self: A Music Director’s Guide for Transitioning to a New School & Building a Thriving Music Program: goes thru personal experiences, how he had difficulties in previous transitions. Lesson plans, journaling, how can he do it better? He says think about self-care, esp. as music educators. Think about your purpose-you’re there to help st’s, care about students. If you’re starting a new school, connect with outgoing director. Yearbook study- learn names before day 1. Find a mentor who knows the culture. Develop a beg. of year checklist. Go thru it & be able to knock it out. Do a meet & greet or promo video, welcome letter. Get parents involved w/ the vision. 

Had a lot of valuable information for other edu, started compiling it into a book. Can give tips on beg. of school year for new band teachers. Get a hold of past concert program booklets-gives idea of level of st. playing.

What makes music teachers stand apart as great PD presenters, speakers, and *sometimes* authors? music requires us to be in front of an audience. You’re still sharing experience as a presenter. Another part is practice public speaking. He writes down what he wants to talk about. 1) always in front of a crowd, as music is meant to be heard. 2) they see such development w/in st’s. He sees them from 5th-12th grade. Offers diff. perspective. “they’re better suited”.

Out of everything? he tries to tell self it’s important to give yourself grace. Things aren’t always going to go how you want it to. No award for most burnt out teacher! Set boundaries!

Where can ppl find you online? www.adriangordonmusic.com book. compositions, social media FB, IG, twitter and videos @AdrianGordonmusic

He’ll be guest conducting: In Jan. in Murphysville, TN, Middle TN Honor’s Orchestra (Jan 11-14). In May will premier work commissioned by Empire State Orchestra. (A Tender Moment in Time). Book A Note to Self: Note to Self: A Music Director’s Guide for Transitioning to a New School and Building a Thriving Music Program: Gordon, Adrian: 9798218041847: Amazon.com: Books

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