Winamp Logo
Angela Watson's Truth for Teachers Cover
Angela Watson's Truth for Teachers Profile

Angela Watson's Truth for Teachers

English, Education, 1 season, 319 episodes, 5 days, 11 hours, 47 minutes
About
Truth for Teachers is designed to speak life, encouragement, and truth into the minds and hearts of educators and get you energized for the week ahead.
Episode Artwork

EP299 A spring cleaning classroom guide: what if you didn’t need all that STUFF to teach well?

Do you refuse to throw anything out because you MIGHT need it one day, or find yourself holding on to worthless stuff “just in case” you need it? In this episode, I’ll share 10 things you can get rid of in your classroom this spring to make space for what you actually need and use. And, I’ll help you establish a mindset of abundance rather than scarcity, so you can approach spring cleaning with a perspective that will help you feel good rather than apprehensive about getting rid of the things you worked so hard to accumulate: I like to streamline and simplify how my classroom runs. I don’t keep things I don’t really need. I could still teach well with a fraction of the materials I’ve accumulated. If there is something that I need later and don’t have, I trust that I will be able to find it again, or borrow it, or be able to do without it just fine. The foundation of my classroom is my energy, enthusiasm, and know-how, not my stuff. I feel good about clearing away the things that drain my energy and enthusiasm by creating a cluttered, disorganized work space. I can let go of things I don’t need in order to make space for things I do. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion.
4/14/202417 minutes, 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP298 Clock out confidently: 5 tips to get out the door at contract time (with June Link)

This episode features a sneak peek from one of the upcoming 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Online Summit sessions. You’ll hear from a teacher named June Link, whose session is called, “Clock out confidently: 5 tips to get out the door at contract time.” In this episode, June shares some helpful principles and mindset shifts, along with the exact process she used to carve out time for a new demand in her workload. June and her colleagues were supposed to implement a new socio-emotional learning curriculum, but needed to find time to explore it, write lesson plans, and figure out how to integrate the new materials into everything else they were doing. June shares how she estimated how much preparation time she’d realistically need in order to implement this new curriculum, which was 10 hours. Then she explains how she made time for that work during her contractual hours, instead of taking the new curriculum home to figure out on the evenings or weekends. Listen in to learn about that experiment and more. Then, save your spot for the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Online Summit: ✅ 30+ presentations ✅ Opening and closing keynotes by 40 Hour founder Angela Watson ✅ All presenters are current K-12 classroom teachers ✅ No fluff, filler, or pitches: each session is just 15-20 minutes long ✅ Chat with other teachers during the live sessions and get personalized advice Sign up for the free live Elementary Summit April 5th-6th Sign up for the free live Secondary Summit April 12th-13th If you can’t attend live or the event has already passed by the time you see this, you can purchase forever-access to all the sessions (both elementary and secondary), plus get time-stamped transcripts, note-taking guides, and all the presentation links and templates in one document so that you can reference them easily. Forever-access is just $19, and helps cover the cost of running this event and compensating the teachers who share their ideas. Thank you for your support, and for spreading the word about this event!
3/31/202427 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

Join us for the FREE 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Online Summit in April

It's the only event focused entirely on saving teachers TIME! Learn from current K-12 teachers as they share their best tips for working more effectively, efficiently, and enjoyably. The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek program is an online course I first created in 2015 (with a total update in 2020), and we’ve now had tens of thousands of teachers complete the course. With so many different personality types and teaching contexts, the amount of new ideas to spring out of the course was inevitable. I’ve always been impressed by the tweaks, offshoots, extensions, and transformations teachers have done as they’d made my ideas their own. The Summit is an opportunity for you to learn more about them and their phenomenal work! The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Online Summit this April features: Opening and closing keynotes by 40 Hour founder Angela Watson (that's me) 30+ presentations by current K-12 classroom teachers No fluff, filler, icebreakers, or sales pitches Each session is just 15-20 minutes long The ability to chat with other teachers during the live sessions to get personalized advice This event is entirely online, completely FREE, and beneficial for all K-12 teachers! Some presenters will take you on a video tour of their classrooms to share organizational tips and classroom routines. Others will screen share their way through tutorials of how they organize digital files, manage assessment, or plan lessons. Still others will give a fast rundown of all their best timesaving tips for grading, differentiation, email, and more. You can join us LIVE for FREE in April: Sign up for the free live Elementary Summit April 5th-6th   Sign up for the free live Secondary Summit April 12th-13th If you can’t attend a session or want to watch and rewatch at your convenience, the Forever Access Pass will get you all the recordings, plus a notetaking guide, summary of key ideas for each session, full time-stamped transcripts, and special bonuses. It’s just $19 right now (the price will increase once the event begins).  Your purchase of the Forever-Access Pass helps me recover some of the costs of running this as a free event and paying our presenters. Thank you for your support! Questions? Check out the FAQ here. Please share this free event widely with teacher friends and colleagues! Just send folks to join.40htw.com/summit.
3/24/20247 minutes, 5 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP297 Feedback first: How 2 different teachers help students focus on learning, not grades

Teachers spend so much time giving feedback to students, but often kids don’t internalize it. They tune out the carefully-crafted written comments on their work, briefly register the grade they earned, and move on. So how can we help students care about improving their skills and take time to reflect deeply on their learning? In this episode, you’ll hear how two different teachers have reimagined their instruction to make that possible. It’s a sneak peek at two sessions from the upcoming 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Online Summit, a FREE event that is focused entirely on saving teachers time, and helping you do your job more effectively and efficiently. First up, you’ll hear from Andrea Clark. She’s presenting for the elementary Summit in a session called, “Feedback first: Shifting from traditional grading to reflection sessions.” As you’ll hear from Andrea’s description of her fifth graders’ reflection sessions, this is one of the most worthwhile ways she spends her time as a teacher because her students learn so much from it. Then, you’ll hear from Tanya Jo Woodward. She’s presenting for the secondary Summit in a session called, “7 time savers for IB and AP teachers.” She talks first about how she grades and gives feedback in her high school English classroom while students are working independently on a task or assessment. She also offers tips for helping students self-correct by providing editing stations or peer editing guided sheets. Like so much of the Summit content, I think you’ll find value in hearing both of these teachers’ experiences, regardless of which grades or content areas you might teach. Listen in now to hear Andrea and Tanya Jo share the exact processes they’ve used to transform the way their students think about feedback vs. grades. Then, save your spot for the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Online Summit. All sessions are just 15-20 minutes long with no filler, fluff, icebreakers, or pitches. And, all the sessions are presented by current K-12 teachers, with bonus keynotes from me (Angela Watson). Sign up for the free live Elementary Summit April 5th-6th Sign up for the free live Secondary Summit April 12th-13th If you can’t attend live or the event has already passed by the time you see this, you can purchase forever-access to all the sessions (both elementary and secondary), plus get time-stamped transcripts, note-taking guides, and all the presentation links and templates in one document so that you can reference them easily. Forever-access is just $19, and helps cover the cost of running this event and compensating the teachers who share their ideas. Thank you for your support, and for spreading the word about this event!
3/17/202426 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP296 Thinking creatively about tough problems: the power of diffuse thinking for you and your students

Have you ever noticed how breakthroughs often come when you're not actively trying to find a solution? That's diffuse thinking at work: a relaxed state in which creativity flourishes. On today’s episode of Truth for Teachers, I’ll share how stepping back can lead us forward. It turns out that intense concentration isn't always the best approach to problem solving, and we can instead let our minds wander through the meandering paths of diffuse thinking. Focused thinking is a bit like a flashlight—intense & concentrated. Diffuse thinking is like ambient room lighting—gentle & expansive. When you (or students) can’t concentrate, you can harness the power of diffuse thinking. This shift in mindset from focused to diffuse can spark innovation and creativity. Listen in to discover how to use diffuse thinking when you've pushed your limits in focused thinking, and harness the power of diffuse thinking overnight during sleep. (Your dreams can be a powerful tool for problem-solving, too!) You’ll also hear how you can teach your students to tap into the power of diffuse thinking. I’ll share how to incorporate "thinking walks" into your instruction, try skygazing with students as a productive mental break, prime students for their next lesson with a question that requires diffuse thinking. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion.  —— If you teach at the secondary level, check out my 10 lesson unit on Focused Attention. It includes a lesson on harnessing the power of diffuse thinking which takes just 15-20 minutes to implement. The resource has slides you show to your class which explain everything for you and guides you through the activities, including a student journal page that helps kids reflect on the topic. In this unit, students will also learn that it’s okay to struggle with focusing their attention, and learn how to: Take productive breaks from concentration Create healthy phone habits and manage distractions Use movement to do better focused work Build concentration stamina Tolerate and push through boredom and procrastination Download the PDF brochure about Finding Flow Solutions to share with your administrators and get school funding for the curriculum.  
3/3/202422 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP295 Can banning phones in school help solve the youth mental health crisis? (with Dr. Jean Twenge)

There has been a significant increase in mental health issues among young people in America since 2012, including anxiety, depression, self-harm, suicide attempts, and suicide. Contrary to popular belief, these trends started before the pandemic, with rates of major depression among teens doubling between 2011 and 2019. Girls and young women are more likely to experience these issues, and the gender gap has been widening. The introduction of smartphones and social media around 2012 is believed to be a major factor in the decline of mental wellbeing, as it has led to less face-to-face interaction, increased sleep deprivation, and constant exposure to social media. Dr. Jean Twenge has conducted extensive research in this area. She’s a renowned psychologist and scholar who specializes in generational differences and technology based on a dataset of 39 million people, and has published more than 180 articles and books. In our conversation, Jean emphasizes the need for conversations about healthy phone and screen habits, as well as the importance of setting clear rules and boundaries for phone use. We talk extensively about getting student and parent buy-in around Jean’s recommendation that cell phones be banned in school from bell-to-bell, including during lunch time and breaks. Jean asserts that the research supports this policy, and emphasizes that it should be school-wide and not left to individual teachers to enforce.  Despite the challenges, we discuss our hopes for Gen Z and what makes Jean optimistic about the future. She encourages educators to take the mental health crisis seriously and understand that it is not just our perception or feeling that something is wrong. Her challenge is for educators to help students understand the love-hate relationship they have with their phones, and provide structure and clear rules to help them navigate technology in a healthy way. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion.
2/18/202429 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP294 What does it mean to “teach like yourself’ in 2024? (with Dr. Gravity Goldberg)

“Making a conscious and intentional effort to tap into your own personal power and being courageous” is the way today’s guest defines “teaching like yourself.” I’m talking with Dr. Gravity Goldberg, whom you might remember from a 2019 interview I did, which ended up being one of the most downloaded Truth for Teachers episodes ever. It’s Episode 171, called “Teach like yourself: Why YOU are the person your students need most.” Gravity has over 20 years of teaching experience, including positions as a science teacher, reading specialist, third grade teacher, special educator, literacy coach, staff developer, assistant professor, educational consultant, and yoga teacher. Gravity holds a B.A. and M.Ed. from Boston College and a doctorate from Teachers College. As the founding director of Gravity Goldberg, LLC she leads a team that offers side-by-side coaching and workshops that focus on teachers as decision-makers and student-led instruction.  Since our last conversation, Gravity — who has authored 9 books on teaching — has released a new title called Active Learning: 40 Teaching Methods to Engage Students in Every Class and Every Subject, which she co-wrote with the late Barry Gilmore.  We touch a bit on that book and what Gravity’s working on now, but I thought of this conversation as a “Teach Like Yourself, Revisited”. I wanted to know how her thinking has changed around this topic, and the role authentic teaching plays now. Listen in as we discuss: How “teaching like yourself” (making a conscious and intentional effort to tap into your own personal power and being courageous) is more important now than ever What Gravity has learned about authentic teaching and learning since publishing her book on that topic Has she changed her mind on anything? What would she add? How teachers can integrate engagement strategies in a way that feels authentic and meaningful, rather than just tossing something into their instructional day because they think (or are told) they should The impact of authenticity on students, and specific, practical ways we can make sure students are able to be their true, authentic selves in the classroom Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion.
2/4/202432 minutes, 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP293 When students don’t want to think for themselves or put in effort, try this.

Do you feel like self-advocacy among students is a pervasive problem? As in, if students don’t know what to do, they won’t ask questions or seek out more information … they’ll just sit there and do nothing. If something is challenging, they don’t seem to be interested in improving their skills, or learning for the sake of learning. They just give up.  In response to this, many teachers feel like they have to work harder than their students are working. They have to keep going the extra mile to make lessons personalized and engaging and put all these additional supports and interventions in place to help students be successful, all while many of their students are doing the bare minimum. I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few years exploring this phenomenon, and why it’s becoming more and more common. The more that I learn about student disengagement, the more I am convinced that the solution is NOT to put the onus on teachers to make their lessons more engaging and personalized. An amazing lesson isn’t going to get through to a kid who’s not willing to engage in any mental effort. Is it possible to teach kids how to take initiative and persevere through difficult tasks? Absolutely. I’ll share what I’ve learned in this podcast episode. I’m also sharing 2 free resources for implementing the practices in this episode with your students: Attend a free online training with me! I’m conducting two in February, one for middle school teachers and one for high school teachers. Both are designed to help you reimagine student engagement in your classroom, and rethink what might be possible for your students. A replay link will be sent to everyone who registers, so if you miss it or don’t see this podcast until it’s over, catch the replay by signing up at FindingFlowSolutions.com. Download a free 5 lesson unit and try it out with your students All 6 high school units and 4 of the middle school units in the Finding Flow curriculum are ready now. The first unit, called Foundations of Flow, can be accessed for free. Get the free unit and see what else is available here: https://shop.truthforteachers.com/collections/finding-flow-solutions Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion.
1/21/202424 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP292 How I'm planning and setting goals this year

I’m back from my sabbatical and excited to share how I used my time off and what I’m planning for 2024! I’m sharing more about my personal daily art practice in December (which I plan to continue) and time with family over the holidays. I also discuss my approach for the new year, which is flexible intentionality. I want to be deliberate about where I invest my time while holding plans loosely and staying open to necessary adjustments. Additionally, you’ll hear what I’m working on for 2024, including:  Why I moved the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Online Summit to spring instead of summer and how the event is changing this year My vision for free online trainings throughout the year on Finding Flow Solutions (my curriculum line to help students manage their focused attention, time, and energy). The first workshops are happening in February for middle and high school teachers! The new 40 Hour AI course that will kick off this summer to help you feel confident about streamlining your work via artificial intelligence. Each month throughout the 2024-2025 school year, you’ll spend 30 minutes learning best practices live with me online and 30 minutes afterward experimenting, asking questions, and sharing ideas. Since I’ll have curated the best tools and prompts for you, just this one hour a month of training + experimentation will equip you to trim hours off your workload in a thoughtful, responsible, and ethical way. The new option I’m offering for the Truth for Teachers Daily Encouragement podcast. If you want daily audio messages of encouragement from me, you can pay $3.99/month through Spotify OR you can now make a one-time payment of $19.99. Either way, you’ll get access to the entire podcast feed (going back to September) AND new daily episodes from now until that podcast ends on June 7th, 2024. I’ve got some awesome guests and topics lined up for you here on the bi-weekly Truth for Teachers podcast for 2024, as well. Listen in to hear more about what I’m focusing on. Happy New Year! Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion.
1/7/202422 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP291 Creating space this winter for dreaming and radical reimagination

This episode is the last for 2023, and Truth for Teachers will be back in January.  If you want to learn more about my sabbatical process or how you can take one with me on your break, read or listen to episode 244. I thought carefully about the message I wanted to leave you with for the coming weeks, and sinceI’ve already talked about the logistics of a sabbatical in past years, I thought I’d focus this year not on how to carve out the time or what to do during that time, but on how we can direct our thoughts. With everything happening in the world and in our schools, this feels like a really important time for what I think of as “radical re-imagination.” This is the ability to imagine the world, life, and institutions not as they are or have been, but in an entirely new way, so that we can bring that imagination into reality.  In this episode, I’ll share: Why I think winter is the perfect time for dreaming and visionary thinking My beliefs on the inherent value of imagination and why we shouldn’t immediately rush to practical, actionable steps when creating change Thoughts on the power of grassroots change and dreaming of a better path to collective action together (rather than waiting for top-down transformation) Questions you can ask yourself as we head toward the new year to prompt visionary thinking and help you reimagination your life and work in any area(s) that you’d like In the stillness of winter, it may look like there’s little activity in the natural world, but that doesn’t mean nothing is happening. The time of rest is essential preparation for the activity of the spring to come. There will be a time for doing … but first, there must be a time for stillness. You’ll hear from me each morning throughout the month of December on the Truth for Teachers Daily Encouragement podcast, and in the second half of the month when you’re on break, I’ll help you create space for dreaming and radical reimagination through those short 3-5 minute episodes so you keep this idea in the forefront of your mind.  I’ll be back here on the main Truth for Teachers podcast in January, ready to ring in 2024 with you and sharing more resources to help make your imagination a reality.  Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
11/26/202322 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP290 The surprising research about how talent is developed (with Dr. Rishi Sriram)

What if there was no such thing as innate talent? That’s the argument my guest today is making: that talent is not a cause, but an outcome. It is cultivated, developed, and learned. I’m talking with Dr. Rishi Sriram, who serves as Associate Professor of Higher Education & Student Affairs for the Department of Educational Leadership at Baylor University. His research interests include the development of talent and college student retention, engagement, achievement, and learning, and he is currently working on a book about the development of talent. Rishi has identified what he calls “The 5 Ms to Becoming Great” which we unpack in detail together: Mindset (what you believe) Myelin (how you learn) Mastery (what you do) Motivation (how much you care) Mentorship (how you are taught) We also discuss the benefits of productive struggle and its impact on the brain, and how teachers can support students who resist tasks that require a lot of effort and concentration. Additionally, Rishi offers advice for working with students who don’t appear to be interested in becoming great at anything or have tangible goals for themselves. He shares important information that educators can use to help students pursue greatness and be willing to put forth the effort to increase their talents. Rishi is a fascinating guest who explains the research around talent in such an engaging, clear, practical way. Listen in to learn more about how to develop your own talents, and support students in becoming great at the things they want to do in life, too. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
11/12/202353 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP289 A practical guide to building students’ attention stamina and ability to focus

How long can you read a book without getting distracted? Do you swipe through TikToks or reels before they’re over because you’ve gotten impatient? Do you find it hard to just stream a TV show or movie without also looking at your phone or doing another activity at the same time? Yep — the shortened attention span issue isn’t something unique to Gen Z. It’s something that I think almost all of us in modern western culture have been impacted by…and there’s good reasons for that. In this episode, I’ll share: Some of the reasons why it’s difficult for us to concentrate and think deeply Why the ability to focus for extended periods will be like a superpower in the coming years A 3 step process you can teach students for redirecting their attention when they notice their minds wandering How to make intangible terms like “stay focused” easy for students to understand The 5 step classroom practice you can use regularly to help students build capacity for concentration over time The limits of the human ability to do focused work, and what valuable tasks students can do once they’ve maxed out concentration for the class period Cal Newport’s research on how to alternate periods of deep work and shallow work How–and why–to break the addiction to staying busy with low-level tasks and spend more time (on our own and with students) in deep work, focus, and concentration Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
10/29/202332 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP288 Mindful moment: Finding the calm amidst chaos

Let’s try something new together! I started offering guided “mindful moments” on my new Truth for Teachers Daily Encouragement podcast about once per week, interspersing them with the main content of uplifting and motivational messages. I don’t plan on incorporating mindful moments here on the regular podcast, but I did want to introduce you to the concept so if you like this format, you know you can get more on the Truth for Teachers Daily Encouragement Podcast. New & exclusive ad-free episodes drop daily from Mon-Fri (approx. 20 eps each month)! Each one is a 3-5 minute uplifting message and is ad-free. You subscribe through Spotify for $3.99/month, and can then listen wherever you get your podcasts, and cancel anytime. If you’re already a subscriber of the Truth for Teachers Daily Encouragement Podcast and you enjoy the mindful moments, I thought it might be fun to do a longer one here to allow you to take the practice deeper. So what exactly do I mean by “mindful moment”? It’s simply an invitation to slow down and be fully present in the moment and in your body. You don’t have to close your eyes and you’re not expected to enter a meditative state. That’s especially true for the Daily Encouragement mindful moments since they’re so short. Some folks do them while sitting at their desks during a break, or while gazing out the window before or after school, or even in the car to help calm them while driving it. It’s just a quick moment to get out of your own head and back into your body. It’s a chance to be fully present in the moment without our minds racing ahead to what we need to do next. The mindful moments are a break in which I guide you to reflect on gratitude, non-attachment, joy, or another concept that helps you return to a state of ease and flow.  The mindful moments that I’m offering have their roots in secular Buddhism, which is a philosophy of life and not a religion or belief system. The mindful moments that I’m offering are not a religious practice, or even necessarily a spiritual practice. Certainly you could incorporate them into your understanding of those things, but this is really about practicing presence and being intentional about what you are focusing on. The mind is extremely powerful, and visualization is a really impactful way to help you feel more grounded, centered, and balanced. If you’ve never done this before, thank you for being open and trying this out. See how you feel afterward — does your mind feel clearer? Has your heart rate slowed and nervous system downregulated? Is it easier to concentrate or get things done afterward? Just notice what — if any — impact you feel this first time.  If you have a meditation or mindfulness practice already, welcome! I would love for this to be something we can do together. I hope you enjoy having a familiar and hopefully calming voice to guide you through something that’s maybe a little different than what you normally do in your practice. For today’s episode, I thought I would focus on finding the calm amongst chaos, since this is a practice all of us need. I’ll be introducing music and nature sounds periodically throughout this time together to help create a sense of calm and relaxation. Find a comfortable, quiet place, and listen in to join us! Subscribe to the Truth for Teachers Daily Encouragement Podcast to get new mindful moment episodes on a regular basis. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
10/15/202315 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP287 Bell-to-bell instruction is NOT best practice. Here's the research.

The expectation that students be fully engaged in learning tasks from the first minute of the class period until the last is known as “bell-to-bell instruction.” It’s a widely-accepted practice in education, but does neuroscience actually support it? Bell-to-bell instruction works from the premise that our class time with students is precious and limited, and therefore needs to be maximized. I think we can all agree on that: wasting students’ time and dragging out transitions isn’t beneficial. But let’s dig deeper into what it means to “make the most of every moment” with students. What if the best way to maximize our instructional time is by NOT attempting to pack every single moment with more work? The value of offering breaks and downtime to students is self-evident to most educators, and yet many schools and districts don’t permit it. So, I’ve curated the brain research showing that breaks are absolutely essential for maximal learning and productivity. I’ll share 6 big takeaways from the research around how the brain learns, and 6 practical ways to incorporate that research into your classroom. My hope is that this podcast/article can be shared to open up conversations about how our schools can better meet the needs of students. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
10/1/202330 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP286 Student-centered learning sounds great, but what’s the reality? (with Erika Walther)

Need a practical roadmap for increasing student ownership? So much of teaching now revolves around teacher accountability, but the same accountability and ownership can be transformative for students as well! Students who have opportunities to increase their ownership over their learning throughout the school year can complete more assignments on time, they feel more confident during testing, and they feel less anxiety over time when it comes to academics. In today’s episode, I’m interviewing Erika Waltherr, who’s been working in Baltimore City Public Schools since 2012 is currently doing work there as a school-based Literacy Coach. She’s observed the difference in students since the start of the pandemic, and how many of them struggle to be independent and self-motivated. Erika wrote an article for our Truth for Teachers writer’s collective, and I’m interviewing her here to go even deeper. We’re discussing practical ways to get your students to be more independent, take more responsibility for their own learning, and shift the balance in your classroom from teacher-centered to student-centered. This advice will be especially helpful for teachers who may struggle with letting go of control in their classrooms. Read/share Erika’s article here: https://truthforteachers.com/truth-for-teachers-podcast/student-centered-learning-reality/  If you teach 8th-12th grade, check out Finding Flow Solutions, my new curriculum lined designed to help students find flow in the classroom and manage their time, energy, and focused attention: https://shop.truthforteachers.com/collections/finding-flow-solutions Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
9/17/202340 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

Announcing the NEW Truth for Teachers Daily Encouragement Podcast!

I’m starting a brand new show with short episodes dropping each week from Monday-Friday! The purpose of the Truth for Teachers Daily Encouragement Podcast is to offer an exclusive message each day for educators who want to show up as the best version of themselves. Every weekday, you’ll receive a short message that helps you return to what matters, stay grounded in your purpose, and uplift your mood. The TFT Daily Encouragement podcast is ad-free and exclusive to subscribers for $3.99/month. (And don’t worry, the regular TFT podcast you already know and love isn’t going anywhere, isn’t changing, and remains free for listeners! This is something NEW and ADDITIONAL for those who want more.) Each episode of the Daily Encouragement podcast is 3-5 minutes long: no promotions, no fluff, no filler. You’ll hear just a boost of motivation and inspiration on topics like: mindfulness self-compassion radical acceptance reframing your thoughts managing anxiety enjoying your work connecting deeply with students staying grounded in your vision and purpose I plan to make one episode per week a guided meditation or mindfulness moment, in which you’re invited to slow down and be fully present in the moment and in your body. You don’t have to close your eyes and you’re not expected to enter a meditative state: these eps will just be a quick moment to get out of your own head and connect to your higher self or even just to your breath. It’s a break in which I guide you to reflect on gratitude, non-attachment, joy, or another concept that helps you return to a state of ease and flow. This podcast is designed for ALL educators (anyone who works in a school), including those who ordinarily don’t listen to podcasts because they don’t have the alone time or mental bandwidth to consume lengthier episodes. It’s designed to be the perfect short, calming listen for: When you first wake up to start your day on a positive note During your commute to school to ease into “school mode” On your break to re-energize yourself for the afternoon After dismissal to ground, calm, and re-center when the day’s done I tried to pick a price that felt affordable for educators while staying mindful of the hosting/payment process costs, and I think that $3.99/monthly offers a really good value for a Mon-Fri daily show. If you appreciate my work in general and with the podcast specifically, I would love your support with this project! The technical details: Subscriptions and payments are handled through Spotify so the link to subscribe is a Spotify payment link. You can use a credit card or Google Pay. Once you’ve subscribed, you can listen right in Spotify. If you have another podcast app that you like better, you can copy/paste the private RSS feed link into the podcast player of your choice and listen there. Each weekday a new episode will automatically appear in the feed wherever you want to listen to your podcasts. You can cancel anytime through Spotify, just know that your access to the podcast archives will be removed at the end of your monthly billing period. I’m committed to the TfT Daily Encouragement Podcast ONLY for this school year, and will then re-evaluate. So, if this is something you’re interested in, sign up now! Subscribe to the TfT Daily Encouragement podcast; https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/dailyencouragement/subscribe Learn more: http://truthforteachers.com/dailyencouragement The first episode drops Monday, Sept. 11th! I hope this will be an easy, fun, way for you to hear some positive words spoken into your heart and mind on a daily basis, so you can keep showing up as the best version of yourself each day. Thank you for supporting me and my work! Angela
9/10/202310 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP285 Why boys are struggling (and what educators can do about it)

I recently read a powerful book called, “Of Boys and Men: Why They’re Struggling, Why We Should Care, and What We Can Do About It” by Richard Reeves. It’s not the first piece of media I’ve consumed about the crises men are facing in the U.S. right now, but IS the first I’ve seen with a deeply comprehensive, intersectional understanding of the problems AND practical solutions. In this episode, I wanted to open a (hopefully ongoing) conversation about this topic, sharing what I learned from the book and what educators should be aware of when considering how to to support the boys in their classrooms. I’ll discuss: Just a few of the ways in which outcomes for men are lagging behind those for women, leading to an increase for men in fentanyl and opioid use; deaths of despair; unwillingness to enter college or the workforce; and vulnerability to groups that push harmful misogynistic ideologies How older millennials, Gen X, and Boomers may be unaware of how much boys are currently lagging behind girls in key areas of success because the opposite problem was more prevalent when we were younger Why acknowledging that structural and institutional support for boys/men does not negate the different types of support that are still needed for girls/women How schools can use redshirting, male staff members, and vo-tech programs to improve outcomes for boys What unlearning needs to happen around “women’s work” so that activities/careers coded as female are seen as desirable by boys (and are better compensated for everyone) Why the opening of doors for girls in STEM fields needs to be paired with role models and opportunities for boys in HEAL fields (health, education, administration, and literacy)  Why we can’t keep condemning “toxic masculinity” without offering a broad range of possibilities for healthy masculinity How educators can be conscious of the messages that boys receive about what expressions of their identity are acceptable Ways educators can help boys embody their full authentic selves and be free from limiting social constructs around what men are (and aren’t) allowed to feel, think, be, and do This is a controversial and delicate topic, so please listen when you are in the headspace to extend grace if some of my phrasing or examples aren’t ideal! I plan to address this topic again in at least one future episode with the support of a guest expert as well as the voices of male students themselves. Resource recommendations, interview suggestions, feedback, and additional perspectives are welcome at [email protected]. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
9/3/202355 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP284 Ask me anything: Listener questions about my personal + professional life

This AMA is a follow-up to the 3 part summer series I created for the podcast to celebrate 20 years of sharing teaching ideas online and reflect on my personal and professional growth during that time. In the final ep of that series, I included a link to an anonymous Google form for folks to submit questions about things I didn’t answer in the series that they’re curious about. Your questions were absolutely wonderful and you’ve brought up some super interesting things for me to discuss! Here are the questions you'll hear me answer in this episode: Childfree or childless? "If it's not too personal, I wondered about your infertility journey. I remember praying for you when you shared about it before. Having gone through IVF myself, I know it may be too sensitive, and I respect that." (NOTE: If this is a triggering topic for you, skip to the 13:30 minute mark.) Blowback from taking a stand? "Your message about how the train was leaving the station (you can't keep waiting to convince everyone to go with you, and you are just going to move forward with what you thought was right) has really stuck with me, maybe moreso than anything else you've ever said and I've been following you since 2003. It's really been impactful on my life because I really cared way too much about making sure every possible person would be happy with every possible thing I did. I have been wondering, what were the repercussions of that? Did you have a drop in followers, angry emails, anything like that? Enneagram number? "Have you done any work with the Enneagram system? In the last few years, I have heard you speak in a way that sounds as though you may have. If so, I would love to hear about it." Highly-sensitive teachers? "How does being an empath impact your work! Can you explain with some examples?" and "As an introvert and empath myself (happily married, but no kids), I have found it hard to make friends in the teaching world. Many teachers are strong personalities who either don’t seem to understand or relate to me or I feel drained by. Any tips for introverts and empaths regarding surviving and thriving in teaching?"and "You talked about how as an introvert & empathetic person, you had to find ways to get energy from your students instead of it just being a drain. Would you share some? I related to this immensely and wanted to hear more! Thanks! Mental health struggles? "Do you have any advice for teachers who struggle with anxiety and depression and did you struggle with either of those things as a teacher? I love your work and appreciate your perspective so much! I am also an introvert and a highly sensitive person and sometimes I don't think I am cut out for this career because of my personality and mental health struggles." Admin who don't share the 40 Hour workweek vision? "Hi Angela, I love all you do and I loved your three-series podcast this summer. Thank you very much. Would you consider doing an episode about how teachers can work alongside administrators who DON'T share the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek vision? I'm talking about the administrators who routinely expect overworking as a part of the job (and some colleagues, too!)" Connecting with local advocacy groups? "Beyond putting this hope out into the universe and sharing it with you, I wanted to ask — as someone connected to many education justice and activist groups and orgs in the city — if you have any desire to get involved in our local work to make the NYC schools more equitable, culturally responsive, and democratic? Your voice is so powerful and we need all hands on deck. Let me know if you have any desire to get involved and I’m happy to connect you to folks who will find ways your unique gifts can serve the fight for education justice in NYC and beyond." Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
8/20/202356 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP283 Rooted in joy: Creating a classroom culture of equity, belonging, and care (with Dr. Deonna Smith)

If you need an uplifting conversation to get you energized for the new school year, this episode is a can’t-miss! I’m talking with Dr. Deonna Smith about the ideas behind her new book, Rooted in Joy: Creating a Classroom Culture of Equity, Belonging, and Care.” Listen in as we discuss: What it means to be “rooted in joy” and how Deonna uncovered the meaning of that phrase in her own work as a teacher The types of internal work we can do as educators to create school-based practices that are rooted in joy What it looks like to have a classroom that is rooted in joy How joy arises naturally in equitable, humanizing environments How a classroom can be understand as an ecosystem in which every person and practice are interconnected Specific practices teachers can implement to create a classroom culture of equity, belonging, and care Learn more about Dr. Deonna Smith here: https://www.deonnasmithconsulting.com Get her new book here: https://amzn.to/3qdOLKB  Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
8/6/202337 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP282 Where I’m going: Reflections on what excites me about my work & the future of schools

I’m concluding the 3 part podcast series this summer offering a deep dive into my personal story: where I’ve been, where I’m at, and where I’m going. Usually you can listen to my podcast episodes in any order you want, but since this is basically my life story, what I’m sharing in this episode will make a lot more sense if you’ve heard the beginning of what happened: EP278 How I got here: Reflections on 20 years of sharing teaching ideas online EP280 Where I’m at: Reflections on who I’ve become as a person and educator In this final installment of the three part series, I'm looking forward, and talking about what's next: How I grapple with imposter syndrome, maintaining relevance, and criticism of my work Why I view my work in terms of years-long problems I'm trying to solve over the course of a lifetime How I plan to translate my experience and accumulated wisdom into my next big project Why I plan to focus more on connecting with educators via my email list and podcast instead of social media A dream my husband and I have for supporting educators in a way that leaves a lasting legacy How rediscovering lost parts of myself, childhood interests, and hobbies apart from work shapes the perspective I bring to teaching Why I think the future of schools is nearly impossible to predict, but I’m committed to uncovering new possibilities and finding the good How I stay hopeful amidst so much bad news, and the perspective that keeps me feeling balanced, energized, and optimistic Anything you're still curious about? If there's anything I didn't talk about in this podcast series that you're still left wondering, I'm doing an AMA (ask me anything) episode next month! Use this form to submit a question about a personal or professional aspect of my life that you'd like to hear more about. https://forms.gle/CNWQT7Y8ccT66phS6 Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
7/23/20231 hour, 11 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP281 Why planning ahead can be a form of self-care (with Lisa Woodruff)

It’s a myth that “having a plan” means locking yourself into a rigid schedule from which you can’t deviate. Knowing the things you want to experience and accomplish (and carving out time for them) is one of the most powerful ways to craft a fulfilling life! Lisa Woodruff recently interviewed me for her Organize365 podcast, and I wanted to play an excerpt of that conversation for you here. Listen in as we talk about how we each fell in love with planning and how our individual planning processes have changed throughout our various seasons of life. We each share how we schedule our time and manage our to-do lists, and what our summer schedules look like. You’ll also hear us illuminate a few key truths we’ve uncovered through developing various productivity systems: Why working toward being “finally done” with a tasks is not necessarily the goal How to enjoy the never-ending process of tending to your own life, needs, and healthy habits How planning ahead creates freedom and allows presence in whatever experiences arise Why the goal isn’t to execute your plan perfectly but to re-evaluate priorities You can listen to the full conversation on the Organize365 podcast, or check out her organizational tools, such as the Education Friday workbox, which is a system that helps teachers get organized and reduce the amount of time spent on administrative tasks. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
7/9/202333 minutes, 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP280 Where I’m at: Reflections on who I’ve become as a person and educator

This is the 2nd episode in my 3 part summer podcast series offering a deep dive into my personal story: where I’ve been, where I’m at, and where I’m going. Usually you can listen to my podcast episodes in any order you want, but since this is basically my life story, what I’m sharing in this episode will make a lot more sense if you’ve heard the beginning of what happened. In this second installment of the three part series, I'm sharing more about the lived experiences and personality traits that shape who I am, how I interact with the world, and the kinds of resources I create. Content warning: In the second half of the episode, I will share how my religious and spiritual beliefs have changed over the last 20 years. If you're not interested in hearing my experiences in this area, you can listen to the first half of the episode, and I'll let you know when I'm about to shift into discussions of religion. Listen in as I share: My honest answer about whether I miss being in the classroom How the focus area I choose for my Masters degree lit a spark that led to the work I'm doing now What I discovered about myself through the National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) process What my close friendship with the teacher next door taught me about my own strengths and weaknesses as an educator The ways being an introvert and empath impact my work and how I see the world How I rebounded from religious trauma as a teenager and found a new way back to the Christian faith in my mid-20s How spending years doing prison ministry and mentoring the incarcerated has shaped my thinking Why I began to feel pushed out of the Christian faith and disillusioned with the doctrine Where I'm at now spiritually and what brings me a sense of peace and joy How these changes in my belief system, personality, and identity shifts have impacted my marriage Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
6/25/20231 hour, 9 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP279 Summit sneak peek: K-12 teachers share their favorite timesaving tips & tricks

The first FREE online summit focused entirely on saving teachers time is happening July 10th and 11th! The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Online Summit is: Entirely online Completely FREE Beneficial for all K-12 teacher Includes 30+ presentations and roundtable discussions Opening and closing keynotes by 40 Hour founder Angela Watson (that’s me) No fluff, filler, icebreakers, or pitches: each session is just 15-20 minutes long All session presenters are current K-12 classroom teachers + 40 Hour members! In this podcast episode, you’ll get to listen to excerpts of 8 different presenter’s time-saving tips! Tip #1: Use learning contracts to transfer ownership of assignments to your students. Tip #2: Carve out time buckets for life, career, relationships, and self so you can ensure your life isn't just about work. ' Tip #3: Share the grading load with a coworker. Tip #4: Give fewer assignments and fewer grades. Tip #5: Give yourself (and your students) something to look forward to when you return to school after the weekend. Tip #6: Delegate responsibility to students through classroom jobs. Tip #7: Get ahead in your lessons by batching the task. Tip #8: Create theme days for specific tasks so you can focus without feeling pulled in so many directions. If you enjoy these excerpts from the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Online Summit, sign up to join us for the full FREE live event happening July 10th and 11th! And if you can’t attend a session or want to watch and rewatch at your convenience, the Forever Access Pass will get you the recordings, plus a note-taking guide, summary of key ideas for each session, full transcripts, and special bonuses. It’s just $19 right now (the price will increase once the event begins.) See you at the Summit — sign up to join us here! Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
6/11/202339 minutes, 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP278 How I got here: Reflections on 20 years of sharing teaching ideas online

I’m getting deeply personal and vulnerable in this 3 part summer podcast series, and sharing things with you that I’ve NEVER talked about publicly before! This was sooo hard for me to do … but it’s the 20 year anniversary of my teaching website (I built the first iteration back in July 2003) and I didn’t want to let the occasion pass without reflecting on all that’s happened over the past two decades. Some of you have actually been on this journey with me for the entire 20 years I’ve been sharing ideas online, which is just mind-blowing! I think you’ll really enjoy this look back on the previous two decades together. Others of you have come along more recently, and I hope this series gives you the backstory and context to connect with me on a deeper level. Here’s the release schedule for these episodes: May 28: How I got here: Reflections on 20 years of sharing teaching ideas online June 25: Where I’m at now: Reflections on who I’ve become as a person and educator July 23: Where I’m going: Reflections on what excites me about my work and the future of schooling Content warning for this first episode: I will briefly allude to sexual assault, and also talk about my personal experiences with race and religion. This episode will be very different from what you’re used to on Truth for Teachers, so make sure you’re in the right headspace before pressing play. Listen in as I answer the following questions: How did your childhood experiences shape the person you've become today? Why did you always want to be a teacher even though you weren't a good student yourself? You've mentioned before that your teenage years were rough — what happened? What was your college experience like, and how did you get your first job as a teacher? What happened when you started feeling burned out and decided to change grade levels? How did you get started sharing ideas online? Why did you relocate and transition to instructional coaching and working for BrainPOP? How do you process your legacy among the very first wave of educators in the early 2000s to share their resources online? I hope listening to this episode gives you more insight into my “origin story” and what has shaped my worldview and fueled my passions.  Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
5/28/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP277 Can you do "fewer things, better" when there's a staff shortage?

If you’re constantly covering for absent colleagues, supporting temporary hires in your building, or otherwise taking on additional duties because there aren’t enough people on staff … you’re not alone.  Teacher shortages have been one of the most difficult lingering effects of the pandemic, and unfortunately, we’re continuing to see things trend downward. There’s no way around it: when some folks are gone, it creates more work for the people who remain. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
5/14/202337 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP276 Finding flow: How to teach productivity strategies to students

We all want students to be self-directed in their learning and take initiative to figure things out for themselves. We want them to think critically and engage in the struggle of understanding so they come out on the other side truly owning their own learning, ideas, and beliefs. Two of the most powerful ways to help students experience this kind of learning are: Explicitly teaching students how to optimize concentration, time, and energy Model these strategies for students with enthusiasm, curiosity, and intellectual humility That’s exactly what this episode is designed to help you do. The first and most important step is to shift from viewing learning as something that you’re trying to get students to do and they’re resisting, and instead view learning as something that you experiment with together. Listen in to learn more about flow theory, and why I prefer its focus on joy and ease over just “managing time” or “getting more done.” You and your students can internalize this way of thinking about time, energy, and attention, and establish the goal of finding flow in the classroom whenever possible. Learn more about FINDING FLOW Solutions and check out curriculum previews: http://findingflowsolutions.com/ Download the free Foundations of Flow unit for teens Purchase the complete set of 6 units for teens as a beta tester Get notified when elementary resources are ready Get notified when middle school resources are ready Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
4/30/202322 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP275 What does it mean to “bring the best version of yourself” to the classroom? (with Elena Aguilar)

Who you ARE matters just as much as what you DO. How can you show up as the best version of yourself each day, not only for students, but in every aspect of life? I’m talking today with Elena Aguilar, a writer, leader, teacher, coach and the author of seven highly acclaimed books including The Art of Coaching, (2013) Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators (2018), Coaching for Equity (2020), and The PD Book: 7 Habits that Transform Professional Development (2022). Elena is the founder and president of Bright Morning Consulting, and host of The Bright Morning podcast (which is a phenomenal listen, by the way.) She also collaborated with Dr. Rebecca Branstetter and I on the Reversing Educator Burnout course–you can hear her as a special guest expert in Module 2.  Listen in as Elena and I discuss: Why “bringing your best self” brings ease rather than “one more thing” to your plate The power and simplicity of being fully present in challenging moments Trying harder vs letting go The traits and dispositions we display when we are our best selves What to do when you’re too exhausted to bring your best self to the classroom Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
4/16/202339 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP274 Unlocking new ways to see learning—and ourselves—through STEM practices (w/ Jason McKenna)

As a child, I didn’t think I was a “math and science” person. But you know what I did like? Robots. Robotics would have been an easy inroad into science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) practices that would have piqued my interest in a way the regular school curriculum didn’t. If I’d been able to experiment with robotics in school, I might have unlocked an entirely new passion apart from the reading/writing skills I was far more comfortable with. I might have begun to see myself as a person who could take an active role in experimentation, problem-solving, teamwork, and leadership. While most of us as educators didn’t get the opportunity to experience robotics and STEM projects when we were kids, we do have the opportunity to have fun experimenting with these challenges NOW alongside students. In fact, being brand new to the ideas can help you practice being a fellow learner with kids and experience the joy of making new discoveries together. If you’re intrigued, listen in on my conversation with Jason McKenna. He’s sharing how exposing kids to STEM opportunities can change the way they think about themselves and transform their engagement in school. Jason has over 20 years of classroom experience implementing STEM programs and robotics competitions for students at all levels. He now works as the Director of Global Educational Strategy for VEX Robotics, so his job is to oversee all curriculum development and classroom integration for the company. He’s also the author of the book, “What STEM Can Do for Your Classroom: Improving Student Problem Solving, Collaboration, and Engagement.”  VEX makes it possible and affordable for students to explore educational robotics so they can experience autonomy and get comfortable with the process of iteration. The curriculum makes it super simple for ANY classroom teacher to bring robotics into the classroom. Go to VEXrobotics.com to learn more, and listen in to learn why robotics might be just the thing you need to help students get more deeply engaged in learning. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
4/2/202328 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP273 The power of asking better questions for self-reflection

When it feels like there’s no good answers, that may be a sign that we’re not asking useful questions. If we can frame our thinking with better questions, we can uncover better answers. There are so many ways you can use questions to shift your emotional state, focus on what’s most important, and help you problem-solve constructively. This episode will help you find a framing for things you’re confused or frustrated about so you can find the path to solutions. I’ll also share how you can use better questions with students to help them reflect on their choices, as well. Curiosity over judgment. Wondering over assumptions. These are always safer places to land. You don’t have to have all the right answers, but having some great questions will get you headed down a more productive path. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
3/19/202314 minutes, 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP272 The neuroscience of co-thriving with students (with. Dr. Rebecca Branstetter)

Want some practical strategies backed by brain research that can help you and your students co-thrive together? My guest today is Dr. Rebecca Branstetter, Ph.D. She’s a school psychologist, speaker, and author on a mission to help children thrive by supporting educators, mental health providers, and families. She is the founder of The Thriving Students Collective and Thrive Hive TV™ Network, online platforms for boosting the mental health and learning needs of children. She is also my co-creator for our professional development course called How to Reverse Educator Burnout. Listen in as we discuss: What can people who aren’t current classroom teachers add to conversations about educator burnout? What are the brain research-based markers of thriving in life and in work? What are some specific practices backed by neuroscience that teachers can use to make their classrooms a place where co-thrive with kids? Let your school or district know that How to Reverse Educator Burnout is 50% off through March 10th, 2023, and purchase orders are accepted. This is relevant, practical, and enjoyable PD to help schools go beyond talking about self-care and burnout, and instead provide support to educators with practical tools. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
3/5/202338 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP271 What could be possible if you aimed for B+ work?

“Just do your best” is not always helpful advice for perfectionists, people-pleasers, and folks struggling with anxiety. The phrase is meant to offer comfort, but can create pressure, because you know what your best looks like, and how much time and effort it involves! The truth is: you can’t possibly give your best effort to everything on your plate, and not everything you need to do deserves your best effort. What if you only aimed for A+ work on the most important stuff in life and work, and aimed for B+ work in everything else? You might be thinking, “This is an interesting concept, Angela, but my brain doesn’t work that way. I can’t give less than 100%.” This podcast episode will give you 5 things to remember in order to really internalize healthier expectations for yourself so that you can decide where to focus your time and energy. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
2/19/202315 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP270 How ChatGPT can reduce your teacher workload (with Dr. Monica Burns)

Artificial intelligence can help you work more efficiently and save hours each week! Listen in as I talk with Dr. Monica Burns, an author, speaker, and former New York City public school teacher. Monica shares incredibly practical ideas for teachers on her website ClassTechTips.com, and is prolific on Twitter as well. This episode was recorded live at the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC), and Monica and I discuss why artificial intelligence is exciting us right now in the world of ed tech. Monica shares specific ideas for how the free AI tool ChatGPT can accelerate your work so you can produce better results, faster. Download a free guide to simplifying your workload with ChatGPT here. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
2/5/202318 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP269 Why YOU always seem to be right (and how to tell if you're not)

Truth for Teachers is back for Season 17! We’re kicking things off with a powerful concept that can help transform your relationships with others (and yourself) in 2023. I’ll share how to examine the usefulness of your thought system, and explain why we ourselves always seem to be right. Once you grasp this teaching, I think you’ll find it’s easier to work with–instead of against–people who think differently than you. Use the principle of separate realities to help you approach students, colleagues, and parents from a place of empathy, intellectual humility, and a genuine desire to understand and connect. You can also apply these ideas to personal relationships. If you want to do a deeper dive into mindset, join us throughout the month of February 2023 in an online book club! We’re discussing the NEW second edition of my book, “Awakened: Change Your Mindset to Transform Your Teaching.” Get the book and/or join the free book club here: https://truthforteachers.com/awakened Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
1/22/202323 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP268 A message of encouragement and call to rest: You. Are. Still. Here.

It’s the LAST EP of season 16, and per usual, I want to be a little more informal as I close out the podcast season. I’m sharing some personal reflections and a recap of my projects from the fall. I’ll also share a new focus I’m trying for November, and give an overview of my December sabbatical plans. New course on reversing educator burnout New book on educator mindset (discounted for the month of November on Kindle, paperback, and audiobook) You’re invited to take a sabbatical with me during your holiday break, and I’ll recap some ideas for this. I’ll send you off with something important and thought-provoking to consider in the coming weeks — a message of encouragement and call to rest. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
11/6/202220 minutes, 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP267 How to release unrealistic standards and change the stories you’re telling yourself

When we feel responsible for controlling students' behavior and work habits, the classroom environment, the way parents/caregivers and other faculty behave, and how the school and district make decisions, we are destined to be miserable. Other people will rarely meet our ideals, and trying to force them to do so will feel like a full-time job in itself. The second edition of my new book addresses this. It’s called, "Awakened: Change Your Mindset to Transform Your Teaching.” Depending on when you’re listening to this episode, the paperback, Kindle eBook, and audiobook version are either available now or available for pre-order. In this episode, you’ll hear an excerpt from the audiobook about replacing unrealistic standards and changing the stories we tell ourselves about control. I’ll talk about 5 unrealistic standards we often hold: I need people to know the "right" way to do things I need to identify all problems and fix them immediately I need to make sure everything goes according to my plans I need everything to be fair and make sense I need to know what's going to happen next Listen in as I share how these unrealistic standards can be replaced with the following productive thoughts in your work as an educator: I can accept other people's ways and methodologies I can let go of the interpretation that something's wrong I can be happy when things don't go my way I can handle things that don't make sense I can be okay with not knowing Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
10/30/202226 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP266 Creating change in education without burning out (w/ Dr. Nadia Lopez)

Revolutionaries and visionaries can get exhausted. They often sacrifice their own needs because they believe so strongly in the cause. Today I’m asking aloud: Does it have to be that way? Is there a sustainable approach to fighting for liberatory education? What might it look like to create change in education without martyring ourselves? My guest is Dr. Nadia Lopez, an award-winning educator who became a viral sensation after the popular blog Humans of New York featured her as one of their most influential people. Dr. Lopez founded Mott Hall Bridges Academy, a STEAM-focused middle school in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York, in 2010, and served as the principal for ten years. Her Ted Talk on the Education Revolution has garnered more than a million views. In 2020, Dr. Lopez ended her tenure as Mott Hall Bridges Academy’s principal as an act of self-preservation after developing a stress-related illness that threatened her life. The experience inspired her to develop a coaching program for women of color in educational leadership designed to build their capacity, with a focus on sustainability. Listen in as she shares her experience with past (and current) burnout, and what she’s learned about finding a sustainable approach to doing good work in education. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
10/16/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP265 Why I’m pulling some of my books out of print & rewriting "Awakened"

Here’s a little insider knowledge into the publishing world and how I make decisions to ensure all 5 of my books are current and relevant... I’m planning to release a second edition of Awakened: Change Your Mindset to Transform Your Teaching in November 2022, and I wanted to give you an idea of what will be different and why. From a technical standpoint, the second edition of a book counts as a brand new book: it has a new ISBN number, new links and listings in online retailers, etc. As a general principle in publishing, a book should only be released as a second edition if readers who already own the first edition would benefit from owning the second. In other words, it needs to be different enough from the first edition — to have enough updated content, new ideas, and so on — to qualify as a separate book. This is the first time I’ve ever attempted a second edition of a book and it’s been a really enjoyable process, as you’ll hear. I’m also creating an audiobook version which I’m very excited about — there wasn’t one for the first edition. I think the book really lends itself well to that format, and of course I’m reading it myself, because so many of you are used to my voice from the podcast and it would feel weird to hear someone else reading it! I wanted to let you hear an excerpt from the audiobook version of the Awakened second edition that talks about choices I’ve made around updating books and removing books from print. Listen in to hear what’s changed and why. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
10/9/202217 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP264 Help students do more with less effort using cognitive load theory (with Jennifer Brinkmeyer)

When students struggle to focus, follow directions, and stay on task, it may be helpful to consider cognitive load theory. Classroom teacher Jennifer Brinkmeyer’s my guest in this episode to talk about how she’s utilized her research in this area to help students get more done with less mental effort. Cognitive load is a learning theory developed by educational psychologist John Sweller. In this theory, our brains are compared to a computer’s working memory. Just as a computer can only hold so much information in its working memory at a time, so can a brain. There are 3 types of cognitive load to consider: intrinsic, germane, and extraneous loads. Surprisingly to both Jennifer and I, the goal is NOT to minimize all of them! Listen in as Jennifer breaks down how cognitive load theory is applicable in her classroom, and the 3 tips she has for considering cognitive load during instructional time. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
10/2/202226 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP263 How to reframe a negative situation when you just can't move on

We’ve all had hurtful or upsetting incidents with colleagues, parents, and students that we can’t seem to move past. How do you change your thinking in order to move on? How do you stop carrying around the weight of what happened Folks in our Truth for Teachers Podcast Community were invited to submit their situations anonymously, and tell me about the stuff that they just can’t move past. We’re tackling unfair accusations, stressful interactions with students, and attacks on the teaching profession. I’m sharing some thought work practice that can help you get over negative situations so you no longer feel as anxious or upset about them. If you’re just not over it and can’t let it go … here’s a collection of mental reframing approaches to try. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
9/25/202223 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

Introducing NEW Truth for Teachers playlists!

I first started this podcast back in 2015, and nearly 300 episodes later, I’m proud to say there’s a wealth of helpful information available to you. But… you don’t have time to listen to 300 episodes. How do you know you didn’t miss out on something great awhile back? What if there’s something you need to hear NOW that I haven’t talked about in awhile? Enter the NEW Truth for Teachers playlists. I’ve carefully curated the episodes I’m most proud of — and that I think will help you most — from our seven years of podcasting. Choose from:  The Greatest Hits Playlist: A collection of the most popular and impactful episodes The Encouragement Playlist: Mindset tips and motivation to help rejuvenate and inspire you The Productivity Playlist: Time and energy management ideas to create work/life balance The Student Engagement Playlist: Innovative teaching strategies that build a healthy classroom culture Visit https://truthforteachers.com/playlists/ to learn more and get the one you want sent straight to your inbox!
9/18/20224 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP262 The 3 day weekend mindset

What if you were able to have a 3 day weekend EVERY week? Obviously you still need to show up to school 5 days a week and give your best each day. But you can shift your perception of how the week is structured to maximize time for rest and recovery. Listen as I share: How all days/hours are not experienced equally (some are more valuable for specific purposes, some feel longer and other shorter) Why weekends feel too short, and how beginning them sooner is a better solution than stretching them out longer How to approach your time each day of the week to get your most productive work done before the “long weekend” and truly relax on your time off This episode is a playful approach to mindset. Experiment with how you use your time so that you can have more time for everything that matters most! Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
9/11/202221 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP261 The Swiss Cheese Model: letting go of “all or nothing” thinking

This short, encouraging episode explains how you can tackle really difficult problems using layers of imperfect solutions, rather than giving up doing anything altogether. This approach is used in healthcare, aviation safety, computer security, and more…why not uncover a real place for it in K-12 education, as well? We can work to create positive change in our schools, communities, nation, and planet if we think in terms of multiple layered solutions, rather than waiting for that one big perfect thing that fixes it all forever. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
9/4/202211 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP260 Three ways to create teaching templates that will save you 5-10 hours a week (with Marguerite Rendelfs)

Save yourself huge amounts of time by reusing your own work! Teacher Marguerite Rendelfs has developed a plan to create reusable resources that saves her between five and ten hours every week. One major shift in my mindset that she learned through the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek program that has helped her in many situations is this: We often focus on saving time right now. Considering how we can use our current work to save time for ourselves in the future can be a game-changer. Marguerite shares, “Last school year, I’ve realized I can build templates while I’m doing my daily work, which saves time and batches the work I’ll be doing in the future. Now I love templates. They boost my productivity and focus my attention. When I notice that I’m repeatedly spending time on the same type of task, I evaluate whether a template might be helpful.” Templates are most effective when a task is repetitive, generalizable, detailed, and time-consuming. If a template might be effective, you can build one as you work. Listen as Marguerite shares her process for using 3 kinds of templates: Student accommodations Instructional materials and activities Comment banks for student feedback Then, check out her article at TruthforTeachers.com to see step-by-step instructions, examples of her templates, and more. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
8/28/202229 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP259 Set a target number of hours to work...and stick to it

You can decide this school year to find a sustainable approach to your workload. How? By not trying to work until everything is done. It’s NEVER all going to be done, which means you’re always either going to be working or feel like you should be working. Instead, I’m going to teach you a principle I share in the 40 Hour Workweek programs I run for teachers, instructional coaches, and school leaders. It’s the Target Number Planner. You can create a schedule in which you determine — at the start of each week — how much time you’re willing to spend on school stuff, and how you’re going to allocate those hours. Choosing a target number of hours to work is not about perfection, it’s about intentionality. You’re simply deciding in advance how many hours you’d like to allocate to work, and being mindful of how your time is being used. This is the start of a mindset shift more than anything else, as you practice fitting work into your life instead of life into your work. If you want support with setting and sticking to a target number, remember that the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Fast Track program is open to new members all year long. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
8/21/202224 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

Burnout, work/life balance, and supporting teachers (with Lisa Woodruff of Organize 365)

I recently had an upbeat, fun conversation with Lisa Woodruff of Organize 365 for her podcast, and thought I'd share an excerpt of it here with you! We're talking all about the state of education today, what we're hearing from teachers about their needs, and our experiences with burnout and balance. As a fellow former educator, Lisa knows the mindset and challenges of teaching well, and does a deep dive with me into some of the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek principles. This includes: the difference between required work vs hobby work, overcoming perfectionism, and learning what you can say no to without having your classroom fall apart.   We both share some major timewasting mindsets we fell prey to as teachers, and how we think about our work and time differently today. If you enjoy this conversation, check out ep 149, called Living life as an organized teacher. You can also listen to Lisa's Organize 365 podcast on home and paper organization: https://organize365.com/podcast Or check out Lisa's Education Friday Workbox® for teacher organization: https://af271.isrefer.com/go/EDWX/AngelaWatson/ And finally, here's the link to my 40 Hour Teacher Workweek program which is open through July 27th: https://join.40htw.com
7/2/20221 hour, 2 minutes
Episode Artwork

"Nothing short of a revolution": What's happening in the 40 Hour programs

In this in-between-seasons bonus ep, you’ll hear some quick audio clips of teachers sharing how they are challenging norms in education and creating a sustainable workload through the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek program. I’ll also share how 40 Hour is creating institutional change through the 40 Hour Leadership and 40 Hour Instructional Coaching programs. I hope you will hear my heart and get the bigger picture message I want to send! This is an offering of hope, encouragement, and support for folks who want to do the job they love without burning out. The 40 Hour programs are THE MOST powerful tools I’ve created for shifting workload norms in education, keeping great teachers in the field, and supporting those who are struggling so they can grow into their best selves.  Please pass this link onto anyone in education who you think might benefit or who shares my passion for educator wellbeing, including innovative school leaders who want tools to support their staff: https://join.40htw.com Thank you for supporting my work–whether it’s by joining 40 Hour, telling others about it, or even just listening to this podcast.
6/14/202223 minutes, 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP258 Envisioning what’s next for schools: my personal reflections & hope for the future

LAST EP OF SEASON 15! We're wrapping up with thoughts on processing, healing, dreaming, and rebuilding as we find our path  toward whatever is next for schools. So in this unscripted episode, I share my broad observations, loosely-held conclusions, and partially-formulated ideas about what might be possible. What is the future of public education? How do we keep the dream alive with so many forces undermining, privatizing, and monetizing it? In the midst of culture wars and opposing demands, can schools please all stakeholders? How do we ensure that the responsibility for personalizing education for the preferences of each child/family does not fall solely on classroom teachers? I’m talking from the heart about what I’m hopeful for right now, and why I’m choosing an optimistic take on the future of schools. I believe in public education, and the importance of not growing apathetic or hopeless about the state of education, our country, or our world. I’ll end the episode by sharing a bit about my summer plans and how I’m creating space for dreaming and vision-building … and encourage you to do the same. The Truth for Teachers podcast will be back in August. In the meantime, check out the summer blog post articles from our writer’s collective, our weekly email, and our posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.  And, if you’ve enjoyed this season of the podcast, leave us a review on iTunes! Your feedback is so, so important.  Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
5/15/202244 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP257 How to work ONLY your contractual hours as a teacher (with Samantha Smith)

The job of a teacher is not designed to be completed within 40 hours a week. It’s assumed that teachers will provide additional labor by coming in early, staying late, and bringing work home on a regular basis….all without compensation. So, how can we change this norm? One way is to amplify the work of teachers who have resisted that pressure to be the last person out of the building each evening, and who are willing to talk openly about how they have streamlined and reduced extraneous expectations. You can hear this in a secondary teacher’s story in episode 250 (about lesson planning), in episode 256 from four different educators, and now in this elementary teacher’s story. To be clear: you may not be able to work exactly your contractual hours (depending on your personal teaching context and workload. This does NOT mean you’re doing something wrong: it means systemic change is needed. A realistic goal for you might be to reduce the amount of time you spend working on nights and weekends as a starting point. Listen to Samantha’s story here for some hope + inspiration that it IS possible to do a great job for kids without working endlessly for free. She shares: How she tracked her work hours, and what she learned from doing it If Samantha never takes work home, when does the work get done? Samantha's lesson planning and material prep process — how she walks out every single day with the next day's lessons and materials set out and ready to go Why people are always curious about the logistics of streamlining, but the mindset behind the actions has been Samantha’s most powerful shift How she stopped worrying about being perceived as someone who doesn’t really care or isn’t truly dedicated to kids (and how her colleague’s perceptions of her changed) Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
5/8/202225 minutes, 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP256 Four teachers' small changes that made BIG reductions in their workload

We all want to work smarter, not harder … and that doesn’t require a complete overhaul of your teaching practice or a brand new innovative workflow. Small changes in daily habits and mindset shifts can add up to big results, and I’ve invited 4 teachers to share what’s made the difference for them: The MVP principle and timer when lesson planning (LB Blackwell) Using a turn-in sheet for student work to speed up grading (Christina Rudd) Simplifying and automating email with parents (Christie Manners) Not having kids turn every assignment in and using less paper (Becky Teater) These teachers cut back on the amount of time they spend working WITHOUT sacrificing their instructional quality or shortchanging students and families. They’re proof that it’s possible to do a great job for kids without working endlessly on nights and weekends. Want more support in reducing your workload? Check out the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek program these 4 educators completed: https://join.40htw.com Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
4/24/202219 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP255 Student behavior, grace, & consequences in the final weeks of school (with Amy Stohs)

Teachers are often told to “focus on the positive and ignore the negative” when it comes to student behavior. While providing positive reinforcement and specific praise is good practice, it’s NOT the only thing we need to do, and consequences are a part of learning behavioral expectations. So how do we get the outcome of better behavior? Classroom teacher Amy Stohs is here to share how her teaching philosophy manifests in a blend of grace and consequences in the classroom. Having taught at both the early elementary and middle school level, Amy offers practical guidance about how to take away privileges as a logical consequence for students at all age levels. Amy also shares tips for maintaining a productive learning environment even during the final weeks of the school year, having fun with each other, and enjoying the classroom community you’ve built together. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussionor, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
4/17/202249 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP254 An instant way to have fewer assignments to grade

No, the answer is not throwing the whole stack in a recycling bin. (Although it’s perfectly fine to toss out some assignments from time-to-time.) And, the answer isn’t to give more assignments digitally. That can help make assessment more effective and efficient, but the pile-up of student work awaiting feedback online can feel just as daunting as a stack of papers. This episode will help you explore ways you may be overcomplicating the assignments you give or your approach to assessment, and think outside the box about how to streamline. I’ll share how to instantly reduce the assignments you need to grade, and help you uncover your own answer to the following questions: Is there ONE type of assignment that I’m giving to students which is taking me forever to grade, and that I might be able to reduce or change up a bit? What can I do to experiment or push back on expectations this year, in order to make my grading workload more sustainable? Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
4/10/202214 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP253 Is teaching still the right career for you? (with Daphne Gomez)

If you’re ready to reevaluate your job, and decide if you want to return next school year or explore other options, this episode will help you consider the possibilities. I’m talking with Daphne Williams Gomez of The Teacher Career Coach about what’s changed in the job market for teachers since she was a guest on the show back in March 2020. She’ll share trends she’s noticing, as well as questions you can ask yourself to make the very personal decision about whether teaching is still what you want to do. We’ll discuss ways to make teaching work, and the benefits of looking for a school, grade level, or subject area that’s a better fit instead of transitioning to an entirely new career path. We then explore the attachment many educators have to their job identity, and the struggle to find another career that offers the same noble calling and sense of purpose. We discuss the pros and cons of finding a job that you like–not love–in order to have the time, energy, and money to do non-work-related things you love. We push back against the “anti 9-5 and “be your own boss” narratives that aren’t the right fit for everyone. Daphne will also share examples of former teachers who have matched their skill sets to other jobs that they enjoy–often, careers they’d never even considered. Finally, Daphne shares what your next steps should be if you’re curious about other work you could do apart from teaching. You can take Daphne’s free quiz about career options here: TeacherCareerCoach.com/truthforteachers You’ll also find links to her Teacher Career Coach podcast, resume and job hunting resources, and info about her online course + mentorship to help you transition to your next career. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
4/3/202246 minutes
Episode Artwork

EP252 Three practices for more one-on-one time with students (with Kareem Farah of The Modern Classrooms Project)

Finally — a sustainable model for self-paced learning and mastery-based grading! Kareem Farah of the Modern Classrooms Project (MCP) shares how ANY teacher of any grade level or subject area can maximize class time and connect with students one-on-one. If you feel like you never have enough time to truly differentiate or personalize learning, try the MCP approach. Kareem’s sharing 3 strategies that you can experiment with integrating in your classroom to allow kids to work at their own pace, and free you up to work with students individually and in small groups. This convo will help you figure out logistics and practical considerations, whether your school’s fully on board with student-centered, innovative teaching methodologies or you’re just getting started. Check out MCP’s free online course at: https://learn.modernclassrooms.org/ Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
3/20/202236 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP251 Empathy fatigue is real. How can educators push through the exhaustion? (with Kyle Cohen)

How do you show up each day as the best version of yourself? Kyle Cohen, a 4th grade teacher in Cleveland OH, is here to share his contagious positive energy. Listen as Kyle talks about what keeps him motivated, how he taps into his patience and empathy when working with students, and how implementing fun, engaging lessons helps him keep energy levels high throughout the school day. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
3/13/202222 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP250 Peek inside one teacher's lesson planning process—and how she streamlines to stay ahead (with Megan Faherty)

“When I leave school, I’m not only ready for the next day, I’m ready for the rest of the week. I almost never do planning or preparation the day before.” These are the words of high school social studies teacher Megan Faherty, who’s sharing her lesson planning strategy in today’s episode. Megan’s overall strategy boils down to making decisions about planning early, so her day-to-day work consists of simply implementing the decisions she's already made. During our conversation, Megan will share the 9 steps of her lesson planning process. She’ll also share tips on overcoming obstacles to efficient planning, suggestions for team planning, and lessons she’s learned from hybrid and virtual teaching over the last 2 years. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
3/6/202245 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP249 What if we stop moving goal posts, and enjoy where we're at?

The constant pressure to achieve more, work harder, increase results, generate more money, and so on can be exhausting. In this episode, I wanted to share some things I’ve been mulling over in terms of holistic wealth and wellbeing, and what it means to use our time well. What if we didn’t try to maximize EVERY moment, and instead allowed for some moments of rest, daydreaming, and moving slowly with intention? What if we identified some things that add a richness and satisfaction to our lives, and prioritized those activities at the same level as “getting things done”? What might it look like — in our schools and in our personal lives — if we weren’t constantly upping the ante and working toward the next goal, but focused on reveling in what we’ve already done? Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
2/27/202235 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP248 Uncovering the hidden clutter in your curriculum (with Sally Berquist)

Teachers are expected to pack way too much into a school day, and it can be tricky to sift through everything in the curriculum and figure out what’s most important (and relevant for your particular students). Sally Berquist, a teaching veteran with 24 years of experience and writing instruction specialist, is going to share some strategies to help you identify clutter in your curriculum and simplify your lesson design to account for realistic cognitive load and time management. As Sally shares, folks who write curriculum may be experts in content, but YOU are the expert on delivering that curriculum and implementing it in a way that works for your students. If you’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of stuff you’re supposed to teach, I think you’ll find this conversation validating and also helpful in learning to view your curriculum through a lens of what’s developmentally appropriate and relevant for your students. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
2/13/202231 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP247 Are the kids alright? A deep dive into the pandemic's toll on students (with Jessica Kirkland)

The instability and unpredictability that students have experienced in this third school year impacted by COVID has definitely taken a toll on kids … but the impact can look very different from student to student. High school teacher Jessica Kirkland is here to share what she’s observed in her students and discussed with them in terms of their mindset, behavior, and socio-emotional wellbeing. If you can’t quite put your finger on what feels “off” with students this school year and how class dynamics, relationships, and motivation levels have changed since the pandemic began, I think you’ll find this conversation illuminating. Jessica shares in her deeply empathetic way how both childhood and teenage experiences have been impacted in myriad ways by the pandemic. We explore the root causes for disconnection and lack of motivation, and how even if one particular student is doing okay (or even thriving), that student is still impacted by the people around them who aren’t. We talk about the limits of resiliency and how nearly everyone has been pushed to or beyond capacity for an extended period of time, and how that plays out in schools. We end with Jessica’s thoughts on what’s giving her optimism and hope for the future of our students and our schools. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
2/6/202244 minutes, 1 second
Episode Artwork

EP246 A more intuitive approach to tiered and differentiated instruction (with Tia Butts)

You know your students and who’s struggling, and you can prepare lesson scaffolding even without data “proof” that students need it.   Tia Butts, teacher and Truth for Teachers writer, is joining me for a relaxed, upbeat conversation about 4 ways she’s simplified tiered instruction and differentiation in her classroom.   Tia shares how she uses a relationship-based approach with students to assess and meet their needs, rather than relying ONLY on data and assessment scores. Her process is about trusting herself and her students, and finding ways to make the extra work of differentiation truly meaningful.   She’s learned to think of tiering instruction and differentiating as something wonderful that she really likes doing because of the impact she sees on her students. Tia’s found that her students are more engaged in their learning when she uses these 4 strategies, and that makes her day with them less stressful and more enjoyable.  Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
1/30/202236 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP245 I’m back! Here’s what’s coming in 2022.

I wanted to kick off Season 15 of the podcast with an update on what I’ve been up to during my time off, and what I have planned for you in the coming year. If you’re new here, this episode is NOT our normal vibe: this episode is much more Angela-centered and our regular eps are centered on YOU and resources/ideas for your life and teaching practice. I just like to do some personal updates every now and then, so you’ll hear what my sabbatical was like, what I’m working on in 2022, and what topics we’ll be covering on the podcast this season. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
1/23/202233 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP244 How to take a sabbatical with me over your winter break

What might be possible if you use some of your days off this December to take a true rest from not only DOING school work, but THINKING about school? This episode is an invitation to join me in taking a sabbatical from everything school-related during some portion of your winter holiday break. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes. Leave a review for the Truth for Teachers podcast here: iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/angela-watsons-truth-for-teachers/id954139712?mt=2 Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.podcasts Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/show/angela-watsons-truth-for-teachers Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1KICZW01ohDN9jlkclrQew
11/21/202120 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP243 Reclaim your weeknights by balancing the "task triangle" (with Marissa Minnick)

Although each day holds the same 24 hours, there is something that we have come to accept as being innately different between "5:00pm on a Friday" compared to "5:00pm on a Wednesday.” Not only is it untrue that the weekend is the only time to exhale after the impact of the workweek, but this also skirts around an important truth: The way that we choose to spend a weeknight has a more immediate impact on our ability to renew ourselves the next day than a weekend sprint of self-care. In this episode, my guest (middle school teacher Marissa Minnick) shares how thinking about your tasks as belonging to a sort of task triangle can help. The task triangle includes space for activities that attend to your immediate self, your future self, and your sense of self. Marissa’s found that her productivity and energy soar the next workday when she’s taken time to invest in that third portion of the task triangle. Listen in as Marissa shares 4 tips for balancing the task triangle and using your weeknights to dedicate time for things that help you feel re-energized. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes. Leave a review for the Truth for Teachers podcast here: iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/angela-watsons-truth-for-teachers/id954139712?mt=2 Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.podcasts Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/show/angela-watsons-truth-for-teachers Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1KICZW01ohDN9jlkclrQew
11/14/202126 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP242 Is this our toughest school year yet?

If you’re among the educators who find 2021-2022 is shaping up to be even more challenging than last school year, this episode is for you. I want to validate your experiences and challenges, and point you to a path forward even when it feels like you’re powerless to make things better. There ARE positive developments happening, and it’s due in large part to educators speaking up and speaking out about what they need, and setting limits on what they will and won't do. When enough educators resist, the momentum shifts, and we create systemic change. I have no easy answers or magic bullet solutions. But I know that you’re not alone in what you’re facing, and that means you don’t have to work through it alone. Be encouraged. Be courageous. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes. Leave a review for the Truth for Teachers podcast here: iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/angela-watsons-truth-for-teachers/id954139712?mt=2 Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.podcasts Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/show/angela-watsons-truth-for-teachers Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1KICZW01ohDN9jlkclrQew
11/7/202128 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP241 6 myths about English Language Learners I wish I’d debunked sooner (with Houa Yang-Xiong)

ELs don’t earn differently from native-English speakers, but they do have specific needs that are often misunderstood. Today I’m sharing 6 myths about English Language Learners I wish I’d debunked sooner. These are beliefs and assumptions I held at the beginning of my teaching career, and unlearned them slowly over time. I think you’ll find that they’re super common myths, and in fact my guest today has also worked through many of them, and encounters them frequently among her fellow educators. Houa Yang-Xiong is currently an elementary ESOL (English Speaker of Other Languages) teacher working with students in grades 3-5 of various backgrounds, native languages, and English-proficiency levels. Houa is a writer for the Truth for Teachers collective, and will be sharing articles regularly to help both ESL teachers and gen ed teacher who have ELLs in their classroom. I’m so grateful to have her expertise, particularly as she is an Asian-American, specifically, Hmong-American, and a bilingual speaker herself, so she has a unique window into what her students experience which she’ll share here. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes. Leave a review for the Truth for Teachers podcast here: iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/angela-watsons-truth-for-teachers/id954139712?mt=2 Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.podcasts Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/show/angela-watsons-truth-for-teachers Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1KICZW01ohDN9jlkclrQew
10/31/202120 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP240 The big 5 tips for productivity to reduce overwhelm (with Amy Stohs)

There are 5 overarching principles that can help you streamline and simplify your workload so that you feel less overwhelmed. I call these principles “The Big 5 Tips for Teacher Productivity”, and I’ve woven them all throughout the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek program (both the Full Year version that kicks off each summer as well as the self-paced Fast Track version, which you can begin any time). I’ve invited Amy Stohs, a member of the 40 Hour team, to share what the “Big 5” looks like in her daily teaching practice, and I love her unique spin on these time-tested ideas: Eliminate unintentional breaks Figure out the main thing and do it first Work ahead by batching and avoid multi-tasking unless the work is mindless. Relax any of your standards that create unnecessary work to a level that no one else will notice but you. Use scheduling to create boundaries around your time. Amy shares specific, actionable steps she’s taken for each of these principles to help her regain control of her time and get more done with less effort. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes. Leave a review for the Truth for Teachers podcast here: iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/angela-watsons-truth-for-teachers/id954139712?mt=2 Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.podcasts Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/show/angela-watsons-truth-for-teachers Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1KICZW01ohDN9jlkclrQew
10/24/202144 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP239 Five things I’ve learned as a white teacher working in a Black community (with Sara Singer)

If your cultural, racial, or socio-economic background is different from that of your students, there can be a learning curve as you build rapport. In today’s episode, I’m talking with Sara Singer, a high school special education teacher on Chicago’s South Side. Sara loves to co-teach and support students with disabilities in the general education classroom. She is also passionate about equity and creating rigorous, student-centered curricula. Sara is a writer for the Truth for Teachers collective, and her first article is tackling a pretty tricky subject: what happens when you are of a different race, ethnicity, or cultural background than your students. Sara is white — specifically, Jewish in her heritage —and her student population is almost 100% Black. She shares 5 core understandings she’s developed in building her cultural competency over the years. I think you’ll find that this conversation is empowering and helpful to anyone working in a diverse community or with families whose identities and lived experiences are different from your own. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes. Leave a review for the Truth for Teachers podcast here: iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/angela-watsons-truth-for-teachers/id954139712?mt=2 Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.podcasts Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/show/angela-watsons-truth-for-teachers Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1KICZW01ohDN9jlkclrQew
10/17/202138 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP238 Get your grading under control via these 7 mental shifts + habits (with Megan Faherty)

This episode is going to be a game changer! I'm talking with Megan Faherty, a long-time user of the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek program who's currently in her 17th year of teaching. Megan shares tons of practical strategies and a whole new approach to thinking about how you grade that has helped her reclaim her nights and weekends: Shift 1: If you don’t have time to grade it, students don’t have time to learn from it. Shift 2: Put grading on your to-do list when you assign it. Shift 3: Grade the way that works. Shift 4: Reduce guilt by being honest about your grading timeline. Shift 5: Plan backwards from a goal. Shift 6: Do the worst thing first. Shift 7: Reduce dithering about points and decision fatigue Check out Megan’s guest post as part of our Truth for Teachers collective here, then listen to the episode as I do a deeper dive with Megan and share my own tips and tricks, too. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes. Leave a review for the Truth for Teachers podcast here: iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/angela-watsons-truth-for-teachers/id954139712?mt=2 Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.podcasts Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/show/angela-watsons-truth-for-teachers Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1KICZW01ohDN9jlkclrQew
10/10/202142 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP237 How to push past limiting beliefs to uncover what's truly possible in your teaching (with J. Benedith)

If you’re feeling jaded or frustrated with how little systemic change you believe you can make as a teacher, this episode is for you! I’m talking with educator Jay Benedith, who noticed unhelpful patterns in her own thinking and is here to share how she’s unpacked them. Together, we’ll explore how to examine your beliefs and assumptions that prevent you from cultivating and exercising full equity leadership. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes. Leave a review for the Truth for Teachers podcast here: iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/angela-watsons-truth-for-teachers/id954139712?mt=2 Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.podcasts Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/show/angela-watsons-truth-for-teachers Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1KICZW01ohDN9jlkclrQew
10/3/202123 minutes, 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP236 Six high-impact, low-burnout strategies to differentiate your lessons for neurodivergent kids (with Dr. Laura Fitzpatrick)

Differentiating learning for every student in your classroom can be incredibly exhausting and time-consuming. So, I've invited Dr. Laura Fitzpatrick on the show to talk about some streamlining tips. Laura has been a 6th grade English Language Arts teacher for the past 8 years. She earned an M.A. in Special Education and Ed.D. in Inquiry-Based Learning, where her research primarily centered on teacher burnout. Laura is also a writer for the Truth for Teachers collective, and she wrote an article about 6 high-impact, low-burnout strategies to differentiate for neurodivergent kids. To put it more simply: Laura’s sharing 6 ways to differentiate without drowning. Listen in! Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
9/26/202136 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP235 If a parent accuses you of teaching critical race theory...

We’re losing some of our best educators (particularly educators of color) due to pushback from community members who say teachers are brainwashing and indoctrinating kids. So what should you do if a parent or caregiver of a student believes you are teaching kids to hate themselves, hate each other, or hate America? I’m offering 7 practical tips to open the door for honest, transparent conversations with families about what is and isn’t happening in your classroom. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
9/19/202138 minutes, 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP234 Ten tips for making sure data meetings are actually useful (with Melissa Forbes)

Inefficient, unproductive meetings can drain so much energy. If you find that meetings to discuss student progress always turn into complaining and defeatist rants...here's help. You can make necessary meetings less painful and perhaps even valuable. Fellow teacher Mellissa Forbes has some really practical tips and mindset shifts to help you. We’ll talk about what to do before data meetings, during, and after to ensure they’re a better use of your time. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
9/12/202127 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP233 Five ways to use playfulness in your lessons to prevent burnout (with Laura Gellin)

If you and your students are already losing motivation this year, here’s how to inject focused energy, student agency, and joy back into your classroom. Learn how to bring the benefits of play into your classroom and why students need playfulness now more than ever, including at the middle and high school level. Using this brain-based, research-backed approach explained by teacher Laura Gellin, you’ll be able to leverage aspects of play to design learning experiences that will engage, empower, and enliven your students. You can read or share Laura's guest post on Truth for Teachers about this topic here: https://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/truth-for-teachers-podcast/5-ways-to-prevent-burnout-by-bringing-more-playfulness-to-your-classroom-even-if-you-teach-middle-or-high-school Or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
9/5/202131 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP232 The coaching mindset: How to think like an instructional coach to refine your teaching (with Nicole Turner)

Have you ever wanted to coach yourself, use peer coaching, or better utilize an instructional coach assigned to your school? In this episode, I’m talking with Nicole Turner, an instructional coach, author, and the Creative Director at Simply Coaching + Teaching, LLC. We’re talking about the mindset shifts needed to set your own goals, and choosing areas you care about improving in your teaching (rather than simply working on whatever you’re told to improve on). And, if you're an instructional coach yourself, go to https://join.40htw.com/coaches to learn more abou the new 40 Hour Instructional Coaching program that Nicole and I just released together this summer. It's designed to help you streamline your tasks so you'e not working endlessly on nights and weekends. Nicole shares how you can identify your own professional goals related to topics that matter to you, then use self-coaching, peer coaching with a trusted colleague, or an instructional coach to help you meet those goals. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to try in your classroom, or something that’s not working well and you want support, this episode will offer some strategies to help you to be more “coachable: and get the input you need. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
8/29/202123 minutes, 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP231 How to differentiate parent communication while setting healthy boundaries (with Erika Walther)

Some families want detailed updates on EVERYTHING...and others only want to be contacted for the most important stuff. How can you meet individual family needs WITHOUT burning yourself out? Listen in on my conversation with Erika Walther, a teacher in Baltimore City Public Schools. She shares how she’s learned to differentiate communication for students’ families and find ways to build relationships with them while still maintaining healthy boundaries for yourself. We reflect a lot on the specific challenges ahead for families and we enter what is now the third school year that’s been impacted by COVID, beginning with a conversation about supporting parents in managing the abundance of new information, policies, and communication they receive from the school. You can read or share Erika’s guest post on Truth for Teachers about this topic here. Or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
8/22/202130 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP230 Your most powerful tool for creating a respectful, inclusive class culture (with Jennifer Brinkemeyer)

If you’ve assumed class meetings wouldn’t work for your grade level or you don’t have time, this conversation with teacher Jennifer Brinkmeyer will be absolutely transformative! How we start the school year communicates who we believe students are and how we expect students will act. You can co-construct community and rules with students through a weekly ritual dedicated to connecting with one another, anticipating the group’s ongoing needs, and solving problems. This pro-active approach was foundational to creating a sense of community in my own PreK, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade classrooms, and in Jennifer’s 7th-12th grade classrooms. Listen in as we share our experiences and best practices which are rooted in equity, inclusion, and mutual respect. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
8/15/202132 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP229 Something NEW is coming to Truth for Teachers...

I'm back, and kicking off Season 14 of the podcast! Listen in for a quick personal update about my summer, what new changes are coming to the website and podcast, and get a sneak peek at some upcoming podcast episode topics. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.  
8/8/202125 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

Better than normal: How to craft an inspiring vision for the new school year

This special bonus episode explores how we can find a more sustainable way to teach in coming school year. Because while it’s natural to hope for “getting back to normal” after so many constantly-shifting expectations ... we know that “normal” wasn't really working for all teachers or kids. What would it mean to truly reimagine education--not just talk about it--and create a way of teaching and learning that is BETTER than normal? Let's counter the "lost year of learning" narrative and find a more strengths-based, empowering perspective on the challenges ahead. In this episode, we're talking about how to focus on what's most impactful with students and streamline the rest. You'll walk away with new clarity about priorities, which will give you confidence in your teaching practice and empower you to set boundaries for better work/life balance. Want to attend the live event on July 11th where you can chat with other educators on YouTube Live about this topic? Sign up here! If you want to learn more about the programs I mentioned at the end, click the links below: 40 Hour Teacher Workweek (doors close July 15th) 40 Hour Leadership for Administrators 40 Hour Instructional Coaching
6/26/202141 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

The 40 Hour Workweek is here...for teachers, admins, AND instructional coaches

Systemic problems need systemic solutions. Here's what's new to support your school in creating better work/life balance. Click here to skim the transcript instead of listening Click to learn more about: 40 Hour Teacher Workweek 40 Hour Leadership 40 Hour Instructional Coaches  
6/15/202111 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP228 Preparing to regroup after a stressful school year...what comes next?

LAST EPISODE OF SEASON 13! Education is in a time of transition. We’re not quite to the point of post-pandemic teaching, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Moving forward, there’s going to be a lot of talk about what expectations to keep and what to let go of, and it’s critical to reflect: What parts of pre-pandemic teaching do we want to return to? What parts of remote and hybrid learning are here to stay? What do we want the future of education to look like? The summer plan I’m suggesting in this episode to help you regroup includes 3 elements: A mental vacation (taking a break from thinking about work) Reflecting on what you learned about yourself and your teaching Daydreaming and reimagining the future  We all need a time of recovery and preparation between school years. And this summer, it's going to be more essential and than ever before to process how the past year has shaped our identities…not only as educators, but as humans. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes. Learn more about the 40 Hour Workweek, 40 Hour Leadership for administrators, and 40 Hour Instructional Coaches.
5/16/202119 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP227 Five things teachers wish their admins knew

There’s a big focus now on the teacher attrition and shortage crisis. So what does that mean for the teachers that stay? How can schools keep their best teachers and attract more folks to the profession? I believe there are leadership principles that any administrator can internalize and apply to immediately help their faculty feel better supported and create more manageable expectations. I’m going to share some of these solutions in today’s episode, through the lens of what teachers have told me they wish their administrators understood: Teachers are craving autonomy and respect for their professional judgment. Teachers need uninterrupted planning time in order to be at their best for students. Teachers need administrators to have their backs, and support them when their professionalism is undermined. Teachers need school leaders to provide the necessary support and resources for students to be successful, OR adjust expectations to align with reality. An organized, efficient school leadership team with clear priorities has a tremendous positive impact on the entire school. When you believe that it’s possible — and desirable — for educators to do a great job for kids AND center their own work/life balance, that belief will color how you perceive your school’s operations. You will naturally filter all information and decision-making through that perception, and make decisions based on sustainable practices rather than urgent stop-gap measures.  If you’d like to see systemic changes in the way your school operates, I’ll be releasing the new 40 Hour Leadership program for principals, APs, and other school leaders this summer. Click here to learn more: https://join.40htw.com/leadership Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
5/9/202140 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP226 Seven takeaways from this school year that simplify teaching from now on (with Amy Stohs)

What made teaching easier and more sustainable this school year, and how can we carry those principles over into next year? Those are the questions I'm exploring in this podcast episode with my guest, Amy Stohs. She is currently a 2nd grade teacher in Northern Virginia, and was named Teacher of the Year in 2019 while she was teaching 6th grade. Amy’s experience is unique in that she has now taught both elementary AND middle school in a pandemic, so she’s experienced the challenges of working with both younger and older students in face-to-face and hybrid learning. Her experience is also unique in that she’s been an active participant in my 40 Hour Teacher Workweek program for the last few years, and I’ve been really impressed by the ideas and resources she shares in that community. So at the start of this school year, I reached out to Amy and asked her to join the 40 Hour team, and help create the adaptations for the program for remote and hybrid learning. If you’re part of 40 Hour or the 40 Hour Grad Program and you’ve loved the remote/hybrid bonuses, you’re about to hear directly from the teacher who brainstormed them with me. Amy’s going to share 7 principles that helped simplify her teaching and make her work more sustainable: Do what HAS to get done, not what you WANT to get done. Backward design your classroom management: figure out the goal, then decide what action steps will get you there. Go slow to go fast. Instead of always doing your best, ask “What do I have to give today?” When you’ve tried it all, try one thing. Shift focus from finding something new and different to doubling down on what we know kids need. Look for moments of joy and find the fun. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
5/2/202155 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

Power through with...release of regrets

This was the most challenging school year of almost every educator’s career.  We’re used to certain aspects of the work getting easier over time, but there were so many new challenges recently that even the most experienced teachers often felt like it was their first year all over again.    You had lots of personal and professional growth, of course … but somehow you’re feeling less confident in your abilities now than ever before. It’s a very weird dichotomy, to feel like you worked so hard and learned so many new things, yet there’s no sense of a commensurate payoff.   So what does it look like to wrap up a year feeling like this? How do you get a sense of real closure?   I think it’s important to acknowledge that we’re all experiencing various levels of collective grief right now. There’s a sense of loss for what we’ve missed out on: “regular” school, being close to family and friends, traveling, vacations, and our normal way of life. Some are also grieving deeper losses for any number of reasons, and not being able to process those losses in our normal ways is also painful.   The thing about grief is that we each experience it differently. And, there are many different phases and types of grief which people might cycle through.    Some days, I’m content. I’ve made peace with the limitations I have in my life right now and the things I love that are unavailable to me currently. I feel content and able to embrace my new routines for as long as I need to.   Other days, I’m simply resigned to these new routines. I’m restless and frustrated. Sometimes I’m deeply sad. I have moments when I feel hopelessness and helplessness that won’t ever seem to end.   But that’s the other thing about grief, right? It doesn’t feel the same forever.   The ups and downs are all a natural, expected part of the process.   So if that’s how you’re feeling as the school year draws to a close, know that you are not alone in experiencing those mixed emotions.   There’s a surreal quality to the end of this school year, because many of the activities and face-to-face goodbyes that create closure have changed or been eliminated. Traditions have been altered. Not shutting down classrooms with our colleagues and celebrating together in the usual way makes it harder to emotionally and mentally transition into summer.   On top of that, the excitement for summer may also feel a bit muted, with fewer plans to look forward to.   And throughout all of this, there’s this sense that maybe you didn’t do a good enough job, because you could have done MORE.   The what-ifs start to swirl: Would that student have passed if I’d done A,B, and C? Would that parent have been on my side if I’d offered X, Y, and Z? Would that kid I yelled at have participated in our Zoom meetings if I’d done a better job connecting with them?   All of our lowest moments of the year circle around in our heads: the mistakes made, the opportunities missed.   And this year that feeling is intensified because of all the limitations in how we were able to reach our students. The number of kids who were disengaged and not making learning gains is probably much higher for you this year than any other in your teaching career.   My encouragement to you is to avoid dwelling on the losses. Don’t focus on the things you could have done, or wish you had been done differently. Don’t torture yourself by imagining how much better everything would have been if only certain conditions had been different.   Your kids’ learning gains this school year are NOT an accurate measure of your abilities or theirs.   Their learning (or lack thereof) is NOT reflective of your worth, or theirs.   You’ve been teaching through a crisis. And if you’re reading this, that means you’ve made it this far.    That’s worth something. It’s worth a lot, in fact.   I hope you will look back on this school year as a test of resilience and fortitude that you have passed.   You did it.   You got through the sudden and expected transition from the style of teaching you’re used to, and fully immersed yourself in something completely different and nowhere near ideal for you or your students.   You’ve faced limitations and setbacks and confusion with the best you were able to give at the time.    And now you will face the end of the school year with that same determined attitude.    This is a time for patience and flexibility. It’s a chance to learn to be soft-hearted toward ourselves and others when our basic instincts want to flare into anger and indignation at having to deal with problems we never signed up for.   This is a time for going inward — to stop looking for validation from outside sources, to stop seeking out others’ approval — and make peace within ourselves.    It’s a time to let go of regrets and “could-have-should-have” anxiety. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you made. Open yourself up to repairing the harm done via honest conversations and apologies where needed. Make peace in every way with what’s already done, so you can have a fresh start moving forward.   Give grace toward yourself and everyone around you. This is a time for more humility and patience and understanding than ever before.   With time, we can let go of regrets and what we hoped would be, and practice radical acceptance of the experience we are currently having.    That is the BEST possible way to position ourselves to move forward and face whatever comes next. I hope the previous 6 weeks of Wednesday emails in my “Power Through” series helped encourage and energize you through the spring months. You did it, my friends. You’re powered through, and you’re almost at the finish line for the school year. And I’m not going to leave you now! Here’s how we can stay connected: #1  I’ll continue sending my Sunday night emails with free encouragement and practical tips (sign up here.) #2  My Truth for Teachers podcast will continue to release new free episodes through the end of May. The regular episodes are longer than the “Power Through” ones (about 20-40 minutes usually) and there’s a blog post transcript for each one. We take a break each summer and then resume with new episodes in August. #3  You can connect with me regularly on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. (My most personal reflections are on IG.) #4  I’ll have a free webinar over the summer to help you counter the “lost year of learning” narrative and craft an inspiring, achievable vision for next school year (more on that soon!) #5  The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek program is open to new members from June 1st-July 27th. If you want a full year’s worth of ongoing support, encouragement, and practical resources for streamlining your workload, 40 Hour is the place to get it. Our community focuses on professional development AND personal development, so you don’t have to navigate any aspect of the new school year on your own. Thank you for supporting me, and supporting my work. Each time you listen to one of my podcasts, visit my website, open my emails, engage with me on social media, purchase one of my books/courses/printables, or tell a fellow educator about my resources … know that it is so appreciated! I’ve chosen this work because I want my ideas to make a difference for teachers and kids, and it’s an honor to have your time and attention. More great stuff for you is on the way! Want to start this series from the beginning? Sign up for the Power Through series emails on this page here.
4/28/20219 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP225 To solve for ALL kids, start with ONE...

When a problem seems insurmountable, try creating change one name at a time. Because if you can solve a problem for one person, that means it IS a solvable problem ... and you can solve it for the next, and the next.   In this episode, I’ll share how often the solution to big problems is solving smaller ones. You’ll hear NYT bestselling author Dan Heath share a short case study from Chicago Public Schools that illustrates how this name-by-name approach worked for reducing dropout rates. And, I’ll share an intuitive 8 step approach you can use to tackle big problems like student engagement or work completion. You can practice solving for individuals first, and notice patterns in what your students need in order to scale those solutions. There’s something powerful about knowing that even if you can’t solve every problem for every student, you CAN help solve THIS thing for THAT kid.  This is how we make progress. And, this is how we create better systems: by designing those systems for individuals rather than trying to force individuals to fit into the systems.   Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
4/25/202122 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

Power through with...reflecting

There are few things more frustrating than working hard and not seeing a ton of results.    It’s even worse when your hard work is unappreciated, and you’re criticized for not doing enough or for doing things wrong.   When you’re trying your absolute best to teach well in a pandemic, the reality is that your best might not always be good enough.    Sometimes what you’re able to give really isn’t sufficient.    Of course you feel inadequate, when you know what you’re capable of under optimal circumstances, and also know you’re not working with anything even close to optimal circumstances.   So the only options are to try to single handedly compensate for all the adverse circumstances and perform at a superhuman level every day, or adjust our expectations.   You know which choice I’m going to advocate for.   I want you to let go of the “shoulds” and regrets about this school year. I want you to celebrate the small wins, instead of focusing on all the things that aren’t happening.   I’m going to talk more on that next week.   For now, I want you to focus more on who you are becoming, instead of what you are able to do (or not do) for your students.   Ask yourself, Who do I want to be on the other side of pandemic teaching? What kind of teacher — and what kind of human — do I want this experience to shape me into?    Because in our rush to figure out logistics and lessons and activities … we can’t forget that who we ARE is more impactful than what we DO.   Our beliefs, values, and worldview shape the way we interact with kids and impact every decision we make, from classroom management to curriculum.   Unpacking our identities and the “who” we bring to the classroom can be a grounding force that holds us steady through change.   Of course, you don’t have the time or mental bandwidth right now for a deep meditation on who you are as a person and a teacher. And as always, I’m encouraging you not to make this more complicated than it is.    Self-reflection is a continual process, and it’s often more about letting go instead of trying harder.   Focus on showing up as your true, whole, healed, essential self … letting go of any thoughts, beliefs, and actions that don’t serve the highest good. At your core, you are loving, patient, kind, and compassionate. You are full of life and energy and purpose.   All the traits that are counter to that are simply baggage and coping mechanisms you’ve picked up along the way in your journey through life in a very challenging world. They’re reactions you’ve developed as a result of fear, emotional wounds, defensiveness, prejudice, biases, outside expectations, and so on.   Growing as a person can be an act of returning to yourself and embracing who you really are, instead of trying to constantly change or improve yourself.   Your very existence, your presence in the classroom, has value. And the more that you show up with an open heart and mind, free from limiting beliefs about yourself, your students, and your school, the more your essential self will shine through.   So as you plan what you need to DO for kids … don’t forget to think about who you need to BE. Your essential self — who you are at your core — is exactly the person your students need this year.    Sending you much love and support. Sign up for the Power Through series emails on this page here.
4/21/20214 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP224 Deciding what matters: Authentic teaching through setting boundaries (with Gerardo Munoz)

How do you develop confidence in your teaching when you’re constantly hearing about everything you’re doing wrong? How do you know what you should and shouldn’t be focusing on, and discern what’s a good use of your time and what’s not? And most importantly, how can you be sure you’re showing up as the person your students need you to be? Answering these questions is a personal, lifelong journey, and I think the answers from my guest today will really get you thinking about how to answer those questions for yourself. I’m talking with Gerardo Muñoz, a teacher of middle and high school social studies who was named Colorado’s 2021 Teacher of the Year. Gerardo is here to share how his teaching identity has been shaped over the years, and how he’s learned to prioritize what matters most. He discusses how he’s developed the confidence to live and teach authentically, and ways he supports his students in also truly being themselves: “I'm like every kid's hype man. I think that most of what we bring into our classrooms as teachers is the work that we've done on ourselves. That happens before we can work on our students. And so, I have to create a mindset in myself that says, ‘Every single young person in this room is exactly who they are supposed to be’. My job is not to change their personalities; my job is not to make them different humans. My job is to help them identify their strengths, and help them gain skills and behaviors that are going to amplify who they are.” Gerardo then shares how he was on the verge of quitting the profession back in 2017, and what practices from the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek program enabled him to not only stay, but to thrive. We talk about setting boundaries, and not being flattered into saying yes to everything. When you know what you’re truly, uniquely good at — what matters deeply to you and what really lights you up — it becomes much easier to say no to obligations that pull you away from those priorities. Confidence and authentic teaching are inherently intertwined, and the work we do on ourselves is what helps us uncover what to focus on. As Gerardo says, “Our lens becomes our practice, so we need to interrogate that lens.” Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
4/18/202149 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

Power through with…reframing

We’ve all had moments this school year when making it to summer felt impossible. You might even be feeling that way right now: like your job has just taken everything out of you, and you have nothing left to give.    Being in that headspace is very normal, and it’s fine to allow yourself to feel exhausted and overwhelmed. You don’t have to talk yourself out of your feelings, ignore what your body is telling you, and push through no matter what.   (There’s a difference, after all, between pushing through and powering through. Pushing through, at least to me, means doing it regardless of how you feel and just get it done with no regard to the outcome. I see powering through as tapping into the source of your energy and motivation to see things through with strength. We want to power through, not push through.)   The determination to power through comes partially from reminding yourself that the way things are now is temporary. No circumstances stay the same forever.   I guarantee that you will not be dealing with this exact same set of problems in the fall — your workload will change, your students will change, and YOU will change.    Some of it will be for the better and a few things will change for the worse, but it will be DIFFERENT. You will not feel exactly like this every day for the rest of your teaching career.   Recognizing the temporary nature of our problems is a technique I learned when studying Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The most influential CBT strategy for me has been learning to recognize my own distortions in thinking that create problems, and then reevaluate them in light of reality.   (I’ve actually written an entire book about this, called Awakened: Change Your Mindset to Transform Your Teaching. If you want to do a deeper dive into what I’m about to share, check that out.)   A pessimistic viewpoint is that problems are permanent, pervasive, and powerless. That means they will never go away, the problem is the same everywhere so you can’t escape it, and you are powerless to do anything about it.   An optimistic viewpoint is that problems are temporary, specific, and changeable. The circumstance will not last forever, it’s specific to this particular situation and is not something you’ll have to face everywhere all the time no matter what, and you have some control over how you respond to the situation in order to make it better.    Dr. Martin Seligman’s research has shown that we can train ourselves to be optimists. Or, if you prefer, you can train yourself to be a realist.    A realist sees things as they really are, which means giving an appropriate weight to the good stuff that’s happening and not allowing our lizard brains to only focus on potential threats and problems.    You don’t have to choose a negative framing for your situation: “Teaching is just completely untenable for me. It’s never going to get better, and in fact, it’s only going to get worse. There’s no point in trying to find another teaching position where I can have better working conditions, because it’s terrible everywhere and I probably couldn’t find another job anyway. The whole profession has gone to hell in a handbasket and there’s nothing I can do about it.”   While you are entitled to think these thoughts whenever you wish, I think it’s obvious what kind of depressed feelings that choice will create.    A realist would examine those thoughts, and consider what else might also be true:    Is there any way to know for sure that teaching is always going to be too demanding and miserable for me forever? Of course not.   Is it absolutely true that there are no schools that have better working conditions? Nope.   Things will never get better? No, we don’t know that for sure, either.   Once we recognize that this pessimistic viewpoint — that the current situation is actually permanent, pervasive, and powerless — is not really true, we can choose a more accurate perspective. For example:    “Teaching is super tough for me right now. Next year will have different challenges, and they could be better or worse. The situation in each school was so unique this year, so I know what I’m going through isn’t exactly what everyone else experienced — there ARE some things that can be done to make things better for teachers and kids, because those things are actually happening in tons of classrooms all over the country. I don’t have control over as many factors as I’d like, but I do have some choice in __, __, and __. So I can focus my attention on the things I can do to make this situation more bearable, and set myself up to have better choices in the future.”   So you don’t have to worry about how you’ll be able to keep this up until retirement, or even for just a couple more weeks.    You can handle ANYTHING for just today. Focus on what you need to do just for now.   And then tomorrow when you wake up, remind yourself, “It’s not going to be like this forever — things can change at any time. I can handle the current situation, just for today.”   Repeat until you’ve powered through to the finish line.   Because while you may not feel like you have the strength to get through ALL the school days right now...you also don’t NEED the strength for all the school days right now. All you need is strength for today.    And if that feels like too much, focus on just the strength for right now. Just this moment right here. And then in the next moment, focus just on that second in time, too. Keep doing that, one moment after another.    We’re powering through this, together. Sign up for the Power Through series emails on this page here.
4/14/20216 minutes, 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP223 A powerful way to help kids (and ourselves!) with time management

Constantly issuing reminders and following up with kids is exhausting. Helping kids understand how their brains work and explore ways to funnel their focus, time, and energy is fascinating.  So, how do you approach time management through this lens? The teachers who are most successful at managing their time don’t see doing so as a burden. And, they don’t see mismanaging their time as a failure: it’s part of the experiment of learning what works for them and what doesn’t. They’re constantly trying out different approaches according to their moods and the changes in their workload, and adapting for new changes and preferences. It’s not something they try to figure out once and for all.  Having this perspective on your own time management naturally flows over into the way you treat students. You no longer expect them to just “buckle down and get it down” since you’re aware of all the mental tricks and productivity hacks you yourself use to follow through on tasks. You no longer get as frustrated with kids who waste time because you understand some of the root causes and you have tools to help.  What if we approach productivity as one giant experiment that we can have fun with doing alongside our students? Learning to manage your time is a highly personalized lifelong process, and it can actually be a fun adventure if you approach it through a self-development lens. Listen in to learn more about how there’s no “right” or “wrong” approach to man aging your time, and how to teach kids that it’ normal and okay for productivity levels to be inconsistent. Then, click here to enter your email to have a PDF of tips to help you teach time management to students. You’ll get more practical advice, teacher-tested tips, and photos sent straight to your inbox. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
4/11/202119 minutes, 15 seconds
Episode Artwork

Power through with...resilient thinking and planning

The uncertainty and constant changes have been one of the most stressful parts of this school year.   Nearly every teacher I know has invested countless hours into setting up a system for one approach to learning, only to find out that everything’s going to be completely different the following day … and then it’s all going to change again two weeks after that.   Resilient pedagogy (as defined by Joshua Eyler) is “a combination of course design principles and teaching strategies that are as resistant to disruption and to change in the learning environment as possible.”   The idea is that the essential qualities of your lesson plans will be in place, no matter what changes in the way you deliver instruction.   A resilient approach to teaching requires us to SIMPLIFY and SCALE DOWN.   You’re not going to be able to offer kids all the resources and options you wish you could … and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.   Everything in our world right now is limited and restricted to an extent. If you go to a restaurant, for example, there are limitations as to where you can sit and probably fewer choices on the menu.    It’s the same for your instruction: the menu of options is different, and simplified. Since we were trying to cram in way too much to our pre-pandemic instruction, resilient pedagogy returns us to what is essential and most important. As you think about supporting your students during these final weeks of the school year, ask yourself, What would this look like if it were easy?  Then pick simple, flexible options that are going to reduce stress for you, your students, and their families.    I know that many of you are under immense pressure to hold to pre-pandemic expectations and learning standards. Many of your students are going to be taking standardized tests this year.   Do what’s necessary to power through this … but don’t devote a ton of time, energy, or attention to it.   Check the boxes, dot the i’s, cross the t’s. But keep your gaze steadily focused on what matters most for your students.    No one gives 100% to everything they do, so stop pressuring yourself to uphold that standard. Figure out what’s worth the investment and pour your heart and soul into that, and give 75% or 50% or 25% to the other things.   Think about what you’re doing that is really moving the needle for kids, and how you can get a return on your investment of time with future classes.   What things have you done this school year that were really effective and that can probably be used next year?   That’s where you want to devote the majority of your time and energy.    Obviously next school year’s still a question mark for many of us, too … but that’s where a resilient pedagogical approach really shines. Invest in lessons and activities that are context-independent (things that can work no matter what the teaching format is like in the future).    The stuff that’s just useful for now, or isn’t really doing much for kids?    Simplify it. Scale it down. Cut it out altogether if possible.  Flexible resilience seems like a necessary survival tool for the foreseeable future. Let’s lean into that instead of resisting it.  Because this is not a “lost year of learning” as so many folks outside the profession like to call it.    Sure, many kids will have adverse effects on their mastery of content due to the pandemic. That’s true. But just because it’s true doesn’t mean it’s healthy or useful to dwell on it. You don’t have to choose that framing, or think and talk constantly about “how far behind” kids will be.    Because it’s also probably true that some of your students are actually doing better now than they would be in a traditional classroom during a typical school year.    Some of your kids may be struggling academically or socio-emotionally, but not necessarily both, and some are experiencing some truly wonderful benefits right now, too.    Many of your students are learning to develop critical thinking, tech proficiency, self-advocacy, time management, socio-emotional regulation, and other important life skills in ways that far surpass their abilities earlier this school year. Those skills will help them get back on track with any content-area loss … this is probably also true, right?   And it’s certainly true that you will not be the only teacher grappling with this problem next year. The entire country (and many other countries around the world) will be dealing with how to keep moving kids forward after the disruptions we’ve experienced.    So, this is not your problem alone to solve. It’s a bridge that all of us are going to have to cross when we get there.    Can you see how this is a better-feeling thought than, “Half my class is failing and they’re never going to catch up?”    You can choose these better-feeling thoughts and then actively look for evidence of them throughout the day.    You can train yourself to focus on assets instead of deficits, or (as Dr. Byron McClure puts it), focus on what’s strong instead of what’s wrong.  Be flexible. Be resilient. Support your students in doing the same. We’re going to power through this, together. Sign up for the Power Through series emails on this page here.
4/7/20216 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP222 Bring back joy by teaching outdoors: A how-to guide for any classroom

What if this is the perfect time to normalize outdoor learning and make it a permanent part of how we do school? What exactly does outdoor learning look like, and how can we provide equitable access to it? These are questions I’ve been mulling over for quite some time, and I’ve collected some fantastic photos, links, resources, and case studies to help you find a way to bring your classes outside. I’ll share a bit of the history of the “open air schooling movement” from the 1900s and 1910s, when the fear of tuberculosis and later the Spanish Flu created a shift in how some children were educated. We’ll touch briefly on the historical (and current) inequities in how outdoor learning is offered, and examine how to bring classes outside even in areas where nature access is limited. You’ll then hear 2 case stories directly from the teachers who made outdoor learning happen in their schools (a high school teacher in Texas and a first grade teacher in Massachusetts). Outdoor learning doesn’t have to be complicated, and as you’ll hear in this episode, even short periods of being outside have proven benefits for both teachers and children. Access images, links, and resources in the blog post here.  Join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
4/4/202121 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

Power through with...relationship reconnection

Has your workload created a huge strain on your family, friendships, and/or marriage/partnership?   Being a teacher often means making an impossible choice: when you’re focused on your loved ones, you feel like you’re neglecting your students. When you’re focused on your students, you feel like you’re neglecting your loved ones. Trying to add on your own wellbeing and self-care just compounds the guilt.   My encouragement to you today is to think about the relationships you have that enhance your confidence, wellbeing, and energy levels. Who are the people whose presence is caring and life-giving to you? How can you choose to prioritize interactions with those folks?   You might strengthen those relationships through a quick daily text message, or a deeper conversation on the phone while you’re cleaning or exercising. You might be having a cup of coffee together every other week, or carve out some time each Friday night to be together.   This isn’t just about how good it feels to be connected with folks you love. That’s super important for lots of mental health reasons, especially right now when so many of our relationships are strained by the pandemic.   This is about investing your time and energy into something meaningful and lasting that is NOT tied to your profession.   It’s so easy to get caught up in the urgency of our work in schools: the kids need so much, and we’re running out of time this year to do All The Things.    We can often spend the whole weekend worrying about this student’s reading level and that one’s standard mastery and what’s happening at home for another one.    All of these things matter. Your students matter. Your work matters.   But sometimes it helps to remember that teaching is a career, and your career is just one part of your life.    Being a teacher is not your entire identity, and it’s crucial that you never let it become that.   In a few more week’s time, these children who fill your every waking thought will no longer be your responsibility. In most cases, you will no longer have any influence over their lives. You will be releasing them to the work of other educators down the line.    There’s a tremendous sense of peace that can come with this perspective. It can help you remember that your job is to support students, not save them. You are one adult figure out of many they have had and will have in their lives.    In other words, you will be replaced by another teacher for your students next year, and your students will be replaced by other kids.    But you have deep connections with other people in your life (family, partner, friends) that you hope to grow even closer to next year.    Those relationships deserve nurturing, and they require it if you’re going to sustain your work as a teacher.    Students will pass in your doors and back out again, over and over for years to come. Who are the people you want by your side during that process?   I was talking about this with a 40 Hour Teacher Workweek member named Christie, whose marriage was really suffering due to the amount of herself she gave to students. She wrote,   “What changed for me was the day after Spring Break. I went back to school and realized that as much as I love them, those students would be out of my class in 10 weeks, and in reality, most won’t give me more than a passing thought for their entire lives.    My husband will be with me every night for the foreseeable future. Do I want a happy marriage for the rest of my days, or do I want to continue putting all my time, effort and energy into teaching?   As much as I love teaching, I realized that having a happy spouse allowed me to teach. I couldn’t afford to teach financially or emotionally without his support. So I realized that I needed to put more time, energy, effort, and thought into our relationship. Like you say in your materials, Angela, you don’t always get your priorities right, but you can keep starting over and recommit to doing fewer things, better.”   Prioritizing relationships apart from school will look different for each person, of course — this is simply Christie’s story.   The question is, who matters to YOU?   Whose love and support sustains you in your work?   Who do you want to prioritize in your life?   Reach out to that person. Tell them you miss talking with them, and suggest a time when you can spend time together (even if it’s a really short block of time or done virtually).   Don’t make relationships “one more thing” you have to squeeze into your schedule. Don’t tell yourself you’ll have more time in the summer. Just figure out the easiest step you can take that to nurture your connection, and do that. A small step in the right direction will get you on the path.   Simply notice when you’re tempted to put school work before your relationships, and experiment with a different choice. Pay attention to those moments when you’re tempted to check school email for the 300th time in the evening, or spending way more time than necessary on a lesson plan.    Ask yourself, “Who could I be spending time with if I weren’t doing THIS?” Weigh the trade-off carefully rather than always defaulting to school work first.   See how this goes over the next few weeks, and watch out for self-inflicted guilt trips. There’s no bad or wrong choices here. Choosing now to reprioritize a relationship that’s been on the backburner is not somehow an admission that your priorities were wrong before. This is much more nuanced than a good/bad binary will permit.   You’re simply experimenting with your time, and looking for easy ways to enjoy being with the PEOPLE you love, so those relationships can sustain the WORK you love. Sign up for the Power Through series emails on this page here.
3/31/20217 minutes, 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP221 Three ways to make social-emotional learning REAL for students (with Dr. Byron McClure)

How can we make SEL more than a buzzword? School psychologist Dr. Byron McClure is here to go beyond what’s trendy, and give an honest overview of the mental health and socio-emotional support students really need from us right now. Byron shares 3 specific practices you can do with kids to address their social-emotional needs on a daily basis in your classroom. You’re probably familiar with restorative conversations, daily check-ins, and morning meetings ... but Byron frames them in a larger context that taps into the real power behind the practices. Listen as Byron shares some of the history of SEL and what elements have been intentionally obscured and overlooked. We’ll examine how to keep SEL from being “touchy-feely fluff that doesn’t prepare kids for the real world.” The key is to be action-oriented, and ground the work in culturally affirming practices, justice, and equity. We can help students understand ways that privilege is showing up, and ways they might be able to dismantle systems for themselves or others. You’ll learn how to use a strength-based approach to building relationships within a sense of community. As Byron says, we can “shift from what's wrong to what's strong with students." We’ll also talk at the end about how schools can address teachers’ socio-emotional needs, as well. Byron’s energy is contagious, so if you’re ready to get fired up, listen in! Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
3/28/202145 minutes, 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

Power through with...rest

I know what many (most?) of you are being asked to do right now is NOT reasonable or sustainable.   And because you could never have enough time and energy to do everything that kids need right now, the solution could never be for you to just work harder. We are still in a pandemic. This is not a “normal” school year. Regardless of how much districts want to pretend we can hold to the exact same expectations as last year, we cannot. Of course you’re distracted and panicky and overwhelmed and unfocused at times. Of course your students are the same way.  We can’t be expected to accomplish what we normally accomplish because our world is not functioning as it normally does. Rather than trying to keep our frantic pace and be productive like nothing has changed… What if we allow ourselves space to explore different approaches, and give ourselves permission to have adjustment periods for continually changing routines? What if we choose time for disconnecting from the outside world, and prioritize reconnecting with ourselves? What if we stop pushing ourselves and our kids 24/7 to keep trying to accomplish more, and instead have some time to just be together for a while?  What if we stop worrying about getting ahead for a moment, and read and play games and cook and take naps and go for walks and have conversations and just … be? We need physical rest. We need mental rest. We need emotional rest.  None of this is easy in a culture that determines our worth by how hard we work, how much we produce, and how much money we earn. We’ve been conditioned to feel guilty for taking a break or “doing nothing” or “wasting time.”  But that approach is part of the old paradigm which has to fall away and be replaced with a way of working, teaching, and learning that is humanized and centered on wellbeing rather than accomplishment. Your worth is inherent to your being; it is not tied to how much you get done.  You have the right to simply exist and not perform, create, produce, or serve others every single moment in order to feel of value. Pushing yourself to work more when your body's calling for rest will not help you get ahead. So, resist the pressure to perform at optimal levels when we are not working in optimal conditions.  You deserve grace and compassion. Give those things to yourself when no one is giving it to you.  Remember that rest is necessary for your survival. It’s not something you “earn” after you’ve checked off everything on your (never ending) to-do list. You do not need to apologize for needing to rest. Will you close the laptop after 7 pm every night?  Refuse to think or worry about school on Saturdays? Schedule a block of time into your calendar this week in which you do something that is rejuvenating and reenergizing?  Don’t overthink it: just pick an approach that sounds easy and manageable right now, and DO IT. Any time for rest is better than none. A huge block of free time is not going to magically appear, and the weight of unfinished work is not going to lift on it’s own. No one is going to create boundaries for you.    So, don’t wait for someone else to offer you the opportunity to take a break.    Claim your right to rest. Sign up for the Power Through series emails on this page here.
3/24/20214 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP220 How to use podcasts in the classroom (with Listenwise)

“Better listeners are better learners,” says my guest Monica Brady-Myerov. She’s the Founder and CEO of Listenwise, an award-winning listening skills platform and the sponsor for this episode. Monica explains that audio is a powerful tool for equity and differentiation, because most kids have a much higher listening comprehension level than reading comprehension. You can bring authentic stories and primary sources to your students via audio, helping to build empathy and personalize information that might be difficult to connect with through just words on a page. Not only are podcasts a great way to build students’ content-area knowledge, but audio instruction also helps strengthen their listening comprehension skills. Monica shares examples of how teachers are incorporating podcasts into their instruction. She also explains the features of Listenwise which make it faster and easier for teachers to find high-quality audio content to use with students. There’s a free version of Listenwise available, and you can sign up for a free 30 day trial of the premium version here. We also delve a bit into some of the brain research that tells us how we process audio information and the benefits of it. By the end of the convo, my mind was racing with possibilities and ideas of how the things Monica taught me could be used with students, and I hope you’ll feel the same. If you love podcasts yourself and are curious about how to use them more with students, you’ll find some great practical strategies and tools here! Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
3/21/202139 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Power Through: A special 6 week Wednesday series on Truth for Teachers

Need something to look forward to in the final weeks of school? This new Wednesday morning podcast series will provide 5 minutes of audio encouragement and sound therapy instruments. It's designed for you to listen mid-week to get re-energized. If you'd also like a written version/transcript, sign up for the 6-week email series of free bonus teaching support + encouragement here. In my experience as a teacher, this time of the school year always felt uniquely challenging. It’s like the finish line is in sight, but not close enough to feel motivating yet. Student engagement drops off drastically, and it’s right at the point where you’re panicking that there’s still a ton of content you didn’t teach yet and you need your students to ramp UP, not DOWN. I can only imagine how that feeling is magnified for this past school year.  My intuition is telling me that for educators, the next few weeks are going to be about powering through and making the very best of a difficult situation until the school year is complete. And to do that, I thought it might help to have a realistic + regular pep talk from someone who’s rooting for you. That’s where this series comes into play.  For each of the next 6 Wednesday mornings, I'm going to release a mini episode of encouragement to help you power through the end of the school year. They’re going to be super short: around 5 minutes each, and will be perfect to listen to just before class starts for a bit of encouragement and practical mindset shifts. I’ll also be incorporating some sound therapy instruments periodically in the episodes: you’ll hear short segments of the words accompanied by me playing the koshi chimes, a few different kalimbas, and a hang drum.  As I started producing this series, I realized that each week’s focus was centering on a word that starts with “r”, so I decided to go with that: Rest. Reconnecting in relationships. Resilience. Reframing. Reflecting. Release of regrets. I’m calling this series “Power Through”, because I think that’s probably the most realistic approach for most folks. Powering through means “to continue in a strong and determined way until the end of something, even when it’s difficult.”  That’s the task ahead of us in the next few weeks, and I hope this mid-week encouragement will give you a boost of energy and help equip you for whatever challenges come your way. Now I know that your time alone for listening to podcasts can be limited right now, and I know you probably have teacher friends who would benefit from this, but they’re just not into podcasts, or maybe they are hearing impaired. I’m also offering this Power Through series in written form, and it can show in your inbox each Wednesday morning if you’d like. Just click the link in the show notes to enter your email address, and you’ll automatically receive a message of support each Wednesday morning for the next 6 weeks.  Your first “Power Through” message will come right to your inbox immediately so you’ll know you’re signed up and can get some helpful advice and resources right away. That email includes links to ways you can cultivate engagement in remote/hybrid learning, reduce grading and simplify assessment for digital assignments, teach students time management skills for online learning, and more.  Sometimes just a small shift in the way you approach your workload can help you feel less stressed and overwhelmed. See if you can choose just one idea to try out — whatever seems easiest at the moment. And of course, you can unsubscribe from anything, anytime, using the link provided at the bottom of every email. So that’s what you get if you also sign up for the email version of the Power Through series. But know that the weekly 5 minute audio encouragement is not about giving you more things to do or learn. I’m just offering a few short, kind words each week to help clear away overwhelm and shift your perspective so you feel more energized. This series will carry you through the spring here in the northern hemisphere, ending at the beginning of May. At that point, you can work back through the series a second time if you’d like, or revisit messages that particularly spoke to you that can help with the final weeks of school. I just didn’t want to wait to release these messages too close to the end of the year, when I know folks need them now.  So, the first Power Through episode will release next Wednesday--click the link in the show notes to get it + the bonus tips/resources sent to you via email.  I hope these resources help you feel like we can continue together in a strong and determined way until the end. Remember that everything happening right now is temporary. Teaching will not be exactly like this forever. And, you’re not alone … we’re going to power through this together.  Sign up for the 6-week email series of free bonus teaching support + encouragement here
3/17/20215 minutes, 15 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP219 Processing pandemic teaching: An honest, healing conversation (with Pernille Ripp)

“I've never worked so hard in my life to try to reach students, and yet never felt like such a big failure. That carries a lot of emotional weight. But when we are dismissed to ‘just figure it out’, we're not actually given credit for all of the incredible work that has happened.” Those are the words of my guest Pernille Ripp, a 7th grade ELA teacher, author, blogger, keynote speaker, and passionate advocate for education. We are here to hold space for you to process the heaviness of the past year. Pernille illuminates some of the common emotions that come from teaching in a pandemic under the weight of so many expectations, and talks about the impact on her own mental health. We’re offering this conversation to you not as advice and how-to tips, but as a release valve for the pressure that so many educators are feeling. We’re dismantling the narrative that kids have “lost a year of schooling” and are “falling behind,” and examining how teachers have been the easy scapegoats for the systemic problems COVID has exacerbated. Pernille talks about the challenges of teaching while also supporting her own 4 children in their learning. And, she shares how she creates moments of joy and things to look forward to for herself, her family, and her students. “I don't know what the future is going to hold, so I'm not going to prepare for it,” Pernille says. “But I'm going to focus on the things that will continue to sustain me as an educator and as a human being. I'm going to try to be in the best mental state that I can to welcome all of the kids in and to say, ‘Whatever happens, we're going to meet it together, and I'm going to be by your side, no matter what that looks like’.” Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
3/14/202144 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP218 Ten tips for teaching critical thinking + information literacy (w/ LaGarde & Hudgins)

Want to develop your students into digital detectives? Join me as I talk with Jennifer LaGarde and Darren Hudgins, who are co-authors of the book Fact vs. Fiction: Teaching Critical Thinking In the Age of Fake News, and also a new book coming out in July 2021 called Developing Digital Detectives. This is the second episode in our 2 part series about media literacy. Episode 216 with Peter Adams of the News Literacy Project shares how educators can be informed media consumers and advocates for truth. This is an important first step, because we can’t teach skills to students if we don’t have those skills ourselves. In this episode, we’re doing a deeper exploration into how to support students in information literacy. Jennifer, Darren, and I will talk a bit about big picture issues, like making time for instruction on digital literacy, and how to teach kids to think critically about conspiracy theories when those conspiracy theories are widely believed among the community you teach in. But we’ll spend the vast majority of our time talking about specific, practical things you can do with your students right now to help them be smart media consumers: Teach thematically and help kids make connections between topics/subjects Use mobile devices — not just computers — when having kids analyze information Create learning environments that value questioning, not just finding the right answer Guide students to understand their brains and examine bias/assumptions Move from a checklist approach to an investigative approach for fact-checking Teach kids to be specific about the falsehood rather than claiming "fake news" Illuminate the people behind the information that's shared Help kids analyze information not only in long-form articles, but also in the mediums they frequently consume, such as video, memes, and social media images Teach kids HOW to think, not WHAT to think Remember that information literacy is a human problem, and even small steps to tackle it are worthwhile Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
3/7/202141 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP217 Good things ARE happening: How to find thoughts that feel better

In a time where there’s so much to be sad or upset about, we have the power to choose thoughts that feel better.  And, we can actively look for evidence that those thoughts are true and that good things are happening. In this article and podcast episode of Truth for Teachers, I'll share a couple of examples of how this has worked in my own life and work, and how it might be useful for you, too. I’ll also outline 4 specific steps you can take to choose a better-feeling thought about something that’s bothering you right now, whether it’s personally or professionally.  Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
2/28/202120 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP216 How to be an informed media consumer + advocate for truth (with the News Literacy Project)

investing in our own news literacy is one of the best things we can do for kids. But with so much disinformation, how can we as educators ensure what we're finding and sharing is accurate?  Join me as I talk with Peter Adams. He's the head of the education team of the News Literacy Project, a national education nonprofit offering nonpartisan programs that teach students how to know what to believe in the digital age. We'll begin by talking about why information (and misinformation) is more prevalent. Peter gives a brief overview of how extremists of all kinds have become better networked and influential, and how hate groups and conspiracy theorists have leveraged our polarization to promote their own agendas. Then we discuss: How we can identify point-of-view or propaganda in our news sources Why objectivity does not mean staying neutral What's actually news-worthy ("How come the media isn't talking about this?") The difference between a conspiracy and conspiracy theory Intellectual humility and not demonizing everyone on "the other side" Looking for disconfirming evidence of our beliefs Having open, offline conversations with people who think differently What it means to "do your own research" Overcoming cynicism and relentlessly pursuing truth How social media and search engine algorithms shape our thinking about what's true How educators can ensure they're relying on and sharing accurate info Why investing in our own news literacy as educators is one of the best things we can do for kids For ongoing support in these areas, you can sign up for The Sift, a free weekly newsletter for educators distributed by NewsLit.org. It's a rundown of what happened the week before that you can use in the classroom to teach news literacy. It includes a distillation of the most news-literacy-relevant pieces of news and information that were published the previous week to help educators stay informed. It also includes a Viral Rumor Rundown of about four or five viral rumors that circulated the week before, with ideas for discussion, classroom activities, and links to resources. NewsLit also offers a free e-learning platform called The Checkology Virtual Classroom, with 14 lessons to help teach students about many of the topics you'll learn about in my interview with Peter, including how to understand conspiracy theories. Checkology is primarily aimed at middle school and high school grades, but some teachers in upper elementary adapt the lessons and folks in higher ed have utilized them, as well. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
2/21/202147 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP215 When no one’s showing YOU grace, make space instead

Extending grace shouldn’t be a one way street. And yet, many educators feel like they are constantly told to accommodate students and families while they themselves are held to rigid, unrealistic standards. When you start to feel the resentment and frustration building, here are 3 shifts that can help: Instead of giving grace, think of giving people space to be themselves. Rather than trying to fit people into narrow boxes, expand the space you offer so folks are free to be inconsistent in how they think, feel, and behave. It's natural to have good days and bad ones, low moods and high moods. Allowing students and families space to move back and forth between these states of being can ease your stress and resentment. Stop making your work look effortless, and invite folks into the process. Teachers in general — and women especially — are conditioned to make everything we do look easy and natural. But this often backfires because it causes people to expect even more of us. Let families and students peek behind the scenes so they can see not only your hard work, but also your humanity. Say “thank you” instead of apologizing. Set a class culture of thanking one other for bearing with each other’s faults, and giving each other space to be your full selves. Apologies are necessary when someone's been hurtful or offensive, but making minor mistakes is part of being human, and not necessarily something to feel sorry for. Gratitude is a more positive, uplifting emotion that people feel good about participating in, so substitute thankfulness for apologies whenever possible. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
2/14/202126 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP214 Simplify your blended learning workload (with Dr. Catlin Tucker)

Need practical tips for doing “fewer things better” in a remote/hybrid setting? Check out this episode with Dr. Catlin Tucker. We’ll talk about simplifying assessment, virtual station rotations, student engagement, and more. We’ll also discuss specific steps teachers can take to advocate for more realistic expectations for themselves and their students. Check out the blog post/transcript with links to my favorite resources from Catlin here. You can also join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes. Learn more about Catlin here: https://catlintucker.com Follow her on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Catlin_Tucker Check out Catlin's blended learning courses here: https://catlintucker.teachable.com/?affcode=685936_arhw3kaz  
2/7/202147 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP213 The breaking point that led to my sabbatical (and what’s next)

The spring and summer of 2020 were some of the darkest times of my life, both personally and professionally. In this episode, I want to offer a bit more of myself and my journey with you: My struggle with depression and anxiety Professional burnout and lack of motivation COVID and the disillusionment of offering solutions for schools when there aren’t any good ones Where my train metaphorically derailed and I lost sight of the destination The choice to cut out non-essential obligations and go offline in December The response (and pushback) to my sabbatical announcement Why I’ve never seen stepping away from work as a weakness (this wasn't the first or last time) How I used my time offline in December Why the sabbatical was not a cure-all, and coming back was harder than anticipated The path back: finding the spark of inspiration and nurturing it into a roaring flame Thank you for allowing me these weeks to heal, breathe, regroup, and clarify my vision for the year ahead. Thank you for your messages, and for encouraging me even though I did not have the strength to encourage you. Thank you for believing in me and my work. I may have taken a pause, but this work does not end. The next phase of our journey together is now underway. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
1/31/202145 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP212 The train's leaving the station. Are you on board?

For 2021, I want to have a single-minded focus on the destination ahead. A train can’t go in multiple directions at once. So, what is my mission? My contribution? What is the thing I can be doing right now in the world to make it a better place? I want to decide that and get on board the train. I’ve wasted far too much time hanging around the station, arguing with naysayers and trying to persuade people (who don’t want to be persuaded) that they should come on board. I believe this moment in time is meant for us to map out the next stop, holler out “all aboard,” and start moving down the tracks…regardless of how many people are with us. Other folks can always hop on at a later stop if they want, or catch the next train. They can also spend the rest of their lives grumbling at the station. They can even board a train heading in the opposite direction. Don’t let any of their choices stop YOU from where you need to go.   Get really clear on the destination you want to head toward. Where are you trying to take your students? Your family? Your personal relationships? Your community? Yourself? And pull that train out of the station. 
 Start the journey and move forward boldly. Now is the time. Listen in as we kick off Season 13 of the podcast, and get inspired! Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
1/24/202119 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP211 Find the small good things. Take the next right steps.

This is a deeply personal podcast episode, so if you’re new here, I encourage you to revisit previous eps that are probably going to be more helpful and along the lines of what you’re hoping to get. This one is all over the map: part inspirational, part confessional, part political, part visionary. I've decided to end the podcast early, for reasons that will be apparent as I share what’s on my heart here. I will not be back with another episode until at least January 2021. In the meanwhile: Find the small good things. Take the next right steps. Focus on who you want to become through the remainder of this pandemic. What kind of person will you be on the other side of these challenging times? What kind of educators do we want to be? What kind of nation do we want to be? Vote accordingly. Sending you all love, support, and solidarity until next time. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
10/18/202030 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP210 How to be quietly subversive and make the standards meaningful (with Dr. Robyn Jackson)

What happens when you’re asked to follow bad pedagogy or teach topics that seem irrelevant for kids? You can do exactly as you’re told...or you can quietly subvert the system, and find ways to do what’s best for kids. Listen in as Dr. Robyn Jackson and I talk about ways that we’ve done this in our teaching practice, and how we’ve supported other teachers in doing the same. We speak the quiet part out loud in this episode: the best teachers don’t just follow directives without question — they’re NOT doing everything they’re told, because a lot of what they’re told to do isn’t good for kids. You don’t have to settle for just “getting through” boring curriculum and test prep. You can be actively looking for ways to get yourself excited about what/how you need to teach and make the learning meaningful for kids so they’re more engaged, too. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
10/11/202018 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP209 For the teachers who are not okay right now...

I decided to scrap the topic I had planned for this week and speak to the teachers who feel like they’re drowning. I know what's expected right now of many kids, families, and teachers is not humanly possible on a long-term basis. And in this episode, I want to counter the system-wide gaslighting that is occurring. What many (most?) of you are being asked to do right now is NOT, in fact, reasonable ... and the solution is not for you to simply work harder. We are still in a pandemic. This is still crisis distance learning. This is emergency hybrid teaching. Regardless of how much districts want to pretend we can replicate normal, we cannot. Resist the pressure to perform at optimal levels when we are not working in optimal conditions. Pushing yourself to work harder when your body's calling for rest will not help you get ahead. That approach is part of the old paradigm which has to fall away and be replaced with a way of working, teaching, and learning that is humanized and centered on well-being rather than accomplishment. You deserve grace and compassion. Give those things to yourself when no one is giving it to you. Rest tonight. Rest this weekend. Rest is necessary for your survival and you don't need to apologize for it. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
10/4/202018 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP208 The best ideas from the Distance Learning Playbook: An uplifting convo with Doug of Fisher & Frey

“We didn't forget how to be teachers. It’s the same passion, engagement, and relationships — you already know how to do that. What we have to learn is a few tech tools, so that we can accomplish the teaching moves that we want, but we did not forget how to teach ... Human beings know how to develop relationships, and sometimes they develop from a distance.” Listen as I talk with Doug Fisher (of Fisher & Frey) about the most important ideas from their new book with John Hattie called “The Distance Learning Playbook: K-12 Teaching For Engagement and Impact in Any Setting.” The book is based on the classroom experiences of a diverse group of more than 70 teachers this past spring. I ask Doug to sum up their most important takeaways, the things that surprised him, and the best practical ideas that came out of these teachers’ experiences. We talk extensively about the best ways to get kids to show up to distance learning and complete their work, as well. Doug shares specific examples, and says, “When you move to higher levels of engagement — where kids drive the learning, where they set their goals, they monitor their progress, they reflect on what they've been learning — that’s when we see them show up and participate.” If you need to hear a positive outlook and some inspiration about distance/hybrid learning right now, I think you’ll really enjoy this conversation: “I did not sign up to be this distance teacher. But right now our kids need us. We're still a school. We still have a job to do. Together, we will get through this pandemic and we will be better, as a result, when we come back.” Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
9/27/202034 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP207 Do you hold these 3 limiting beliefs about students?

If you're frustrated with kids who don't seem to be putting forth any effort, this episode can help you shift your mindset and think about the problem in new ways. We’ll examine 3 limiting beliefs that are a very common part of many people’s worldview, and look for ways to choose perspectives that are more constructive and helpful. When you feel like you’ve tried EVERYTHING, sometimes the missing piece is to change the way we think about the problem...and this episode can help you choose thoughts that serve you (and your students) better. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
9/20/202017 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP206 Humanizing your classroom so kids are known, valued, respected, & safe (with Dave Stuart Jr.)

When teaching from a distance — either 6 feet away or remotely — it can feel challenging to get to know your students well. "The top thing we can do with overwhelm is return to our strength, return to our knowledge, return to our experience. Every teacher in the world knows ways of connecting with students and humanizing a classroom. These things don't perfectly translate to a classroom with social distance or an online learning space...but they do transfer." -Dave Stuart, Jr. Relationships aren’t EVERYTHING, but they ARE “one of the most valuable currencies” in the classroom, according to Dave Stuart Jr. Listen in as we talk about practical ways you can make sure your students feel known, valued, respected, and safe. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
9/13/202045 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP205 When doing your best just isn't good enough...

Sometimes what you’re able to give is not sufficient. It’s frustrating when you know what you’re capable of under optimal circumstances, but also know you’re not working with optimal circumstances or anything close to it. So the only options are to try to single-handedly compensate for all the adverse circumstances and perform at a superhuman level every day, or adjust our expectations. In this episode, I’ll share about choosing kinder, gentler self-talk, and showing ourselves grace so we can extend that grace to others. I’ll also share a guiding question that I’ve been thinking about since March: Who do I want to be on the other side of this pandemic? What kind of person do I want this experience to be shaping me into? This episode will help you let go of the “shoulds” and regrets about 2020, and celebrate the small wins instead of focusing on all the things we haven’t been able to do. There is a great peace that comes with focusing on who you are becoming instead of what you are able to do. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
9/6/202016 minutes, 15 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP204 Differentiation: What new opportunities are possible now?

Breakout rooms are transforming how we do one-on-one conferencing and small group work. There are so many things we CAN’T do right with kids, so in this episode, I’m exploring the new opportunities for differentiation which may not have been possible in pre-pandemic teaching. You’ll hear from a diverse group of 5 teachers from around the world who each share a quick summary of how they differentiated this past spring, and how they’ll build on that experience this school year. If you’re looking for manageable, sustainable ways to meet kids’ individual needs in remote or hybrid learning, you’ll find lots of creative structures here. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
8/30/202026 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP203 Feeling like a first year teacher again? Remember these 5 things.

When the learning curve is overwhelming (especially with technology), these 5 guiding principles can help: Start with the outcome you want to achieve, and choose the best tool accordingly (rather than vice versa). Approach technology as a tool to support learning, not the focus of the learning itself. Use tech to enhance, not dominate, what you’re already doing. Use what you love and don’t abandon what works for the next shiny new thing. Be willing to learn through experimentation rather than a formal training. Listen in on this encouraging, motivating episode that reminds you how to shift focus away from the overwhelming array of options and things you DON’T know how to do, and recenter on what you DO know. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
8/23/202014 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP202 How to plan activities that work for in-person, remote, AND hybrid instruction

Adapting a flexible, resilient pedagogy will allow us to roll with any changes that might come, and will carry us through to post-pandemic teaching, as well. The goal? To emerge from this school year with more equitable, sustainable, and relevant ways of teaching and learning. So what exactly does flexible resilience pedagogy look like in practice? I’ll share some tips to help you plan ONE set of activities for every lesson, and use them for face-to-face, online, and hybrid instruction. I’ll also share 11 practical strategies to help you find a manageable, sustainable approach to planning instruction this year, no matter what changes might come in your teaching context. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
8/16/202023 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP201 Freedom dreaming & who we need to BE for kids this year (with Tanesha Forman)

In our rush to figure out logistics, we can’t forget that who we ARE impacts how we teach more than anything else. Unpacking our own identity and the “why” we bring to the classroom can be a grounding force that holds us steady through change. Listen in as I have a laid-back yet energizing conversation with Tanesha Forman, a middle school teacher entering her 15th year in the classroom. She shares how her daily classroom work is a reflection of her own learning, identity, and growth, and how she uses that self-reflection to support students in being fully seen and known in her classroom. Tanesha also shares how she’s planning for both curriculum and socio-emotional learning in the coming school year through a reflective, anti-bias/anti-racist lens. We talk about disrupting power structures, and Tanesha shares her “freedom dream” in which kids and teachers can fully be themselves in school. If you want to surround yourself right now with the inspiration of folks who are reimagining schools through their daily work, this episode is a must-listen. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
8/9/202043 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP200 How to plan for the first weeks of school when everything feels uncertain

Whether you’re with kids face-to-face daily or a few days a week or totally online, I think it’s fair to say that your lessons for back-to-school this year are not going to be what you wish they could be. You probably won't be able to do what you did in previous school years. The sooner you can accept that, the easier it will be to plan because you won’t be spending so much energy shoehorning in activities that just aren’t going to work. The sooner you can accept that the start of this school year is not going to be optimal for you or your students, the easier it will be to see things in a really clear-headed way and find the best possible solutions. In this epsiode, I'll share the WHY and HOW for keeping your lesson plans simple for the first couple of weeks. As you get more answers from your district about what's expected, you'll be able to do build in more activities and experiences for kids. But, you don't have to have it all figured out before the first day of school. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
8/2/202015 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

Flexible resilience: My manifesto for the coming school year

I’ve been thinking a lot about where I personally can add the most value, and how I can offer support and resources in the way I do best. I’m going to share part of my manifesto here with you. These are my beliefs and goals that will shape the work I do around the changes coming this fall to our schools. You will see these perspectives interwoven into every resource from me this coming school year — emails, blog posts, podcast eps, social media posts, 40 Hour Workweek resources, and so on. Specifically, I'll share: The importance of time to rest and regroup before preparing lessons for the coming year Why you shouldn't wait for your district to finalize plans before you speak up about your needs How to seek out the overlap between what's best for teachers and what's best for kids How radical acceptance can prepare you to create much-needed change in our schools Ways a flexible, resilient pedagogy can simplify your workload and help you support students more effectively Why I believe the work we're doing this school year will be some of the most important of our careers 5 core beliefs that will guide the work I do this coming school year, and the ways I'll offer support Click here for links to the transcript and all resources mentioned. Join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes. I'll be back with the first episode of season 12 of the podcast on August 2nd. 
6/24/202031 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

A message of hope + call to action

  If you've been feeling like you can't make a difference right now, listen in for how you can stand up for racial justice and create positive change. I'll share why I am hopeful that uprising we're experiencing as a nation is leading us toward racial healing and equality, and what YOU can do to help. You have the power to uncover and root out discriminatory practices in your classroom, school, and district. There are actionable steps you can take starting today to do an informal "equity audit." The goal is to name and interrupt patterns of bias + racism in the way we do school, and it's one of the most impactful choices you can make as an educator who wants to create a better world for our kids. Click here for links to the transcript and all resources mentioned: https://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/truth-for-teachers-podcast/a-message-of-hope-call-to-action-for-justice/  
6/4/202013 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP199 Ending the school year virtually + crisis classroom closeout tips

We’re wrapping up Season 11 of the podcast in this episode, and talking about how to wrap up the school year, as well. The usual end-of-year activities won’t quite fit the bill right now, so I’m sharing how other teachers are creating closure for the year, even when they can’t be face-to-face with their students. I’ll also share a crisis classroom closeout process if you only have a few hours to shut down your room: Download the PDF here Get the editable checklist in a Google Doc here Season 12 of the podcast will begin in August, and I’ll check in periodically over the summer with bonus episodes and announcements to keep you in the loop. Thank you for listening, sharing, subscribing, and reviewing the podcast! Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
5/10/202014 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP198 Three sneaky ways perfectionism is holding you back (even if you think you’re not a perfectionist)

Perfectionism is not always about needing things to be perfect. It can look like an “all-or-nothing” mentality that keeps us from creating the change we want. My working theory is that everyone struggles with perfectionism, it simply manifests differently for different people. We all have our things that we are extremely particular about. Even folks who are super laid-back or happily disorganized or go-with-the-flow still have very defined preferences for certain aspects of their life. I think it’s the root word “perfect” that throws people off. Very few people actually try to make everything to be absolutely perfect with no flaws at all times. But, we do all sometimes have the belief that things have to be a certain way in order for us to be content or satisfied. Things have to match out personal standard in order to be acceptable — and that’s a sneaky form of perfectionism. In this episode, I’m going to share 3 thought patterns that you may recognize, explain how they’re actually tied to perfectionism, and give you some strategies to shift your thinking. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
5/3/202017 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP197 Creating systemic change and solving problems before they happen (with Dan Heath)

How do we reimagine schools and use this interruption to our lives to create a better normal post-pandemic? My guest in this episode is Dan Heath, a New York Times bestselling author of 5 books, the most recent being “Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen.” This book is a MUST read for anyone who’s curious about how to create systemic change or how to improve our daily lives through pro-active problem-solving. Dan explains why we spend more time and resources fixing problems than preventing them. He gives concrete examples of people and organizations that have gone “upstream” to identify what’s creating havoc and fix things there, BEFORE the problems come to them downstream. We have an unprecedented opportunity right now for change in many areas: healthcare, the economy, the environment, and so on. Every part of our lives and society have been touched, and will be changed ... and it’s up to us to envision a better “new normal.” If you loved EP192 on reimagining schools and want more inspiration for how to move forward, I think you’ll find this episode fascinating. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
4/26/202047 minutes
Episode Artwork

EP196 Some parts of teaching are BETTER with remote learning. Here’s how to leverage that.

Crisis distance learning has improved teaching and learning in some surprising (and not-so-surprising ways) over the last couple of weeks. There’s no doubt that it’s been stressful trying to make the transition so abruptly, but I thought it might be helpful to do an episode on the positives some folks are seeing, too. Whether you secretly prefer remote teaching or if you just wish you were back in your classroom again, this episode will help you focus on the potential benefits of teaching from home. You’ll learn some emerging best practices and positive reports from teachers about their experiences with distance learning to help you make the best of this time. You’ll also hear a call-to-action: observe and document which practices are getting good results (or perhaps better results than face-to-face instruction) for your students. You don't have to figure out now how to carry this over to next school year, but having a record of what you're seeing to prove the benefits of now vs the traditional ways of doing school may be helpful to you later in creating permanent change. If that feels overwhelming, then just pick one thing. What’s one thing you’re doing differently right now that’s working better for you and your students, which you might be able to use in future school years? Keep evidence of that. Experiment with it, a lot, to learn what works and what doesn’t. See where your observations take you in your practice. Listen in now for some inspiration and ideas to get you started! Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
4/19/202025 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP195 How to stop being annoyed by personality differences (with Kara Lowentheil)

Spending a LOT of time in a confined space with the same people day in and day out can exacerbate tension. If you’re finding yourself increasingly agitated, impatient, and annoyed by the folks around you, this episode can help! I’m talking with Kara Loewentheil, who has a B.A. from Yale and J.D. from Harvard Law, and works now as a Master Certified Coach. She's the host of the iTunes top-rated self-help podcast "Un-F Your Brain," which has been downloaded over 5 million times, and she has been featured in outlets like Marie Claire, Mind Body Green, MSN.com, and The Huffington Post. I love to occasionally have folks with a perspective outside of our education bubble come on the show to give us a broader perspective. We recorded this prior to the pandemic, so you won’t hear us address that, however, I decided to run the episode this week because I think our conversation is going to be more relevant now than ever. As we’re stuck inside for weeks on end with other humans, the concept of not being annoyed by personality differences takes on a whole new meaning, right? I hope this episode will be helpful to you not only in your work but in your personal life, as well. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
4/12/202028 minutes, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP194 Yes, work/life balance IS possible when teaching from home

Work/life balance doesn't mean creating a total separation between teaching and everything else. It’s about integrating work with the rest of your priorities in a way that allows you to give appropriate time and energy to each. Balance IS possible and worth striving for, even when teaching remotely from home for the first time. If you feel like you're tied to the computer 24/7 and working more now than ever before, these 11 reminders and practical tips can help. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
4/5/202030 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP193 12 ways to connect with kids when teaching remotely

During distance learning, look for small, simple ways you can center kids’ physical and mental well-being, which will, in turn, be energizing and uplifting for you, as well. I’ve collected 12 types of ideas from members of the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club to give you some insight into how other K-12 teachers from around the world are facing the challenges of teaching remotely. Read the whole list here. Regardless of how much (or how little) contact with your students you’re able to have, and how much (or how little) academic instruction is happening, these ideas can help you prioritize relationships with your students and stay connected. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
3/29/202023 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP192 Schools are closed. This is our chance to reimagine them.

A sudden switch to teaching remotely is so difficult to manage. But what if it allows us to let go of all our previous assumptions about what we “have” to do with kids? If schools can simplify the curriculum, cancel standardized testing, and put kids’ socio-emotional wellness first right now ... why can’t we do that all the time? In this episode, I’m offering encouragement to help you let go of the pressure to do remote learning the “right” way. There is no right way because what we’re trying right now has never been done before on such a large scale. If you’ve been feeling anxious about how to make everything work, listen in for some reassurance and clarity. This might just be the beginning of a profound and deeply-needed transformation of the expectations placed on teachers and students. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
3/22/202021 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

5 calming reminders about what matters most during pandemic panic & school closures

With all the COVID-19 upheaval in our world right now, I wanted to do a special check-in with you. We are all struggling with the uncertainty, but this episode shares 5 things I know for sure. I've added calming background music, so this is ideal to listen to when you're anxious and having trouble focusing on getting anything done. I hope it's reassuring. Be safe and well!  Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
3/18/202021 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP191 How to motivate and engage reluctant learners (with Dr. Robyn Jackson)

“You can break motivation barriers for disengaged students by recognizing that motivation is an investment decision. Students have time, attention, and effort, and they are making a decision every single day about whether they want to invest those things in our classrooms or in something else. Making your classroom worth investing in is about creating a space where students’ time, energy, and effort will be rewarded.” --Dr. Robyn Jackson Join us as Robyn and I do a deep dive into her quote above. We’re tackling whether there is such thing as a kid who doesn’t want to learn, and then working through the 4 causes of student disengagement (instructional, institutional, interpersonal, and internal.) Robyn explains in-depth how teachers can identify and address each cause in practical, relatable ways. We camp out for quite a while on the topic of interpersonal barriers, because there’s a powerful approach there which can be used to re-engage a reluctant learner. Robyn explains how to uncover students' primary will driver: purpose, mastery, autonomy, and belonging/connection. We discuss what each one means, and how you can incorporate these needs into your daily lessons in a way that reaches all your kids. Feeding kids’ dominant will drivers is surprisingly simple once you understand the basic principle: in fact, just changing the wording you use when giving directions to kids can address the variety of will drivers in your classroom and increase the likelihood of engagement, and Robyn shares specific examples. Motivation is a complex issue, and Robyn provides lots of concrete tools to solve the root problems permanently. This is not about quick tips and hacks: I promise if you can invest an hour of your time into learning the principles from this episode, it will forever change your teaching — Robyn’s work is just that powerful. Don’t muddle through the rest of the year trying to use band-aid solutions with disengaged kids: it’s not too late for a breakthrough, and these simple, powerful principles can make a huge difference quickly. Resources referenced in this episode: Robyn’s previous Truth for Teachers interview on rude, disrespectful student attitudes Robyn’s book, How to Motivate Reluctant Learners Episode 5 of Robyn’s article and episode of School Leadership Reimagined (her podcast) called The most powerful way to motivate anybody. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our new podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
3/15/202050 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP190 Healthy teacher lunch ideas that are quick prep and decision-free

Lunch can be a surprisingly big stressor for teachers: figuring out what to pack, being scheduled for a 10:30 am lunch slot when you’re never quite hungry, having to scarf down a whole meal in 15 minutes or less, or not getting a break for lunch at all. So, by popular request, this episode is all about ways to simplify and streamline. Some of the main strategies we’ll explore include: Make convenient containers easily accessible Keep a variety of snack choices to mix and match for lunch Make green smoothies or protein shakes Prep veggies as soon as you bring them home Batch your lunch prep Make (almost) every dinner give you two days’ worth of lunches Create a set of go-to meals for dinner to be used as leftovers Eat the same lunch daily or eliminate it altogether Try to reduce the additional lunch prep you handle for family members  Learn how to invest a bit of time in creating a simple plan, so that figuring out a healthy lunch is one less decision you have to make each day. WARNING: This episode could be triggering for those with a history of eating disorders or other unhealthy relationships with food. I don’t discuss weight loss or restricting your nutritional intake, and this is a body-neutral episode, but the topic could bring up some issues around your relationship with food, particularly near the end when I’m talking about intermittent fasting and simplifying how many food choices you have for the purpose of making meal prep easier and faster. Please be kind to yourself as you’re listening, and focus on just the ideas that resonate with you and your body. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our new podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
3/8/202026 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP189 How to transition out of teaching (with Daphne Williams of Teacher Career Coach)

What career options are available for teachers? Is it true that other industries don’t value education degrees or teaching experience? What else is possible when you feel like the “only” thing you know how to do is teach? Daphne Williams of Teacher Career Coach is on this week’s episode to provide guidance to those who are considering a career move outside the classroom. Together, we destigmatize the desire to find another career, and help teachers process the unwarranted embarrassment and guilt that can come with leaving teaching. You’ll also learn: -Why teaching has prepared you for a multitude of other careers -How to translate your experience from classroom to corporate so potential employers understand the value of your skills -What types of industries frequently hire former teachers -How (and when) to apply for positions in the 2020 job market -How to find work when you live in a rural area or small town -Why you should do the math on how much you’re making per hour when comparing your teaching salary to other fields If you are looking for affordable support in transitioning out of the classroom, I’m proud to partner with Daphne as an affiliate of her Teacher Career Coach online course and networking group. To learn more about the program, get Daphne’s free eBook with samples from the course and a list of the top jobs that hire teachers at teachercareercoach.com/truthforteachers. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our new podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
3/1/202029 minutes, 15 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP188 What are your secret rules for how everyone else should behave?

Sometimes a relatively minor issue — like students not remembering to put their names on their papers — can create an outsized reaction in us. That’s certainly been true for me — as a new teacher, I couldn’t believe I was having to remind the kids AGAIN to write the proper heading (yes, friends, on EVERY assignment). The real source of my frustration wasn’t no-name papers, though. It was my belief that students should have internalized all classroom procedures early in the school year, and would therefore not need any more reminders after that. Turns out, this expectation is neither factual nor realistic. It was my own secret rule — an expectation that only existed in my mind, but wasn’t true for everyone else around me. Secret rules are the reason why the exact same behavior can elicit annoyance in one person, and not in another. When you are aware that everyone has their own set of secret rules, it becomes far less frustrating when people don’t follow yours. You realize they are not necessarily being inconsiderate, rude, or disrespectful. In this episode, you’ll learn how to identify your own secret rules and how those conflict with the secret rules of the people around you. And, you’ll learn how to get curious rather than judgmental. Explore your secret rules, and consider what secret rules might be driving other people’s decision-making. This process will give you distance from the little stuff that’s bothering you so that you can be more at peace within yourself and with others. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our new podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
2/23/202018 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP187 Eight simple ways to move toward a zero-waste classroom (with Heidi Rose)

“Our end goal isn’t to be perfect consumers; it’s just to have a different mindset about our relationship with the world. In my classroom, the relationship to the planet that I'm modeling is what's going to have the biggest impact. That's what's going to stick with the kids more than one little tip or trick that I use for reducing waste.” In this episode, you’ll hear 1st grade teacher Heidi Rose of Zero Waste Classroom share how she’s shifted her mindset and daily practices toward a greener teaching practice. You’ll learn small actionable steps you can take to raise students’ consciousness about their consumption and reduce the amount of trash generated in your classroom. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our new podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
2/16/202025 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP186 Is your “invisible throne” creating power struggles and unnecessary work?

We’ve all had moments where we lose our temper with students and pull rank to get them to comply. So how do you shift from micromanaging, controlling, and punishing students to supporting and guiding them? How do we learn to lead our students instead of ruling over them? In this episode, I’ll share how the model of fear-based obedience begins at the top of the school system hierarchy. There are folks seated on invisible thrones who issue senseless mandates to teachers, who then follow suit, replicating that pattern to the powerless citizens of their classroom kingdoms. That damaging pattern does not have to be replicated with YOUR students. I’ll share how to notice when you are attempting to rule over students from an invisible throne, and shift your approach without berating or judging yourself (which would only reinforce this same mentality of “bad behavior” which needs to be shamed or punished). Learn how to recognize when you’re not responding to students from the wisest part of yourself, and become more conscious of the power dynamics in your classroom. This episode will empower you to build better connections with your students by shifting from making them respect your authority to modeling healthy leadership skills for them. If you'd like to discuss this topic (and many others) with us in the Fewer Things Better Book Club, conversations are kicking off now and the book club begins in March. Click here to learn more about the group and win a copy of the book: fewerthingsbetter.com. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our new podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
2/9/202016 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP185 Using inquiry to help kids develop critical consciousness (with Jess Lifshitz)

How can you design learning experiences that help kids understand themselves and their place in the world? A 5th grade teacher shares how she creates inquiry experiences that help kids develop understandings about personal identity, bias, moving beyond a single story, and seeing what isn’t there (critically studying history). I’ve asked Jess Lifshitz to come on the podcast because I love learning from her on Twitter, and I wanted to amplify her work so more teachers can use inquiry, reading, and writing to help students better understand create positive change in the world beyond the classroom. Jess shares, “I’m constantly looking at the models around me of the humans that I want my students to grow up to be and asking, “What did they have to learn to be that kind of person?’ We see people stand up for strangers in the supermarket, and I think to myself, ’What was that person taught that allowed them to become the kind of adult that's going to stand up for someone else?’ Someone taught them those skills, and I can't assume that anybody else is teaching my students that. I need to make sure that those are things I'm working into my classroom so that my students can grow up to be the kinds of people that I want to share this world with.” In this episode, you'll hear Jess share her lesson planning process, how she ties real-world lessons like these back to her standards and curriculum, and how she uses inquiry to support students in uncovering truths for themselves instead of being told what to think. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our new podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
2/2/202033 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP184 When you're doubting your abilities as a teacher...

You can’t just positive-think your way into confidence: real confidence comes as a result of consistently taking action, and seeing growth in yourself over time. When I started my podcast 4 years ago, I wasn’t confident about it. At all. In fact, I was very self-conscious about my voice, my accent, my ideas, my theme song, my introduction. You name it, I doubted it. And that’s how it should be — how can you be confident about something you’ve never done and aren’t great at yet? I didn’t have the confidence yet because I hadn’t yet built the capability. But, I believed in my own ability to grow and improve. I knew I COULD have the capability if I kept showing up. With each mediocre episode I worked so hard to produce, I got better at it. Things began to come easier to me, and I was happier with the end result. I saw my growth, and THAT’S what gave me my confidence as a podcast host. In this episode, I share my encouragement to you: to build your confidence as a teacher by building your capability. Don’t try to manufacture confidence: build it by taking action. Do the same things over and over until you get good at them or at least better at them, and then move on and try something else. Work toward mastery and depth, knowing that mastery always requires repetition. Reflect each day on what you have grown in, and the things you have learned that day. Notice your progress in the smallest ways. As you start to pay attention to your own growth and recognize your accomplishments, you will build REAL and unshakeable confidence in your abilities as a teacher. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our new podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
1/26/202014 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

10 personal things I learned about myself this decade

As we move into 2020, I’m sharing some very personal self-reflections about the course my life has taken over the past 10 years, and new insights I've had about who I am and what I need in order to thrive. A few of the things I touch on in this stream-of-consciousness episode: Learning to set boundaries Becoming a "people person" Why I chose the direction I did for my business What marriage looks like for me now Why we don’t have kids What I've learned about my creative process I wrap up by sharing the personal development work I want to focus on as the new decade begins. I would love to hear your self-reflections and what you’ve learned about YOURSELF over the past decade! You can share with me and other Truth for Teachers listeners in our private Facebook community here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/truthforteachers/ Happy New Year! I'll be back with the next "official" episode on Jan 26th.
12/21/201931 minutes, 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP183 How one teacher set boundaries and stopped bringing work home

Jessica H. shares how she balances home and work: “I realized that being a good teacher came at a really high price for me, at the expense of my family, relationships, and health. One day I decided that that price was higher than I was willing to pay. So I asked, “If I were to thrive — not just survive, but thrive — in my professional life, what would that look like? What would I have to do (and stop doing) to thrive?” I encourage you to listen for specific things Jessica’s done to create boundaries and consider how you could find approaches that work for you. We’re not prescribing a one-size-fits-all approach here. My hope is that Jessica’s story will inspire you to think outside the box and figure out a schedule that allows YOU to have clearer boundaries between home and work and more time for self-care. If you want to learn more about the new 40 Hour Fast Track (a 6-week program I’m offering in January), go here: 40htw.com Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our new podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
11/17/201926 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP182 The Weekend Effect: Why your time off is worth fighting for (with Katrina Onstad)

The history of the weekend is a fascinating one, and author Katrina Onstad is here to tell us why (and how) workers’ rights have evolved over time. She shares the ancient concept of rest from working hours, and describes how the encroachment of work on our personal lives changed with industrialization, and changed again now that technology keeps us connected 24/7. Katrina also shares some systemic changes we can make in schools to fight the culture of overwork, and shares practical things you can do to get the benefit of “the weekend effect” and maximize your time off to create a true break. To learn more, get Katrina's book, "The Weekend Effect: The Life-Changing Benefits of Taking Time Off and Challenging the Cult of Overwork." Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our new podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.  
11/10/201922 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP181 Four things your school psychologist wishes you knew about sped referrals (with Dr. Rebecca Branstetter)

Why does it take so long to test kids for special education services? What are you supposed to do in the meanwhile? And what exactly does the school psychologist do all day? Dr. Rebecca Branstetter of The Thriving School Psychologist Collective is here to share the hilarious stories and inside scoop on the role of school psychs. They’re trained to do far more than just test kids, and your school psychologist can be a fantastic resource: “School psychologists aren’t the gatekeepers to special education. We want to do so much more than just test. We want to be part of the school community. Think of us as your consultants and thought partners before you think of us as special education assessors”. If you’ve ever been frustrated with the special education referral and testing process, listen in to discover what’s happening behind the scenes, and what you can do (with the support of your school psychologist) to help your students. Click here to read the blog post and participate in the discussion or, join our new podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
11/3/201940 minutes, 27 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP180 Real talk on communicating with difficult colleagues at school

Do you have co-workers who are passive-aggressive, controlling, or even outright bullying others when you’re supposed to be collaborating? Are you appalled at some of the things that come out of some coworkers’ mouths, but always feel caught off guard and aren’t sure how to respond? This is an off-the-cuff episode where I’m speaking to you directly from the heart, giving the same advice I’d give to a friend. Listen in to hear some approaches I’ve used when communicating with difficult colleagues. Click here to read the blog post and participate in the discussion or, join our new podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
10/27/201929 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP179 Out the door by 4: Streamlining Friday afternoon planning (Rebecca’s coaching call)

In this coaching call, a 25-year veteran teacher explores why it’s taking her so long to get out the door on Friday afternoons when she’s trying to plan for the following week. Rebecca shares, “I’m a really good teacher, but with as long as I take to plan lessons, I should be one of the best in the world!” Together, we explore ways to streamline her planning process so she’s spending less time fitting the pieces together and hunting for good activities. We also examine her Friday afternoon routines to look for ways she might be wasting time, and try to find tasks she can move to other time periods to allow her to start her weekend at a decent hour. Rebecca’s coaching call ends with 3 actionable takeaways, one for reducing the time spent planning lessons, one for prioritizing coworker conversations without staying late, and one for re-allocating work hours to make sure she’s out the door by 4 on Fridays. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our new podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.
10/20/201928 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP178 How to act (rather than react) and stop wasting class time when kids are off-task

Are you constantly losing instructional time to minor disruptions and off-task behavior? What if you shifted your focus from eliminating misbehavior and interruptions to maximizing learning time? When the goal is to eliminate interruptions, you feel like you have to address every single one so it never happens again. When the goal is to maximize learning time, you can choose a more constructive response that keeps the majority of the class on-task. This approach will reduce the wasted class time spent on lectures about the rules and arguing with kids over what you’ve told them to do. Here’s how to plan your responses in advance so you’re not constantly exploding in frustration over minor things.  Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our new podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.  
10/13/201918 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP177 Rage Becomes Her: Supporting students — and ourselves — in expressing our full range of emotions (with Soraya Chemaly)

“Men and women are far more alike than they are different. And yet in our society, all of the emphasis is put on the difference. Everybody feels anger, everybody feels sadness, and it makes no sense to be gendering these feelings. As a matter of fact, not only does it not make sense, it is definitively harmful to people and to society.” “As girls, we are not taught to acknowledge or manage our anger so much as fear, ignore, hide, and transform it. Boys learn early on about anger, but far less about other feelings, which handicaps them—and society—in different ways. Socially discouraged from seeming feminine (in other words, being empathetic, vulnerable, and compassionate), their emotional alternatives often come down to withdrawal or aggressive expressions of anger. There's no reason why all children can't learn to be kind and considerate to other people in exactly the same way.” “What would it mean to ungender our emotions? What would the world look like if all of us were allowed to experience and productively express the full range of our emotions without penalty?” Listen in for more great take-aways from the interview I did with Soraya Chemaly, the best-selling author of the book “Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger.” We’re talking specifically about how these issues impact children in the classroom, and how her research can support educators in coping with the stresses of emotional labor that are inherent to teaching. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our new podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.  
10/6/201937 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP176 Radical acceptance: How to deal with teaching frustrations you cannot change

How much energy are you wasting complaining about or resisting reality? Radical acceptance can help you deal realistically with the facts of the situation (rather than the story you’re telling yourself about the facts) and sitting with the discomfort of the present moment instead of insisting it shouldn’t be happening. Radical acceptance doesn’t mean you approve of the problems you’re facing or deem other people’s inappropriate behavior as okay. You don’t have to ignore your own needs, let people walk all over you, ignore a problem, or tell yourself it’s okay that something awful is happening or has happened to you. Rather, it’s a principle you can practice to bravely see all that you are, and all that the people around you are. You can take constructive steps to improve working conditions while practicing radical acceptance of your current reality. You can change your self-talk from “I can’t believe this unfair thing is happening” to “It IS happening, and I accept that reality for the purpose of being able to address it in the healthiest, most productive way possible. What thoughts, words, and actions can I choose that will make things better?” Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our new podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes. 
9/29/201917 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP175 Four myths about great teaching debunked (with Jennifer Gonzalez of Cult of Pedagogy)

Jennifer Gonzalez of Cult of Pedagogy and I are breaking down misconceptions about what effective instruction really looks like. Listen in as we discuss the truths that often get buried among these myths: MYTH #1: Traditional teaching methods should be replaced with more innovative, student-centered approaches. MYTH #2: Lessons should be as creative and fun as possible to increase engagement. MYTH #3: Including elements of students' cultures in your lessons is the best way to teach a diverse group of kids. MYTH #4: Planning great lessons always takes a lot of time and preparation. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our new podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes. 
9/22/201945 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP174 Eight ways to move out of overwhelm when everything feels exhausting

What happens when even looking at your to-do list makes you want to shut down? How do you get yourself re-energized when basic adulting feels like too much? I’ve found it empowering to have a menu of choices — or a toolbox — I can go to when I experience those feelings. It’s a collection of strategies I can pick from which have worked in the past, so I can choose whichever one feels easiest to me at the time. In this episode, I’m sharing 8 approaches that work for me: Give yourself permission to stop doing and thinking Choose self-comfort or self-care                                                   Get out of your head and regain perspective                                   Tap into your vision, legacy, and long term goals                             Dump the stress by planning and batching tasks                       Eliminate tasks and go back to basics                                           Ease your way into productivity mode with quick wins                     Tackle the task that’s creating the most anxiety                                   Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our new podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.   
9/15/201920 minutes, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP173 Breathe for Change: Tools for teacher well-being and mindfulness

The best way to help students be more empathetic and self-aware is for us to first develop these qualities in ourselves. Dr. Ilana Nankin has created wellness, yoga, and mindfulness resources specifically for teachers through her organization called Breathe for Change. Ilana is spearheading a movement of educators who want to embody principles of wellness and healthy socio-emotional development in order to teach those things to students authentically. Listen in as she shares how teachers can get support in establishing or deepening practices of yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and other tools for well-being and carry those practices into the classroom. Share your thoughts on the episode and collaborate with other listeners in our NEW private group on Facebook! Click here to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/truthforteachers/. You can also leave a comment on the blog post/transcript for this episode here:http://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/truth-for-teachers-podcast/breathe-for-change-teacher-wellness/.
9/8/201930 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP172 Some things a teacher shouldn't be "neutral" about...

Your worldview shapes your classroom management and curriculum choices, whether consciously or not. Let’s examine and question the belief that “neutral” is the only ethical position for us to take, and interrogate whether being neutral is even possible in certain contexts. To be true advocates for our students and have strong, authentic relationships with them, we have to fully embrace and support their identities, and be willing to take a stand when they are discriminated against, bullied, or marginalized. Click here to get recommendations for anti-bias and anti-racism resources, including books, podcasts, free curriculum materials, and more. Share your thoughts on the episode and collaborate with other listeners in our NEW private group on Facebook! Click here to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/truthforteachers/. You can also leave a comment on the blog post/transcript for this episode here: http://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/truth-for-teachers-podcast/neutral-politics-in-the-classroom/. 
9/1/201918 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP171 Teach Like Yourself: Why YOU are the person your students need most (with Dr. Gravity Goldberg)

What if being your best in the classroom didn’t mean changing yourself or “fixing” things that are wrong with you? What if you didn’t need gimmicks to hook students into your lessons, and the key to engagement was more about being interested rather than interesting? Join educational consultant and author Dr. Gravity Goldberg as she shares what it means to “teach like yourself.” We’ll explore how to go from predicting failure to building on success, and tap into your personal power in the classroom. Share your thoughts on the episode and collaborate with other listeners in our NEW private group on Facebook! Click here to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/truthforteachers/. You can also leave a comment on the blog post/transcript for this episode:http://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/truth-for-teachers-podcast/authentic-teaching/  
8/25/201932 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP170 Five ridiculously unhelpful things I’ve said to students

Our automatic reactions — the things we say to kids without even realizing the words are coming out of our mouths — are usually things we’ve heard from other adults. Often our parents or our teachers said those things to us. We can make a conscious choice to change the script by examining the ineffective and unhelpful things we say to kids. In this episode, I'm sharing 5 of the phrases I'm most embarrassed about using in my classroom, and what was more effective for me to say instead. Share your thoughts on the episode and collaborate with other listeners in our NEW private group on Facebook! Click here to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/truthforteachers/ You can also leave a comment on the blog post/transcript for this episode here: https://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/truth-for-teachers-podcast/unhelpful-things-teachers-say/
8/18/201917 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP169 The workshop model: beyond the basics (with Jen Bengel)

Workshop-style teaching generally has four basic parts: an opening, mini-lesson, work time, and debriefing. You can use the workshop model with ANY age of students and ANY subject area. My guest today is going to do a deep dive into an ELA or reading workshop model. This is most commonly used in grades 1-5 but kindergarten can also follow the model, and it works well at the secondary level. A lot of what we discuss should be helpful no matter what subject you’re using it for: How to keep a mini-lesson mini What the other kids are doing while you’re conferencing with students or teaching small groups How to assess and take grades on what students are doing during the workshop. Listen for practical advice from Jen Bengel, the owner and creator of Out of This World Literacy™️. She has spent 10 years in public schools as an elementary teacher and a literacy coach, and has spent the last 7 years as a full-time curriculum developer and professional developer. Jen trained under Irene Fountas at Lesley University and specializes in creating literacy curriculum and provides online professional development for teachers. Share your thoughts on the episode and collaborate with other listeners in our NEW private group on Facebook! Click here to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/truthforteachers/. You can also leave a comment on the blog post/transcript for this episode: http://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/truth-for-teachers-podcast/the-workshop-model-jen-bengel/. To get the freebie from Jen Bengel mentioned in the episode, click here: freefromjen.com.
8/11/201930 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP168 Tell yourself a better story this school year

The new school year is a fresh start, and the perfect time to let go of old stories and thought patterns that aren't serving you well. You can examine the stories you're telling yourself to see if they're really true, and decide if the stories you’re choosing are making your work feel more or less stressful. In this episode, you'll learn how to train yourself to differentiate between the facts and the story you’re telling yourself about the facts. When you get locked into one story, practice asking yourself, "What else might be true about this situation? What might be happening that I haven’t considered yet?” Through this process, you can choose the stories that help you rather than discourage you. Share your thoughts on the episode and collaborate with other listeners in our NEW private group on Facebook! Click here to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/truthforteachers/. You can also leave a comment on the blog post/transcript for this episode here: http://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/truth-for-teachers-podcast/change-the-story-you-tell-yourself/.
8/4/201915 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

Summer Series Pt 4: Purpose

In the last episode of our self-development summer podcast series, we’re talking about living with PURPOSE. This is not just about the things you want to do or accomplish. Living with purpose is also about recognizing and appreciating what you’ve already done, and making time for just being, rather than always rushing forward to accomplish the Next Big Thing. If you missed our special summer series emails, it’s not too late to get them. I’ll send you one written message to go with each of the 4 podcast episodes. The emails are designed to be short, powerful reminders to help you make the most of your summer break. Just click here to sign up: https://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/truth-for-teachers-podcast/summer-2019-series/ And if you want to participate in the NEW Truth for Teachers Podcast Community on Facebook, join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/truthforteachers/members/
7/21/201912 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

Summer Series Pt 3: Authenticity

We’re taking a break from school-related topics as we continue our special summer series. These 4 episodes in June and July are designed to be a short time together for us to reflect, think deeply, and go big picture. In this episode, we’re talking about AUTHENTICITY. Is it time to get real with yourself that there are certain things you’re just not going to pressure yourself to do? Are you conforming to outside expectations about what’s most important, or determining those things for yourself? Make sure you sign up for the special summer series emails! There’s one written message to go with each of the 4 podcast episodes. The emails are designed to be short, powerful reminders to help you make the most of your summer break. Just click here to sign up: https://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/truth-for-teachers-podcast/summer-2019-series/ Also: there are just a few more days to join the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. It’s a great community of teachers who are focused on what matters most, and you’ll get all the resources and support you need for living and teaching with intentionality. Last chance is July 15th! Sign up here: 40htw.com.
7/7/201914 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

Summer Series Pt 2: Alignment

"There can't be any large-scale revolution until there's a personal revolution, on an individual level. It's got to happen inside first." --Jim Morrison Take a break this summer from thinking about work, and let’s do some big picture reflection on life together. In part two of this summer series, we’re talking about ALIGNMENT, and what it means to live in alignment with what you really believe and who you really are. We'll talk about doing our part (imperfectly) to make the world the place we believe it should be. Make sure you sign up for the special summer series emails! There’s one written message to go with each of the 4 podcast episodes. The emails are designed to be short, powerful reminders to help you make the most of your summer break. Just click here to sign up: https://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/truth-for-teachers-podcast/summer-2019-series/ Also: the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club is open for early bird access (with early bird bonuses) from now through June 30th! Learn more or sign up here: 40htw.com.
6/23/201917 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

Summer Series Pt 1: Presence

In this special 4 part summer series, we're focused on self-development instead of professional development. Every other week in June and July, I’ll bring you a short episode to help you focus on what matters most. I’ll also share some things that have been on my heart that might be otherwise off-topic for a teaching podcast. If you normally listen to the podcast on 1.25 or 1.5 speed, I encourage you to go down to 1.0 for these 4 summer episodes. This series is not about consuming as much information as fast as possible — which is certainly a fine goal in other contexts. This series is about savoring the time, and being present with yourself for each moment of it. Let this be a short time together to reflect, think deeply, and go big picture. We’ll explore a different word each time. In part one, we’re talking about PRESENCE through immersion in both silence and healing sounds. How can you create short, regular rituals in your life where you enjoy the benefits of silence, and experience sounds that are calming? You’ll get to experience a few moments of “sound therapy” in this episode and discover how to use sounds and silence to help you experience more presence this summer. Don’t let your summer fly by because you were rushing from one activity to the next! Time seems to slow down when we are truly present, and even a few moments of practicing presence each day can give you a sense of peace and gratitude. I encourage you to sign up for the special summer series emails. There’s one written message to go with each of the 4 podcast episodes. The emails are designed to be short, powerful reminders to help you make the most of your summer break. If you want to receive them, click here: https://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/truth-for-teachers-podcast/summer-2019-series/
6/9/201918 minutes, 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP167 Five summer traps to avoid so you can slow down and rejuvenate

This is the last episode of Season 9! I want to leave you with a short and sweet message to help you get more enjoyment out of your summer break. The summer seems to stretch ahead of us endlessly now, but we all know how quickly it will actually fly by. So, I’ll share a bit about my summer plans, and then tell you about 5 traps I’ll be working to avoid — and that I hope you’ll be aware of, too — in order to slow down, be present, and rejuvenate before fall. There will also be a summer 4 part podcast series I'm releasing this summer that is non-teaching related! Learn more about sign up by the biweekly messages here: https://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/truth-for-teachers-podcast/summer-2019-series/ If you want to take my free intentional connectivity challenge mentioned in this episode, click here: https://bit.ly/2rt67zP You can also get on the wait list to join the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club this summer: 40htw.com Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.
5/26/201915 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP166 How Kim Lepre trimmed 15 hours off her workweek

Kim Lepre is a 7th grade English teacher and the founder of the Teachers Need Teachers podcast. She’s also a Beginning Teacher Mentor and Ed Tech Specialist in her district, and a Level 2 Google Certified Educator. How has Kim managed to make time for all of that? She made a significant reduction in her workload during her 13th year of teaching. That’s when she joined The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. I’ve invited Kim on the podcast to tell you exactly what she changed in her mindset and habits to allow her to reclaim around 15 hours a week, which she now uses to support other educators, spend time with her family, take care of her physical health by regularly working out, and a number of other activities that really mean a lot to her. I think you’ll get a lot of practical, actionable advice from Kim! Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.
5/19/201936 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP165 Overcoming mom guilt / dad guilt

What happens when you spend more time with other people’s kids than your own? Parenting guilt is real, and there’s no easy solution when it seems like family gets short-changed when you focus on students, but students get shortchanged when you focus on family. In this episode, we’ll explore what creates mom guilt and dad guilt, and how those two things can manifest differently. We’ll also talk about how the unrealistic standards placed on parents can make it feel like you’re never doing enough. Learn how to make choices from a place of compassion, both for yourself as a parent, and for your students’ parents (rather than assuming you need to compensate for the things you believe they should be doing but aren’t). Then you’ll hear directly from 4 teachers who have found solutions and created clear boundaries between family and work. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.
5/12/201920 minutes, 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP164 How do you know when it's time to quit teaching?

I think there comes a time for many educators to re-evaluate whether the work they’re doing is something they’d like to continue. You might wonder: Do I have another 10, 20, or 30 years in me, and if not, at what point do I begin the transition into something else? Is the quality of life I want possible in this field, or within this particular classroom-based assignment? What are the trade-offs I’m making financially and in terms of time if I stay? How could my life be different if I pursued another path? What are other ways I could use my expertise and experience to make a difference? These are incredibly tough questions to answer, particularly when you see teaching as your “calling” and life’s purpose as many of us do. You don’t quit a calling, right? To even consider doing so can feel like a personal failure, as if you don’t care enough about your students and couldn’t hack it anymore in the classroom. If that’s how you’re feeling, this episode will help you remove the guilt or limiting beliefs you might be holding currently, so that the right answer for YOU can reveal itself. Want to get in touch? Let me what know what kind of resources or support you wish you had around this topic: Send me an email DM me on Twitter DM me on Instagram Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.
5/5/201917 minutes, 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP163 I was a disengaged student who nearly failed high school

This is not a guest interview — it’s my story. That kid in your class who learns differently and feels impossible to reach within the structures of how we do school? That kid could have been me. That kid who has side conversations all the time and doesn’t follow directions? That kid could have been me, too. That kid who skips class and seems totally disinterested in your lessons — the one who’s flunking out and doesn’t seem like they’ll ever amount to anything? That kid could have *definitely* been me. Listen in as I publicly share my own journey as a student for the first time. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.
4/28/201928 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP162 My best advice on 10 sticky situations in schools

I get a lot of listener-submitted questions that could be tough for me to offer advice on without knowing the specifics. I’m going to answer a bunch of them in this episode from a big picture perspective, and give you my single best piece of advice on each topic. We’ll cover sticky situations like administrators who play favorites, releasing control to student teachers, supporting colleagues when morale is low, lack of student motivation, kids who can’t handle choice, anxiety over teacher evaluations, forced collaboration with colleagues who over-complicate things, and more. Check out this quick-paced episode for some practical advice. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.
4/21/201922 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP161 Thriving as an introverted teacher (with Betsy Potash of Spark Creativity)

An introvert isn’t necessarily quiet or shy. For an introvert, being alone provides the energy that’s needed to enjoy being with people. (For an extrovert, being with people provides the energy that’s needed to enjoy being alone.) It’s all about what energizes you. So if you’re an introverted teacher, how can you take some of the spotlight off yourself in your instruction, avoid the energy drain that may arise when collaborating with colleagues, and find moments in your day to be alone and rejuvenate? Check out this blog post/podcast interview with Betsy Potash of the Spark Creativity podcast as we discuss our experiences as introverts in the classroom. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.
4/14/201927 minutes, 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP160 Fewer things, better: 4 beliefs to help you focus on what matters most

There are 4 core beliefs that can help you strengthen the courage to focus on what matters most: ✔️I am worthy of change and better is possible for me right now ✔️I set my own expectations in life and in teaching ✔️I know what’s important and allocate time accordingly ✔️I ensure my needs are met to prevent overwhelm and exhaustion. When you’re overwhelmed with all expectations and responsibilities placed on you, the most important step is to STOP and get clarity. Figure out what matters most so you can do fewer things, better. Of course, it can be tough to give yourself permission to let things go, and difficult to say NO to others. That's where these 4 core beliefs come into play, because once you've internalized them, both clarity on what matters AND the courage to take charge of your time become possible. Listen in on this week's podcast episode (which is based on my new book, “Fewer Things, Better”) to learn what each of these 4 beliefs could look like for YOU.  Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.  
4/7/201925 minutes, 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP159 No, you don't have to consume yourself to light the way for others

Let’s debunk 10 of the most annoying — and dangerous — teacher platitudes. In this episode, I’ll share my thoughts, along with the opinions of other educators from a great discussion on my Facebook page. If there’s a common saying in education that’s always sort of bugged you, but was so popular you felt like you must be the ONLY one concerned, this is going to be super validating and empowering! Listen in as we question these platitudes and consider some more accurate truths that allow you to define the role of a teacher for yourself. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.
3/31/201916 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

Get my new course FREE when you pre-order the book!

On April 10th, I’m releasing my new book, “Fewer Things, Better”! To celebrate, I’m giving away a FREE course + downloadable workbook to EVERYONE who pre-orders a Kindle or paperback edition of the book. The course will help you implement the ideas in the book and reflect on how you want to be spending your time. Each exercise in the downloadable workbook will give you a clearer understanding of your priorities so you can develop an actionable plan for what “fewer things, better” looks like in YOUR life. Just go to FewerThingsBetter.com. You’ll find the link there to pre-order your copy on Amazon, which means you’ll have your Kindle or paperback copy on release day (April 10th!) After you pre-order, return to FewerThingsBetter.com to claim your free bonuses. You can download the course and start going through the downloadable workbook right away if you want. I am so excited to get this book into the hands of teachers and am so grateful for your support!
3/29/20191 minute, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP158 We got this: Cornelius Minor on teachers as agents of change

“We live in a specific kind of America that offers an okay education for some kids, and then a totally subpar education for other kinds of kids. That our country—and specifically our education system—has been defined by intergenerational inequity really bothers me. And so much of my message is around how we disrupt that, how we can begin to look at the things that have plagued us for generations and begin to take those things apart. We cannot be okay with the way things are. It’s just too dire for too many kids. We can’t make excuses by saying, ‘Well, this is how we've always done it,’ or ‘I’m just a teacher. What power do I have?’ Yeah, I'm just a teacher, and we have a whole lot of power. The most important thing to me is to be able to step back, look at my practices, customs, and traditions, and do the kind of action research that's going to lead to change. That really matters a lot to me. I don't have to wait for city hall to say, ‘Let's do this thing.’ I can look at the inequitable outcomes in my school, in my department, in my class, and I can address those things in a really intentional way using action research or inquiry.” Listen to this week’s episode for more from Cornelius Minor on re-writing the teacher hero narrative and disrupting the status quo. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.
3/24/201931 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP157 The Warm Demander: How to raise expectations (and have students rise to meet them)

How do you SHOW students through body language, facial expressions, and tone that you believe in their ability to succeed and won’t settle for less than they’re capable of? Every teacher knows to hold kids to high expectations, and develop with students. The warm demander stance isn’t anything new — it’s an equity approach developed by Judith Klenfield back in 1975. But figuring out how to make the “warm demander” approach feel authentic and natural within your teaching style can be tricky, so I thought it might be helpful to talk about what worked for me and a few of the educators I’ve learned from. In this episode, I’ll break down a few examples of what both “warm” and “demanding” could look like in the classroom so you can get a mental picture. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.
3/17/201922 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP156 Five syndromes that overcomplicate your teaching—here's the cure

Do you relate to any of these 5 mindsets? They’re super common, but make it harder to draw boundaries and prevent us from doing the most impactful work: ✔️Shiny object syndrome ✔️Imposter syndrome ✔️Project manager syndrome ✔️Superhero syndrome ✔️Martyr syndrome Check out this week’s episode to learn more about each syndrome—and discover the cure for each one, too. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.
3/10/201921 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP155 How to curate an easy teaching wardrobe that’s comfortable and feels like “you”

The secret to getting dressed quickly in the mornings and feeling comfortable (and confident!) all day long is to have a closet that consists ONLY of things that make you feel like YOURSELF. Today, I'll share 3 steps to creating a signature style, in which you'll start with what's already in your closet. These tips will help you find your signature style that will keep things simple in the mornings without taking away your ability to be creative and express yourself. Beyond your signature style, I'll share ways on how to clean out your closet so it mostly consists of the items you'll wear on a regular basis, how to buy clothes you'll actually wear, and how to go super minimalist. The goal is to discover your style that you feel comfortable in — day in and day out — for your teaching wardrobe and for what you wear in your free time, as well! Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.
3/3/201922 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP154 My current book-writing process (and what scares me about book #5)

Whether you're interested in publishing your own books or just curious what happens behind the scenes of mine, today I'll be sharing how I write and publish books! Currently, I'm finishing up book #5, which is called Fewer Things, Better. I receive questions about book writing often, and since I'm so close to publishing, I thought it would be interesting to talk about my writing process and how I publish, especially in relation to the inspiration and challenges from FTB. We'll dive into the writing process for that book and I'll reveal what question I'm answering for teachers, as well as the general questions behind my other books. This spring, I'll be sharing excerpts from the book here on the podcast so you'll get to hear more of what it's about. To get notified when the book is released, visit fewerthingsbetter.com. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.    
2/24/201931 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP153 Why teachers are historically overworked & undervalued, and how to disrupt the pattern (with Jenn Binis)

There's no doubt that teacher compensation, along with the unrealistic demands of the profession, are both hot topics right now. How did we end up here? How do teachers across the country effectively make changes? We need to understand the societal norms, institutional structures, gender dynamics, and other factors that got the teaching profession to what it is today in order to advocate for change. Join me today in an interview with Jennifer Binis, podcaster and curator of @Edhistory101, for an edu-history lesson you never knew you needed! She hopes to spread the important message to educators that we are obligated to understand the historical perspective of the teaching profession so that we can interrupt the damaging patterns present today. I hope you'll find her message inspiring!  Click here for a list of Jennifer's recommended resources.  Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.
2/17/201939 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP152 Six ways to (mentally) leave work at work

Sometimes, it feels like we’re always working because we’re always thinking about work. It's like we never truly get to relax and decompress. Today, I'll give you my 6 best suggestions, along with some practical advice from other teachers in the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club, on how you can mentally leave work at work. Check out these unique ideas to find ways to turn off your "teacher brain." Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.      
2/10/201923 minutes, 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP151 What’s considered “enough” lesson support to help kids be successful? (Ericka's coaching call)

The questions of What is enough reteaching? Am I doing enough in my lessons? Are my interventions sufficient? tend to weigh perpetually on teachers. I think it’s really hard to find the answers. Standards-based grading sometimes requires you to keep re-teaching and supporting kids until they achieve mastery. And of course, no one wants to be accused of giving up on kids.  In today's episode, you can listen in on a coaching call I did with a teacher named Ericka about this topic. She teaches 6th-8th grade science, but the conversation we have will feel familiar to all teachers. The pressure to offer "more" is endless, and we have limited time and resources. And, kids aren't robots who can be programmed to master grade level standards in a pre-defined period. They're not going to all master the same content at the same time, no matter how awesome our lessons are. Sometimes what kids need most from us is not more engaging activities or endless re-teaching. Sometimes what they need has nothing to do with academics at all. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.    
2/3/201926 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP150 How to keep overbearing, micromanaging parents from stressing you out

A listener asks, "How do I stop focusing on parents and worrying how they will affect my job security and my choices as an educator? How can I teach without constantly feeling like I'm being watched, analyzed, judged, and monitored by parents, and/or how can I let go of the fact that they are and I can't change it?" Join me today as I tackle these listener's questions with a focus on understanding parent mindset and motivation. Truly knowing where the parent is coming is a key step in addressing your mindset so that you can be pro-active and not feel like you're always waiting for the next "attack." Have a question for me about teaching, mindset, or motivation? Click here to submit your question for the podcast here! Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.  
1/27/201918 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP149 Living an organized life (with Lisa Woodruff of Organize 365)

Lisa Woodruff of the Organize 365 podcast is a former classroom teacher who now teaches organizational skills for a living, including practical tips and mindset organization. Lisa's podcast episodes are focused on the home, but she also has episodes on classroom organization. Lisa is passionate about helping people get organized so that they have more time to do whatever they were uniquely created to do, which is different for every single person. Today, we'll discuss many different ways that organization works and the steps you can take to organize, but we'll also talk about the mindset of an organized teacher. If you struggle with keeping your classroom papers organized, click here for Lisa's Teacher Workbox which is a system she created to help you find a manageable way to handle all the papers that come across your desk.  Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.    
1/20/201938 minutes, 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP148 Letting go instead of trying harder

We're kicking off Season 9 of the Truth for Teachers podcast with the transformative practice of letting go — a small mindset shift that can transform your teaching and also your personal life so that you can reclaim your essential self. This practice is about releasing things that aren't serving you well. It's about letting go of all the things we think we need to do in order to be a better teacher, a better parent, a better partner ... and acknowledging that you don't have to become anything other than you. Join me today as we explore ways to release yourself from expectations or habits and focus on loving and accepting yourself. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.
1/13/201914 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP147 Always feel rushed in class? How to let go of the GOOD to make time for the GREAT

Wrapping up Season 8 with this episode! Always feel days and weeks behind in your lesson plans? Let's talk about doing fewer things, better, and eliminate things from your schedule. This episode is perfect for teachers who want to learn how to take control of their instructional time in every way possible so they feel less rushed and have time for the things that really move the needle for kids. You can shift your mindset from that of the frazzled, rushed, over-scheduled teacher to that of the truly productive one. For my FREE resource called "Goodbye, Teacher Tired," which might be helpful to you as you figure out what this looks like in your life, click here or visit teachertiredchallenge.com. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion. Truth for Teachers will be back for Season 9 in mid-January, but keep an eye out for informal eps and casual updates from me in the meantime. --Angela
11/18/201823 minutes, 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP146 Habits of self-care when you have no time

This episode is for all teachers who put everyone else’s needs before their own, never have enough time or energy for everything, and know they need to prioritize self-care but can't stick to any self-care habits long-term. A lack of time and energy is one of the biggest problems teachers are facing. Day in and day out, I see how much work teachers are having to do with so few resources and so little support. We always hear, "Do it for the kids..." but what about taking care of teachers?   Join me today for a message that is passionately on my heart: There is no direct correlation between the number of hours you work and your effectiveness as a teacher.  I'll explore how self-care can be as simple as 5-minute habits embedded into your day, and not another time-consuming thing to make your life more complicated — just simple habits dispersed throughout your day. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion. If you want help planning self-care habits, I have a free guide which I created that I can give you. Click here to access it immediately and have a copy sent to your email inbox for reference.     
11/11/201820 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP145 When you can’t (or don’t want to) stick to routines: How to create flexibility within structure (Amy's Coaching Call)

Today's episode is coaching call with Amy, a graduate of the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. We're talking about what happens when you create routines for your planning time and nterruptions keep popping up, making you feel like that you never use the planning time in the way that you intended. We also discuss what to do when you create really effective routines that work awhile, and then stop working because either your preferences or your circumstances have changed. We're also talking about being intentional about what you're saying yes to and knowing the reason WHY you're saying yes. Click here to listen to the audio, or read the transcript the coaching call.
11/4/201836 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP144 Why are most teachers white women, and how can we attract and support a diverse faculty?

Join me today as I interview Dr. Travis Bristol, where we discuss how we can attract, support, and build relationships with diverse faculty members, and the importance of that for ALL kids and teachers. Our focus today is on the individual classroom teacher, and the things that you can do to ensure your school culture is one that truly believes in hiring and supporting a diverse faculty. Travis is a former teacher and currently works at UC Berkley. A big part of his research agenda is centered on practices and policies that support teachers of color. Listen in, as you'll understand exactly why I’m so honored to have him share his experience and research with us here on the Truth for Teachers podcast. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.
10/28/201834 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP143 Who else is dealing with anxiety & drowning in work?

Today's episode centers on educators who feel like they're drowning in work and struggling with anxiety. I'll walk you through different aspects of teacher anxiety and help you figure out a new way to think about your work, and also help you to think in ways that FINALLY create freedom from anxiety and overwhelm. When you're feeling anxious, there’s nothing better than hearing reassurance from someone who understands what you’re going through, validates your feelings, and helps you work through those feelings in a practical, uplifting way. Today's episode will offer a sort of "virtual mentorship," so whenever you’re feeling isolated, discouraged, and unsupported you can listen to practical encouragement and reassurance.   Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion. Click here for the full set of audio messages and digital tools that I created called Finally Free: The teacher toolkit for conquering anxiety and overwhelm. You'll get to hear my words of encouragement which you can listen to anytime you’re feeling anxious about all the things that need to be done.
10/21/201828 minutes, 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP142 A crash course on trauma-informed teaching

Trauma is an epidemic right now, affecting kids across racial and socio-economic lines. And I'd bet that every teacher is working with kids that have experienced trauma. Most kids who have experienced trauma will not receive any kind of special services or counseling, but they will show up to the classroom, and you'll be expected to understand and manage all of the complex emotions and behaviors that come with them on your own. Join me today as I give you an overview and solid foundation for understanding trauma-informed teaching practices. You'll learn ways how trauma impacts students and what we can do as teachers to support kids without carrying the weight of that trauma ourselves. Listen in for specific dos and don'ts to make it easier to navigate this in your classroom, so you can build better relationships, prevent conflict, and teach students effectively.  Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.
10/14/201829 minutes, 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP141 Twelve ways to deal with colleagues who constantly complain

In this episode of the Truth for Teachers podcast, we're talking strategies for dealing with complainers at work so negative colleagues don't impact your enthusiasm for the job. Whether it’s in the teacher’s lounge, staff meetings, or just passing one another in the hallway, even a short conversation with a negative teacher can be totally draining. Everyone complains occasionally and no one is going be positive all the time ... this episode targets constant complaining or venting.  Ultimately what we’re talking about here is dealing with people who are nonstop, chronic complainers, or people who rarely, if ever, are looking for solutions, and they will likely shoot down any ideas you offer because they’re just wanting to complain.  I’m going to share 12 ways you can head off chronically complaining coworkers at the pass! Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.    
10/7/201819 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP140 Five habits that help me automate & simplify my life

By now, you've probably heard me talk a lot about strategies for work-life balance and productivity as a teacher. Join me today in this episode of the Truth for Teachers podcast where I personally reflect on what those principles look like in this season of life currently. I’ll share five choices I’ve made that are essentially habits now, and they help me to automate and simplify my life. Hopefully, it will give you some ideas about ways that you can do the same in order to focus on your biggest priorities! Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.  
9/30/201828 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP139 How to keep teaching from ruining your marriage

In this episode of Truth for Teachers, we're talking about how to keep teaching from ruining your marriage (or any relationship you have with a significant other). I can’t tell you how many emails I've gotten over the years from teachers telling me that teaching is ruining their marriage. I’ve heard of husbands giving their wives ultimatums: It’s either teaching or me. And I’ve also heard from many 40HTW club members over the years that they have used strategies from the club to reduce their workload, which has ultimately helped them strengthen their marriage and have more time to spend with their partners. This episode will use a slightly different format, as I’ve asked club members to share some of the things that they are doing to preserve their marriage and keep teaching from coming in between themselves and their partners. Join me today as I’ll be sharing some of the advice that they’ve written, and also play a couple audio clips so you can hear things in their own words. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.  
9/23/201830 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP138 Five ways to simplify prep for substitutes

Do you feel like it’s less work to go into school sick than to write plans for a sub? If I wasn’t contagious, I showed up to my classroom every day, because planning lessons for six subject areas and prepping/organizing all the materials was a massive job.  The solution? To remember that unexpected absences aren’t really unexpected: We know they’re going to happen from time to time. So even though you don’t know when, you can still do the bulk of your preparation in advance, and set up your expectations and routines to make things go more smoothly. In this week's episode, I share 5 tips to help you simplify prep for substitutes, and how you get ready-to-use sub plans I've created. Click here to see the emergency sub plans AND get one day’s assignments for FREE. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.
9/16/201824 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP137 Why great teachers get saddled with the biggest workload (and how to advocate for yourself)

Join me today and listen in on a conversation I had with Shawnta Barnes, where she shares her very honest and transparent thoughts and feedback on why really great teachers get saddled with the biggest workload.   This is an episode that I've been wanting to do because I have experienced this situation myself, where my class list was loaded up with the most challenging kids, only because the administration said, “You can handle it.” And ... I know this happens in schools all across the country, where teachers are almost being punished for their effectiveness or are expected to pick up other people's slack. While there might not be any instant solutions to this known problem, Shawnta and I will talk about some specific things you can do to advocate for yourself. Click here to read or share the condensed transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.    
9/9/201835 minutes, 27 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP136 Ask me anything: Quick answers to 12 teacher questions

In this week's episode, I'm excited to try this new episode format because I get a lot of questions from teachers which I haven't been able to answer up until now. Either I don't have enough information or knowledge to answer, or I don't have enough to say that would fill an entire podcast episode. And sometimes, the question is just so specific to that person that it wouldn't make a good episode for everyone else. I think this will be a really fun way to cover a wide variety of topics in a short amount of time and still give you a lot of value. Basically, I’m going to give my BEST piece of advice for each scenario.  All of these questions came from Instagram. If you want to ask a question, go to my Instagram Story Highlights, or fill out the form at truthforteachers.com.  Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.
9/2/201828 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP135 Real talk on how to make differentiation less time-consuming

One of the issues I’m most passionate about is making teaching more effective, efficient, and enjoyable, so I’ve gathered a group of educators to create a Productivity Roundtable. Joining me are five members of the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club’s graduate program. They have done a tremendous amount of work in experimenting with various productivity strategies in their classrooms and creating systems and routines that work well for them and their students. Since they teach at different grade levels and subject areas, in different types of school settings and communities, in a diverse set of locations throughout the United States, you’re going to hear what works with a variety of teaching contexts and teaching styles. This time around, we’re talking about how to manage differentiation. During the roundtable, we’ll move past “differentiation” as a buzzword and talk about what’s happening in real classrooms. Each roundtable member will share how they differentiate instruction, and then move into how we can make differentiation more scalable. We’ll finish up by talking about their differentiation fails and mistakes, and some traps or pitfalls they think teachers should avoid as they look for ways to differentiate. Click here to listen to the audio, or read or share the highlights from the roundtable session and participate in the discussion.  
8/26/201842 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP134 Five things I’m embarrassed to tell you

In this episode, I decided to put myself out there and tell Truth for Teachers listeners some facts that are embarrassing for me to admit. I've heard podcasters in other niches do this episode format, and I felt like I knew them much better afterward. I also related to a lot of what they shared — it made me feel less alone to hear someone else admit the things that a lot of people think or feel, even if we're not always talking about it. Click here to read or share the condensed transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.  
8/19/201822 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP133 A quick trick to lessen anxiety during the first weeks of school

We are back from our summer hiatus and kicking off a new season of the Truth for Teachers Podcast! Are you in the middle of the back-to-school craziness or preparing for it? It's that time of year for a lot of you, and I know a lot of teachers begin to have back-to-school nightmares or trouble sleeping due to this very high-pressure time. There are so many things at the start of the school year that are unknown or unfamiliar and completely out of your control. That stress can come from feeling like you have to prove yourself and worrying that you're not doing enough. And there is the pressure of having a new group of kids and their parents or even any changes in personnel at your school. So it’s natural to try to handle that by controlling as many things as possible, or oppositely, bending over backward to be likable or worry how to win your kids over.  Join me today for a quick trick that you can use to lessen your anxiety during those first weeks of school. Learn to shift your focus to help build better relationships that are centered on what kids really need from you!  Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.
8/12/201814 minutes, 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

A few changes coming for this season…

Season 8 of the podcast will be back next Sunday, August 12th! Here’s a quick sneak peek of what you can expect and what will be different. If you’re ready for a back-to-school message now, check out these previous episodes in your podcast player: EP100—What if my students don’t like me and we don’t connect? Overcoming the back-to-school teacher jitters EP101—Stay reflective on the WHY and avoid comparison: Your classroom does not have to be Pinterest-worthy S4 EP1—Five back to school time traps and how to escape them S2 EP1—How to turn back-to-school anxiety into excitement
8/5/201810 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

I *am* podcasting this summer (just not here)...

We're in between seasons of the Truth for Teachers podcast, but I have lots of new info and ideas for you in the meanwhile. I'm highlighting the best excerpts from interviews I've done on other educators' podcasts in the last few weeks. Listen in here as we chat about mindset, balance, wellness, productivity, and time management. Want more? Check out the full interviews on these podcasts (each is producing new episodes throughout the summer, so you'll find lots of other great episodes, too): Always a Lesson with Gretchen Bridgers: http://alwaysalesson.com/155-bonus-edition-interview-angela-watson/ Teach 4 the Heart with Linda Kardamis: https://teach4theheart.com/delegate-meaningful-classroom-jobs/ Spark Creativity with Betsy Mork: http://www.nowsparkcreativity.com/2018/06/episode-041-teacher-mindset-happiness.html Teacher's Aid with Jon Harper and Mandy Froelich: http://www.bamradionetwork.com/teachers-aid/4693-how-my-teachers-find-the-time-to-teach-sleep-live-and-love Dr. Will Show Podcast with Dr. Will Deyamport: https://soundcloud.com/dr-will-deyamport-iii/angela-watson-angela_watson-the-hustle-is-sold-separately Also, check out this episode of the EDpiphany podcast called "How to make teaching a sustainable, lifelong career." A teacher named Kirsten talks about how she used the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club to reverse burnout: https://player.fm/series/2159427/209766236          
6/28/201830 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP132 How to make a (realistic) plan for summer that will leave you feeling rejuvenated

The first few weeks of summer are almost always blissful, and the time seems to stretch ahead endlessly. We have plenty of days off in which we can afford to take it easy and not worry about getting things done. But in the back of your mind, you always know what’s coming. You might be like many teachers, who start off the summer with a list of 500 things they hope to get done. So you’re stuck in that horrible place of procrastination limbo, where you’re not motivated enough to get things done but you’re also not fully relaxing. And at the end of the day, you haven’t really enjoyed yourself AND you also haven't gotten anything done. Join me today as I discuss how to prepare for school over the summer through 5 easy steps that will leave you feeling refreshed. Click here to read or share the condensed transcript and audio, participate in the discussion, or get the FREE template for your end-of-summer vision.
5/20/201817 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP131 What would life look like if you valued your time as much as you value your money?

This week on the Truth for Teachers podcast, join me as I talk about what your life would look like if you gave the same level of thought and consideration to the way you spend and value your time, as to the way you spend your money. I'll discuss why we don't value our time as much as our money and how to turn that mindset around by investing our time like we do money, and planning to make time instead of hoping to find it. Your time is valuable because YOU are valuable! Click here to read or share the condensed transcript and audio or participate in the discussion. The new cohort of the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club is opening up for early bird access June 5th! Get on the waitlist today and I’ll send you some free resources to help you start figuring out ways now to be more intentional with your time.       
5/13/201816 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP130 Hacks, tips, and tricks for digital organization & saving time with tech (Productivity Roundtable)

Join me today for the second session of the Productivity Roundtable, a group of master teachers gathered together to hash out some of their toughest challenges and also to share what’s working. These educators teach at different grade levels and subject areas, in different types of school settings and communities, in a diverse set of locations throughout the United States. So you’re going to hear what works with a variety of teaching contexts and teaching styles. This time around, we’re talking about how to use tech to actually save time instead of letting it create more work for you. During the roundtable, we’ll discuss how to keep track of and organize the teaching ideas and resources you find online, email management and digital communication, and their favorite tech tools for saving time as a teacher AND the tools they help them organize their personal lives at home. So, let’s jump in.
5/6/201846 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP129 How to take charge of your teaching evaluation

My guest on the Truth For Teachers podcast today is Jennifer Ansbach, a National Board Certified™ English teacher. She is currently in the classroom teaching high school, and she’s also the author of the new book Take Charge of Your Teacher Evaluation. Teaching observations are stressful, but you can do more than just survive them, and actually take charge of your teaching evaluation. Jennifer will share what a healthy teacher evaluation looks like and her practical and encouraging advice on the three things you can do to take charge! Click here to read or share the condensed transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.  
4/29/201824 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP128 Daily routines makeover: How to maximize your time at school so you can work less at home

Join me today as I help one teacher make over her daily schedule so she can maximize her time in school and work less at home based on a coaching call that I conducted with a graduate of the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. Have you ever wondered how time slips away from you and the entire day is gone? Listen in as I walk Amara, a 3/4 French Immersion teacher from Winnipeg, Manitoba, through each element of her non-instructional time and look for ways that she can streamline and simplify. As you listen in, I encourage you to ask yourself the same questions I’m asking Amara as you are going to be able to relate to her challenges because they’re common to almost all teachers.   Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.
4/22/201835 minutes, 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP127 Four steps to deconstructing your classroom in just ONE day

The end of the school year can feel super crazy because it means lots of close out tasks for the teacher. We’ve got tons of paperwork, plus bulletin boards to remove, supplies to label and pack away, cleaning, and more. You as the TEACHER have plenty of things to do. But often, the kids don’t. Standardized tests are done, gradebooks have been closed out for the year, and often our students feel like they’re just biding their time until summer break.  In today's episode, listen in as I discuss a simple 4-step system I created for closing out and deconstructing your room in a single day, and pace yourself so the rest of your end-of-year tasks don’t feel so unmanageable. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion. Click here to view my done-for-you system for end-of-year close out on sale now.
4/15/201813 minutes
Episode Artwork

EP126 How YOUR response to student behavior can change the trajectory of a child’s life & disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline

One of the toughest parts of teaching students who enter our classrooms with a lot of personal and behavioral issues is that feeling of helplessness that comes from working with them. You might feel that there is nothing you can do to reach that student, or that you have no control over the situation at all.  It’s a frustrating situation for sure, but today, I discuss why you have far more power and influence than you may think through having a restorative mindset versus a punitive mindset, and choosing as a school community to approach behavior problems through a lens that is focused on long-term solutions which restore a child to wholeness rather than punishing or criminalizing kids for their behavioral choices. Join me today on one of the most important episodes I've ever done. Listen in on your time — it might shift your perspective in a way that literally changes the trajectory of a child’s life.  Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.  
4/8/201835 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP125 Seven ways for teachers to beat the Sunday blues

Have you ever wasted half the weekend worrying about the week ahead? Even if you love your job, you might still wake up on Sunday mornings with a feeling of dread and spend the evening in a total state of anxiety simply because there are so many pressures associated with teaching. Join me today for 7 tips to help you relax, enjoy your time off, AND be more productive.  Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion. Want more resources for tackling the Sunday blues? Check out the Finally Free teacher toolkit for conquering anxiety and overwhelm.  
4/1/201826 minutes, 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP124 Four ways teachers with chronic pain or illness can maximize their productivity

Almost everyone will experience the challenge of struggling with chronic pain and illness at some point in the career, whether it be from a difficult pregnancy, recovering from a surgery, or dealing with an issue that is more ongoing. On today's episode, I have four key productivity strategies and work/life balance advice that I think will be helpful for teachers with chronic pain or illness to maximize productivity. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.
3/25/201817 minutes, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP123 Gretchen Rubin on how teachers can use the 4 tendencies to help students (and themselves) to meet goals & expectations

I’m talking today with New York Times best-selling author Gretchen Rubin. I’ve learned so much from Gretchen's research on happiness from her book The Happiness Project, and I’ve studied her work on habits from the book Better Than Before. Gretchen’s latest book is called The 4 Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too). I invited her on the show because the four tendencies are not just another personality type: They’re about how people tend to respond to and meet expectations. When I first heard about the tendencies, I immediately saw the application to our work in the classroom, because it’s such a challenge to figure out how to get students to meet expectations.  Listen in as Gretchen and I talk about understanding students’ tendencies — as well as our own — so we can be more productive and accomplish the things that really matter. Click here to listen to the audio, or read or share the condensed transcript and participate in the discussion.
3/18/201831 minutes, 7 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP122 Your #1 job when you don’t feel motivated (don’t stress over anything else!)

What do you do when you’re just not motivated to get things done? Many of us try to force ourselves to be productive and slog through the day.   Today, I'll discuss how I'm experimenting with a different approach. My #1 job — and yours — when we just don’t feel motivated to get anything done, is to GET ourselves motivated to get things done. And that means taking a break from the to-do list to focus on things that get us energized is PART of your work and productivity, not a break from it. Click here to listen in on the discussion, read summarized points, or participate in the discussion.     
3/11/201820 minutes, 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP121 How to streamline assessment & spend less time grading (Productivity Roundtable)

One of the issues I’m most passionate about is making teaching more effective, efficient, and enjoyable, so I’ve gathered a group of educators to create a Productivity Roundtable. Joining me are five members of the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club’s graduate program. They have done a tremendous amount of work in experimenting with various productivity strategies in their classrooms and creating systems and routines that work well for them and their students. Since they teach at different grade levels and subject areas, in different types of school settings and communities, in a diverse set of locations throughout the United States, you’re going to hear what works with a variety of teaching contexts and teaching styles. The topic for our first productivity roundtable is streamlining the grading and assessment process. They’ll share their best hacks and time-saving tips related to grading and assessment! Click here to listen to the audio, or read or share the highlights from the roundtable session and participate in the discussion.  
3/4/201857 minutes, 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP120 Engagement, excellence, & equity: A conversation with Regie Routman

Join me today for an interview with Regie Routman, as we discuss engagement, excellence, and equity in the classroom. Regie has over 40 years of experience teaching, coaching, and leading in diverse schools across the United States and Canada, and has been publishing books since 1988. Regie is among the top five people who have influenced my teaching practice and philosophy, and having her on the show was such an honor.  Click here to listen to the audio, or read or share the highlights from the interview and participate in the discussion.  
2/25/201832 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP119 Why I let 2 kids’ behavior ruin my school year (and what I wish I’d done differently)

In this episode, I'm sharing one of the biggest mistakes I made as a teacher. I have a feeling it’s something you’ll be able to relate to, particularly if you have a couple of students who you just don’t feel like you are equipped to handle. The choices I made took a bad situation and made it worse. I'll share what I wish I'd done differently, how I ultimately changed my approach, and what YOU can do to prevent the same problem from happening to you. Want free resources to help you enjoy your work, even when it's super challenging?  Visit https://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/unshakeable and enter your email address. I'll send you a downloadable calendar with ONE simple, actionable step you can take each day to enjoy teaching more. I'll also send you a link to join the online book community for my book Unshakeable: 20 Ways to Enjoy Teaching Every Day...No Matter What. Join more than 9,000 teachers who are sharing ideas around how to infuse more joy into their teaching and stay connected to their purpose.
2/18/201822 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP118 A stress-free system for summarizing student progress & generating awesome report card comments

The biggest pitfall that most teachers face with report card comments is overcomplicating the task, which creates overwhelm. I want to help you keep this super simple, so I created a 5-step formula for generating report card comments for ANY student. The end result? A positive, empathetic, and truthful set of comments that will be helpful for parents and facilitate their cooperation as you work together to help their children succeed, with you spending half the time! Join me today as I discuss a new resource I created for my TeachersPayTeachers store, the Stress-Free System for Report Card Comments: Generate comments in half the time! It's available now to purchase or preview and at a discounted price through March 1, 2018.   Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion. Click here to view my new report card system resource in my TpT store.
2/11/201821 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP117 Three trends from the positivity movement that are stifling teacher growth

There are a lot of trendy phrases from popular culture and the positivity movement which have infiltrated our thinking and practices as educators. They are helpful with a great deal of truth to them. However, I think we’ve gotten a little bit out of balance with the positivity movement and the rallying cry to be supportive of one another as teachers. Join me today as I discuss three trends from the positivity movement, comparing their truths and how we can take them too far. I believe that we need to be having these critical conversations about the issues and challenging one another to do better. Moving past truisms and getting real is the only way we are going to shift school culture to truly be about what’s best for kids! Click here to read or share the transcript and audio, take a pledge or participate in the discussion.
2/4/201826 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP116 How to create a morning routine that gets you energized to teach

There's a lot of talk about the importance of morning routines; however, it's not something that I commonly hear discussed in teaching circles. I think for most of the educators, having to be at school so early means that a morning routine is basically just getting yourself and your family out the door as quickly as possible and making sure you're in that classroom before your students are lined up outside your door waiting for you. Join me today in listening to why morning routines are so important for teachers, and how to create a morning routine that works for you through intentionality and new habits. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio, download a free morning planner, or participate in the discussion.
1/28/201824 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

BONUS EXTENDED EPISODE: How to trim 3 (or more!) hours off your workweek starting NOW

In this special extended episode between podcast seasons, I’m sharing practical time-saving strategies and simple mindset shifts that will help you: * Reduce your workload * Eliminate the unnecessary * Automate processes * Delegate responsibility to students * Get more done in less time * Create a sustainable work schedule From lesson planning to grading, you’ll walk away with lots of ideas for small changes that add up to big results, and get a fresh dose of motivation for the new year. It’s so simple to create change that you can try out just ONE of the dozens of approaches shared and save an hour a week, right away. There’s something for every teacher here–don’t miss out! ----------- Want more support with productivity? Click here to learn about the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club, which is open to new members from Dec. 30th-Jan. 9th.      
12/17/20171 hour, 3 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP115 Goodbye, "Teacher Tired": 5 days to doing fewer things, better

What do you want your life to look like? When you look back on it all at the end, what do you want to feel like you've accomplished? How do you want to have spent your time? What will be your legacy? Those are deep questions for sure, and most of us just don't have the time or energy to try to answer them. It's not because we don’t care. We're just too tired to take a step back and try to figure out a better way. And yet, getting clear on what matters to you could change everything about the way you use your time and where you focus your energy. Even though "there’s no tired like teacher tired," a few changes in your mindset and habits can totally transform that.  I created a free challenge called "Goodbye, Teacher Tired" with five of the most important things you can do to stop feeling tired all of the time and maximize your time, and energy and focus. Listen in to get a summary of the five steps covered in the challenge. You can sign up for the challenge and participate in the discussion by visiting the original post here. Or, you can learn more about the "Goodbye, Teacher Tired" Challenge here.  
11/19/201733 minutes, 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP114 Seven ways teachers can push past imposter syndrome

Have you ever felt like an imposter? Or the feelings that you have no idea what you're doing as a teacher or that you're not capable of doing everything that needs to be done? If you can relate to any of those feelings, you might be dealing with a phenomenon that’s commonly known as Imposter Syndrome. It’s that feeling of being a fraud, an almost panic-inducing sense that at any moment, other people are going to figure out you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing and have no business being given the level of responsibility you have. This is a real thing, and it can be paralyzing.  On today's episode, listen in as I share some strategies from personal experience that help with countering Imposter Syndrome and managing the self-doubt. I’ve chosen seven specific things that have been helpful for me over the years, and I hope they’ll be helpful for you, too. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio, or participate in the discussion.
11/12/201723 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP113 How teachers can conquer anxiety, overwhelm, and the pressure to always do more (with Dan Tricarico)

During today's episode, I am excited to feature an interview with Dan Tricarico as part of my Truth for Teachers podcast. Dan and I met when we were both speaking at a conference a couple of years ago, and I remember walking away from the conversation with him thinking, “This guy is the real deal.” That’s the phrase that stuck in my head because he just came across to me as being so grounded and so sincere in everything he said -- he was truly passionate about everything we spoke on and had a pure heart for helping kids and teachers. Last February, I was out in San Diego for another conference, and he and I sat down together and hashed things out a bit. We’ve been working for the past 7-8 months on creating something together that addresses teacher anxiety. It’s called Finally Free: The teacher toolkit for conquering anxiety, overwhelm, and the pressure to do more.  Today, we’re going to give you some of our favorite mindset shifts and advice from the toolkit and talk about some ideas that will really make a big difference in how you feel. Dan and I are making one of the modules in the Finally Free toolkit available to you for free. It’s Module 1: Freedom from Comparison, which is designed for you to listen to when you’re feeling not good enough and comparing yourself to others. You can go to finallyfreetoolkit.com to learn more about the toolkit, and scroll down to the preview where you can download the audio and PDF for that first module on comparison right now. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio, or participate in the discussion.  
11/5/201731 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP112 How to earn trust with families in poverty & empower parents as education partners (with Tamara Russell & Sarah Plumitallo)

Listen in on the second half of my interview with Tamara Russell and Sarah Plumitallo on building trust and relationships with families! I've invited two current teachers, Tamara Russell and Sarah Plumitallo, onto my Truth for Teachers podcast to talk about what they're doing with their students.These two ladies are in the trenches, so to speak, on a daily basis and they share about their work on social media, which is where I first connected with them. We’ve had countless conversations about an issue we’re all very passionate about, which is education equity, and I invited them both on the show so that more educators can learn from their experiences. Our conversation ended up running for over an hour! For the first time ever on Truth for Teachers, I've decided to air almost the entire interview and split it into two episodes. The first half hour of our conversation was focused on classroom-based work, and the last 20 minutes was focused on building trust and relationships with families. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio, or participate in the discussion.
10/29/201723 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP111 Three things real teachers focus on in high poverty classrooms that actually get results (with Tamara Russell & Sarah Plumitallo)

Today I've invited two current teachers, Tamara Russell and Sarah Plumitallo, onto my Truth for Teachers podcast to talk about what they're doing with their students. This is something that I hope to do on the show more often because it’s just another angle of expertise that I think is important for you to hear as a teacher. These two ladies are in the trenches, so to speak, on a daily basis and they share about their work on social media, which is where I first connected with them. We’ve had countless conversations about an issue we’re all very passionate about, which is education equity, and I invited them both on the show so that more educators can learn from their experiences. Our conversation ended up running for over an hour! For the first time ever on Truth for Teachers, I've decided to air almost the entire interview and split it into two episodes. The first half hour of our conversation was focused on classroom-based work, and the last 20 minutes was focused on building trust and relationships with families. Tune in today to our conversation centered around classroom ideas that teachers can focus on in high poverty classrooms that actually work! Click here to read or share the transcript and audio, or participate in the discussion.
10/22/201739 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP110 6 ways to stop worrying about problems before they happen

In today’s episode, I’ll talk about 6 steps to stop worrying about problems before they happen. Teachers are faced with an enormous amount of stressors throughout their days, weeks, and school years. Just the possibility of being moved to another grade level or school (and in some cases having no position at all) will keep the teacher's lounge abuzz with nervous energy and speculation about who's retiring, who's taking leave, and what's going to happen to everyone else. You see, anxiety, worry, and apprehension are completely useless emotions because they're based on potential problems in the future. Unlike fear, which is a response to problems we're facing in the present moment, anxiety does not produce anything positive. And, anticipating problems is an especially dangerous habit in the field of education, where policies and procedures seem to change on a dime for no apparent reason and against all logic.  Listen in today to discover ways to consciously set our minds on the present reality and remind ourselves that the majority of problems we anticipate never happen. If you struggle with teacher anxiety and found this episode helpful, I want to let you know about a new resource that you may want to check out. It’s the first new product I’ve made for teachers in three years. I’ve partnered with Dan Tricarico to create this toolkit which is a collection of audio resources called Finally Free: The teacher toolkit for conquering anxiety, overwhelm, and the pressure to do more. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio, or participate in the discussion.
10/15/201720 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP109 How to reduce work hours & streamline parent communication without looking like a slacker (Kristen’s coaching call)

The episode of the Truth for Teachers podcast featured here is a free coaching call I conducted with a graduate of the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. Her name is Kristen, and she’s a year 4 teacher in Australia, which is equivalent to 4th grade in the U.S.  Kristen is in her sixth year of teaching and feeling like she’s spending way too much time communicating with parents and answering emails, and also feeling nervous about what cutting back on the amount of time she spends on these things and other tasks might do to her reputation in the school. Listen in today to the second half of this conversation where we’re focused on email communication and giving yourself permission to stop correlating hours worked with effectiveness. Click here to read this podcast online or download it to listen on the go.
10/8/201724 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP108 4 teaching mistakes that drained my energy (and the solutions that changed everything)

I am always looking for ways to save energy. I shared in my book Unshakeable that energy is one of our most precious resources because unlike time, energy does not naturally replenish itself. We have to be intentional about how we use our energy. If we don’t pay attention to the things that drain it and do less of those things and pay attention to things that are energy-giving and do more of those things, we’ll find ourselves feeling depleted all the time.  Today I’m going to share with you 4 habits and practices that drained my energy as a teacher for years, and I’ll share the solutions I uncovered that completely transformed the way I approached my work. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio, or participate in the discussion. Click here for the no prep, collaborative learning strategies resource we discussed.
10/1/201721 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP107 6 simple ways to infuse growth mindset into daily classroom routines

Growth mindset has been a buzzword in education for quite awhile and I think a lot of teachers and kids are already familiar with it. But I’ve noticed a pitfall that seems to occur fairly often: growth mindset is introduced to students near the beginning of the year and then the curriculum demands seem to take precedent. When you have so many skills you have to teach and so many standards for kids to master, it’s hard to remember, much less make time to talk about growth mindset. Fortunately, there are some simple ways you can infuse growth mindset into what you do on a daily basis. Join me today and listen in for these regular practices that help you ensure students will be willing to try new things, stick with hard tasks and not give up, push themselves to do their best work, and believe in themselves and their own ability to learn. Click here to read this podcast online or download it to listen on the go. Here's quick access to the resources I recommend in today's podcast: Dr. JoAnn Deak's Fantastic Elastic Brain book, Carol E. Reiley's Making a Splash growth mindset book, free online brain songs, and a more structured, complete 10 lesson unit that I've created that is a best seller on TeachersPayTeachers.
9/24/201713 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP106 3 beliefs that damage teacher relationships with black male students (and how to connect instead)

The majority of the Truth for Teachers podcast episodes are on topics that will help improve your teaching practices with ALL of your students, but in some cases, I like to talk about specific student populations. It’s okay to focus for ONE episode on meeting the needs of English Language Learners, or students with special needs. And it’s okay to focus for an episode on students of color.  In this case, I chose to focus even more specifically on that: to talk about black males in particular. My guest today, Principal Kafele, is a black male himself and is a nationally-renowned authority on his work with black male students. There’s a tremendous amount of research showing that many black males in the United States are facing unique challenges and are underserved. We do a disservice to our students if we pretend that the outcomes that our students experience from our school system are all the same regardless of race. Our black male students can do better, and we can do better by them.  The question of HOW to do better is what we’re going to tackle today in my interview with Principal Kafele. Listen in to his message on helping students succeed by connecting with them, understanding them, and building relationships with them so that we can meet their needs better.  Click here to visit Principal Kafele’s website to learn more about him and the resources he offers.
9/17/201739 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP105 How to move out of the day-by-day lesson planning trap and think big picture (Rachel's coaching call)

In this coaching call with a teacher named Rachel, I think you'll recognize a very common dilemma for teachers: spending exorbitant amounts of time doing lesson planning, and still feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing from day to day. If you're caught in a trap of planning every night for the following day, forgetting to do certain things with students even though it’s in the plan, and constantly running out of time before getting to finish the lesson...this episode can be a game changer! Listen in as Rachel and I tackling all of these problems. Her lesson planning process is essentially done in three steps, and you’ll hear me articulate each of those steps as we go through them, because I think it’s a good model to follow. Certainly it's not the only way to plan lessons, but I think many teachers have never heard another teacher explain exactly how she plans, and everyone’s process is unique. It's fascinating to listen in on her process, which sounds great in theory, and try to figure out where the breakdown is happening. I hope this helps you identify missteps in YOUR planning process so you can streamline a bit like Rachel!  
9/10/201730 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP104 When experienced teachers are suddenly deemed ineffective: How to adapt or exit gracefully

I receive emails on almost a daily basis from veteran teachers who are completely overwhelmed at how the job they signed up for 20, 30, or 40 years ago is nothing like the job they are being required to do today. I want to amplify the voices of teachers who are experiencing this, let them know they're not alone, and talk about what can be done. My hope is that this is episode will be useful to you even if you're NOT facing this situation yourself, because every teacher works with at least one colleague who is in a similar place. You might actually be feeling frustrated with these teachers, believing that they are not pulling their weight and aren't changing with the times. So I hope this episode will strengthen the relationships between you and your colleagues as well. If you ARE that teacher--someone who changed children’s lives year after year and are suddenly finding the expectations on you to be exhausting and impossible to meet, I want you to know these 9 things shared in today's episode. To share this with other teachers (or get a printable PDF), go to: http://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/truth-for-teachers-podcast/ineffective/
9/3/201718 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP103 Five total participation techniques to make every student an active learner

In this episode I'm talking with Persida Himmele about how teachers can provide access to higher-order thinking opportunities for all students. We'll go through 5 specific examples which you can use in your classroom today. Learn why calling on students should be the last thing you do to find out what kids know, and how total participation techniques are a simple way to engage all students equitably. Click here to access the free resources and printables we discuss: http://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/truth-for-teachers-podcast/total-participation-techniques/  
8/27/201731 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP102 How to get student buy-in for your class cell phone policy (Jim's coaching call)

Listen in on a coaching call I conducted with a graduate of the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. His name is Jim, and he’s entering his 4th year of teaching. Jim works on a grades 7-12 campus and is a high school geometry and 7th grade honors math teacher. The questions that Jim submitted to me were mostly about getting student buy-in with room arrangement and routines/procedures. But the part that I wanted to share with you here on the podcast is where we do a deep dive into getting student buy-in with a cell phone policy. Like most teachers, Jim already has most of the solution inside of him, and it’s just a matter of helping him uncover the different parts of that solutions and put them together. Notice how each of his responses to me is like a clue which leads us to the next piece of the puzzle, until we have the whole thing assembled. It’s a really fun process to participate in and I think it will be fun for you to listen to, also. What we’re doing in this conversation is partially about ironing out the details of the cell phone policy, about partially about figuring out which areas of the classroom to give kids ownership of, and where we need to provide more leadership and modeling. The value of this episode is in helping you ask YOURSELF the right questions, because honest self-reflection is what's going to get you to the right result.  
8/20/201730 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP101 Your classroom does not have to be Pinterest-worthy: Stay reflective on the WHY & avoid comparison

This is the time of year when classroom set-up photos are everywhere. Each photo we see has more clever ideas and adorable decorations than the last. These images are inspiring and creative and so much fun to look through…but they can also be incredibly anxiety-producing. How do we each stay focused on our OWN vision for our OWN classroom and not get sucked into comparing ourselves to others? Listen in as I share how I've grappled with this issue over the years.  Click here to read or share the transcript and audio, or participate in the discussion:  http://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/truth-for-teachers-podcast/avoid-comparison/
8/13/201715 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP100 What if my students don’t like me and we don’t connect? Overcoming the back-to-school teacher jitters

The first day jitters are real, and most teachers have butterflies the night before. I think it’s okay to embrace that a little bit: give yourself a set amount of time to do some productive worrying. But the best advice I can give is for you to shift your thinking to a different line of questions. When you get stuck on your own insecurities, focus less on believing in yourself and more on believing in your kids. That’s what will empower you to transform lives. Listen in on this episode as I share how to change your thinking. 
8/6/201715 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

S5EP15 Season 5 Wrap Up: Use your summer to tackle time-wasting practices and rethink what’s necessary

The episode you’re about to hear is a free coaching call I conducted with a graduate of the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. It’s a combination of instructional coaching and life coaching all sort of rolled into one, where I’m answering teachers’ specific questions about productivity and balance and managing it all. This particular call is a teacher named Claire who teaches special education. She works with kids in grades K-6 and actually splits her time between 2 schools, so she’s at one school with one group of kids in the morning and another in the afternoon. Claire’s initial question is about how to use her summer to get ahead for fall when she doesn’t know the needs of the students in her classroom. Her caseload can change a lot from year to year and that makes it difficult to plan ahead. So we talk through some systems she and any teacher can create during the summer that will make the following school year easier to manage. We talk about getting digital files organized, getting procedures in place, and so on. I then challenge Claire to figure out 2-3 of her biggest time-wasters and use her summer to figure out a better way. It’s very hard to find the time and mental bandwidth to take a step back during the school year and analyze systems, so summer is really perfect for that. And when she told me what her biggest time suck is, when she talked about collecting data on student progress and grading their writing, she had a really big aha moment that I think is going to resonate with you in a powerful way, too. Claire and I dug really deeply into how to analyze if something really has to be done, if the things we perceive as mandated are in fact requirements, and analyze teaching practices through the lens of whether they’re actually effective for kids rather than if they’re the way they’ve always been done, and they way everyone else does them. I love that moment in our conversation and I can’t wait to share it with you.  At the end of the call, I mention a free on-demand video series I've created to help you plan out how to use your summer. You can sign up for that here: http://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/secrets    
5/14/201725 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

S5EP14 How to respond to rude, disrespectful student attitudes (with Robyn Jackson)

Today we're going to talk about the little things students do that are rude, disrespectful, or just annoying. The things that don’t necessarily warrant some kind of consequence, but that you don’t want to let slide every time. How should a teacher respond to eye rolling, teeth sucking, muttering under the breath, and so on? What do we do about bad attitudes? I don’t want to settle for trite rehashed info, so I reached out to Robyn Jackson because I knew she could take this conversation to a deeper level. Robyn was a National Board Certified English teachers in Maryland, just outside of Washington DC, and has since been and administrator, adjunct professor, consultant, and speaker. She’s been championing equity, access, and rigor for over 15 years. Robyn is seriously one of my favorite experts in the education space, because she has a deeper understanding of human behavior and motivation than anyone else I know, and she always keeps it real. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing her speak in person a few times just hang on her every word--there’s so much good info there. She has this lovely way of uncovering the root problem and also sort of calling you out on your own mess instead of allowing blame-shifting. Grab a notepad when you listen to this one, because you’re going to want to take notes! Want to give your feedback on Season 5 of the podcast? Let me know what you liked and what you want changed here! 
5/7/201736 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

S5EP13 The simplest way to stop feeling overwhelmed and overscheduled

I want to use this episode to dive more deeply into a topic that I’ve touched on quite a few times, which is problem of overwhelm. Overwhelm is a huge issue for just about everyone, but particularly for teachers. I want to help you understand an important contributing factor that a lot of people underestimate or just don’t give much thought to. Once you understand what’s creating or worsening your feeling of being overwhelmed, the solution because clear, simple, and pretty straight forward.  Listen in as I share how you can avoid overscheduling yourself, and create more margin in your life through building in buffer time.  Want to give your feedback on Season 5 of the podcast? Let me know what you liked and what you want changed here! 
4/30/201715 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

S5EP12 How to find balance with social media and still be a connected educator (April’s coaching call)

The episode you’re about to hear is a free coaching call I conducted with a graduate of the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. It’s a combination of instructional coaching and life coaching all sort of rolled into one, where I’m answering teacher’s specific questions about productivity and balance and managing it all. This particular call is with a 5th grade teacher named April. April’s challenge right now is with trying to find balance and intentionality during times of year that are super demanding, such as parent conference week. As we get into the conversation, we dig deeper into her social media habits, and exploring how her desire to learn from and connect with our educators is sometimes swallowing up more time than she intends, and interfering with her ability to get a good nights sleep and stay in balance. You’ll hear me mention a free intentional connectivity challenge, and if that’s something you’re interested in joining, you can sign up here and join us!    
4/23/201721 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

S5EP11 Hacking project-based learning: tips for management, assessment, & more from Ross Cooper & Erin Murphy

For many teachers, PBL is a very different way of facilitating learning, where kids are identifying a real-world problem and developing its solution. It’s an incredibly powerful, effective, and cross-curricular way for kids to learn. But it’s not always simple to plan, and manage, and assess, so we’re going to talk about some practical teaching strategies. We’re also going to look at how to address some of the pitfalls that students face. PBL is incredibly rigorous, or should be, and we all know that kids aren’t always excited about rigor and working hard--they can’t just pass a test at the end of the unit and be done. With PBL, kids show what they learn as they journey through the unit, interact with its lessons, collaborate with each other, and assess themselves and each other. It’s pretty complex stuff. It’s a tough juxtaposition with the “fill in the bubble” standardized testing mentality that most are expected to juggle simultaneously. I have two guests on the show today to help us explore these issues--they are the co-authors of the new book Hacking Project Based Learning: 10 Easy Steps to PBL and Inquiry in the Classroom. You’ll hear from Erin Murphy, who is an assistant principal and certified literacy specialist in the East Penn School District in Pennsylvania, and Ross Cooper, who is the Supervisor of Instructional Practice K-12 in the Salisbury Township School District in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Erin and Ross are passionate about inquiry-based learning and have supported countless teachers in implementing it, through not only their school-based work but also through the PD and workshops they conduct. I’m really excited to have them here to help us move past the jargon and buzzwords, and talk about the realities on doing PBL with kids.
4/16/201731 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

S5EP10 How to figure out if you should change schools (and other big teaching decisions)

This is the time of year when many teachers are facing huge decisions about their careers. You may not be sure if you’re even going to have a job next year because your teaching position has been cut. Your decision might be whether to look for another teaching job, or find a different career altogether. Others of you are wondering: should you stay home with your kids, or save up for another year first? Should you try to get a job in another school? Should you ask your principal if you can take that open spot in another grade level? Should you apply for that position as an instructional coach or an administrator? In many ways, these are deeply personal questions that no one can advise you on. There are so many factors to consider and only you know them all, and understand the relative importance of them all. So rather than give you advice about what to do, I’m going to teach you my system for making these kinds of big decisions. I’ve changed schools 5 times and grade levels 3 times, and relocated to other parts of the country for work twice. And I always felt confident about the choices I made because I created a system that helped me think through every aspect of the decision and weigh the options not just on an intellectual, rational, logical level, but also on an emotional and heart level. Listen in as I share my process.  
4/9/20178 minutes, 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

S5EP09 Which aspects of teaching can you eliminate to free up more time? (Taylor’s coaching call)

Today I’m going to let you listen in on a coaching call I did with a 9th and 10th grade ELA teacher named Taylor. Like all the teachers I’m conducting these free coaching calls with, Taylor completed a year in the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club and has made really strong progress in work/life balance. Before joining the club, she worked around 80 hours a week, and she’s not working around 55-60, for a net savings of 20-25 hours a week. So she’s obviously doing a lot of things right when it comes focusing on what’s most important and letting go of the rest. However, Taylor is now committed to being a class advisor, and that’s causing her to work a lot of additional hours. As we talk, it becomes clear that she’s going to have to eliminate some things from her schedule. But she’s getting stuck on figuring out what she can realistically say no to when it comes to grading, which is what takes up the majority of her time. And, she’s having a hard time saying no to students when they ask her to do extra things for them. Listen in as I talk with Taylor about how to figure out what can realistically be eliminated from a teacher's workload in order to free up more time.
4/2/201719 minutes, 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

S5EP08 Re-imagining classroom spaces and schedules with Jodi Fletcher

If you’re a regular listener of Truth for Teachers, you know I like to focus on very practical, actionable strategies that every person listening can implement. Today’s episode is going to be a slight departure from that. This episode is a chance to dream, to imagine new possibilities, to rethink everything about the way your school day is structured. I’m going to be talking with Jodi Fletcher, a principal whose team had a vision for a really innovative way to support kids in personalized learning and project based learning. Listen in as she tells the story of what that dream looks like now that they’ve made it a reality for 500 kids.  
3/26/201719 minutes
Episode Artwork

S5EP07 Ten things every white teacher should know when talking about race

86% of teachers in the U.S. are white. Most of you listening to this episode are therefore white. Conversations about race are super prevalent right now and for many white people, and it feels like stepping onto a minefield. They have literally no idea what to say, or feel like they don’t understand the history enough to contribute much to the conversation. Or, they say something they think is totally valid but inadvertently offend people of color in the discussion or get their own feelings hurt because they feel “attacked”, vowing to never, ever enter another conversation about race again. This can’t happen, teacher friends. It really hurts my heart to see so many misunderstandings in our country around race right now, particular when it’s among white teachers who are shaping the next generation of minds. Teachers are smart, kind, educated people tasked with raising up young people to be leaders. We cannot be ignorant about race or avoid talking about it. I’m going to start here, today, by sharing what I know now as best as I can, because if I wait until understand everything fully, there will never be an episode about race on Truth for Teachers. And this can’t wait. I want every white teacher, particularly those who teach black and brown students, to understand some fundamental truths. These can completely transform your relationship with your students, their families, and the community you teach in, and I hope you’ll be open to my words in light of that. This episode is for those who are frustrated with conversations about race right now, and also for those who want to have hard conversations, want to support their students, want to step up as advocates and allies, but just don’t know how to talk about racial issues and are afraid of saying the wrong thing. I hope the information I share today will help you feel more confident in having those tough conversations that are so, so important, and empower you to be a more culturally responsive teacher.
3/19/201737 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

S5EP06 How to hold onto hope in a dismal school climate (Daniele’s coaching call)

Today I’m going to let you listen in on a coaching call I did with a 3rd grade teacher named Daniele. Like all the teachers I’m conducting these free coaching calls with, Daniele completed a year in the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club and has a really good understanding of how to be intentional in her teaching and maintain a positive, productive mindset. However, as we progressed through the conversation, it became clear she’s dealing with a whole lot of things that are completely out of her control, things that are increasing her workload and stress level exponentially. About halfway through the call, I think we got to the real heart of the issue, which is that morale at the school is really faltering right now and it’s incredibly hard to hold onto hope every day and keep doing the work when the school climate is filled with a constant low-grade anxiety. Daniele’s given me permission to record our conversation and share it here with you so that if these are issues you’re facing in your school, hopefully our thoughts will give you some encouragement.
3/12/201722 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

S5EP05 Preventing bullying in the classroom (with Dr. Marcie Beigel)

Today I’m talking with Dr Marcie, a child behavioral specialist and author of the book Love Your Classroom Again: Realistic Behavior Strategies for Educators. She’s also the founder and director of Behavior + Beyond. I was introduced to Dr Marcie’s work when I heard her speaking about bullying prevention on a local news channel here in New York City where we’re both based, and am really excited to have her here on the podcast to share tips on this with you all, as well. Listen in as we talk about the difference between meanness and bullying, and how we can support students who are being bullied AND those who are doing the bullying.
3/5/201718 minutes, 7 seconds
Episode Artwork

S5EP04 Twelve structures to keep kids focused when using the internet in class

Today I want to talk about one of the most common problems teachers face when integrating technology into their lessons, which is keeping kids focused and accountable. It can be really challenging to get kids to listen to directions once they’re on their devices, and hard to make sure they’re focused on the assignment when there’s so many other things they can be doing online. So, let’s look at some ways to be pro-active and set kids up for success. We want to make it as simple as possible for them to be more productive and focused with their time online.
2/26/201713 minutes, 27 seconds
Episode Artwork

S5EP03 Four ways time management habits get derailed and how to get back on track (Kendall’s coaching call)

Every couple of episodes on this season on the Truth for Teachers podcast, I’m going to be featuring coaching calls. I’m answering teachers’ specific questions about productivity, balance, and managing it all. Think of it as instructional coaching and life coaching rolled into one–and you get to listen in! In this episode, I’m talking with Kendall, a grade 4 teacher in Alberta, Canada. Kendall has made a tremendous amount of changes to her workflow and is doing really well with time management overall, but there are a few areas where she’s having trouble sticking to her habits and best practices. Listen in as we work through these common issues that you might be grappling with, too.  
2/19/201724 minutes, 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

S5EP02 From burnout to Teacher of the Year: Pam's story of loving her job again

I got an email a few months ago from a woman named Pam Gresser. She wrote, “I’m starting my 20th year teaching and 2 years ago, I didn’t know how much longer I could go on. I read your book ‘Unshakeable: 20 Ways to Enjoy Teaching Every Day…No Matter What’ and it truly changed my whole attitude!” Obviously Pam’s email made a big impact on me as the author of the book, but I also wanted to learn more about what, specifically, she did to create change in her life. How exactly does a teacher go from being burned out and feeling like she wanted to quit teaching to being recognized as teacher of the year? Listen in as I talk with Pam Gresser about how she became unshakeable in her enthusiasm for teaching, and how you can, too.  Join the Unshakeable book community here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/UnshakeableSummerBC/  
2/12/201726 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

S5EP01 Teachers, you are on the front lines as defenders of truth. Our students need you.

I can’t begin a new season of a podcast called TRUTH for teachers without acknowledging the changes that have occurred since Season 4 ended two months ago.  I think we had all hoped that after the US election, some of the division we were feeling in our country would die down a bit, and the constant political drama and onslaught of outrageous, embarrassing news would trickle down to a more manageable pace. This...did not happen. And it’s tiring. I know this. I know that it is wearisome to hear about serious issues all the time. It is tempting to want to return to the days when our social media feeds were mostly pictures of babies and puppies, when we collectively questioned the popularity of the Kardashians, and the most controversial nationwide debate was whether that dress was blue or gold. But we’ve been TOO comfortable. No matter who you voted for, no matter where you stand on the various issues, we need you now to be a warrior for truth. We need you to be a thinking, actively involved citizen. We need you to teach students to THINK. Be okay with discomfort. Have the hard conversations instead of discussing “safe” topics that are less controversial. Let your choices be guided not by fear or fear of discomfort, but a love of truth. Don’t make decisions by asking yourself, “Am I allowed to do this?” Instead ask yourself, “Is this the right thing to do?”
2/5/201717 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

S4EP18 Season 4 Wrap Up: Habits are stronger than willpower, and creating change is easier than you think

Season 5 will be back in February, and I want to leave you with some powerful ideas for the weeks ahead. Right after the holidays, we tend to be thinking about resolutions, new habits, getting healthier, making better choices...and most of this just turns out to be wishful thinking. We don’t stick with it. In this episode, we'll explore why that is, and how creating change is probably easier than you think.
12/4/201622 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

S4EP17 Leonard Sax’s Truth: What teachers need to know about the gender gap, disengaged boys, and girls in crisis

Today I’ve invited Dr. Leonard Sax to the show. Leonard is board-certified in family medicine and currently practices in suburban Philadelphia, and also has a PhD in psychology. I was introduced to Leonard’s work when I heard him on NPR, and was just fascinated by his insights about how schools are failing boys. As I dug deeper into his work, I realized that Leonard also has done a significant amount of work around "girls in crisis." So, I've invited Leonard on the show to talk about what we as teachers need to know about overcoming the gender gap in schools so we can break down gender stereotypes to support every child. 
11/27/201621 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

S4EP16 Five of your trickiest teacher co-worker problems solved

This is an “Ask Angela Anything” style episode where I attempt to answer 5 coworker-related questions in 15 minutes. However, I’m going to format things just a little differently. Instead of reading specific teachers’ questions, I’ve identified 5 problems with co-workers that people typically ask me about. So I’ll share these 5 basic scenarios, and hopefully if you’re facing any of them, you’ll be able to apply the advice, regardless of the particulars of your situation.
11/20/201613 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

S4EP15 How to undo your classroom management mistakes

Listen as I share the story of a classroom management mistake that made a huge impression on me many years ago. We all have examples of procedures and routines that we know are wildly inefficient...but who has the time and energy to figure out a better way and retrain the kids? In this week's episode, I’ll tell you my personal philosophy on this: It’s NEVER too late to change something that’s not working. Not in your classroom, and not in your life. You don’t have to wait for next year and an entirely new group of kids. You can–and should–modify your procedures, expectations, and teaching strategies ANY time they are not effective, at ANY time during the school year. Listen in to learn how.  
11/13/201611 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

S4EP14 How to use Genius Hour to transform student motivation & ignite creativity (with AJ Juliani)

Genius Hour is a movement to empower kids to uncover their passions, skills, and strengths through designing projects they care about. In this week's episode, I'm bringing you the best of Genius Hour--what the most effective teachers are doing in this area, and HOW they’re doing it so you can learn from their experiences.  So, I’ve invited AJ Juliani to share his observations. AJ has created an entire online community of educators discussing Genius Hour, as well as an editable Genius Hour journal and an online Genius Hour course for teachers. Visit geniushourmastercourse.com to learn more from AJ and get started!
11/6/201626 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

S4EP13 Four ways to stop procrastinating and get things done

I’ve spent a lot of time observing what causes procrastination and what prevents it because this is such a deep and pervasive problem for me personally. It’s something I have always struggled with, and will probably always struggle with. I haven’t found that procrastination is something you can conquer once and for all. Like just about all decisions that involve staying healthy and being productive, your day by day choices matter a lot. For most people, there will never be a day when you wake up and don’t feel pulled to be lazy, or eat junk food, or skip the workout, or leave the house a mess. So, in this week's episode, I'll share 4 things you can do to make it easier to overcome those feelings of procrastination when they strike.
10/30/201617 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

S4EP12 Nine ways to make your commute more productive and enjoyable

I LOVE my alone time in the car, and also the time I spend walking to my destinations. I have so many good options for things to listen to and do that the time just flies by. So, I wanted to share some of those options in hopes of inspiring those of you who currently dread your commute or are just looking for some ways to make it more interesting.
10/23/201615 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

S4EP11 Ten tips for avoiding technology overwhelm

There’s one complaint about technology that I hear from almost every single person I talk to: it’s just plain overwhelming. There’s too much to learn. There are too many options. It’s always changing and I’m always behind. Between ed tech for your classroom and the technology you use in your personal life, there’s always going to be a massive amount of tools you wish you could explore and master. Here’s what to do when it all starts to feel overwhelming.
10/16/201611 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

S4EP10 Dan Tricarico’s Truth: How to create focus, simplicity, and tranquility in the classroom

Dan Tricarico is a high school English teacher in California, and the author of two books, the most recent being “The Zen Teacher: Creating Focus, Simplicity, and Tranquility in the Classroom.” Listen in as Dan and I discuss how teachers can change the classroom energy even when kids bring chaos, and more importantly, how we can cultivate serenity within ourselves. 
10/9/201624 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

S4EP9 How to fight disillusionment when the school year isn’t going as planned

The first roadblock of discouragement tends to hit a little sooner than most teachers are expecting. You might be surprised when it only takes a week or two of school before that great plan you had for the year seems to fall apart: all your prior confidence feels like naivety, and your preparations feel totally pointless, as if you’d been planning lessons and procedures for a fantasy world. Here’s what I want you to know when you hit that point.
10/2/201617 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

S4EP8 Five classroom management questions in 15 minutes (Ask Angela Anything)

This season, I thought it might be fun to structure the Ask Angela Anything episodes a little differently, and answer a couple questions briefly in one episode. In fact, I’ve challenged myself to answer 5 questions in 15 minutes--quick and to the point. Listen in as I discuss transition tips, classes that have a hard time quieting down, reward systems, and more.
9/25/201616 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

S4EP7 What to do when a student constantly refuses to work

Though it’s a common problem that happens in pretty much every classroom in America, there isn’t any clear cut solution. Obviously you want to make the work as meaningful, authentic, and relevant as you can, and build rapport with students. But there are some kids who just aren’t going to focus and get their work done no matter how much of a personal connection you’ve tried to make with them, or how much choice you’ve given in the assignment. In this episode, I'll share how I respond to these students, and what you can do to keep disengaged learners from stealing your enthusiasm for teaching.
9/18/201614 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

S4EP6 Why teacher-authors don’t give everything away for free (and neither should you)

Every now and then I get a comment saying, “It's a shame that teachers charge money for everything now. I remember the days when teachers would give everything away for free.”  Sometimes they even add insult to injury by saying, “If you really wanted to help teachers, if you really cared about kids, you wouldn't charge for this,” as if anyone who wants to make a difference is supposed to do it for free and the only people who deserve to get paid are the people who AREN’T helping others. Listen in as I explain in a deeply personal way why teacher-authors like myself charge for our work, and why it's so important to respect copyright.  
9/11/201634 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

S4EP5 Zaretta Hammond’s Truth: Supporting and advocating for students in poverty

Zaretta is the author of Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain, and has so much helpful info to share about supporting students in poverty. Listen in as we discuss the pedagogy of poverty, and how an individual teacher can make meaningful connections with students despite the drill-and-kill focus so prevalent in many Title I schools. Zaretta gives practical suggestions for any teacher who wants to understand his or her students better.
9/4/201624 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

S4EP04 How to deal with a principal who just doesn’t “get it”

Today’s episode is inspired by a lot of different emails I’ve gotten from teachers about a wide range of problems with administrators. Some of these teachers feel like their principals place too much emphasis on testing and try to standardize teaching so there’s no freedom for teachers or kids. Others simply don’t feel supported by their admins; they feel like workhorses who continually have more demands stacked on their plates without any acknowledgment or appreciation of what they do. Listen as I share what an individual teacher can do to create change, shift school culture, and advocate for him- or herself as well as for students.  
8/28/201619 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

S4EP03 Overcoming decision paralysis: how to make better choices more quickly

We have a paralyzing number of choices in our culture today. In teaching you may get hung up on decisions like: What planner or grade book should I buy? Should I use interactive notebooks with my class? Would I be better off with this whole class quiz app or should I find another one? Which desk arrangement would be best for the types of activities I’m doing with kids this week?  Today’s episode will help you make better decisions, make them more quickly, and feel comfortable sticking with them after they’ve been made (instead of second-guessing yourself.)
8/21/201617 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

S4EP02 Ten things you should throw out in your classroom NOW

As a new teacher, I was totally a hoarder. I didn’t believe I had the resources I needed to teach, and therefore had to hold onto everything that crossed my path in order to be able to make do. I learned to have the mindset of abundance which makes it possible to clear away the clutter and get rid of things, and you can do it, too! This episode will help you mentally prepare to take a new approach to what you keep and what you don't, starting with 10 things you should toss out right away. 
8/14/201615 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

S4EP01 Five back-to-school time traps and how to escape them

If you're feeling overwhelmed by all that needs to be done and exhausted by not only the long hours but also the physical labor of rearranging and setting up a classroom, please know that this is very normal, and it will get better! I tended to work 70-80 hour weeks or more during those first two weeks of school--I wanted to do things right the first time and from the start, rather than having to go back and finish or redo things later. I considered my long hours at BTS as an investment of time--doing things today that would create more time for me later. However, there are things you might get sucked into doing this time of year that waste time, or actually create more work for you in the long run. These are 5 back-to-school time traps that you want to avoid, and how to escape them. 
8/7/201614 minutes, 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

S3EP20 Season 3 Wrap Up: 6 simple steps to your best summer ever

As season 3 draws to a close, I'm challenging you to decide what you want your life to look like a few weeks from now when school begins again. Use the 6 steps shared in this episode to create that vision and determine actionable steps to make it a reality. Have a great summer--season 4 will begin in August!
5/14/201619 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

S3EP19 The rest of my journey from teacher to teacherpreneur

In last week's episode, I shared how I got started as a teacher, educational consultant, instructional coach, and author. This week, I'll share the rest of my story: how I got into (and out of) professional speaking, the new opportunity that changed everything for me, and what direction I'm going in next.  You'll hear mistakes I made along the way and challenges that forced me out of my comfort zone. I'll also share practical advice and inspiration if YOU'RE thinking about making a change in your career or just want to look for ways to impact education beyond the four walls of the classroom.
5/8/201635 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

S3EP18 The start of my journey from teacher to teacherpreneur

Wrong episode playing this week? Please refresh the podcast feed. :) If this episode were a movie on the Lifetime channel, it would be called Behind the Scenes: The Angela Watson Story. I'm going to be very transparent and vulnerable in this episode, and share details that I haven’t shared publicly before to take you behind the scenes in my career from new teacher to where I'm at today. I’ll start by sharing how I got started as a teacher, educational consultant, instructional coach, and author. You'll hear mistakes I made along the way and challenges that forced me out of my comfort zone. I'll also share practical advice and inspiration if YOU'RE thinking about making a change in your career or just want to look for ways to impact education beyond the four walls of the classroom.
5/1/201623 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

S3EP17 Intentional connectivity: why my phone no longer controls me (& how you can take charge, too)

Almost every teacher I talk with feels like it’s impossible to turn off his or her brain at night and rest. Teachers feel like there’s always too much to do, too many things to remember, and not enough time for any of it. Being more intentional about your connectivity habits is the easiest, fastest, most powerful way I can think of to change that. I finally broke my connectivity addiction after running myself into the ground last summer...and it honestly shocked how simple it was to rewire my brain so that I no longer craved those constant interactions online. 3 basic habits enabled me to make (and maintain) the change. I created these habits by paying attention to when I was tempted to check my phone or go online, and noticing how I felt when I did or didn’t indulge. And now during the month of May, I want to invite you to join in and do this intentional connectivity challenge together. Let’s stop using our devices to waste time on unintentional breaks and procrastination, and stop allowing them to keep us from fully enjoying and experiencing our lives. We don’t have to settle for a lifetime of feeling controlled by our devices. We can make connectivity into something better, something more intentional, and we can do it together. Sign up here--it's free! https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/39603  
4/24/201616 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

S3EP16 Eight keys to avoiding teacher burnout (Part 2)

This episode picks up where we left off last week in examining eight keys to help you regain your confidence and avoid burn-out. These are principles that helped me stay in the teaching profession at times when I didn't think I could take another day. They are based on what I've seen happen in my own life and in the lives of other teachers who overcame feelings of hopelessness and frustration and regained their enthusiasm for teaching.
4/17/201612 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

S3EP15 Eight keys to avoiding teacher burnout (Part 1)

My inbox is typically bursting with messages from overwhelmed teachers. Help! I can't do this! I feel so inadequate—it's just too much for one person and I don't think I can teach anymore. The situation is so bad—I'm thinking of just quitting. Each person who has contacted me was searching for the same thing: reassurance that their feelings are normal (they are), encouragement that they can handle the responsibilities (they can), and a reason to believe that the rewards of teaching outweigh the costs (they do). This week and next, we’re going to look at eight keys to help you regain your confidence and avoid burn-out. These are principles that helped me stay in the teaching profession at times when I didn't think I could take another day. They are based on what I've seen happen in my own life and in the lives of other teachers who overcame feelings of hopelessness and frustration and regained their enthusiasm for teaching.
4/10/201612 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

S3EP14 Ten tips for conveying bad news in a parent-teacher conference

It’s the conversation we all dread: telling a parent their child a) is failing a subject, b) needs to be tested for a disability, c) doesn’t have any friends, or d) all of the above. Your stomach is twisting and turning just thinking about having to confront the parent. So, what do you do? Here are a 10 tips to help you share bad, difficult, or sensitive news with a student’s parent and get the best possible outcome.
4/3/201614 minutes, 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

S3EP13 Six ways to prevent your students from misbehaving for other teachers

There are few things that annoyed me more as a teacher than picking up my students from P.E. or lunch, or having a small group return from a resource room pull-out class only to discover that some students had been completely out of control while they were gone. With some classes I taught, it seemed like the moment I was out of sight, there was almost guaranteed to be an incident of disrespect to another teacher, a physical altercation between students, or something even worse. The good news is that while you can’t control what happens when you’re not around, there’s quite a bit you can do pro-actively to prevent the problem from reoccurring and to open the lines of communication between you and other teachers. Listen in as I share 6 strategies to help you do just that.
3/27/201616 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

S3EP12 Stop overworking Future You: why NOW is the perfect time to make changes in your classroom

One of the big principles that we’re always coming back to in The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club is that implementing small changes right away is more effective than hoping you’ll feel like implementing big changes later on. We often make the mistake of assuming that our future selves will somehow be less stressed and busy and more disciplined and productive, and therefore we’ll able to handle making positive changes LATER. The problem with that logic is that those qualities of being less busy and more productive later don’t just happen on their own. This summer or next year only seem like they will be slightly less crazy than right now because all the unexpected interruptions, emergencies, and new obligations haven’t cropped up yet. Unless we’re actively taking steps now to set our future selves up for success, things really aren’t going to change very much.In this episode, I'll share how to break that cycle, and embrace the fact that your willingness to adapt what you’re doing NOW has the ability to save you countless hours and immeasurable stress in the new school year.
3/20/201613 minutes, 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

S3EP11 Four ways I sabotaged my success as a teacher (and how my thinking has changed)

There’s no question that being a new teacher is tremendously stressful. But when I reflect on my teaching practice and how it evolved over the years, I realize that I created a lot of my own stress simply through the way I chose to perceive my work. The mindset that I held toward my students and their parents, as well as how I viewed my role in the classroom, often made an annoying incident feel maddening, and a challenging situation feel impossible to overcome. Today, I’ll share four specific ways I sabotaged my own success as a teacher, as well as how and why my thinking changed over time.
3/13/201615 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

S3EP10 Ten simple ways to create more class time for instruction

Every teacher needs more class time. And every year, it seems like there’s more and more content that needs to be covered and less time to teach it in. Fortunately, there are some easy ways you can create more time for teaching. There are lots of things happening in our classrooms that either waste time or just make lessons take longer than they need to. If you struggle with lesson planning because you just don’t have time to teach everything you’re supposed to, these easy tips and productivity hacks will help you maximize every moment with students.
3/6/201615 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

S3EP9 Responsible rewards: using the “now-that” principle

In last week’s episode, I explained why ‘reward’ isn’t a bad word and argued my case for why rewards can be an integral part of your classroom. If you have a problem with rewards or just want to know why I think rewarding students is appropriate, check out EP9 for the the WHY. In this episode, I’m going to share the HOW. I’ve found that the most effective way to use rewards with students is by creating a culture of appreciation in the classroom and using unexpected now-that rewards. Listen in to learn more.
2/28/201617 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

S3EP8 Should teachers reward students for doing what they’re “supposed” to do?

I wanted to do an episode about how to reward students responsibly--in a way that considers the long term results and the type of character and work ethic we’re building in kids, not just how to get compliance here in the moment. And I realized that before I could do something like that, I needed to first address the question of whether teachers should be rewarding kids at all. “Reward” has become a bad word in many education circles. In this episode, I'll tell the story of when I was called out by a district administrator for giving what she felt was an inappropriate reward, and explain why I’m advocating for the return of the reward, anyway.
2/21/201610 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

S3EP7 Let go of expectations around testing so it feels less stressful

Listen in as I answer the following question from a Truth for Teachers listener: "We teach students and prepare them for exams--of course we have some expectations around their performance, and begin to feel frustrated when they keep making the same mistakes over and over again. We may start questioning the purpose and the quality of our work. So my question is, how can I let go of expectations--those 'shoulds' and 'supposed tos' around testing and results?"
2/14/201613 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

S3EP6 Six ways to make lesson co-planning more efficient

Lesson planning is too important (and too challenging / time-consuming) for you to try to do all of it on your own. It’s wonderful to utilize the experience of other teachers and time-tested instructional strategies so you don’t have to spend as long planning out your lessons. However, many teachers plan with their grade level or subject area teams and find it’s not working particularly well: either the meetings consume massive amounts of time or personality conflicts keep the endeavor from being productive. In this episode, I'll share 6 strategies to help you efficiently co-plan your lessons.
2/7/201614 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

S3EP05 When is it okay to say you've done ENOUGH for a student?

Listen in as I answer the following question submitted from an exhausted teacher:  “How much is enough time to give to each student? There are students who have behavior problems, academic challenges, IEPS, family problems, those whose parents you need to catch after school or speak with the principal about...it never ends! Student issues, dealing with emails, and talking with parents is so time consuming. When is it ok to say 'enough, I've done all I can and need to move on'? 
1/31/201612 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

S3EP04 Five things I learned from quitting my teaching job twice

Some of you are barely making it through the school year, and the idea of going into school each morning just makes you sick with stress and anxiety. You want to quit more than anything but have no idea what the alternative would be. I get it. I have been in your shoes. Others of you still love teaching, but you’re feeling an itch to do something different. You want to make a greater impact for kids, or you want a flexible schedule, or just feel like there’s something more out there for you. I’ve been in that position, too. You see, I’ve quit teaching twice: once because the school environment was so toxic that I hated my job, and once because I wanted to shift into a different role in education. I’ll share both of those stories with you in this episode, along with 5 things I learned that might be helpful if you’re thinking about quitting for either reason.
1/24/201620 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

S3EP03 How to support kids who don't take ownership of their learning

How do we get kids to go from saying “Just tell me what to do!” to truly taking ownership of their work? In this episode, you'll learn 6 strategies to help get kids on board with the sometimes daunting task of student-directed learning.
1/17/201611 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

S3EP02 The lies teachers tell themselves (and how to uncover the truth)

In last week’s episode, I shared 10 growth mindset shifts you can take to enjoy teaching more, and gave examples of negative, fixed mindset thoughts that can reframed into something that helps you perceive your job as less stressful and more meaningful. This week, I want to go deeper with that, and talk to you about how the story you tell yourself about teaching is probably not true, and ways you can choose to see things differently. You can reframe your work to recognize and appreciate what a tremendously important job you are doing every single minute of the day.
1/10/201614 minutes, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

S3EP01 Ten ways to cultivate a growth mindset & enjoy teaching more

As much as we’d like to believe that we’re growth mindset oriented, most of us (myself included!) will likely discover upon reflection that there are old fixed mindset thought patterns that we haven’t quite let go of. Fortunately, we can examine these self-defeating thoughts and replace them with growth mindset thoughts that are empowering and energizing. See if you can recognize yourself in any of these 10 fixed mindset traps, and practice exercising a growth mindset instead.
1/3/201616 minutes, 27 seconds
Episode Artwork

S2EP15 Season 2 Wrap Up + Balancing Teaching & Family During the Holidays

It’s always tough to strive for great teaching AND a great personal life, but that battle seems to ramp up exponentially during the holidays. If you’re feeling pulled in a million different directions, check out the tips in this episode which help you prioritize and make time for what’s most important.
11/8/201519 minutes, 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

S2EP14 Five attention grabbers that refocus kids quickly

Have you lost patience for refocusing your class and fallen into the trap of just barking at the kids (“No talking!”) or pleading with them (“I'm waiting for quiet!”) all day long? Ironically, it’s more tiring to keep repeating your request for silence, since nagging kids puts us in a bad mood and the kids just tune us out, anyway. Here are 5 ways to grab kids' attention in a fun and engaging way.
11/1/201514 minutes, 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

S2EP13 You can’t do it all, but where can a new teacher really cut corners?

Everyone knows that a new teacher is not going to perform at the same level as a 30 year veteran. But which areas are most important to focus on? Learn how to figure out where cutting corners is okay, and how to minimize the impact on students.
10/25/201513 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

S2EP12 Lisa Dabb’s Truth: Thriving--not surviving--with support from a virtual mentor

Do you wish you had more support and encouragement from other teachers in your school? Consider virtual mentorship! Lisa Dabbs shares why she's so passionate about new teacher mentoring, and how you can get involved (as a mentor or mentee) in her New Teacher Mentoring Project.
10/18/201514 minutes, 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

S2EP11 How teachers can beat the October Blues

If you’re feeling completely discouraged right now and don’t know how you can possibly make it until June, that is completely NORMAL! In this episode, I'll share why October can be such a tough month for teachers, and how to gain the perspective you need to push forward with confidence and enthusiasm.
10/11/201513 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

S2EP10 Extreme student behavior--7 traps to avoid when NOTHING seems to work

  What do you do for a student who continually chooses to misbehave? What happens when you feel like you've tried everything, and you're starting to turn into the type of teacher you never wanted to be? Here are 7 traps to avoid when dealing with extreme student behavior.
10/4/201512 minutes, 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

S2EP09 How to prioritize teaching tasks when EVERYTHING seems urgent

The foundation of using your time effectively and being efficient is knowing how to prioritize your tasks. In this episode, I'll share 7 guiding principles to remember when figuring out what to get done first.
9/27/201514 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

S2EP08 Can a teacher really work a 40 hour week and do a good job?

Whenever I mention a 40 hour workweek for teachers, people tend to have one of two objections. Either they think it’s not possible, or they think it’s not aspirational—that you can’t do a good job in 40 hours a week, so you shouldn’t even try to attempt that as a teacher. In this episode, I'll share my own experiences and observations, and share ways you can cut 10+ hours of your workweek.
9/20/201519 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

S2EP07 Getting real about grit: 6 things every teacher needs to know

“Grit” is a huge buzzword right now that’s used to refer to perseverance and resilience. Many schools are rushing to adopt grit curriculums and character education programs so they can teach their students about how to put in the effort and determination that’s needed in order to be successful. But here’s the thing about grit. I’ve done a lot of research on this topic, and I’ve seen grit get a lot of pushback because it’s been misused and misinterpreted. And while I believe in the value of teaching grit to students, I think we as educators have the responsibility to be informed about what being “gritty” really means, and what it doesn’t mean.
9/13/201513 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

S2EP06 How can I keep my team’s positivity and innovation from alienating coworkers? (Ask Angela Anything)

A TfT listener wonders how to cope when her cohesive team is mocked by other teachers in the school. How can collaborative groups of teachers prevent their positive, innovative attitudes from wedging a divide between them and other colleagues? In this epsiode, I share 6 tips for extending a bridge to distrustful co-workers and reaching out to isolated teachers who may be interested in joining the collaborative spirit.
9/6/20159 minutes, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

S2EP05 James Sturtevant's Truth: How to build relationships with students through personal stories

High school teacher and author of "You've Gotta Connect" James Sturtevant shares practical, concrete ways he builds relationships with students in his social studies classroom. Listen as James helps you find ways to share YOUR stories and personal life in your classroom using a template he calls “Show and Tell."
8/30/201512 minutes, 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

S2EP04 How to be pro-active with uninvolved (and overly-involved) parents

You can tell from your very first interaction with some parents that there will be challenges ahead. Every teacher encounters both "helicopter parents" as well as those who are impossible to get in touch with. In this episode, you'll learn how to plan ahead and avoiding being caught off guard when parents don’t fit your expectation of the Perfect Amount of Involvement. Learn how to do everything you can to contribute to a good working relationship with your students’ parents, and go the extra mile without taking forever to get there.
8/23/201513 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

S2EP03 How to figure out what you really NEED to buy for your classroom

August and September are very expensive months for educators as we try to navigate all the back-to-school advertisements. So where should you spend your money in order to get the most bang for your buck? Create a budget, then consider the 3 reasons to buy that are given in this episode.  
8/16/201511 minutes, 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

S2EP02 7 beliefs about teaching routines that will cause you to lose your mind

The ninety-millionth time you’ve reminded kids PUT YOUR NAME ON YOUR PAPER, you might feel like you’re about to lose your mind. Chances are good that your frustration is stemming from one (or more) of 7 mental traps. Once you identify and root out these unhealthy, unproductive beliefs, you’ll find the process of teaching routines far less frustrating.
8/9/201513 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

S2EP01 How to turn back-to-school anxiety into excitement

Have the back-to-school nightmares started for you yet? Are you feeling a sense of dread over losing your family time? Learn how to channel your anxiety into excitement by shifting your focus to 3 awesome things you'll be gaining when the new school year begins. For the transcript, links to recommended resources, and to share your thoughts on the show, visit TheCornerstoneForTeachers.com/S2EP2.  
8/2/20159 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

BONUS Extended Episode: How YOU can build a positive school culture, no matter where you teach

BONUS extended episode! Join Jimmy Casas, Krysta DeBoer, Hope King, and Amber Teamann as they share a behind-the-scenes glimpse into schools that have reflected carefully on school culture and created systems that work. Learn practical, actionable tips for supporting kids and colleagues, winning over negative co-workers, creating change in toxic school environments even when no one else is supporting you, and more.   Highlights include: (5:45) What a positive school culture looks like (21:00) How school leaders can support staff and how teachers can support one another (35:35) How to work with colleagues who are negative and don't share the positive vision (40:00) The #1 thing teachers in positive school cultures do to keep it all about the kids (48:45) What one individual teacher can do to create change even in a toxic school culture   
6/24/201556 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP24 Season 1 wrap-up and reflection

In the final regular episode of Truth for Teachers until season 2 begins in August, I'm taking a moment to reflect on my first five months of podcasting. I'll share which episodes resonated most with listeners (and which ones didn't), my plans for changing the podcast in the fall, and an idea for some bonus extended episodes I'd like to try.  I'll also share some final thoughts to remember as you approach the end of the school year and summer. Please share your thoughts on Season 1 here in the survey: http://bit.ly/1Req2ck. Thank you for listening and for your feedback!
5/31/201515 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP23 How to share your teaching expertise & get paid for it

Looking to earn extra money this summer? Why not create long-term passive income for yourself through sharing your teaching ideas! In this episode, you'll learn how you can establish yourself as an expert in the education field and start getting paid for your teaching ideas and resources. Explore different possibilities that can help you not only earn extra income to support your family, but also help other teachers and impact education on a greater scale.
5/24/201512 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP22 How use summer to re-energize your teaching and yourself

Summer break always goes by quicker than we imagined, leaving a long list of tasks undone. Learn how to create time for the things that matter most to you in life, and schedule in activities that are energizing for you as a person and as a teacher. You'll also discover 3 exciting online PD events I'm supporting this summer--I hope to connect with you there!
5/17/201513 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP21 How to keep from giving up on apathetic students (Ask Angela Anything)

You can’t lose sleep over disengaged students, but you can’t give up on them, either. In this episode, I’ll share how to overcome the feeling of powerlessness that comes from working with unmotivated students, and break free from the trap of trying to nag and shame them into working harder. Learn where to focus your energy--and how--in order to make the greatest difference for the greatest amount of kids. Truth for Teachers has been nominated for a Bammy Award! The Bammys are designed to honor all that's good in American schools and seek to elevate the public perception of educators. If you enjoy the podcast, you can cast your vote here now through the end of the week. Thanks for your support!
5/10/201511 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP20 Speaking out about race, poverty, riots, and our students

In this episode, I'm digging deep into the systemic issues and misplaced outrage that are holding back our youth in impoverished communities. Learn what you can do to make sense of what's happening and educate your students about it, too. These issues affect ALL of us, and we all have the ability (and responsibility) to work for change.
5/3/201524 minutes, 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP19 How to balance test prep and authentic learning

You’re a teacher, not a tester. In this episode, you’ll learn strategies for staying focused on what’s really important, both in your mindset and your daily practice. Discover specific, practical tips for getting creative with test prep so it feels more like the authentic learning activities that matter most.
4/26/201510 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP18 Vicki Davis’ truth: The courage to speak out about injustice

Don’t be afraid to make your voice heard and stand up for what’s best for kids. Listen and be inspired as teacher/author/speaker Vicki Davis of the Cool Cat Teacher Blog challenges classroom teachers to speak with boldness and create change in our education system. Your voice is needed and you can make a difference!
4/19/20159 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP17 How to reconnect daily with the reasons why you teach

When the reality of teaching doesn’t match what you envisioned at the start of your career, it’s easy to lose sight of reason why you chose this profession. In this episode, I’ll share 3 specific strategies for reconnecting with your initial motivation and the inherently rewarding moments in education. Learn how to be truly present in your classroom by celebrating your accomplishments, focusing on the kids you’re making a real difference for, and reframing your work to recognize and appreciate the magnitude of what you do.
4/12/201511 minutes, 15 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP16 Ask Angela Anything: Classroom clutter--what to keep and what to toss

Is your classroom overflowing with stuff? Are you holding onto random materials and supplies “just in case” you need them one day? In this episode, you’ll hear how I was once forced to pare down my classroom to the most essential items, and the incredibly impact that had on my teaching. You’ll learn strategies for deciding what to keep and what to toss out, and how to be more selective about the materials you