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How to Use Stations in Your Classroom

Are you ready for a very practical, how-to episode today?  I hope so, because that’s exactly  what I’ve got for you when it comes  to implementing stations.  I try not to overwhelm you  on this podcast with “implement this now and solve all  your problems” strategies, because that’s just not how things work, and, at least for me, learning all kinds  of new things just clouds my thinking and vision, and I end up accomplishing less.

However, a nice how-to every now and then can be refreshing, and I hope that today’s episode is that for you,  and it’s all about stations and how they can be used in any classroom.

Now, who could use stations, what classrooms or students would it benefit?  And I want to answer  that question before we get started.  Really, any teacher at any  grade  level can use stations, but I recommend the use of stations, and wrote today’s episode...

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3 Steps to Flip Your Classroom Before Christmas

It is mid October at the time this episode will air which means only one thing…  the Holidays, and Winter break, and by extension, second semester, is right around the corner.  Home improvement and craft stores have been setting up for Christmas since August, so don’t call me crazy that I’m talking about it in today’s episode.  Deal?

Alright - today I’m giving you a challenge, if you’re willing to take it on and reap the benefits for you, your classroom, and your students.  And the challenge is this - flip your classroom by Christmas.

Now, does every teacher need or want to do this?  Absolutely not.  And many of you listening today have already flipped, and I’d love to give you a virtual (or at least audio only) round of applause… and ask that you email me or find me on social media and let me know how it's going - truly I want to know.   But for everyone else who hasn’t flipped and has maybe...

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Four-Step Reflection Process for Every Teacher

Well hey there, and welcome back to the Sustainable Teacher Podcast, I’m so glad you’ve decided to join me today for this four-step reflection process every educator needs, and I’ll just add that every  teacher needs this if in fact they are feeling the pressure of all the change, and the overwhelm of seemingly never satisfying anyone whether it be parents, administration, or even our students.  Now, I recognize that never is a dramatic word, but I’m betting it describes how you feel right now regardless of if it’s dramatic or not, so I’m sticking with it.

I was on a walk with my nine-month old puppy the other day, and when I’m on walks that’s when my wheels really get to turning, most of the time in good ways.  Often I won’t even bring my headphones or listen to a podcast, although Ii’ve done that before, because the silence and the space for my mind to go where it wants leads me to some great ideas whether...

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Honoring Student Voice is Easier Than You Think with Monica Burns

Well hello there teacher-friend and welcome back to the Sustainable Teacher Podcast where we talk about all things sustaining daily teacher-life so we don’t have to spend our evenings and weekends working, and yet are still effective in the classroom.

Today I am excited to welcome Dr. Monica Burns of Classtechtips.com onto the podcast.  Monica is a former New York City teacher and edtech expert that is now sharing her edtech expertise with schools and teachers around the world.  Her focus, both on her Easy EdTech Podcast and many publications, is to infuse technology for engagement and differentiation in order to simplify and streamline the technology integration process.

Monica is here today to talk about student voice and creativity, and how technology can help us elevate both of those important aspects of our classrooms, particularly in the flipped classroom.

I just know you will leave today’s episode with some great ideas and maybe even a new tool to try...

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Teachers Aren't Teachers

Have you ever heard the phrase that the best way to learn something is to teach it?  Or have you ever, instead of you, yourself teaching a concept, had your students take over to teach it because you knew they would have to learn it first?

You’ve experienced this yourself.  The only way to be able to teach something is to learn it first.  And this is why teaching can be so hectic, especially if you’re told you’re teaching a new subject or course within your certification.  First you have to learn it, then you have to get into the complexities of best practices in teaching that specific content.  Talk about time consuming, right?

But what if it didn’t have to be that complicated?

What if we approached it not as a teacher, but instead as expert learners?

In this episode I’m diving into how teachers are not teachers, they are expert learners of their specific content, because gone are the days where you can just talk at kids and...

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What’s Behind Teacher Self Talk?

I was doing a Facebook Live not too long ago, and at the end as I was trying to convey to teachers watching that I too am a teacher, working for myself now, reaching out to teachers with my message of teacher sustainability, and I caught myself saying “I’m just a teacher.”  And although I meant it in an endearing, relatable way, it still didn’t sit well with me that the word “just” wanted to creep in there.

Adding the word “just” means I’m nothing  more than, or I could’ve done more with my life, but instead I’m “just” a teacher.

Have you ever caught yourself saying this or something like this?  Maybe in a circle of friends who aren’t teachers?

Or how about this common saying, “Those who can, do.  Those who can’t, teach.”

Now, that’s just a saying, but it’s one we’ve all heard, and I’m sure had aimed at us in some way before even if it...

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Flipped Classroom Success Stories

Brenda in 4th grade, Keri in 7th grade math, Jessica in high school chemistry, Megan in Algebra 2, and Charles in high school ELA… all are teachers who flipped their classrooms this past school year and are now on the other side of their hard work reaping the rewards of the flipped model and ready to share their own and their student success with you.

I’m compiling experiences into this one episode and hope that the stories shared allow you to see the possibilities for your own classroom and daily teaching life.

After listening to this episode you’ll be inspired by the success teachers of the flipped classroom have found, and see yourself in their transformation, knowing that this time next year, your classroom or student success story will be told.

Let’s get to it.

Before we get started I want to point you to a resource that I think you’ll love seeing and that is all of the stories I’m going to be sharing with you today and WAY MORE are...

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Overcoming the Game of Grades with Your Students

I’m betting you’ve had a student come to you at the end of the semester or grading period to ask if there’s anything they can do to improve their grade, and your answer is, yes, you could’ve cared and done your work months ago - but caring now is too little too late.

Or maybe you’ve had a student come to you about how they were only one or two points away from an A on the test, after you had already slightly rounded up their score, and now they were asking you to round it up more.

I’m betting you’ve had any number of experiences like these whose true, underlying meaning is that the student cares more about the grade they receive in your class than they  do the learning experience.

This is not a one-classroom, one-school, or one-region issue.  This is a systemic, culture-wide issue inside of education that I will say, I’ve seen some improvements in over my years in the classroom, but I’m not sure will ever truly go...

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Responding To Learning Gaps Left By 2020

Now that the 2020-2021 school year has come to a close, we can all look back and realize the race it was to lessen the ramifications and decrease the learning gaps created by the shutdowns that occurred in the spring of 2020.

And when I say it was a race, I mean it was a rat race, with tons of hurdles, obstacles, disqualifications, delayed starts, and crap on the track and anything else that symbolizes hardship in our foot race analogy here.

Learning and achievement differences have always existed, but the shutdowns of 2020 put all kids’ learning in a jar, shook it up, and laid it out for us to clean up.  And here’s a big takeaway for today’s episode… That clean up process is not finishing as we end this school year. 

We will notice those learning gaps indefinitely.  And we must respond in-kind.

So as we reflect on how to close these gaps, let’s do so with the facts in mind that 

  1. This is a long game, and gaps will not close in one...
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The End Game of a Sustainable Teacher

Hi teacher-friend, I am Mandy Rice, if you don’t know me, I am the host of this podcast that I hope you’ve come to enjoy on your commute or maybe are brand-new to, and I’m glad you’re here to hear me out on this episode.  So, like I said, Hi, I’m Mandy, and I am control freak.  I am also a work horse, and am productivity obsessed.

Now, I’m sharing these things about myself because maybe you can relate, especially in your career and daily teacher-life, but also because I want you to know that as much as I preach streamline, reduce, fight for your own sustainability, I want you to know that when I say  these things, I’m also speaking directly to myself.

Working for your own sustainability is a journey, not a destination.  Meaning we will never arrive at one place where we look around and realize, “Ok, yes, my daily life is sustainable now.”  I don’t know, maybe we will, but I for sure know that...

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