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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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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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What Is Summer to a Sustainable Teacher?

I have an analogy for you that will take us through the duration of this episode.  Here it is.  Throughout the school year, we each have multiple spinning  plates in the air as teachers and as human beings.  Each facet of our life is one spinning plate, and it’s our job to keep them spinning and in the air lest they drop and shatter.

Summer break, then, is a time for us to put down all the educational, teachery plates we keep spinning for 9-10 months of the year so that we can focus on other plates.  Summer is an incredible thing for teachers - this is no news to you - but truly, it is time for us to refuel and rejuvenate in whatever aspect of our life we want.

In this episode I’d like to offer some food for thought on how we can use summer to fuel our sustainability throughout the year.  Hence the title What is Summer to a Sustainable Teacher.   So stick around areas within this topic that we’ll be pondering and discussing...

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A Teacher's Flipped Classroom Transformation Part 3

On today’s episode of the Sustainable Teacher Podcast I am so excited to welcome Charles Youngs, a 30-year high school English teacher in Western Pennsylvania, who has been recognized as a Pennsylvania State Teacher of the Year finalist, a Fulbright scholar, and is a frequent presenter at the annual convention of the National Teachers of English.

Currently he spends his days in a suburban public high school just south of Pittsburgh, teaching courses in Writing, Public Speaking and in AP Literature. That’s just part of his day. The other half is spent as an instructional coach for faculty on the ins and outs of ed tech.

Charles and my paths crossed  in the spring of 2020, as he explains in the interview, when he was thinking about ways to make his time with students more intentional and more effective.  He took my online course, Flipped Classroom Formula, and offers today a unique perspective on flipping, one that includes that of an English teacher and how to...

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A Teacher's Flipped Classroom Transformation - Part 2

On today’s episode of the Sustainable Teacher Podcast I am so excited to welcome Jessica Verrill, a chemical engineer turned stay-at-home-mom turned high school chemistry teacher. She has been teaching chemistry at a small town academy in central Maine since 2018, has a wonderful husband, two fabulous teenage daughters, and a fun little dog named Ziggy. Jessica loves to spend time with her family kayaking on the local river, at camp on the New Brunswick border, and hiking in the mountains or on the beautiful coast of Maine.

Our paths first crossed in the spring of 2020, as Jessica will explain in the interview, where she attended my flipped classroom workshop.  She then took my online course Flipped Classroom Formula, and is on the podcast today to share her classroom transformation amongst teaching in a pandemic and the success she and her students have experienced because of her hard work, and strategic decision to flip her classroom.

Topics discussed in today's...

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Top 3 Classroom Tools in the New Normal

Hey there and welcome back to the sustainable teacher podcast where we talk about all things that help teachers build sustainable classrooms so they can stay there longer. And as we are approaching the new normal we’ve got to talk about technology.  In fact I almost named this episode are you technology fatigued yet. Ha!  

But instead of being funny I wanted to be sure that you knew exactly what you’re getting from this episode and that we will be discussing three tools that I believe you absolutely have to use inside of your classroom when the new normal is here.

And after listening to this episode you will have a full grasp on the few powerful tools you want to have in your classroom as we approach what will be the new normal education so that you can rest in knowing what consistently works and not be bogged down by all the technology options.

So let’s do this.

Flipped Videos

Most of the time when teachers hear about the flipped classroom the main...

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A Teacher's Flipped Classroom Transformation - Part 1

I can't wait to share this with you!  Recently, I interviewed Keri Tafuro who demonstrated how flipping her classroom has transformed the teaching  experience and the learning  experience of her students, both within the pandemic and regardless of it.

On today’s episode of the Sustainable Teacher Podcast I am so excited to welcome Keri Tafuro, a full time classroom teacher of  7th and 8th grade math  in Vacaville, California.  Keri isi a 22-year teacher, having  taught math  at the  high school, and now middle school level.  She and her husband  have two college-aged children, and mine and Keri’s paths crossed about a year ago when Keri was exploring a bit more about the flipped classroom, and came upon one of my Facebook live trainings.

Since then she has jumped in with two feet taking Flipped Classroom Formula last summer and into flipping her classroom this school year.  I can’t wait to bring her...

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*BONUS* The Number ONE Question I Get Asked About the Flipped Classroom

What happens when students don’t watch the video notes for homework?  That’s the number one question I get from teachers when they are considering flipping their classroom, and it’s a good one.

You should absolutely be asking this question because it means you are aware of an obstacle to your students learning, and now you can take steps to be sure you’re helping them overcome it.  We have an entire module dedicated to this inside of my online course for teachers, Flipped Classroom Formula, and we address multiple obstacles, not just this one big one.

In today’s episode we are going to answer this question so that after listening you will feel hopeful and empowered by the possibilities of flipped video knowing that you’re making learning NOT optional in your classroom and in fact setting up your students for success.

Let’s get to it.

Learning is Not Optional

Here’s the gist of this entire episode in one sentence.  You...

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