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Batch Planning: Using Frameworks to Take Back Your Life Outside the Classroom! with EBAcademics

Welcome back to the Sustainable Teacher Podcast, I am so excited to be welcoming a special guest on this episode, and it is Caitlin Mitchell of EBAcademics, a former high school ELA teacher turned middle school ELA Teacher supporter through her business alongside her business partner Jessica. 

I’m recording this quick intro here after having interviewed Caitlin already and I’m so excited for you to tune in and hear what she has to share with teachers as her number one piece of advice and number one strategy really for building a more sustainable teaching-life, which is batch planning.  She even shares about an upcoming batch planning event they are offering teachers, so be sure to head to the link where you’re listening to learn more about that.

Let’s get right to it, here is Caitlin Mitchell with EBAcademics.

Mandy: Hello teachers. And welcome back to the sustainable teacher podcast. I am so excited to have Caitlin from EB Academics with us today...

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How Flipping Your Classroom Helps Overcome the Game of Grades

Oh, the game of grades.  It’s the toxic consumption of our students' attention only on what grade they are paid with for every little move they make in your classroom rather than on the experience of learning that happens in their brain while a student of yours.

It’s as if you have to pay your students in the currency of grades for any “work” they do in your class, otherwise it won’t get done.  As if the work getting done is the goal - NO!  It’s not!  The learning that happens while doing the work is the goal, and yet our students can’t take their focus away from the work.

So how do overcome this game of grades?  How do we make the focus of our classroom on the learning that happens rather than the “work” that leads to grades?

I’ve actually addressed this topic already in episode 30 titled Overcoming the Game of Grades with Your Students.  So that episode is very much a precursor to this...

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The Three Pros and Cons of Flipping Your Classroom

“The flipped classroom was a strategy I knew I wanted to implement, but I never saw it coming when my flipped classroom gave my students more access during the pandemic and is now a strategy that provides me more sustainability in my post-pandemic classroom.”

This is a quote from a teacher whom I’ve helped flip their classroom, and seriously, I can’t say it much better than that.

Which is why in this episode I am going to dive into both the benefits and the drawbacks of flipping - at least from the perspective of someone who is considering flipping their classroom and hasn’t quite doven in yet (or maybe you have dabbled in the technique but not gone all in just yet).

After listening to this episode you’ll have a clear understanding of how the flipped classroom makes for a more sustainable and effective classroom in the post-pandemic world, knowing if the strategy is a good fit for you.

Because here’s the thing, although the post-pandemic...

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How the Pandemic has Changed Our Students and How Teachers Can Respond

The pandemic took all the routines and understandings about school, shook them up in a paper bag, and spit them out with no semblance of what they once were.

At least that’s how some of our students are now behaving.

With student apathy and absences on the rise as expectations and stakes for students and teachers remain the same, we are working through trying times in education.

Education is different.  Our students are different. And if we don’t respond to how our students have changed, we will not be as effective with them in our classrooms.

We must change with our students but in a way that does not sacrifice our evenings and weekends to do so.  I’m all for changing with the times and responding to the ever changing needs of our students, but I believe it is absolutely contradictory to the system’s success if we do so at the sacrifice of our teachers’ well being.  And requiring that they do it all without support will lead to the end...

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The No. 1 Thing You Need to Flip Your Classroom

The most common question I get from teachers about making a more sustainable classroom or flipping their classroom is “Where do I start?”

You may be asking yourself this question before even considering if flipping your classroom is something you want to do, and I think you are absolutely justified in doing so because you want to know if it will be worth your time.

Well, when I answer this question, and what I’ll lay out for you in this episode is the fact that how you start your classroom is not just the answer to how you get started with step one, it’s also the exact thing you should be focusing on for each and every step you take and decision you make in your flipped classroom. 

What that means is that when you take this first step toward flipping your classroom, you’re also helping your future self by making each and every other step in the flipping process that much easier to take - saving you time and headache in the process.

After listening...

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Working Through the Shame Behind Teacher Burnout

Welcome back to the Sustainable Teacher Podcast, or welcome for the first time if this is the first episode of the show that you’re listening to.  Either way, I’m so happy to have you listening in.  And I’m going to start off by saying that this episode will be a healthy dose of tough love.

I have all the love for my people - and my people are teachers.  They are educators through and through, and I love them.  But I also have tough love for you today. And I’ll say that a dose of tough love might not be exactly what you want today. Heck, it might not be what you need, because you really need an open ear to vent to.  And that’s healthy as well, but unfortunately, on this platform I can’t be that listening ear, so I encourage you to go and find it.  We have our Sustainable Teacher Podcast private community on Facebook that you are welcome to join and find a safe place to vent and express your concerns.  Be sure to...

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What I'm Reading Right Now: My Top 5 Recommended Reads

 I recently was driving in the car sans children so it was very peaceful and serene.  Not to say my time in the car with my three boys isn’t wonderful - it’s just a louder version of wonderful where I don’t get to sit in quiet or do what I ended up doing on this particular drive which is downloading a book that I forgot I had waiting for me on Audible and click play.

I’m going to recommend this particular book to you in this episode so I will talk more about it later, but for now I need to share how the book struck me in a way I was not anticipating.

So I’m driving along and I’m listening in as the author tells a story and brings wisdom to something I had been feeling for most of my life, and she gave such clarity I didn’t know I needed.  I was even brought to tears - not tears of sorrow necessarily but tears of feeling seen in what I thought was just all in my head.

And the book, so aptly named, is Jennie Allen’s Get...

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Leading a Sustainably Epic Classroom with Trevor Muir

Hey there teacher-friend and welcome back to the Sustainable Teacher Podcast, I’m so glad you’ve chosen to join us today, and man have you picked a good episode to land on.  I am so excited to have Trevor Muir on the podcast today.

Trevor’s roots are as a high school English teacher, and is now teacher, author, and speaker. He is the author of the books The Epic Classroom and The Collaborative Classroom. Trevor is a teacher at Grand Valley State University, was a national faculty member for the Buck Institute for Education, and is one of the Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation speakers. His work has been featured in the Huffington Post, Edutopia, EdWeek, and WeAreTeachers. He gave a TED Talk titled, "School Should Take Place in the Real World," at TEDxSanAntonio. Trevor’s Facebook page, The Epic Classroom, has inspiring videos that have been viewed over 30 million times. At the heart of Trevor’s work is the conviction that every student has the...

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The Struggles of Teacher-Mom Life

You know the age old tale of what it’s like to be a first, second or even third year teacher and all the hustle and grind that it is.  You get to work before 6 AM and you leave sometime after five or 6 PM and probably still have more papers to grade or lessons to plan once you get home and a lot to do on the weekends. And that’s just to keep your head above water.

As if those first years of teaching aren’t bad enough it’s as if the universe looked at me and said just wait. At the start of my fourth year of teaching I became a mother and everything changed.

Suddenly what had been my absolute top priority, which was teaching even above my marriage, sad to say it but true because I’m such a workhorse and so professionally focused, but motherhood shook the bedrock, if you will, of my priorities. And I had no clue how to deal with that when my identity had been so wrapped up in who I was as a teacher. 

And that is where this episode comes into...

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Student Reflection: What It Could Look Like

Here at Teach On A Mission and the Sustainable Teacher, we believe that building a sustainable classroom includes a very important player… which is, your students.  Empowering your students as learners is one of the most sustaining strategies you can implement in your classroom.

And that is what today’s episode is all about, empowering students in the reflection process, showing you exactly what student reflection can look like, giving you practical strategies to get your students doing some meaningful reflection tomorrow.

Because you know the value of hard work in the learning process, you understand the connection between effortful processing and performance on assessments, you understand the value in engaging in your classroom. 

Students don’t always see that, you know this.  You also know that telling them the value in all of these things isn’t going to do it for many of them.

Enter stage left, reflection that helps students make the...

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