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Are Teachers the Top Influence on Student Learning?

The conversation and debate around what is best for students, and what impacts learning most is not a new one in the human experience.  It's been hotly debated for quite some time.

What impacts student learning most?

Are tests the best way to measure student learning?

Or, wait, don’t tests hinder learning?

How does technology impact learning?

Standards-based, flipped classroom, project-based, problem-based, student centered, backwards planning, flexible seating...

Wow - so many things.  So many ways to impact student learning.

How in the world do we know what strategies impact students the most?

That's just it... there is no ONE strategy that will impact student learning more than another.

But...

... there is one person.

If you're reading this post, this is probably no surprise to you that teachers are the number one influencer on a student's learning.

But I don't want to just say that and claim it as truth.  I want you to see for yourself.

And that’s...

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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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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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3 Summer Must-Dos for a Sustainable Teacher & Parent

Hello there and welcome to the Sustainable Teacher Podcast, where we chat once a week about all things keeping our lives manageable so that we can do the things we love longer, particularly teaching.  In this episode, I’m going to take a little break from the normal teacher-specific talk, and focus more on another important aspect of our lives, and that is our homes.  More specifically, I’ll be getting a little personal and sharing some specific things that I’ve been working on lately in my home and personal life to reach for a bit more sustainability.  And I hope you find them valuable.

After listening to this episode you’ll know three ways that I’m making our homelife a bit more manageable, so that you are inspired to reflect on and possibly implement any of the strategies as you strive for more sustainability in all aspects of your life.

Let’s get to it.

Summer Bucket list

As we are quickly approaching summer, I don’t...

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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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The Biggest Secret to Sustainability in the Classroom

 What is the Biggest Secret to Sustainability in the Classroom?  Teachers do some of the most impactful and important work, and keeping them in the classroom is our top priority here on the podcast and for team Teach On A Mission, and we work to do that by helping teachers build sustainable systems and practices in their classrooms.

Sometimes it’s hard to have these conversations about doing things that sustain teachers because it feels guilty to focus so much on the adult in the room rather than the students.  That narrative, along with the status quo of teacher hustle equating to effectiveness, is what’s ultimately driving teachers away from the classroom.

Could we overdo it by focusing too much on the teacher and not enough on the students?  Of course we could - there are two ends of extreme to every choice, and I choose to live somewhere comfortably in the middle as much as possible, including when it comes to building an effective...

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My Flipping Conversation with the Master IEP Coach

Hey there teacher friend!  Today I’ve got a bit of a different episode for you.  A few months back I sat down with Catherine Whitcher, the Master IEP Coach of specialedinnercircle.com and catherinewhitcher.com to chat about the possibilities of the flipped classroom in today’s education context and how the flipped classroom can serve teachers at the IEP table and their students.

This interview was done for Catherine’s podcast which I encourage you to go check it out, it’s called Special Education Inner Circle, and so she is actually interviewing me.  I loved our conversation so much that I wanted to share it on my podcast as well.  At the end of the episode you’ll hear me talk about dates long past for the Sustainable Teacher Challenge, but have no fear you can still go check that out here.

From a basic understanding of flipped learning to how the flipped classroom can serve you and your students long after distance learning, this...

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