Month: August 2019

21. Collaborative Inquiry with Moses Velasco

How can teachers, and teams of teachers, have more agency when determining the direction of their own professional learning? Today on the show I talk with Moses Velasco, co-author of a book that addresses these questions.

Leading from the middle is a phrase that we teachers hear often, but knowing how we might enact this in our own school contexts can be less than obvious. What does it mean to support the growth of your colleagues without a formal leadership title? How can teachers apply what we know about how people learn best to our own adult learning in schools? And how can we inspire other teachers to improve student learning together?

If these are questions you find yourself pondering, then you are going to love listening to this conversation I had with Moses Velasco. Moses co-authored The Transformative Power of Collaborative Inquiry: Realizing Change in Schools and Classrooms  with Jenni Donohoo. Folks, this book is straightforward, clear, and so intuitive, you are going to wonder why all schools haven’t adopted this elegant model for teacher learning in your building.

I’ll let Moses do most of the talking on why you should read this book and how it can transform learning for your students. Click on the link above and let’s get rolling!

I think you will agree that Moses is an educator who demonstrates a growth mindset through and through. His passion and curiosity are hard to ignore and his commitment to student and teacher learning is beyond inspiring.

If you are on the socials, go ahead and give us a follow on Instagram @teaching_tomorrow or on Twitter @teach_tomorrow I’d love to connect with you on these platforms and chat with you about what you thought of this conversation today (or just leave a comment below…that also works).

That’s all the time we have for today folks, go and lead from wherever your middle happens to be, and remember we are teaching tomorrow.

Happy Fun Super Links:

Tadpole’s Promise
Moses Velasco on Twitter

20. Teachers who run (a mini-series) with Keila Merino

Okay, I get that this sounds like the set up for a corny joke, but what does teaching and running long distances have in common? Today I am launching a mini-series about teachers who run.

If you follow me on instagram, I have shared with you that I have been selected to be part of Team TCS Teachers and run the New York City Marathon.

When I was submitting my responses for the contest that put me on team TCS Teachers, I had to stop to pause to consider how my identity as a teacher influences my identity as a runner. What if the reason why I am a teacher and the reason why I am a runner spring from the same source?

In mini-series of episodes, leading up to the New York City Marathon on November 3rd, I am going to talk to teachers who run and how their running and teaching selves overlap. My goal is to talk to people whose experiences are intriguing, universal, and profoundly moving so that even if you are not a runner…or not in education…that you can hear yourself in their stories.

And that brings me to my first guest.

Keila Merino is not only a deeply impressive and well decorated ultra-runner, but she is also a teacher to young people in Queens, New York. Keila WON the Great New York Running  Exposition 100 mile race in 2012 (that’s about 161 km or 3.8 back to back marathons), came in second overall at the 50k Staten Island Trail Festival in 2014, and as placed top in her age category for many other races. In other words, she can run far and she can run FAST!

But more than just being a regular on the podium, Keila balances her running life with her profession in the classroom and uses her time running as fuel for her passion  helping young people fulfill their potential.

In this conversation, we talk about using running as a tool for self-reflection, the similarities between running your first marathon and your first year in the classroom, how to work through big set backs, and the importance of taking on big, audacious goals in our lives.

I so loved connecting with Keila about two things that I personally love and I hope that it resonates with you as well.

(Now would be a perfect opportunity to press play and listen to Keila!)

Personally, what I took out of this conversation is that if we are going to be highly effective teachers, we have to take time to do the things that we love. That might be running, but it might also be writing, gardening, cycling, spending time in the trees…whatever helps hit your reset button so you can be fully present with your students! And when we have big, juicy goals to work towards that we declare publicly…like writing your first book or running a marathon…or you know, running across a country…it can help teachers leave their marking for the next day and practice self-care!

If you know of a teacher who also runs, please share this episode with them…or better yet, connect with me with them on Instagram. Who knows, they just might be a future guest on our show.

That’s all the time we have for today folks…let’s go run the world, and remember we are teaching tomorrow.


Extra Fun Resources / Stuff Mentioned in This Episode:

Keila on Instragram
An article about Keila from The New York Times