Month: November 2020

36. We GET TO teach during a pandemic with Dr. Kristen Clarke

How might we rethink teaching during the pandemic from a place of “have to” towards “get to”? This episode features a  conversation with Dr Kristen Clarke.

Dr. Kristen Clarke is the Dean of Teaching and Learning at The Bishop Strachan School. She also happens to be one of the best people I know to answer all kinds of questions related to pandemic pedagogy. Some listeners sent in questions and Dr. Clarke does not disappoint: her responses are thoughtful, powerful, and not always what you would expect. For example, I loved her thinking behind why it’s good to have your teenage students make fun of you sometimes. Keep listening for that little nugget. We also get into talking about how to build connections when not everyone is in the same space (and when they are, we are likely masked, six feet apart, and behind screens), what we can do to have courageous conversations about anti-racism now, and how universal design for learning might just be one of the best pandemic pedagogy tools for this time. 

There is so much gold in this episode so I won’t keep you from it any longer. Click the link above to start listening! 

Stuff and Things Mentioned In This Show:

Katie Novak and Universal Design for Learning
National School Reform Faculty protocols
Gloria Ladson-Billings
John Spencer “Empower”

35. Iconic moment with Grant Lichtman

Do you know your school’s North Star? Today on the podcast we have a very special episode: Garth and Justin in conversation with Grant Lichtman. Today, I’m just serving up this interview–but as always we are teaching tomorrow.


If you have not yet had the opportunity of reading Grant’s work or hearing him speak, I’m so excited that you will discover his work here. He is a thought leader in the world of education and author of the books #EdJourney, Moving the Rock, and Thrive. Garth Nichols and Justin Medved teamed up with Grant for their Strategic Change Accelerator and they have brought him back into the Cohort 21 orbit to speak about the three key strands of our cohort learning this year: pandemic pedagogy, leading through crisis, and what we have now started calling “JEDI” (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion). 

Grant touches on so many powerful ideas in this conversation that I think you will want to have a pen and paper handy to jot down some ideas to loop back to later. One of the most impactful for me was the idea of knowing your school’s North Star, which is not the same thing as the mission statement. And here’s the thing: our North Stars need to include discomfort! Keep listening to unpack this with Grant. 

I also really loved how Grant spoke about situational leadership: many of you are classroom teachers and thinking about this proposition of how you can take on leadership in your own context is powerful, manageable, and transformative. 

This is a longer episode than normal because I just didn’t want to edit anything out…it was that good. Let’s get right into it…click on the Soundcloud link to take you to Garth, Justin, and Grant. 

Things Mentioned in the Show:

Grant’s Website
Grant on Twitter

34. Teaching who we are with Dr. Winifred Hunsburger

How do our identities as people shape who we are as teachers? Today, I talk with Dr. Winifred Hunsburger about how to discover new perspectives in these times of great upheaval.


Dr. Hunsburger is fresh into a new chapter of her life–retirement! I wanted to capture some of Winifred’s thinking about what teachers can think about to help navigate these ridiculous times, because I won’t have her down the hall from me when I return to the classroom. For the past 10 years, I would often be in Winifred’s office either getting her opinion on something, trying to work through a teaching dilemma, or just talking about life. In so many ways, I have felt like Winifred was my “school mom”, and not just because of our ages, but also because Winifred is one of the most caring, loving, and thoughtful people I’m blessed to have in my life. 

In our conversation, Winifred explains why she loves snow storms and how this relates to our present tense in education right now. After hearing her explanation, your thinking about the purpose of storms might never be the same. 


I’m equally excited and honoured to welcome Dr Winifred Hunsburger to the show. Let’s jump right in by clicking the Soundcloud link above.