Teaching Tomorrow Show

27. Teachers who run (a mini-series) with May Lu

How might teachers find that sweet spot between intensity and ease in their own lives, as well as how we program our students? In this third teachers who run episode, we talk to high school science teacher May Lu.

May Lu is a Grade 10 and 12 science teacher at Ashbury college in Ottawa who just so happens to be writing quite a bit on her Cohort 21 blog about the intersection between her practice as a runner and world as a teacher. So naturally I had to steal her for a few minutes to record another instalment of this “Teachers who Run” mini-series. In case you are not a runner, have zero interest in trying to run, and just don’t get why I am devoting three whole episodes so far to this weird hobby involving tight clothes and bright shoes, allow me to cut to the chase: this whole running thing is just a metaphor. If you stick with these episodes, even if you don’t really care about running, listen to them and substitute in whatever your thing is instead of running: knitting, dogs, volunteering, travel, books…whatever.

In this conversation, May and I discuss progression—or slowly getting better at something, a “stress to chill” ratio that prevents burnout, and how safely sharing our identities with our students, builds intimacy and community in our classroom.

Enough intro already, click the link above to listen to the show.

I so loved May’s infectious energy, disarming positivity, and perspective on life. In the show notes, you can find a link to May’s blog as well as how to find her on Twitter. May is an awesome writer and I promise you that going down the rabbit role of reading some of her blog posts will be time well spent.

If you are listening to this show (or reading this post about the show), please take a few minutes to give a rating and review on Apple Podcasts (got to your iTunes app on your computer or Podcasts app on your mobile device). Let me know what is working, share what brings you back, put some feedback to help improve your listening experience, and just let me know you exist out there in internet land. It takes all but a minute or two and it really, honestly, makes a huge difference in how other people can find the show and see if it is a good fit for them.

That’s all the time we have for today, spend some time today doing whatever you love, and remember we are teaching tomorrow.

Things mentioned in the show:

26. Deskless French learning with Richard Smith

How could getting rid of the desks in your classroom, promote deep learning for your students? Today we have Richard Smith on the show to share some of his best practices for inspiring young people to learn French.

My cohort 21 colleague Jen Bairos told me about Richard Smith back when we recorded our episode together—which is episode 13 (part 2) if you haven’t listened to it yet––I didn’t know a lot, but Jen basically said that he was a French teacher who went deskless to promote better classroom conversations in French. I was intrigued. But I honestly don’t know anything about French, so I felt like I wouldn’t be the best person to conduct the interview. So I asked Jen to record a call with Richard and that is what I am sharing with you today.

What I love about this conversation is that it is two passionate French teachers exploring how to engage French language learners, how to actively inspire students to speak in authentic situations, and how to make French class an emotional learning experience. If you don’t know her, Jen Bairos is a middle level French teacher in Toronto and she is also a coach with Cohort 21. A wonderful introduction to Jen is back on episode 13, so do yourself a favour and give that episode a listen to spend some more time with Jen!

I learned so much about teaching in my own context by listening in on and editing this conversation, so even if you are not a French teacher, I am confident that you will have some powerful take-aways for your own practice.

Let’s jump right in to Jen’s conversation with Richard Smith.

A big thank you to Jen for sharing Richard with all of us and conducting her first podcast interview! You were a natural and a pro and I am grateful to have you in my life.

It might not be realistic for all of us to go deskless in our classrooms, but I think a really important question to ask ourselves is what do we just assume we need in our classrooms could we actually do without and perhaps our students might benefit from? Maybe it’s not a physical object, but perhaps it’s another structure that may actually be holding your students back from meaningful learning. What would happen if we dared to experiment for one class? A week? A unit? A year?

If this show resonated with you or you think someone else would like, please share it with a friend. This is a small, grassroots podcast and when it is shared friend to friend, we can grow the show and expand the magic we are creating.

That’s all the time we have for today, folks, keep on experimenting, and remember we are teaching tomorrow.

Resources and Links Mentioned on the Show

25. Growing up trans with Kai Cheng Thom

How might schools support trans students to ensure that all young people can reach their fullest potential? Today Kai Cheng Thom sits down to discuss her work, journey through school, and hope—among other things.

Kai Cheng Thom is a writer, performer, cultural worker, and speaker. She also just happened to work with my wife for several years, so I am lucky enough to have the privilege of knowing her as a friend and not only as a celebrated public figure. I asked Kai Cheng to join me on the podcast today because when she was young, she attended an all boys school where she was sent by her parents in an attempt to help her conform more her gender assigned at birth.

What you will quickly discover when listening to Kai Cheng speak is that she whip smart, she is a fierce advocate for young people, and she gives us all reasons to be brave for our students in our schools.

You might want to get a notebook out, as there are so many quotable sound bites in this episode that I’m sure will end up living on a sticky note and inspiring you in your practice.

One more thing before we jump in: we recorded this episode around my dinner table and my wife Leslie was with us while we recorded. While she never says anything and was not mic’d, you can hear her coughing and laughing a little in the background. I have made fun of her already for this and she apologizes—but just thought I’d clear that up in case it confused you.

A big thank you to Kai Cheng for opening up, sharing so thoughtfully, and providing so many resources and ideas that I know will benefit all teachers everywhere. This episode’s show notes (below) are chalked full of links, articles, and references for things mentioned in the show. We didn’t talk about it but my wife wants me to be sure that I include a link to Kai Cheng’s young adult novel Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars that, you know, Emma Watson warmly endorsed…so no big deal. What is a big deal is Kai Cheng’s current book tour. If she is coming to a city near you, you can find out through the link below and definitely go buy her latest book I Hope We Chose Love and watch her read. You do not want to miss getting to hang out with Kai Cheng in person.

Show Notes:

Kai Cheng Thom’s website
Kai Cheng on Twitter
Upcoming book readings on Kai Cheng’s book tour
Kai Cheng’s Winnipeg Stop
“Why are queer people so mean to each other” by Kai Cheng Thom
The Boy in the Bindi by Vivek Shraya
Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg
BCTF LGBTQS+ Posters and resources
Gender Based Violence Prevention Office
Janet Mock

 

24. Teachers who run (a mini-series) with Tim Somerville

Welcome to the second episode in the teachers who run mini-series. Today I talk to Tim Somerville about  the many surprising overlaps in his practice as both a teacher and long distance runner.

Tim Somerville is a grade 8 science teacher, an accomplished marathoner, and a very witty person to get to talk to about both education and running. In this conversation, Tim opens up about so much more than just how he trains and his teaching philosophy: we dig into the nitty gritty of how important it is to go easy, sharing goals with our students, using data intentionally, and the benefits of finding your tribe…in both the classroom and on the road. If you are not a runner, after listening to Tim talk about his two passions, you just might find yourself lacing up and heading out the door for some sweaty inspiration before you teach next.

Let’s get to the starting line of my conversation with Tim Somerville.

My hope with this mini-series of teachers who run episodes is not that you will become a hardcore marathoner or even go for a jog around the block, but that you might see how important it is for you as a teacher to do something that you love that fulfills you outside of the classroom. Teaching is all consuming and at times relentless. When you have that thing that keeps you existing outside of your marking, to do lists, and lesson planning, I believe that we all become better humans and our students benefit immensely.

There were many quotable moments from this show today, but what stands out to me right now is the idea that you can’t keep running alone and we can’t keep working alone. So open up your door, find others to invite in, find your fellow teaching nerds, and let’s get better together. You can find me on the socials on Twitter @teach_tomorrow and on Instagram @teaching_tomorrow. That’s all the time we have for today folks, enjoy the process by going easy and remember we are teaching tomorrow. 

SHOW NOTES from this Episode:

http://ajjuliani.com/

23. Intuitive classroom management strategies with Chris Russell

It’s kind of like a hockey arena: you have the boards set up so they can skate around the rink and they can’t go beyond. Today I talk to master teacher, Chris Russell, on some of his best Classroom Management strategies. 

I met Chris Russell in my first year of teaching. I had the best first job ever as a teacher: essentially a paid internship where I could continue practice teaching and learn from 4 veteran teachers. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to get to watch and observe Chris in action: he embodied all the best classroom management strategies that I had heard about in teacher’s college, but even better than I could ever imagine because he just did it authentically like an extension from himself. Students who were distracted and difficult with other teachers, were the academic equivalent of focused samurai warriors in his care. 

Many of my best classroom management strategies I adopted from watching Chris teach. The best possible way to get what he does is to watch him in action. The next best thing is to listen to him describing some of his norms and routines in this conversation. In this episode we talk about simple, low intervention strategies that you can literally start experimenting with tomorrow in your classroom. 

I’m going to hand it off to Chris, as he is an amazing teacher that you don’t want to miss out on learning from. 

I am so grateful to Chris for bringing me into his classroom to talk about what he does so well as an educator. Below are some videos of a quick walk through Chris’s teaching space to get a visual reference for some of the things he mentioned in this episode. 

That’s all the time we have for today folks, go build your hockey rink, and remember we are teaching tomorrow. 

Show Notes:

22. On being curious with young people with Courtney Harris

How might we create more space for grace, curiosity, and exploration in our work with young people? Today, I am joined by life coach Courtney Harris to tease apart this question.

Courtney Harris is a former educator of 10 years with her masters in Special Education. She lives in Austin Texas and works  in person and online with teens and parents as a life coach, helping young people and their families find their way back towards communication, connection, and trust.

I so loved gathering Courtney’s experience in a coaching role and considering how educators in the school context might benefit from some of her thinking as a coach. We get into the ways that adults can help students move away from black and white thinking, how to help young people who feel stressed about the pressure to have a career plan, and some practical strategies for helping young people open up in conversation.

Courtney’s perspective and wisdom are beyond inspiring, so let’s jump right in to my conversation with Courtney Harris.

Resources and Other Things Mentioned in the Show:

Courtney’s Website

Dear Parents, Your Teenager Doesn’t Need a Career Plan

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

19. Applying to and interviewing for jobs in education with Barb McLean

What is the one thing that you should never be afraid to say in a job interview? Today Barb McLean sits down to talk to me about the business of school.

Barb McLean is a legend in my books. For many years she has served The Bishop Strachan School as the assistant head of Human Resources and professional growth––which basically means that she is responsible for all of the “adult issues” in the building.

I have wanted to sit down with Barb since I started this podcast. I am so happy that Barb took the time to chat and let me  tap into her well spring of knowledge on the experience of applying for and interviewing for jobs in education before she began her retirement the very next day. They very fact that she was happy to record an episode while I’m sure she had so many other things to finish up is a clear testament to how much she values people, this profession, and continual  learning.

I so loved this conversation. We talked about how to make a resume and cover letter stand out, how can make a cover letter work for you, some crucial interview do’s and don’ts, as well as some key reflections Barb has had about diversity, equity, and inclusion in her profession.

The first time I met Barb, I was interviewing for a position at BSS and I instantly knew that I wanted to learn all that I could from this woman. Today, I am so excited to share a few kernels of wisdom from my chat with Barb McLean.

I hope you got something valuable out of this conversation and experienced first hand the deep wisdom, impressive institutional knowledge, and commitment to excellence that Barb has brought to her career.

If you enjoyed this episode, reach out on twitter @teach_tomorrow on Instagram @teaching_tomorrow and let me know what resonated with you. The hardest part of the podcast medium is that there is very little way for you as an audience to engage, so come out from under your headphones and please say hello!

That’s all the time we have for today, folks. Get out there and go be the passionate learner you are, and remember we are teaching tomorrow.

18. Everyone belonging at school through diversity, equity, and inclusion learning with Rosetta Lee

How can we create spaces in our school communities where everyone feels like they belong? Today on the podcast, I talk to Rosetta Lee, a professional outreach specialist and middle school educator at Seattle Girls’ School.

Rosetta Lee is a force within the world of education. I was first introduced to her work when she came to my school to talk about microaggressions and affinity groups and loved her vulnerable and hilarious presentation style. I so appreciated getting to sit down with Rosetta for this interview and talk to her about these topics that I feel so passionately about and hear her mic drop worthy wisdom first-hand.

In this conversation, we talk about affinity groups and how to overcome some of the barriers that may exist to getting these brave spaces off the ground in your school. Rosetta offers so many practical tips and considerations for diversity, equity, and inclusion work that I wouldn’t be surprised if we need to invite her to come back once you have had some time to digest and experiment with some of these ideas in your own school context.

Enough intro already, go and listen to my talk with Rosetta!

You know how I ask almost everyone on the show who their favourite edu-celebrity is, well Rosetta is definitely one of mine! I think that might one of the best parts about this podcast adventure: having one and one conversations with people that I truly admire.

If you were touched or inspired by something you heard today, please share the podcast with someone that you think would like it. That’s how we grow and get into the hearts and ears of more teachers.

Until next time, we are teaching tomorrow. And here are some of the links to things that were mentioned in our talk: