Inspiring Educators







September 2015
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It's Friday!  The week's work is done, but we know, the work is really never done.  There are essays or labs to grade while catching some football games over the weekend and lessons to be planned for the upcoming week, but today is Friday.  First, we are going to celebrate our victory in the classroom, however small or big.    

Mari Venturino is teacher in San Diego and has started a movement at her school to share the positive experiences between her colleagues every Friday.  She and her digital colleague in Virginia, Justin Birkbichler, opened it to the world via Twitter with a hashtag #FlyHighFri.  Each week educators all over join in and post their moments of triumph.  

So every Friday, we will #FlyHighFri and finish strong!  Today, we begin with Mari's defining educational moment of the week.

Direct download: IE55_Mari_Venturino._FlyHighFri.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 9:07pm EDT

Jonathan Wai, Ph.D., is a research scientist at the Duke University Talent Identification Program and a visiting researcher at Case Western Reserve University. He did his postdoctoral work at Duke University, holds a doctorate from Vanderbilt University, and graduated from Claremont McKenna College.

He researches and writes about the development of talent, broadly conceived, and its impact on society. His interests focus on the role of cognitive abilities, education, and other factors that contribute to the development of expertise in education, occupation, and innovation. Additionally, he is interested in policy implications of developing (or failing to develop) talent, and connecting his work with the larger global conversation.

Dr. Wai's work has started international conversations, and has been covered in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, CNBC, Financial Times, The Economist, Scientific American, Wired, Education Week, Nature, Science, and newspapers all over the world. In addition to academic publications, his public writing has appeared in Psychology Today, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, Education Week, NPR, and many others. He is a contributing writer to Psychology Today, Business Insider, Quartz, and others, where his ideas have reached millions of people. He has been profiled in Rotman Magazine.

His work has won multiple international Mensa Awards for Research Excellence. He has served on the board of directors of the MATHCOUNTS Foundation. He lives with his wife, son, and cat.

Direct download: IE54_Jonathan_Wai.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 5:20am EDT

Some of the most meaningful dialogues I've had with students occurred outside the class time. The opportunity afforded me to get to know my students on a one to one level, especially the more introverted ones. Free from peer pressure and the the urgency to complete the lesson plan for the day, the calm of the morning and the afternoon was the perfect time to discuss all things important in life.

There's a side to a student who volunteers to come out to play a sport or joins a club, teachers are fortunate to be part of. The same is afforded to a student; they see a wonderful part of the teacher who volunteers her time to share a common interest and bond. I've never taken for granted how spending time outside the class to listen to a student share about his or her goals, family, or life meant so much to both of us. When educators take the time to create an opportunity for students outside the classroom, the implication for student success, academically and emotionally, is immeasurably enhanced.

Direct download: IE53_Teaching_Outside_the_Classroom._Just_As_Important._mixdown.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 3:43am EDT

Stacey Lindes is a Teacher Resource Specialist for Technology (an exceptionally long title for a tech integrator/innovator/coach) in Central New Jersey (yes, it really does exist). In her current position, she works in a 4th and 5th grade school supporting the 1:1 GAFE program.

A two time graduate from The College of New Jersey, Stacey earned a her MAT in Elementary Education. Since that time, Stacey has taught 2nd, 3rd, and, most recently, 1st grades and has experience in preschool and 4th and 5th grades.

Stacey is also the founder of #PodcastPD, a weekly Twitter chat that takes place Sunday evenings 8:30 eastern. Join her each week as she and co-moderators AJ Bianco and Chris Nesi lead the discussion about how we can learn and grow using podcasts as professional development.

Finally, Stacey is a dedicated, albeit SLOW runner who enjoys using the "alone time" to reflect on education, changes in technology, and the practical marriage of the two. Having completed multiple half marathons (including the Trenton and Disney Princess Half Marathons) and numerous 5Ks, Stacey has had many miles during which to have "running reflections" and "running thoughts". This site is her effort to share those ideas with the world.

Direct download: IE52_Stacey_Lindes.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 2:24am EDT

Burned out teachers can easily throw in the towel and relegate themselves into doing the minimal work.  Some do, yet others don't. Why does one group give up, while others stay in and continue the good fight?

Direct download: IE51_Burned_Out_Teacher._Doing_the_Right_Thing.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 2:51am EDT

Fear of public speaking rates at the top of all fears in the US, more so than the fear of flying, heights, spiders, and even clowns.  For a new teacher, the anticipation of delivering her first lesson to a classroom of students can keep her up all night.  Seasoned veteran teachers may have perfected his craft or his delivery has become predictable and dull over the years.

One year, to improve my public speaking skills, I signed up with an acting class.  It was one of the most fun and enjoyable classes I've taken.  The course helped me to deliver a more animated and lively lectures to my students.  Recently, to continue to improve my pubic speaking skills, I've enrolled with a local Toastmasters International Group.  

In this "between classes" episode, I discuss the value of groups such as Toastmasters, my personal experience with the group, and the importance of refining our speaking skills to better serve our students.  

Direct download: IE50_Fear_of_Public_Speaking._The_Power_of_Words.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 1:22am EDT

John Linney (M.A.) is an international speaker, trainer, podcast host and author. As a “climate specialist,” he has provided services and training to over 400 educational institutions, foundations, community partnerships, and organizations in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, & Northern Ireland.

John has worked in public and private schools and colleges and as a youth development and organizational climate educator. For over a decade, he has worked on improving school climates, integrating full service community schools, youth engagement, and bullying and violence prevention for staff, students and parents. John also serves as a founding Director of the International School Climate Institute.

John has been the keynote speaker at several conferences and has been a featured guest on numerous local and national television and radio programs in the U.S. and Mexico including C-SPAN, Univision, and National Public Radio. He has written several publications and is co-author of “Safe School Ambassadors: Harnessing youth power to stop bullying and violence.” Best-selling author Deepak Chopra says of John’s work, “It is the only sane solution for ensuring security in our society.” John is also the host of a top ranked Education podcast, “Edspiration.”


Direct download: IE49_John_Linney.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 2:41am EDT

Time flies when you're having fun!  It's been one year since the launching of Inspiring Educators.  After 47 episodes, downloads in 98 countries, and 48 states (come on Alaska and Rhode Island), I'm looking forward to the great promise of what season two holds for IE.  

The process of building a podcast has been a steep learning curve, but all the effort has totally been worth it.  I'm still learning and it's more than just a work in progress, but it is just that--a progress.  I had all the initial squadron of butterflies flying out of formation in my stomach, but looking back, I shudder at the thought of never taking that initial step.  I learned so much and met great individuals I would have never met if I didn't embark on this path.  

The process has been an educational one, and I have learned so much interacting with brilliant educators, thought leaders, writers, and passionate individuals getting involved.  I am privileged to be in a company of these unsung heroes.  It's like falling in love all over again, and I'm motivated to do more.  One more cliche.  They say it's not the destination, but the journey.  So true!  

I hope many of you will continue to listen in, provide feedbacks, and share my little program with your friends and colleagues.  There's a lot of work ahead, but I'm having a lot of fun on this road not taken.  I thank you for the many support I've received throughout the year and one more favor, por favor.  If you can provide a rating and a brief comment on iTunes for the value of my program, I am grateful.  So, as usual, until next time, carpe diem!

Direct download: IE48_One_Year_of_Inspiring_Educators.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 8:39pm EDT

Brian is a veteran English teacher and former basketball coach in New York.  His dedication to education extends beyond the final school bell and the confines of his classroom.  By day, a mild manner English teacher and by night, Brian is a husband, father, Twitter chat host, podcaster, and blogger.

Brian's firm belief, great ideas should be shared and celebrated, is the keystone foundation by which helped his students outperform the world on the AP Literature and Composition exam.  His passion to share great ideas in education has helped catapult his podcast, Talks With Teachers to the No.1 in the K-12 category on iTunes. Brian has also contributed writings on Edutopia, EdWeek, Heineman, and AdLIT.  His contributions has earned Brian the Bammy Educators' Choice Award in 2015 for Education Commentator/Blogger.

Direct download: IE47_Brian_Sztabnik.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 2:09am EDT

Andy Weir was first hired as a programmer for a national laboratory at age fifteen and has been working as a software engineer ever since. He is also a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects like relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. The Martian is his first novel.

In this episode of Inspiring Educators, I talk with Andy about his upbringing and how he gained interest in science fiction and writing.  Among other topics, Andy provides his viewpoint on education in society and his unique journey into publishing success.  Join us and listen to the serendipitous journey of our favorite Martian on earth.  

Direct download: IE46_Andy_Weir.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 12:27am EDT