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Opposites Attract Podcast

Miguel and Sonja Ramirez

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Welcome to the captivating world of the Opposites Attract Podcast, where the forces of love, laughter, and life's extraordinary moments collide in a thrilling collision of personalities. For 15 years, Miguel and Sonja have shared their unique journey, where their contrasting personalities fit together like puzzle pieces. This chemistry has not only nurtured their loving relationship but has also empowered them to excel as parents to their three amazing children. In this exhilarating video po ...
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Teachers in America

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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A podcast for K-12 educators covering the ever-changing learning landscape. Featuring educators from around the country, every moment is a chance to create connections, share stories, and explore classroom ideas that will influence the future. Teachers in America is produced by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, inspiring the thinkers and doers of tomorrow.
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Miguel and Sonja share a heartfelt story about helping their kids navigate a conflict rooted in feeling unseen. They explore how every child, at some point, feels lonely or excluded. They emphasize the importance of communication, even when it's tough, as a skill to be practiced and honed. By guiding their children to not sweat the small stuff and …
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Miguel and Sonja share their experiences teaching their 14-year-old daughter how to drive. They discuss the challenges of staying calm and composed to avoid freaking out their daughter. They reflect on their own stressful learning experiences with parents who yelled at them while driving. By speaking calmly and thinking ahead about potential mishap…
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Writing can serve as means of empowerment and healing. Today we are talking to Briana Morales, 2024 Illinois State Teacher of the Year and high school English teacher at Gordon Bush Alternative Center in East St. Louis. Throughout her career, she has empowered her students through storytelling. In this episode, Briana will share how she uses healin…
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In this episode, Miguel and Sonja dive into the challenging but essential parenting approach of letting kids fail to prepare them for future success. They share personal anecdotes, like the tough love of not making their kids' forgotten lunches or driving them to school when they missed the bus. Instead, they allowed their children to face the cons…
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Miguel and Sonja discuss the emotional and financial toll of navigating the family court system, which strained their relationship with Miguel's oldest daughter. They share their experiences of hiring private investigators, dealing with false accusations, filing emergency motions, and spending tens of thousands on attorneys. After years of heartach…
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Vocabulary can be the catalyst for building reading comprehension skills. Today we are exploring vocabulary instruction and how it ties to comprehension with K-12 curriculum integrator Abbey Behnke. In this episode, Abbey shares instructional strategies and activities to engage students in vocabulary learning. Plus, she’ll discuss how to incorporat…
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In this episode, Miguel and Sonja delve into the practical wisdom of managing family finances, highlighting the powerful quote, "the borrower is slave to the lender." They discuss how debt can limit opportunities and the importance of delayed gratification. Sharing their recent experience of resisting the urge to take out a loan for a "nicer" car, …
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Miguel and Sonja delve into the profound notion of existence, contemplating the incredible era we find ourselves in. In a discussion about the remarkable advancements and luxuries of modern life, they explore the idea that we could have inhabited any period of human history, yet we're fortunate to experience an age filled with technological marvels…
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In honor of 2024 Teacher Appreciation Week, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona joins HMH's CEO Jack Lynch to discuss pressing issues in education. Together, they explore the integration of AI in the classroom, tackling teacher burnout, competitive salaries, and building respect for the teaching profession. Plus, Secretary Cardona shares an exper…
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In this episode, Miguel and Sonja delve into the topic of gender roles and the importance of having strong male figures in both the home and society. They explore how modern interpretations of gender equality may unintentionally marginalize men, leading to challenges in maintaining healthy relationships and raising children. By discussing the compl…
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In this enlightening discussion, Miguel and Sonja delve into the concept of aligning your career with your passions. They explore how your profession can either be a source of fulfillment or merely a job you enjoy. They emphasize the importance of continuous growth and the possibility of transitioning careers if needed. Moreover, they advocate for …
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Miguel and Sonja discuss the original intent of religious teachings, shedding light on how social pressures and cultural traditions often obscure their true essence. They explore how these teachings emphasize unity and interconnectedness, highlighting the misconception that people often miss. Despite varying degrees of religious belief, they stress…
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Teachers collect data in a number of ways, but how do you plan with it? Third grade teacher and HMH Teacher Ambassador, Latonia Grant joins us today and talks how data has been a valuable tool in her planning and instruction. In this episode, Latonia will provide data-driven planning tips, like how to lead data talks and set goals with students, an…
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In this engaging discussion, Miguel and Sonja delve into the prevalent issue of widespread misinformation and deception in today's world, touching upon topics ranging from politics and COVID to the economy and religion. Reflecting on recent events, they explore how individuals are increasingly questioning their beliefs due to the constant stream of…
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In this insightful episode, Miguel and Sonja delve into the complexities of feeling territorial within relationships, exploring both childhood experiences and adult perspectives. They candidly share personal anecdotes of times when territorial instincts arose, whether with friends, family, or business contacts, revealing the underlying fears of bei…
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Across the country, more schools are considering a 4-day school week. But how would that look like for students and teachers? Today we are talking to Dr. Claudia Singkornrat, a Florida science teacher at Pompano Beach High School, the only school in Broward County Public Schools that offers a 4-day school week. Claudia will give insight on her scho…
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In this episode Miguel interviews Sonja and she shares her profound journey after attending a weekend retreat where she experienced the transformative powers of Hapé, Kambo, and Bufo DMT. She vividly recounts the profound effects of Hapé, Kambo and Bufo DMT, offering insights into how these ancient medicines can enhance awareness and provide deep s…
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Join Miguel and Sonja on a heartfelt journey as they recount an unexpected work trip that blossomed into a cherished family vacation in Huntington Beach. In this episode, Miguel and Sonja reflect on the growth and evolution of their marriage over the past 16 years, from humble beginnings to moments of pure bliss with their children. Through anecdot…
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It takes a community to support early readers in building foundational literacy skills. In this episode, kindergarten teacher Melissa Hawkins joins us from Hawai'i to discuss how she communicates with families to ensure students are practicing skills rooted in the Science of Reading, even when they aren’t in school. Plus, she shares strategies to m…
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Join Miguel and Sonja in this insightful discussion as they explore the essence of mindful living, navigating life's twists and turns while cherishing every moment along the way. Delving into the significance of being fully present in each experience, they reflect on the value of embracing life's challenges and joys alike. Through their candid conv…
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In this insightful episode Miguel and Sonja delve into the transformative power of purpose and living in the present moment. Reflecting on personal experiences and societal shifts, they explore the significance of aligning passion with action, emphasizing the importance of authenticity and gratitude in navigating life's journey. With heartfelt anec…
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It’s hard for students to feel intimidated by math when their using it to make cookie dough. Middle school math intervention teacher Melody Jacklin, from Michigan, shares how she’s helped her students build math confidence through hands-on STEM projects, like mixing cookie dough and creating 3D printed bubble wands. Tune in to hear strategies on cr…
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In this episode of the Opposites Attract Podcast, Miguel and Sonja delve into the essence of commitment and the significance of seeing things through completion. They explore the distinction between endeavors with defined endpoints and those with ongoing cycles, emphasizing the importance of persistence in both. Drawing from personal anecdotes and …
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We're back for season 6 of Teachers in America! Get the scoop from our host, former teacher and Senior Director of Community Engagement, Noelle Morris on what's in store for the new season. Teachers in America profiles K–12 teachers across the country. Hear firsthand from the people who are shaping young lives in the classroom every day. If you or …
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In this episode Miguel and Sonja delve into the significance of being present, connected to the universe, and aware of life's sanctity. From cherishing family dinners to witnessing their children's growth, they explore the beauty of parenthood and the influence they impart on their children's journey. Join them on this heartfelt exploration of mind…
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In this raw and emotional episode, Miguel and Sonja delve into the harrowing reality of broken custody and support systems. Reflecting on their own tumultuous journey navigating false claims, financial manipulations, and shattered trust, they expose the painful repercussions of flawed legal frameworks. With heartbreaking honesty, they shed light on…
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Discover the profound journey of self-discovery as Miguel and Sonja delve into the concept of soul commitments. Sonja unveils her personal "Document," a guiding light through life, while Miguel reflects on the idea that our potential resides within us. They explore how aligning with our soul's agreement fosters growth and fulfillment, leading to th…
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Admiral William H. McRaven's life lessons extend far beyond his military experience. From the significance of making your bed to the importance of addressing the smallest of problems with great care, Admiral McRaven shares stories and insights that are as applicable in the boardroom as they are in military operations. His celebrated book "Make Your…
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Embark on impactful family discussions with Miguel and Sonja, where they impart valuable life lessons to their kids. From self-empathy and authenticity to conquering limiting beliefs, explore the essence of forgiveness and the resilience against self-judgment. Join the conversation on safeguarding joy, embracing the present moment, and discovering …
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This week Chris is joined by US Secretary for Education Dr. Miguel Cardona. Dr. Cardona tells how his own bicultural roots and his family's journey from Puerto Rico have powered his drive for educational equity and excellence. We discuss the imperative to reimagine our schools as incubators for critical skills. We address the current teacher shorta…
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In this insightful episode, Miguel and Sonja delve into the profound impact of building community for personal and collective success. Drawing from experiences in the military, Miguel's jiu-jitsu school, and Sonja's coaching circle, they explore the value of having a supportive tribe. Discover how to cultivate your own community, whether it's throu…
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Discover the transformative power of embracing the unknown. Miguel and Sonja delve into the concept of seizing life-changing opportunities, challenging the fear of the unknown. They share personal stories of taking leaps of faith, emphasizing how comfort zones hinder growth. Explore the profound impact of overcoming hesitation, unlocking new possib…
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In this heartfelt episode, Miguel and Sonja reflect on a pivotal moment with their son Joey, who was grappling with frustration over a math worksheet. They share a powerful message about life's bigger picture, urging viewers to reconsider what truly matters. The couple emphasizes the importance of discerning between momentary challenges and endurin…
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Miguel and Sonja debunk the notion of "faking it till you make it," championing authenticity's intrinsic value over external wealth. In this episode, they challenge conventional success narratives, emphasizing the importance of embracing one's true self. Through personal anecdotes, the hosts inspire listeners to redefine success on their terms, urg…
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Miguel and Sonja discuss the profound influence of childhood experiences on individuals' adult lives. Delving into the challenges stemming from various upbringing scenarios, the episode emphasizes self-compassion and understanding as crucial elements in navigating the complexities of personal growth and healing. Join them as they explore breaking t…
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In this heartwarming Christmas episode, Sonja surprises Miguel with a thoughtful gift, setting the stage for a delightful conversation about holiday traditions and meaningful gestures. The couple shares their excitement for the festive season and reflects on the joy of gift-giving. Join Miguel and Sonja as they unwrap not only presents but also che…
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We've complied some of our favorite moments and memorable words of wisdom from our season five guest. Teachers in America profiles K–12 teachers across the country. Hear firsthand from the people who are shaping young lives in the classroom every day. If you or someone you know would be a good candidate for Teachers in America, please email us at s…
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In this episode, Miguel and Sonja delve into the significance of embracing opportunities for personal and professional growth. Drawing from Miguel's recent experience in recording a podcast episode outside the studio, they explore the reluctance to break routine and the rewards that come with challenging comfort zones. The discussion reflects on th…
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After three-decades in education, Jennie Mau decided to try something new—teach junior high. Jennifer "Jennie" Mau from Clovis, California has been serving Title 1 students and families for 35 years as an elementary school teacher, after-school program coordinator, instructional specialist, and now as a junior high reading intervention teacher. Tod…
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Get set for an enlightening conversation with the incredibly talented Ellen McGirt, editor-in-chief of Design Observer. From selling Avon products at a tender age of eleven to pioneering the race and inclusive leadership beat at Fortune, Ellen's journey is nothing short of inspiring. We draw from her well of wisdom as she shares her relentless effo…
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In this episode Miguel and Sonja engage in a thoughtful discussion on the crucial decision-making process at the end of the year. They delve into the contrasting perspectives of wrapping up the year with a powerful surge of effort or opting for a well-deserved break. Emphasizing the significance of surrendering to the chosen path, the duo explores …
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Bill Jelen is one of my most favorite people on earth. That is why I wanted to have him as my first guest when I restarted the podcast. Even though I recorded this few weeks ago, only now I got around to publishing it. Please enjoy the conversation with Bill. Listen to this episode Resources for this podcast episode More about Bill: MrExcel.com (Bi…
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In this episode Miguel and Sonja explore the realization that much of what we believe and understand about life is shaped by external influences. From societal constructs like religion, governments, and corporations to personal concepts such as jobs and mortgages, the duo contemplates the arbitrary nature of these human-created systems. Urging list…
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To advocate for her child, Sherrye decided to become a teacher herself. In this episode, we are joined by math intervention teacher Sherrye Scott from Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District in Texas. When Sherrye realized her daughter needed additional help in school, she transitioned to a career in education. With 22 years in the classroom,…
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Embark on a romantic journey with Miguel and Sonja as they share the magic of their recent vacation to Georgia and South Carolina. In this heartwarming episode, the couple emphasizes the significance of spending quality time together. From exploring old plantations and secluded beaches to discovering lighthouses, harbors, and meeting childhood frie…
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OAP260: Beyond Thanksgiving: A Deep Dive into Gratitude, Through Good Times and Challenges In this heartfelt episode, Miguel and Sonja share their reflections on the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, delving into the essence of gratitude. They discuss the importance of being thankful for the positions they've achieved in life, even amid challenges. Th…
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Kahletsyalusla, an Oneida word meaning heartfelt encouragement, is at the core of Dr. Artley Skenandore's work as principal and cultural leader at Oneida Nation High School in Wisconsin. In this episode, Dr. Skenandore will share how he encourages students to stay connected to their Oneida history, culture, and language, organizing powerful field t…
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Ever wondered how a ground-breaking show like Reservation Dogs came to be? Join us as Chris sits down with the extraordinary Oklahoma-based filmmaker Sterlin Harjo, the creator of this revolutionary FX series. Sterlin offers us a glimpse into his personal experiences growing up in Oklahoma that helped shape the narrative of the show, while sharing …
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In this episode Miguel and Sonja dive into the profound aspects of life's different phases and the evolving nature of identity. Using personal experiences and poignant anecdotes, they explore the significance of enjoying every moment, recognizing when certain passions or activities may come to an end, and finding fulfillment in the various roles li…
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In this episode Miguel and Sonja dive into the transformative power of positive attitudes and positive associations. They share their experience of attending a Jo Koy show and the inspiring journey of Jo Koy's rise to success. From humble beginnings to sold-out arenas, they discuss the importance of believing in one's potential. Additionally, they …
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