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As educators, we sometimes need a spark. One great place to find that inspiration is in movies. In Episode 234 of Class Dismissed, we highlight some of the most inspirational movie scenes for teachers. The movie scenes that made our list include… Stand and Deliver (Rotten Tomatoes Score 82%) Los Angeles high school teacher Jaime Escalante (Edward J…
 
For more than 15 years, Johnny Tiersma brought humor into his classroom. He does this, be he feels it builds trust with his students. “You know when you’re all in on the same joke, and you’re all laughing together,” it creates a bond Tiersma says. The sixth-grade teacher serves in the Cardiff School District in San Diego, and bringing humor to his …
 
There’s little doubt that students will learn more when they engage in classroom discussions. So for many teachers, finding ways to motivate students to participate in class makes complete sense. For years, Jim Lang (Assumption College) did this with a class participation grade. The English professor says he tried to keep track of each student’s cl…
 
Educators always want their students to thrive and succeed in life. Often, that path for students runs through college. But for many students, that’s not the case. Our guest in Episode 231 offers tips on how teachers can best support students who choose an alternative post-high-school path. Stephanie Haynes is a licensed education coach and consult…
 
A well-run, fun classroom is pivotal to the way students learn. But for some educators, meaningful classroom management can be a challenge. Gamifiying a classroom is one strategy educators use to improve this. In Episode 230 of Class Dismissed, we chatted with Shawn Young, the Co-Founder, and CEO of Classcraft, a platform that helps educators motiv…
 
The state of civics education in the United States The push for impactful STEM education over the past decade has made a positive difference in preparing our youth. But have other areas suffered? Civics, for example? Our guest in today’s bright idea segment is here to offer us some perspective on the state of civics education here in the United Sta…
 
Not long after the start of each school year, an important topic comes up, September 11th. For some teachers, it can be challenging to figure out how to discuss such a tragic day in American history with students. In Episode 228, we invited Jan Helson to give us some guidance. Helson is the Co-founder and Board Chair of Global Game Changers, a 501(…
 
In early 2022 NEFE and AmeriSpeak surveyed U.S. adults on high school financial education graduation requirements. 88% surveyed said their state should require a semester- or year-long financial education course for graduation. Remarkably, only 14 states require personal finance education before graduation. Our guest on Episode 227, Jessica Pelleti…
 
Does blended learning make teaching easier or harder? Catlin Tucker has been a thought leader in the world of blended learning. But many educators’ Tucker would interact with perceived blended learning as more work for teachers. “I couldn’t understand why that was,” says Tucker. So, as Tucker started visiting classrooms, she realized teachers were …
 
Many students feel overwhelmed with homework, and it’s taking a toll on their mental health. It’s the million billion dollar question. How did we get to a point where some teens are so hyper-competitive that giving them a “B” on a paper or quiz is like giving them an “F”? Why do some teens now overload themselves with advanced placement courses and…
 
Starting on the right foot On the first day or two of school, it can be tempting to want to lay the ground rules. You know, set the expectations about workload, go over the rules, and fill out the required forms. But Rick Wormeli wants to challenge educators to think differently. Wormeli, one of the first Nationally Board Certified Teachers in Amer…
 
Do we often pay attention to the conversations we’re having with children? Or is it just automatic? Rebecca Rolland, a speech pathologist, affiliated with Children’s Hospital Boston, has put together a guide to achieving what she calls “rich talk.” It is a deeper conversation that can transform your relationships with children. The science of conve…
 
How to start with learner-led conferences For many educators, the idea of letting a student lead a parent-teacher conference is unsettling. However, if done correctly, a learner-led conference opens an opportunity for self-evaluation, which can lead to figuring out the next steps in learning. Our guest in Episode 222 has spent years practicing lear…
 
The number of emerging companies in the EdTech space can be overwhelming for school districts. The fast growth of new K-12 software companies is due, in part, to COVID 19 and a subsequent surge in ESSER funds. Our guest in Episode 221 is an expert in parsing through the EdTech space. Doug Roberts is the Founder and CEO of the Institute for Educatio…
 
It’s no secret that mental health care can be expensive and difficult to access, especially for young people. This can be a huge problem for students, who often face significant stressors. Bridging the gap in student access to mental health care can alleviate some of these stressors. Dr. Travis Gayles, a recent recipient of the AMA Award for Outsta…
 
Tools for facing adversity When teachers at Robert W. Coleman Elementary in Baltimore are struggling with a student’s behavior, the educators have an alternative to detention. Instead, they can refer the student to meditation. The Holistic Life Foundation keeps three staff members in a “mindful moment room” ready to help a frustrated student with a…
 
In Episode 218 of the Class Dismissed Podcast, we caught up with Minnesota principal and author Jessica Cabeen. Cabeen, who is the author of “Lead with Grace: Leaning into the Soft Skills of Leadership,” shared tips on handling professional confrontations. Cabeen says one of the biggest mistakes school leaders can make is to “lead with their title.…
 
The HELPER Act In Episode 217 of Class Dismissed, we talk with Sam Royer, the architect of the HELPER Act, a bipartisan bill with broad support in the U.S. House, with a companion bill recently introduced on the other end of Capitol Hill by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) & Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA). The legislation would eliminate a down payment requirement …
 
For the past few years, the world has consumed podcasts at blistering speeds. Consequently, a lot of listeners can choose from a variety of content. It’s estimated that more than 2 million podcast shows are available. However, most of those shows target adults and teens. Very few podcast creators have taken the time to make shows aimed at 6-10-year…
 
Managing Up In this week’s Episode of Class Dismissed, we focused on some tips about managing up. The term “managing up” refers to an employee taking steps to improve their boss’s efficiency and efficacy. For some, steering their supervisor in any direction may bring anxiety, but there is a way to do it without coming across as pushy. We go over a …
 
Combatting Burnout Let’s face it. Being an educator can be an incredibly daunting task. There’s constantly a demand to “do more” with fewer resources, and COVID has only compounded the stressful work environment in the classroom. In this episode of Class Dismissed, a former teacher turned burnout coach, Gabby Lubin, discusses mindfulness and exerci…
 
It’s about teaching life lessons that prepare our children for the future. We all make thousands of decisions a day. So shouldn’t we begin teaching the psychology of decision-making to our students? Our guest on Episode 213 of Class Dismissed is a former high school English teacher and the Senior Educational Content Designer for the Alliance for De…
 
Predictions for 2022 In Episode 212 of Class Dismissed, we chat about what education may look like in 2022? Could we see a mass exodus of teachers fed up with educating through a pandemic? How might two years of learning in a pandemic impact test scores? Will Universal Pre-K ever become a reality? We examine Larry Ferlazzo’s latest list of predicti…
 
In Episode 211 of Class Dismissed, we have our 5th Annual “Classy Awards.” This annual tradition allows us to reflect on a few of our incredible show guests during 2021. This year’s categories include… Most Downloaded Episode Most Clicked on Article on our Website Most Useful Episode for Teacher Most Useful Episode for School Leaders Most Thought P…
 
The first step to understanding something new is often the most challenging part. Our guest on Episode 210 of Class Dismissed explains why we need to rethink the way we teach students. He suggests that we reconsider the three Rs – Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic and possibly replace those with some new Rs. Such as Relationships, Resilience, and Re…
 
Many students can remember details from their favorite television show but struggle with remembering things their teachers say in class. Why is this? Memory is an intriguing subject. You might think that your most recent memory would always be in front of you, but sometimes we find ourselves at a loss when trying to remember something from 15 secon…
 
In K-12 education, there’s a strong push for STEM education. It’s for good reason, math and science are important. But where should social-emotional learning rank? Psychiatrist Helen Riess, MD, believes we’re in a society that’s ill-equipped to talk about emotion and feelings. Riess thinks we need more than just information in this world to succeed…
 
Are educators doing enough when it comes to climate change? Purdue University Professors Dr. Daniel Shepardson and Andrew Hirsch believe that right now, climate change is the one topic that isn’t adequately covered in classrooms across America – even though this is one of our most pressing environmental issues today. “It tends to be addressed in a …
 
The Operation Varsity Blues investigation is a landmark moment for college admissions. More than 50 wealthy parents have been revealed to be participating in an expensive fraud scheme orchestrated by William “Rick” Singer that nets them their kids’ spot at some of America’s most elite universities. One of those universities is Stanford. John Vandem…
 
Exercising your critical thinking muscle We now live in a world where Siri, Alexa, and Google can answer straightforward questions in a matter of seconds. So when it comes to educating our students, there’s almost no doubt that teaching our students how to think critically is an essential skill. Our guest in Episode 205 has conducted research that …
 
Somehow the graphing calculator has stayed the same since the ‘90s Mathematics and engineering students worldwide have long been at the mercy of Texas Instruments, a company that has held an exclusive on graphing calculators for more than three decades. But that did not stop former Apple employee Romain Goyet from trying to disrupt the market. Goye…
 
Distracted students are not a new problem. It’s easy to blame technology as a leading factor in distracting our students. iPhones, video games, and social media are multi-billion dollar industries created to demand attention. However, our guest in Episode 203 of Class Dismissed argues that being distracted is not a new phenomenon. James Lang is a p…
 
Against the odds There are approximately 4000 people that live in Hazlehurst, Mississippi. The town, a 40-minute drive south of Jackson, Mississippi, is a quaint community that boasts a Walmart a few restaurants. So when the Class Dismissed Podcast learned that a science teacher was developing a scuba diving curriculum for her students at Hazlehurs…
 
Many schools are already back in session for the Fall of 2021. However, the Delta variant appears to have its own agenda. Thus far, in the south, thousands of students have been forced back into virtual or hybrid learning to navigate flareups of COVID-19. Each time a student or teacher is diagnosed with COVID, it takes schools time and resources to…
 
Our 200th Episode! It’s Episode 200 of the Class Dismissed Podcast! Over the past four years, we’ve shared stories of inspiring educators around the country, and today we’re reflecting on some of our favorites. Using Restorative Practices​ in the Classroom Back in episode 109, we spoke with Nathan Maynard. Maynard is the co-author of “Hacking Schoo…
 
Over the past few weeks, U.S.A. swimmer Caleb Dressel proved to be a dominant force at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. As it turns out, he credits much of his mental success to his former math teacher. If you’ve paid close attention you may have noticed the seven-time gold medalist often holding on to a blue bandana. In fact, he’s even pictured holding it…
 
If there’s one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear for educators, it’s that Social-Emotional Learning needs to play a critical role in the education of our children. But transitioning to an SEL classroom takes time. Our guest in today’s bright idea segment, Lorea Martinez completed her doctoral dissertation on SEL, and she found that “l…
 
Can you measure what matters? When companies look for employees, they look for candidates that are curious, creative, and persistent. So logically, these are the skills we should be teaching and measuring in our school system. But how do you measure curiosity or creativity? When YJ Kim was a project director at the MIT Office of Open Learning, she …
 
There’s little doubt that when students engage in classroom discussions, they’re going to learn more. So for many teachers, it makes complete sense to find ways to motivate students to participate in class. For years, Jim Lang (Assumption College) did this with a class participation grade. The English professor says he tried to keep track of each s…
 
Constructive Conflict Most school leaders get into education because they want to teach. They want to enrich the lives of their students and create a stronger community. However, those in administrative roles have to tackle an entirely different beast. Much of the role of a principal or district administrator involves managing conflict. Not just co…
 
Cybersecurity Incidents Strike Often If the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack had a silver lining, it was that it brought worldwide awareness to the fact that ransomware attacks are a costly epidemic. For years, school districts have been a target of such attacks creating costly headaches for those trying to educate our children. A report highlig…
 
Only 1% of the things in our body make us human. Doug Chadwick is a wildlife biologist, author, and frequent National Geographic contributor. During his 35 year affiliation with National Geographic, he’s offered in-depth coverage of wolverines, grizzly bears, and whales, to name a few. Now Chadwick has a new mission; he wants us to think differentl…
 
Dr. Dave Neumann is an Assistant Professor of History Education at Cal Poly Pomona and he was recently published in “Social Education” with his article titled “A feeling for the Past: The Role of Emotion in History Education.” In it, Neumann highlights some of his students (future educators) who were presenting their culminating model lessons in hi…
 
Nathan Levenson, a former school superintendent, has consulted with hundreds of districts about ways to improve special education. But in March of 2020, COVID 19 magnified the challenges surrounding special education. “Despite heroic efforts, by teachers and districts, kids with disabilities really did not thrive in any way shape, or form and the g…
 
Learning through play is a great way for children and adults to develop new skills, but it’s also a great way to alleviate stress and trauma and even tap into some different parts of the mind. Our guest on Episode 190 of Class Dismissed is an expert on learning through play. Dr. Bo Stjerne Thomsen is the Vice-President and Chair of Learning through…
 
How schools can help overcome the disadvantage of poverty. When illustrating the need for systems of support in our schools’, Harvard Graduate School of Education Professor Paul Reville uses an example close to his heart; his daughter. He’s open about the list of advantages his daughter had when she showed up for her first day of kindergarten at an…
 
Jerald L. Hoover is an award-winning Young Adult fiction author and has garnered success and multiple accolades over the years. He was awarded Best New Male Writer of the Year by the Literary Society in Virginia in 1993 for his novella My Friend, My Hero. He was also listed as a bestselling author among black writers from 1994 – 1996 in various Afr…
 
Here on Class Dismissed, we’ve published over 180 episodes. However, as we reflect on all the great topics we’ve covered, we must admit that we haven’t focused enough on the subject of rural education. What are schools like in rural America? What are the myths and stereotypes about rural education? If you keep up with education news, you may also n…
 
As educators, we sometimes need a spark. One great place to find that inspiration is from movies. In Episode 186 of Class Dismissed, we highlight some of the most inspirational movie scenes for teachers. The movie scenes that made our list include… Stand and Deliver (Rotten Tomatoes Score 82%) Los Angeles high school teacher Jaime Escalante (Edward…
 
You may know “Survivorman” from the hit Discovery Channel TV show (2000-2018), Les Stroud’s passion for the outdoors has driven him to some of the planet’s most remote locations. Now Stroud is reaching out to kids about the lessons that can be learned through outdoor adventures. Stroud says he worked with kids in camps for years, so the idea of a b…
 
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