The Cult of Pedagogy Podcast

By Jennifer Gonzalez

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Category: Education

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Subscribers: 1303
Reviews: 4
Episodes: 237

 Jul 6, 2020

 Feb 5, 2020

 Jan 29, 2020

Lisa Z
 Jun 25, 2019
This podcast has been incredibly helpful for me! The podcast about free curriculum resources just took a mountain of weight off my shoulders as a first year teacher coming into a classroom with scattered curriculum resources. Thank you!


Teaching strategies, classroom management, education reform, educational technology -- if it has something to do with teaching, we're talking about it. Jennifer Gonzalez interviews educators, students, administrators and parents about the psychological and social dynamics of school, trade secrets, and other juicy things you'll never learn in a textbook. For more fantastic resources for teachers, visit

Episode Date
211: Supporting Intermediate English Learners in Every Subject

Students who have learned enough English to do well socially may still need scaffolding to thrive academically. In this episode, I talk with Tan Huynh and Beth Skelton, authors of the book Long-Term Success for Experienced Multilinguals, about the specific strategies teachers can use to help these learners reach their full potential across the curriculum. 

Thanks to Grammar Gap Fillers and Giant Steps for sponsoring this episode.

You can read a full transcript of this podcast at

May 21, 2023
210: Integrating Arab Narratives Across the Curriculum

Positive, accurate representations of Arab voices and contributions are largely missing from our classrooms. In this episode, four educators — Sawsan Jaber, Reem Fakhry, Fatma Elsamra, and Abeer Ramadan-Shinnawi — teach us how we can change that.

This episode is sponsored by JumpStart.

Read a full transcript of this episode and find a robust list of excellent resources for integrating Arab narratives into your curriculum at

May 03, 2023
209: Unpacking Trauma-Informed Teaching

Trauma-informed teaching has gotten a lot of attention in recent years, and my guest, Alex Shevrin Venet, is a wonderful guide to help us better understand how it works. Her book, Equity-Centered Trauma-Informed Education, offers a holistic, nuanced exploration of what this work looks like in practice, and it does so with equity at the center. In this episode, we talk about what trauma-informed teaching looks like in practice, how some approaches to this work miss the mark, and how teachers can start applying some basic principles of good trauma-informed teaching right away. 

Thanks to EVERFI and Giant Steps for sponsoring this episode.

Read a summary of this interview and a full transcript at

Apr 18, 2023
208: What Is the Secret Sauce for Deeper Learning?

Do you ever feel like you're just marching through your content, trying to get it done? Like your students are just regurgitating it back, but not really learning it? Would you love to design deeper learning experiences in your classroom, but you're just not sure how? This episode may have some answers for you. I talk with Sarah Fine, co-author of the book In Search of Deeper Learning, about the specific elements found in classrooms that offer richer, more engaging learning experiences for students, and how you can apply those elements to your own teaching.

Thanks to EVERFI and Giant Steps for sponsoring this episode.


Apr 03, 2023
207: The Youth Boxing Club That Is Changing Lives: Jamyle Cannon and The Bloc

The core activity of this after-school program is boxing, but it offers so much more to students. In this episode, I talk with Jamyle Cannon, executive director of The Bloc Chicago, about why this program has been so wildly successful at helping students achieve personal and academic success, and how other educators can follow the same model by building engaging programs around student interests in their communities.

Thanks to EVERFI and Giant Steps for sponsoring this episode.

Mar 19, 2023
EduTip 22: Stop asking questions to the whole room.

When we ask a broad question to a large group — students, an audience, attendees at a meeting — we often get nothing in response. Plenty of the people probably have something to say; they just haven't been asked the right question.


You can find full written versions of these tips at


Thanks to The Modern Classrooms Project for sponsoring this episode.


Mar 12, 2023
206: The Thinking Classroom: An Interview with Peter Liljedahl

In too many classrooms, our students aren't really thinking. What they're doing instead is more like mimicking, and my guest Peter Liljedahl is determined to change that. In this episode, we'll learn about his Thinking Classroom approach to instruction, where students are up on their feet, actively and collaboratively problem-solving, in a format that has taken the math world (and beyond) by storm. 

Thanks to Listenwise and Wipebook for sponsoring this episode.

Mar 05, 2023
EduTip 21: Bring some drama with an anticipatory set.

Anticipatory sets — quick preludes to your lessons — are a creative way to get students interested in what's to come. They are not an absolute necessity, but if you can work them in, they make a lesson just a little more special.


You can find full written versions of these tips at


Thanks to The Modern Classrooms Project for sponsoring this episode.


Feb 26, 2023
205: How to Use ChatGPT as an Example Machine

To learn any concept well, students need to experience multiple, varied examples of that concept, and coming up with those examples can be a time-consuming task for teachers. ChatGPT can help you get it done in a fraction of the time. In this episode, Stanford's Chris Mah and Sarah Levine show us how it works.

Thanks to Listenwise and Wipebook for sponsoring this episode.

Feb 20, 2023
EduTip 20: Don't give out your slides.

Many teachers give out copies of their slides as a supplement to a lecture or presentation, but this practice leads to terrible slides and ultimately, ineffective teaching. In this EduTip I'll share a better alternative.


You can find full written versions of these tips at


Thanks to The Modern Classrooms Project for sponsoring this episode.


Feb 12, 2023
204: Authentic Group Discussions with the Real Talk Strategy

After years of listening to shallow, perfunctory student discussions, ELA teacher Jessica Cannata found a way to make those conversations more natural, more interesting, and more real. In this episode, Jessica explains how her Real Talk strategy works, and how you can use it in lots of other courses outside of the English classroom.

Thanks to EVERFI and Parlay for sponsoring this episode.

You can learn more from Jessica Cannata at EB Academics.


Feb 05, 2023
203: What Happens When Two Schools Experience the Street Data Process?

In episode 178, we learned about an approach to school change called Street Data. I believed so strongly in this methodology that I asked the two authors of Street Data, Jamila Dugan and Shane Safir, if they would allow me to produce a video series documenting teachers in two schools as they worked their way through the Street Data process, so that other teachers could learn from it.

In today's episode, I talk with Jamila and Shane about the project, and we hear from teachers Amanda Liebel and Araceli Leon about their experiences.

The video series is now available at

Jan 29, 2023
EduTip 19: Help students learn each other's names.

The time students spend in your classroom may be the only opportunity they have all day to engage with other humans in any meaningful way. And it's such a shame to waste that by letting them stay in some sort of Matrix-like environment where they're only plugged into devices and rarely even look to the left or to the right. So take deliberate steps to help them get to know each other.


You can find full written versions of these tips at


Thanks to The Modern Classrooms Project for sponsoring this episode.


Jan 15, 2023
202: Six Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2023

A messaging platform that translates messages into any language, a daily curation of current events, the one everyone's talking about that writes essays for you, and more: Here are six tools we think are worth a look this year. And while you're listening, you can grab a brand-new copy of the 2023 Teacher's Guide to Tech here.

Thanks to JumpStart and Hapara for sponsoring this episode.

Jan 11, 2023
201: How to Build Psychological Safety in Professional Development

Learning requires us to be vulnerable, and in order to do that, we need to feel safe. In this episode, I talk with Elena Aguilar, author of The PD Book, about how professional development facilitators can make that happen for teachers.

Thanks to JumpStart and Hapara for sponsoring this episode.

Dec 17, 2022
200: Ten Ways to Give a Better Lecture

Two factors have given lectures a bad name: overuse and poor execution. In this episode we'll deal with both of these issues, considering when a lecture might be the best choice, then looking at ten things you can do to make sure the lectures you do give are outstanding. 

Thanks to EVERFI and Hapara for sponsoring this episode.

Nov 16, 2022
199: How to Personalize Instruction with Seminars

Offering small group mini-lessons that students only sign up for if they are interested is another great way to offer personalized instruction. Author and writing instructor Melanie Meehan returns to share how she has used this strategy in her classroom.

Thanks to EVERFI and Today by Studyo for sponsoring this episode.

Oct 17, 2022
198: Where to Find Real History in the Anti-CRT Era

We are living in a time where a segment of the population is working as hard as it can to keep our students ignorant of history. Dozens of states are attempting to erase history from textbooks and curriculum if it paints certain populations in an unflattering light, and teachers' jobs are under threat in many places if they teach certain concepts. If you are a student or parent living in a place where history is under attack, and you want to give yourself or your child the education that your legislators are trying to take from you, the nine outstanding resources in this episode are for you. 

Thanks to EVERFI and Today by Studyo for sponsoring this episode.


Oct 04, 2022
EduTip 18: Avoid assignments that are TOO open-ended.

While it's true that student choice has a lot of value, it's possible to give so much choice in an assignment that it kind of backfires. When a task has little to no structure at all, students often respond with confusion, not creativity.


You can find full written versions of these tips at


Thanks to CommonLit for sponsoring this episode.


Sep 25, 2022
197: How to Leverage Multisensory Learning in Your Classroom

Our sensory systems have a HUGE influence on how we learn, serving as building blocks for regulation, engagement, exploration, safety, movement, social interaction, and brain integration. In this episode, pediatric occupational therapist and author Jamie Chaves shows us how applying some basic principles of sensory processing in the classroom can remove unnecessary barriers and boost learning in significant ways. 

Thanks to EVERFI and Today by Studyo for sponsoring this episode.


Check out Jamie's books, The "Why" Behind Classroom Behaviors and  Sensory Smart Classrooms (affiliate links).


Sep 18, 2022
EduTip 17: Repeat audience questions.

When a student or audience member has a question, repeating it before you answer allows everyone else to hear it and gives you a chance to clarify the questioner's intent.


You can find full written versions of these tips at


Thanks to CommonLit for sponsoring this episode.


Sep 11, 2022
196: Four Models for Doing Blended Learning in Your Classroom

Even though many of us are back in physical classrooms this year, blended learning offers a way to weave together online and offline learning to position students at the center of the learning process. Instead of reverting back to a teacher-led, whole-group instructional model, blended learning can free us from the front of the room and allow us to work directly with individual and small groups of learners. In this episode, Catlin Tucker shares four specific models teachers can follow for structuring blended learning lessons and units to suit different purposes.


Thanks to CoderZ and Today by Studyo for sponsoring this episode.


Check out Catlin's book, The Complete Guide to Blended Learning (affiliate link).

Sep 06, 2022
195: Five Fantastic Ideas for Collaboration Projects

Collaboration is great as long as you have high-quality projects for students to work on. In this episode, we'll explore five unique ideas for collaborative projects that can be adapted for any subject area, along with suggestions for adding criticality and opportunities for student agency to each one. 


Thanks to CoderZ and Hapara for sponsoring this episode.


Aug 13, 2022
EduTip 16: Do a smooth first read.

Stopping while you read a text out loud might be necessary in order to explain, dissect, or analyze something, but those interruptions can really mess up a listener's experience of the text. Next time, start with a smooth first read, then start over and get into the instruction.


You can find full written versions of these tips at


Thanks to Edulastic for sponsoring this episode.


Aug 01, 2022
194: Finding the Funk: 3 Ways to Add Culturally Responsive Critical Thinking to Your Lessons

Critical thinking is something usually reserved only for advanced classes, but if we want our students to receive an equitable education, they all need regular practice in thinking critically.

In this episode, Tangible Equity author Colin Seale shares three easy strategies for infusing critical thinking into any lesson.


Thanks to CoderZ and Pear Deck for sponsoring this episode.


Jul 24, 2022
EduTip 15: Set aside time to set norms.

If too many of your classroom plans go off the rails, you might need to add more norm-setting, where you clarify expectations in detail before starting an activity. It's a step some of us skip, but the time you spend on it will pay off later. 


You can find full written versions of these tips at


Thanks to Edulastic for sponsoring this episode.


Jul 17, 2022
193: Creating Language-Affirming Classrooms for Code-Switching Students

Language shapes so much of who we are, but not all students feel they can bring their whole selves into the classroom. Even the most well-meaning teachers can unwittingly do more harm than good. In this episode, educator Andrea Castellano answers some common questions about students who code-switch between languages and dialects and shares research-based practices that will help multilingual students flourish.


Thanks to CoderZ and Edulastic for sponsoring this episode.


Jul 10, 2022
EduTip 14: Find teachable moments in the downtime.

We spend a LOT of time with students, and quite a bit of that time is not used for direct instruction. This "downtime" offers plenty of tiny opportunities for teaching, assessment, and relationship building—we just have to recognize them.

You can find full written versions of these tips at


Thanks to Pear Deck for sponsoring this episode.


Jun 26, 2022
192: How to Use Backward Chaining to Differentiate Instruction

We've covered a lot of differentiation strategies over the years, and here's one you may not have heard of: backward chaining. It allows students to start a task a few steps ahead, allowing them to experience a sense of completion that might otherwise be out of reach. My guest Melanie Meehan explains how it works. 


Thanks to Pear Deck and Spinndle for sponsoring this episode.


Jun 20, 2022
EduTip 13: Add novelty to boost learning.

Adding an unexpected ingredient to a lesson makes students more likely to remember the thing they were supposed to learn.

You can find full written versions of these tips at


Thanks to Pear Deck for sponsoring this episode.


Jun 08, 2022
191: In Support of Trans Athlete Inclusion in Women's Sports
Whether or not you're involved in athletics, all teachers will have transgender students in their classrooms, and understanding the issues that impact them will make you a better teacher for these vulnerable students. In this episode, I talk with former college athlete and sports policy scholar Katie Lever about the reasons trans athletes should be included in women's sports. 


Thanks to Pear Deck and Spinndle for sponsoring this episode.


May 31, 2022
190: Why so many teachers are leaving, and why others stay.

Teachers are leaving the classroom in larger numbers than ever, and many are breaking contracts mid-year just to get out. What can school leaders do to stop this? What makes one school lose teachers in the double digits, while others manage to hold on to almost everyone? In this episode, we'll hear the stories of four teachers who left their jobs in the past year. Then we'll hear the words of hundreds of teachers who stayed, and what administrators in those schools did differently.


Thanks to Listenwise and Spinndle for sponsoring this episode.


May 13, 2022
EduTip 12: Model EVERYTHING.

There are so many things we ask our students to do in school that they would do so much better if we just modeled it for them. While modeling is already probably a strategy you're using to teach some concepts, you probably could be using it a whole lot more, and getting more from your students as a result.

You can find full written versions of these tips at


Thanks to Stash101 for sponsoring this episode.


Apr 24, 2022
189: Eight Principles for Supporting Students with ADHD

Many teachers don't know enough to effectively meet the needs of students with ADHD. In this episode, we'll take a look at 8 principles you can apply to your teaching that can help these students thrive.


Thanks to Listenwise and Read&Write by Texthelp for sponsoring this episode.


Apr 21, 2022
EduTip 11: Replace general praise with something specific.

When we say something generic like "good job," it might make a student feel good, but that's about it. What has a lot more impact is specific praise given to individual people.

You can find full written versions of these tips at


Thanks to Stash101 for sponsoring this episode.


Apr 10, 2022
188: Uncovering Your Implicit Biases: An Exercise for Teachers
An essential first step toward becoming an anti-racist educator is uncovering your own implicit biases—attitudes and beliefs about certain groups of people you may not even realize you have. In this episode, Hedreich Nichols walks us through an 8-question exercise to help us start to do this work on ourselves.


Thanks to Listenwise and Read&Write by Texthelp for sponsoring this episode.


Apr 03, 2022
EduTip 10: Use music to buffer "silent" activities.

True silence is almost impossible to achieve in the classroom, and extraneous noises can be distracting. Adding background music creates a sanctuary where sustained concentration is more likely to happen.

You can find full written versions of these tips at


Thanks to Stash101 for sponsoring this episode.


Mar 27, 2022
187: Contrasting Cases: A Simple Strategy for Deep Understanding

This activity can be plugged into any lesson when you want students to go beyond surface traits and consider deeper connecting principles. My guest Sarah Levine shows us how it works.  -------------------

Thanks to Listenwise and Read&Write by Texthelp for sponsoring this episode.


Mar 20, 2022
EduTip 9: Use an antiseptic bounce to prevent off-task behavior.

When you see early signs of off-task behavior, you might think your only choices are to ignore it or address it directly. The antiseptic bounce gives you a third option.

You can find full written versions of these tips at


Thanks to Stash101 for sponsoring this episode.


Mar 13, 2022
186: Using Gallery Walks for Peer Feedback

Peer feedback can be an incredible tool for student growth IF students are trained in how to do it well. In this episode, English teacher Marcus Luther shares how he prepares students for gallery walks, where they give insightful, affirming feedback to each other's writing. With a heavy emphasis on modeling and seting clear norms, Luther's approach is one teachers can follow to help students give higher quality feedback in any class. 


Thanks to Fearless Schools and Read&Write by Texthelp or sponsoring this episode.


Feb 27, 2022
185: How Teachers Can Support Arab-American Students
Even when they appear to be navigating school successfully, Arab-American students aren't thriving like they could. In this episode, I talk with Dr. Sawsan Jabar about how teachers can change that. -------------------

Thanks to Fearless Schools and Google's Applied Digital Skills for sponsoring this episode.


Feb 15, 2022
184: Lessons that Build Students' Media and News Literacy

Our students can access information on any topic in seconds, so we need to build their media and news literacy. In this episode, I talk with Common Sense Education's Kelly Mendoza about their Digital Citizenship curriculum, with a special focus on the media and news literacy component, walking through three sample lessons you can try in your own classroom.


Thanks to Fearless Schools and Google's Applied Digital Skills for sponsoring this episode.


Jan 30, 2022
EduTip 8: Don't take anything personally.

So many things don't go our way throughout the school day, and if we can learn how to take a step back, to depersonalize these situations, we'll be able to respond rather than react.

You can find full written versions of these tips at


Thanks to Floop for sponsoring this episode.


Jan 23, 2022
183: Six Tech Tools to Try in 2022

This year's picks include a video conferencing platform that feels more like a physical space, a database of books where the main characters are black girls, a career exploration platform, math lessons that students will actually care about, a device that combines tech with hands-on play, and a collection of art experiments. 


Learn more about the Teacher's Guide to Tech at


Thanks to Fearless Schools and Google's Applied Digital Skills for sponsoring this episode.


Jan 18, 2022
EduTip 7: Stop popcorn reading.

Popcorn or "round-robin" reading has been around forever, even though it's not supported by research and can actually slow down students' reading progress. Learn more about why you should stop doing it and what strategies to put in its place.

You can find full written versions of these tips at


Thanks to Floop for sponsoring this episode.


Jan 10, 2022
182: Eight Ways to Grow Students' Vocabulary

Building a robust vocabulary is an essential part of any education. Students will learn new words in our classes no matter what, but if we're deliberate about giving them regular instructional opportunities to learn them, they'll learn so many more. In this episode, Dr. Angela Peery shares eight specific strategies you can use to build your students' vocabulary in any subject area and at any grade level. 


Thanks to fastIEP and Google's Applied Digital Skills for sponsoring this episode.


Dec 12, 2021
EduTip 6: Try a tiered activity for simple differentiation.

If you want to do more differentiation, but you feel overwhelmed by the idea of creating lots of individual lessons, try creating a tiered activity. This simple differentiation strategy gives students an appropriate level of challenge without a lot of prep on your part.

You can find full written versions of these tips at


Thanks to Floop for sponsoring this episode.


Dec 06, 2021
181: Teachers are being silenced. What can be done about it?

How is the anti-CRT movement harming and silencing teachers, what damage will it ultimately do to students, and what can be done to fight it? 

For a more complete overview of this topic, be sure to check out EdTrust's podcast series EdTrusted: The Critical Race Theory Craze That’s Sweeping the Nation.


Thanks to CommonLit and Brain Power Academy for sponsoring this episode.


Nov 27, 2021
EduTip 5: Use huddles to communicate during group work.

When students are working in groups, and we need to get their attention, shouting over the noise certainly gets the job done, but huddles work so much better.

You can find full written versions of these tips at


Thanks to Floop for sponsoring this episode.


Nov 07, 2021
180: Make Units More Inspiring with Vision Boards

Planning instructional units can be less than exciting when all you have to deal with is words and more words. Creating a vision board at the beginning of a unit can generate fresh enthusiasm and help you focus on what truly matters. In this episode, teachers Amanda Cardenas and Marie Morris share how vision boards work in their classrooms.


Thanks to CommonLit and fastIEP for sponsoring this episode.


Oct 31, 2021
EduTip 4: Hold off on most feedback until AFTER a task is done.

When we see students making a mistake, we may be tempted to stop them and offer a correction. It might be best to resist that temptation, at least for a little while.

You can find full written versions of these tips at


Thanks to Microsoft Reading Progress in Teams for sponsoring this episode.


Oct 24, 2021
179: Teachers are barely hanging on. Here's what they need.

Teachers are saying this is the worst school year ever. In this episode, I'll explore the reasons why, offer some solutions, and also share a few other loosely related thoughts that may or may not help. 


Thanks to CommonLit and Brain Power Academy for sponsoring this episode.


Oct 20, 2021
EduTip 3: Distract the Distractor

This subtle little teaching move stops off-task behavior in a class session and gets things back on track without drama! 

You can find full written versions of these tips at


Thanks to Reading Progress in Teams for sponsoring this episode.


Oct 10, 2021
178: Street Data: A Pathway Toward Equitable, Anti-Racist Schools

Many well-intended efforts to make schools more equitable often fail because we're trying to make them work inside a system that's a terrible fit for them. What's been missing is a whole-school approach that creates a path forward that is radically different from what we've done before. In this episode, I talk with the authors of the book Street Data—Shane Safir and Jamila Dugan—about their ground-up approach to school transformation, one that lets go of the fixation on text scores and centers marginalized voices instead.


Thanks to CommonLit and ISTE for sponsoring this episode.


Find Shane and Jamila online at and

Oct 04, 2021
EduTip 2: Don't yell at another teacher's class.

When you come in and rescue another teacher from a misbehaving class, you think you're being helpful, when really, you're just disempowering them. Try another approach! You can find full written versions of these tips at


Thanks to Reading Progress in Teams for sponsoring this episode.


Sep 26, 2021
177: How to Find, Read, and Use Academic Research

You want to know that your instructional decisions are supported by research, but you're not exactly sure where to find that research or how to read it correctly. In this episode, educational psychologist Kripa Sundar gives me a mini-course in how to dig up high-quality research, how to read and interpret it, and what we need to keep in mind about how academic research works.


Thanks to simpleshow and ISTE for sponsoring this episode.


Sep 20, 2021
EduTip 1: Don't make them read and listen at the same time.

Welcome to EduTips, a side project of the Cult of Pedagogy podcast where I share one quick tidbit of educational research, teaching ideas, classroom management strategies, or sometimes just a quick story. This first EduTip is DON'T MAKE THEM READ AND LISTEN AT THE SAME TIME. This is a mistake I see so many teachers, speakers, and other presenters make, and it's so easy to fix! You can find full written versions of these tips at


Thanks to Reading Progress in Teams for sponsoring this episode.


Sep 12, 2021
176: Suicide Prevention: What Teachers Can Do

What factors are most likely to contribute to suicide in young people, and how can teachers recognize the signs? In this episode I talk with Anne Moss Rogers, mental health and suicide prevention speaker, about how teachers can help to prevent suicide in adolescents and children.


Thanks to Listenwise and ISTE for sponsoring this episode.


Sep 06, 2021
175: Introducing the HyperRubric

Most rubrics only tell students where they are right now, but a HyperRubric marks their progress as they go, then points them to tools that can help them improve. In this episode, I talk with ELA teachers Tyler Rablin and Jeff Frieden about how they developed this new format and how it works.


Thanks to Listenwise and ISTE for sponsoring this episode.


Aug 22, 2021
174: Why You Should Bring Podcasts Into Your Classroom

There's a good chance you're already sold on the value of podcasts. But have you brought this incredible medium into your classroom in a substantial or consistent way? The goal of this episode is to convince you to do just that. My guests—Lindsay Patterson, Marshall Escamilla, and Monica Brady-Myerov—are three major figures in the educational podcast world. We'll be talking about the research behind listening as a learning modality, why podcasts make outstanding curricular resources, and the top four places you can find podcasts that are ideal for classroom use.


Thanks to Listenwise and Scholastic Scope for sponsoring this episode.


Looking for high-impact PD that won't take a lot of time? Check out my mini-course, 4 Laws of Learning, and use the code LISTENER at checkout to take $5 off the course tuition.

Aug 08, 2021
173: How ELA and Special Ed Collaboration Can Produce Great Student Writing

Writing is one of the most challenging academic tasks we ask of our students, and it can be especially difficult for students with learning differences. In this episode, special educator Sarah Riggs Johnson shares 11 key ingredients for optimizing the partnership between ELA teachers and learning specialists so that students with learning differences can become excellent writers.


Thanks to Listenwise and Scholastic Scope for sponsoring this episode.


Jul 25, 2021
172: The Importance of Maslow's Fourth Tier

What we call "attention-seeking behavior" is a sign of a deficit need. In this episode, my guest Connie Hamilton shares specific strategies we can use to help students meet their esteem needs—the fourth tier of Maslow's Hierarchy—in healthy, productive ways.


Thanks to Today by Studyo and Scholastic Scope for sponsoring this episode.


Learn more about my mini-course, Four Laws of Learning, at Remember to use the code LISTENER at checkout to get $5 off course tuition!

Jul 11, 2021
171: Does Your School Need a Literacy Check-up?

Literacy is arguably the most valuable asset we develop in our students, but many classrooms are missing some of the most effective literacy practices. In this episode, author and educator Angela Peery shares a set of tools any PK-12 teacher can use to evaluate what you're doing right, what you're missing, and how you can fill the gaps.


Thanks to Today by Studyo and Scholastic Scope for sponsoring this episode.


The check-up tools we discuss in this episode come from Peery's book (co-authored with Tracy Shiel), What to Look for in Literacy: A Leader's Guide to High Quality Instruction*.

*affiliate link


Jun 14, 2021
170: No More Easy Button: A Suggested Approach to Post-Pandemic Teaching

Now that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel of Covid-19, we have an opportunity for a fresh start in schools, and we can't waste it. Let’s take the wisdom we've gained over the last year and use it. Let's not go back to the way things used to be.


Thanks to Today by Studyo and Parlay for sponsoring this episode.


May 16, 2021
169: Revolution School: When "Reimagining School" Actually Happens

Revolution School is a fantastic new high school in Philadelphia where students co-create their education around experiential learning, community partnerships, and personal development. In this episode I learn about how Revolution works from Henry Fairfax, Head of School, Jane Shore, Head of Research and Innovation, and Master Educator Mike Pardee.


Thanks to Today by Studyo and Parlay for sponsoring this episode.


Learn more about Revolution School at

May 02, 2021
168: Mistake Analysis

Wrong answers can be an incredible tool for learning and critical thinking. In this episode, Thinking Like a Lawyer author Colin Seale teaches us four easy ways to add mistake analysis into our regular teaching practices. This is a strategy that works in any content area and at any grade level!


Thanks to Hāpara and TGR EDU: Explore for sponsoring this episode.


Mistake Analysis is just one of the many strategies in Seale's book, Thinking Like a Lawyer: A Framework for Teaching Critical Thinking to All Students*.

*affiliate link


Apr 18, 2021
167: How to Co-Construct Success Criteria with Students

When we include students in the process of defining quality work, they are more likely to rise to those standards. In this episode, educator Starr Sackstein explains how she co-constructs success criteria with her students.


Thanks to Hāpara and TGR EDU: Explore for sponsoring this episode!


Looking for high-impact PD that won't take a lot of time? Check out my mini-course, 4 Laws of Learning, and use the code LISTENER at checkout to take $5 off the course tuition.

Apr 05, 2021
166: UDL as a Key to Equity

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework that rejects one-size-fits-all teaching by offering students options for how to engage, what materials to use, and how to demonstrate learning, and it's a solid way to offer a more equitable education to all of our students. My guests Katie Novak and Mirko Chardin help us understand how it works and walk us through a sample lesson that's gotten the full UDL treatment.


Thanks so much to Hāpara and Kiddom for sponsoring this episode!


Get your copy of the 2021 Teacher's Guide to Tech at, and remember to use the code LISTENER at checkout for 10 percent off.

Mar 22, 2021
165: Setting Up Mastery-Based Grading in Your Classroom

It's a terrible feeling when you know some of your students didn't really learn the content, but you move them on anyway. Mastery-based grading solves that problem by requiring students to actually master key concepts before progressing to the next stage. In this episode, Kareem Farah of the Modern Classrooms Project shows us how it's done. 

This is the third and final episode of a three-part series that has taught us how to run a blended, self-paced, mastery-based model that works beautifully for remote, hybrid, or in-person learning. The first two episodes are 144, Making Great Screencast Videos, and 158, How to Create a Self-Paced Classroom. 

Join tens of thousands of other teachers who are learning how to implement the Modern Classrooms model by signing up for their free course (affiliate link).


Thanks so much to Hāpara and Kiddom for sponsoring this episode!

Mar 07, 2021
164: The Elegance of the Gray Area

An argument for spending more time practicing subtlety and nuance and complication in our thinking.

This episode is sponsored by Kialo Edu and Kiddom

Feb 22, 2021
163: It's Time to Give Classroom Jobs Another Try

These fresh ideas for student jobs will invigorate your classroom and get you and your students excited about school again—even if you teach remotely. My guest Thom Gibson shows us how he does it.

This episode is sponsored by Kialo Edu and Kiddom.

Check out the 2021 edition of the Teacher's Guide to Tech at and use the code LISTENER to get 10 percent off the new guide!

Feb 07, 2021
163: It's Time to Give Classroom Jobs Another Try

These fresh ideas for student jobs will invigorate your classroom and get you and your students excited about school again—even if you teach remotely. My guest Thom Gibson shows us how he does it.

This episode is sponsored by Kialo Edu and Kiddom.

Check out the 2021 edition of the Teacher's Guide to Tech at and use the code LISTENER to get 10 percent off the new guide!

Feb 07, 2021
162: Up-Down-Both-Why: A Funds of Feeling Approach to Literature
Students often struggle to make meaningful connections to literature and put those connections into words. The Up-Down-Both-Why technique, which starts with how the text makes a student feel, gets much better results. My guest, Sarah Levine, explains how it works. 

This episode is sponsored by Kialo Edu and National Geographic Education.

And check out the Teacher's Guide to Tech 2021 at, and use the code LISTENER at checkout to get 10 percent off!


Jan 24, 2021
161: Six Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2021

The yearly roundup of tools includes an audio feedback tool, sites to combat racism and media bias, and an app that lets you Google things in mid-air.

This episode is sponsored by Kialo Edu and National Geographic Education.

Jan 11, 2021
160: Fire Up Your Students with a Campaign Unit

Whether it's real or fictional, putting students to work on a campaign for a cause is a powerful way to get them writing persuasively. In this episode, U.K.-based teacher Jane Currell walks us through the process.

Follow Jane Currell on Twitter at @JaneCurrell and read more of her work at

This episode is sponsored by Listenwise and National Geographic Education.

Learn more about my mini-course, 4 Laws of Learning and How to Obey Them, at

Dec 06, 2020
159: Connecting Students in a Disconnected World

Breakout rooms, collaborative projects, games—whatever we do, it's crucial that we do something to get our students talking to each other. In this episode, I'm giving you a huge list of ideas teachers have shared with me for getting students to interact better, both in-person and remotely.

This episode is sponsored by Listenwise and National Geographic Education.

Check out my new mini-course, Four Laws of Learning, and use the code LISTENER at checkout to take $5 off course tuition.

Nov 23, 2020
158: How to Create a Self-Paced Classroom

In a self-paced classroom, each student is met where they are, is given an appropriate level of challenge, and grows at a steady pace throughout the school year. In this episode, Kareem Farah of the Modern Classrooms Project teaches us how to get started.

Learn about Modern Classrooms' free course on creating a self-paced classroom at *


*affiliate link

Nov 08, 2020
157: What's Possible with Green Screens in the Classroom

Green screen technology allows students to create videos where they travel just about anywhere, virtually. This simple, affordable method offers so many possibilities for deep learning and creativity across all grade levels and subject areas, even in remote learning situations. I was never all that enthusiastic about green screens, but now I'm a believer! In this episode, I talk with teacher educator Justine Bruyère about the why and the how of doing green screen projects with your students.

Oct 25, 2020
156: Subversion: An Essential Tool of the Master Teacher

Sometimes, to do right by their students, good teachers have to break the rules. In this episode, I talk with Melinda Anderson, author of Becoming a Teacher, about the times when doing the right thing means bucking the system.

Get the book, Becoming a Teacher
(Amazon Affiliate link)

Follow Melinda Anderson on Twitter: @mdawriter

Oct 12, 2020
155: How to Teach When Everyone's Scattered

Some of your students are in school. Others are at home. Some days they might switch. Your students are all over the place, and you're supposed to be teaching them all. Welcome to 2020, baby. In this episode, I'll share six principles for making this situation work as best as you can, curated from teachers who are also figuring it out.


Sep 30, 2020
154: Hexagonal Thinking: A Colorful Tool for Discussion

If you've been looking for a fresh approach for getting students to think outside the box and collaborate with each other, this may be just what you need. Hexagonal Thinking is a simple discussion strategy that can be used in lots of different subjects, in most grade levels, and it can be done in person or online. In this episode, Betsy Potash teaches us how to do it. 


Find more from Betsy Potash at Spark Creativity.

Get your free hexagonal thinking digital toolkit here.

Sep 12, 2020
153: Four Laws of Learning

Teaching is complex. It's dynamic. Every day we learn about new tools, strategies, and programs, and it's easy to lose our way. When you start to feel like you're in a teaching tailspin, these four research-based laws of learning will put you back on track.

Want to learn more? Check out my new mini-course, Four Laws of Learning, which goes more in-depth on these laws and includes supplementary materials to help you really dig in and apply these laws in your own teaching. Use the code LISTENER at checkout to take $5 off your tuition!

Sep 01, 2020
152: Creating Moments of Genuine Connection Online

One of the most important things we need to accomplish as we move forward into the school year is building relationships with our students. But if you're teaching online, that task will be more challenging than ever. In this episode I talk with Dave Stuart Jr. about his strategy of creating Moments of Genuine Connection and how we can do that while teaching remotely.

Get Dave's free mini-course: 10 Tips for Staying Motivated When Teaching in Times of Uncertainty 

See all of Dave's online courses** at


**I am an affiliate for Dave Stuart Jr.'s online courses. This means I receive a commission for any purchases made through my links.

Aug 17, 2020
151: Historically Responsive Literacy: An Equity-Centered Approach to Curriculum

Despite many attempts at improvement, school is still not working for many of our students, especially students of color. My guest, Dr. Gholdy Muhammad, believes the answer could be in rethinking our curriculum. In this episode we discuss her Historically Responsive Literacy framework, which is based on the work of 19th century Black Literary Societies and focuses equally on four areas: identity, skills, intellect, and criticality.

Learn more about the framework in Gholdy's book, Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy (affiliate link)

Find Gholdy Muhammad on Twitter at @GholdyM

Aug 02, 2020
150: A Few Creative Ways to Use Student Blogs

Since blogs first showed up on the internet, they have really evolved as a genre, and they're a smart choice for a robust, long-term assignment. In this episode I'll share six different kinds of blogs students can write, along with advice on assessment, technology, and ways students can take their blogs beyond school.

Jul 19, 2020
149: Nine Ways Online Teaching Should Be Different from Face-to-Face

Chances are you're going to be doing at least some online teaching in the upcoming school year. What shifts do we need to make in our face-to-face teaching practices to make the most of online learning? In this episode I talk to instructional technology coach Melanie Kitchen about nine ways online teaching should be different from in-person teaching, plus a few ways it should be exactly the same.

Find Melanie on Twitter at @MelKitchenEDU or on her website,

To get a weekly email about Cult of Pedagogy's latest posts, podcasts, courses, and products, sign up at

Jul 05, 2020
148: Backward Design: The Basics

Are we planning with clear, measurable, meaningful learning goals to guide us, or are we just keeping students busy? Backward design helps us make sure we're doing the first thing. In this episode, I'm giving you an overview of how this approach to lesson planning works.

Jun 22, 2020
147: Why White Students Need Multicultural and Social Justice Education

Some educators wonder if multicultural and social justice education are relevant if most of your students are white. The answer is yes. In fact, they may be even more relevant for white students. In this episode, Dr. Sheldon Eakins talks with me about the reasons white students need this kind of education and what, specifically, we can teach them.

Follow Dr. Eakins on Twitter:

Find Dr. Eakins' podcast, the Leading Equity Podcast, here: 

More resources available at the Leading Equity Center.

Jun 07, 2020
146: Reopening School: What it Might Look Like

Some thoughts on what post-COVID instruction might look like when schools reopen. (Spoiler alert: None are as good as face-to-face, a few aren't too bad.) Plus my attempt at a pep talk. 

May 24, 2020
145: Flash Feedback: More Meaningful Feedback in Less Time

We all want to give more high-quality feedback to students, but there's never enough time. In this episode I talk to Matthew Johnson, author of the book Flash Feedback, about three strategies he uses to get high-impact feedback to students much, much faster.

May 10, 2020
144: Making Great Screencast Videos

If you are moving some of your direct instruction to video, whether it's by necessity or by choice, knowing how to create a good screencast is essential. In this episode, blended learning mentor Kareem Farah gives us advice on how to make screencasts that students will actually watch.

Apr 26, 2020
143: To Teach Social-Emotional Learning, Start with Yourself

While most teachers recognize the value of social-emotional learning, many struggle to fit it into their curriculum. But one of the most powerful ways to teach SEL is through modeling the competencies ourselves every day, which doesn't require any extra time or materials. In this episode, second-grade teacher Wendy Turner shares her process for modeling her own social-emotional growth and weaving that seamlessly into regular instruction.

Apr 12, 2020
142: Distance Learning: A Collection of Resources for Teachers

A general overview of the nuts and bolts of distance learning, including general tips, advice on tech, and troubleshooting some common problems.

Mar 30, 2020
141: Getting Rid of "I Don't Know" in Your Classroom

How often do you hear "I don't know" in your classroom? For some students, this phrase becomes a crutch that stops them from learning. In this episode, I talk with author Connie Hamilton about how we can teach students to use more specific phrases that will keep them engaged instead of taking a pass.

Mar 15, 2020
140: Nine Ways to be More Inclusive of Diverse Students

Although well-intended, some of our efforts to include students from diverse backgrounds can make them feel anything but welcome. In this episode, my guest Hedreich Nichols shares nine tips that will help you improve your practice and avoid some of the faux pas that come with teaching students who look, think, or opine differently than you.

Mar 01, 2020
139: How to Create a Project Based Learning Lesson

If you've been wanting to try Project Based Learning but have been unsure about exactly how to do it, this is the episode for you. PBL expert Jenny Pieratt takes us step-by-step through the planning of an 8-week PBL unit. 

Feb 17, 2020
138: Making Cooperative Learning Work Better

If cooperative learning hasn't really worked for you in the past, don't lose hope. In this episode we'll explore tons of solutions to four of the most common problems with cooperative learning.

Feb 04, 2020
137: How Afterschool Staff Can Take Your Class to the Next Level

How connected are you to the afterschool staff in your school? If you're like a lot of teachers, it's probably not much. In this episode I talk with educator Eva Jo Meyers about her work in afterschool programs, and she shares seven ways school-day teachers can build more powerful partnerships with afterschool teachers.

Jan 19, 2020
136: Six Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2020

It's a new year and it's a great time to try out a few new tech tools. Here's my annual round-up of apps and sites I think are worth a look, plus two more extra just for the heck of it. The 2020 Teacher's Guide to Tech is now available at

Jan 07, 2020
135: The Time I Made a Fart Sound During a Test

Just a little story for you; the title says it all. 

Nov 24, 2019
134: Repairing Harm: A Better Alternative to Punishment

Detentions and suspensions don't really change behavior. What's much more effective is having students work to repair the harm done by their actions. In this episode, I talk with Brad Weinstein and Nathan Maynard, authors of Hacking School Discipline, about this restorative justice practice that is a powerful alternative to traditional punishment.

Nov 10, 2019
133: How One Makerspace is Meeting Students' Social-Emotional Needs

Our students need more social-emotional support than ever before, and schools are coming up with creative ways to meet that need. In this episode, I interview Dan Ryder, whose high school makerspace serves as a stigma-free space for students to solve problems they have inside or outside the classroom.

Oct 27, 2019
132: How to Spot Dyslexia, and What to Do Next

Students with special needs are spending more and more time in mainstream classrooms, so all teachers need to learn how to support them well. In this episode, special educator Lisa Brooks helps us learn to identify students who may have dyslexia. She then shares ways we can do a better job of supporting students with this learning difference that's far more common than you might think.

Oct 13, 2019
131: How World Language Teaching Has Evolved

French class doesn't look the same as it did when you were in school. In this episode, veteran French teacher Rebecca Blouwolff walks me through six key shifts that have changed world language instruction for the better. 

Sep 29, 2019
130: Tips for Starting a Podcast

Producing your own podcast is easier than you might think. In this episode, I share the tools and processes I use to produce my own podcast, plus some general advice to help you get started.

Sep 15, 2019
129: Let's Make Better Slideshows

A lot of you are out there giving lectures, presentations, and workshops, and your slideshows need work. These seven tips will help.

Sep 03, 2019
128: When You Get Nothing But Crickets

You ask your group a question, and you get nothing back. What's up with that? In this episode, we'll talk about some of the reasons your students (or audience members) aren't participating the way you want them to, and some new things you can try to get a better response.

Aug 19, 2019
127: A Few Ideas for Dealing with Late Work

The problem of late work never seems to go away. In this episode, I share eight smart solutions teachers use to manage it with their students.

Aug 04, 2019
126: Student-Created Graphic Novels

Graphic novels are wonderful for reading, but when students use the graphic novel form for their own writing, incredible stories can emerge. In this episode, I talk with English teacher Shveta Miller about how she teaches this process to her students, and why this particular genre allows students to share some of their most important stories.

Jul 21, 2019
125: Think Twice Before Doing Another Historical Simulation

Historical simulations can be a powerful teaching tool that fully immerses students in an experience, but when it comes to traumatic or violent periods, like slavery, there really isn't a good way to do them. My guest Hasan Kwame Jeffries talks with me about why teachers should avoid these kinds of simulations, and what to do instead.

Jul 07, 2019
124: A Closer Look at Open Educational Resources

OERs have gotten really good over the last few years, but in order to steer clear of the crap, you have to know where to look. In this episode, I interview curriculum evangelist Karen Vaites about where teachers can go to find outstanding materials—from single-use resources to full-year curricula—that are 100% free.

Jun 23, 2019
123: Four Research-Based Strategies All Teachers Should Be Using

Cognitive scientists are learning more all the time about what strategies really work to help people learn, but teachers don't always know how to apply that knowledge in the classroom. In this episode, I talk with Pooja Agarwal and Patrice Bain, authors of the new book Powerful Teaching, about the four research-based teaching "power tools" that can be used in any classroom to boost student learning.

Jun 09, 2019
122: A Simple Trick for Success with One-Pagers

A one-pager is a highly engaging, visual tool that allows students to synthesize learning, but some kids don't think they're creative enough to make them. My guest, Betsy Potash, host of the Spark Creativity Teacher Podcast, shares her simple solution to this problem, along with a step-by-step plan for using one-pagers in your classroom.

May 26, 2019
121: Is that Higher-Order Task Really Higher Order?

Ask any group of teachers if their goal is to simply have students regurgitate facts, and every one of them will say no. Despite that, it keeps happening. In this episode, we'll look at two of the most common errors teachers make when planning lessons for higher-order thinking, and some ideas for what to do instead.

May 12, 2019
120: How One District Learned to Talk About Race

When you've done lots of diversity training, but something is still missing, it might be that people still aren't comfortable having honest conversations about race. In this episode, I talk with Glenn Singleton, creator of the Courageous Conversations About Race online course, and David Watkins, Director of Equity and Diversity for Broward County, Florida, where the course has already helped over 300 teachers get more comfortable having these conversations.

Apr 28, 2019
119: "We're a Family" and Other School Norms that Can Cause Burnout

Is it a reflection of a warm school culture, or a subtle way to get teachers to volunteer more time? If you suspect it's the latter, it's time to push back. In this episode, I talk with Angela Watson, author of the new book Fewer Things Better, about three popular school norms that can ultimately lead to teacher burnout, plus some specific ways teachers can push back on those messages.

Apr 14, 2019
118: To Boost Learning, Just Add Movement

Physical movement makes learning stick better. In this episode, we'll explore six different ways to add more movement to your classroom.

Mar 31, 2019
117: Five Ways to Improve Your Rubrics

If you use rubrics, this episode is for you. I talk with administrator Mark Wise about five guidelines that can help make your rubrics more effective.

Mar 17, 2019
116: Mastery Learning with Khan Academy

In this episode, I talk with Khan Academy's founder, Sal Khan, about the platform's new mastery learning feature, which allows learners to get personalized practice, filling much needed skill gaps and advancing at their own pace. And it's all completely free.

Mar 03, 2019
115: Time to Take a Look at Your Dress Code

Many dress codes unfairly target students in certain populations, doing more harm than good. Is your dress code due for an upgrade? In this episode, equity writer Coshandra Dillard helps us learn what to look for when revising dress code policy, and high school principal Marcus Campbell shares his experiences in changing his own school's dress code. 

Feb 17, 2019
114: Let's Give Our Teaching Language a Makeover

To master this craft, we need to choose our words carefully. This mini-makeover shows how revising our language in four common classroom scenarios can send a completely different message.

Feb 03, 2019
113: Global School Play Day: One Day. Nothing But Play.

Could your school stop its normal routine for a full day and devote it entirely to unstructured play? That's what thousands of schools all over the world do every February for the Global School Play Day. In this episode I talk to GSPD founders Eric Saibel, Tim Bedley, and Scott Bedley about why play is so important for people of all ages.

Jan 20, 2019
112: Six Tech Tools to Try in 2019

This year's collection includes a discussion monitor, a tool that analyzes writing, a virtual reality tour maker, and my favorite new game.

Jan 06, 2019
111: Teaching Note-Taking with Stations

Quality note-taking is a powerful learning tool, but to do it well, students need to be taught how to do it. In this episode, I talk with instructional coach Peg Grafwallner and chemistry teacher Abby Felten about a fantastic station-rotation lesson they developed to help Abby's students learn to take better notes.

Dec 16, 2018
110: Ten Ways Educators Can Take Action in Pursuit of Equity

Awareness of educational inequity is important, but we also need to take action. In this episode, professor and activist Pedro Noguera shares ten specific things educators can do to pursue equity in schools.

Dec 02, 2018
109: Get Students Talking with Ongoing Conversations

High school English teacher Jeff Frieden shares his Ongoing Conversations strategy, a simple, effective way to get students to have rich, one-on-one conversations about what they're learning—and get to know each other a little better in the process. 

Nov 18, 2018
108: To Learn, Students Need to DO Something

In too many classrooms, we're expecting students to learn material without asking them to do much of anything with it. Why is this a problem? Where did it come from? And what can we do to fix it?

Nov 04, 2018
107: The Best Ways to Use Leveled Texts

There's a lot of confusion about how to use leveled texts in the classroom. In this episode, I interview literacy expert Jen Serravallo about the mistakes teachers and administrators make with leveled texts and which practices Serravallo has found to be most effective.

Oct 21, 2018
107: The Best Ways to Use Leveled Texts

There's a lot of confusion about how to use leveled texts in the classroom. In this episode, I interview literacy expert Jen Serravallo about the mistakes teachers and administrators make with leveled texts and which practices Serravallo has found to be most effective.

Oct 21, 2018
107: The Best Ways to Use Leveled Texts

There's a lot of confusion about how to use leveled texts in the classroom. In this episode, I interview literacy expert Jen Serravallo about the mistakes teachers and administrators make with leveled texts and which practices Serravallo has found to be most effective.

Oct 21, 2018
106: The Danger of Teacher Nostalgia

When we blame our teaching problems on the collective inferiority of a generation, we only make things worse. In this episode, we explore the problem of teacher nostalgia, why we give into it, and how we can stop it.

Oct 07, 2018
105: Voice of Witness: Bring the Power of Oral History to Your Classroom

Voice of Witness is an organization that curates oral histories, stories told by people whose voices are rarely heard: Migrant workers. Refugees. Prisoners. Factory workers in developing countries. Undocumented Americans. Their stories, in their voices. In this episode, I talk with Voice of Witness education program director Cliff Mayotte about the books and free classroom materials that can help you bring the power of oral history to your classroom

Sep 23, 2018
104: What the Research Says About Note-Taking

In classrooms all over the world, students take notes every day. What does academic research tell us about the best ways to use note-taking in our classrooms? In this episode, I'll share 8 important take-aways. 

Sep 09, 2018
103: Deeper Class Discussions with the TQE Method

Want your students to have rich, complex discussions about the texts they read? In this episode, high school English teacher Marisa Thompson shares a method she calls TQE, which requires almost no prep or grading and leads to the kinds of classroom discussions you thought only happened in college.

Aug 26, 2018
102: A Look Inside a Teacher Fellowship Program

Imagine a professional development scenario where you are given funding, choice, and time to collaborate with others in your specialty area who energize and inspire you. That's the basic gist of a teacher fellowship program, and in today's episode, we're looking at how one of these programs work. My guests are Megan Roberts and Ashraya Gupta from Math for America, a fellowship program for exceptional teachers of math and science.

Aug 12, 2018
101: A Step-by-Step Plan for Teaching Narrative Writing

The ability to tell a good story is one of the things that makes human beings extraordinary. Here's the process I used to teach my own students how to do it.

Jul 29, 2018
100: Lessons in Personhood

To mark the milestone of 100 episodes, I'm sharing one of my favorite posts, Lessons in Personhood: 10 Ways to Truly Lead in Your Classroom. Thank you to everyone who has appeared as a guest on this podcast, and to everyone who has listened, reviewed, and recommended it. I have lots more to come!

Jul 22, 2018
99: Quality-Check Your Tech: 6 Strategies

Is your tech tool doing the work you think it is? Or could it actually be widening the same gaps you're trying to close? In this episode we explore the problems that can arise when a tool isn't carefully scrutinized, then look at seven strategies educators can use to deeply assess a tool for its impact. My guest is Rupa Chandra Gupta, who is the founder of the ed tech company Sown to Grow.

Jul 15, 2018
98: Improving the Way We Teach About Slavery

American Slavery is a difficult topic to teach, and for decades, we haven't been doing a very good job of teaching it. In this episode, I interview history professor Hasan Kwame Jeffries about the Teaching Hard History framework, a free set of resources aimed at giving our students a more comprehensive look at how slavery started, its fundamental role in our country's history, and how it continues to impact our society today.

Jun 17, 2018
97: The Principal's Pet: A Cautionary Tale

No one likes it when an administrator plays favorites. But what if the favorite is you? In this episode, I share a story about one of the most difficult periods of my teaching years, and some advice to help teachers and administrators avoid a similar situation. 

Jun 03, 2018
96: What's the Point of a Makerspace?

If you're like me, you've been a little slow to warm up to the idea of makerspaces in the classroom. In this episode, John Spencer helps me understand what a makerspace is, how it can add value to any classroom, and what steps teachers can take to start and manage a makerspace of their own.

May 20, 2018
95: Twelve Ways Teachers Can Build Their Emotional Resilience

To do this work and stick with it long enough to get good at it, you need a level of emotional resilience most other jobs will never require. In this episode, my guest Elena Aguilar shares 12 habits teachers can develop that will build the resilience they need.

May 06, 2018
94: How accurate are your grades?

Grades impact everything from college admissions to whether students get to go on certain field trips. With so much at stake, how can we make sure our grades measure what matters?

Apr 22, 2018
93: Eight Things I Know for Sure About Middle School Kids

Middle school students are a special breed, and I was lucky to teach them for years. In this episode, I'll share my own advice about what makes them tick, and how to work with those qualities, not against them.

Apr 08, 2018
92: Frickin' Packets

Are your worksheets contributing to meaningful learning, or just keeping students busy?

Mar 27, 2018
91: Twelve Ways to Upgrade Your Classroom Design

Money and space are nice, but they are NOT prerequisites for learning-friendly design. In this interview with learning space expert Bob Dillon, we explore tons of simple things teachers can do to make their classrooms better places for students to learn.

Mar 18, 2018
90: OMG Becky. PD is Getting SO MUCH BETTER.

The sit-and-get, one-size-fits-all model is disappearing. Taking its place are these 9 alternative models for teacher professional development.

Mar 04, 2018
90: OMG Becky. PD has gotten SO MUCH BETTER.

The sit-and-get, one-size-fits-all model is disappearing. Taking its place are these 9 alternative models for teacher professional development.

Mar 04, 2018
89: Restorative Justice in School: An Overview

With its focus on building relationships and repairing harm, rather than simply punishing students for misbehavior, restorative justice is being adopted by more schools every year. In this episode, RJ practitioner Victor Small, Jr., helps me understand the basics of restorative practices and how interested schools can get started.

Feb 18, 2018
88: Are you a curator or a dumper?

You have so much good stuff to share, but to get anyone to actually look at it, you need to give it some polish. In this episode, we look at why the brain prefers good curation, some school-related situations when good curation skills would come in handy, a set of curation guidelines to follow, and a short list of tech tools that can help you curate digitally.

Feb 04, 2018
87: Moving from Feedback to Feedforward

Traditional feedback looks back on a past that can't be changed, and that's one reason it isn't always well-received. But when we shift to a practice called feedforward, where our focus is on the future, we can have a much more powerful and positive impact on our students, peers, and other people in our lives. In this episode, I interview Joe Hirsch, author of The Feedback Fix, about how the feedforward approach works.

Jan 21, 2018
86: Six Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2018

One of them is super trendy. One takes you into the past. Three can be used in a dozen different ways. And one you're going to want to try right away. Come listen.

Jan 07, 2018
85: The Magic of Validation

In schools, where our work demands constant interaction with other people, conflicts are always waiting to happen. By practicing validation with our students, their parents, our co-workers and administrators, you'll find that some of your most difficult conversations get a whole lot easier. In this episode, I'll share three simple steps to practice validation in any conversations.

Dec 18, 2017
84: How to Stop Killing the Love of Reading w/Pernille Ripp

In an effort to boost test scores and close gaps, too many schools are using more reading "activities and programs" and cutting back on time for actual reading. In this episode, teacher and author Pernille Ripp tells me about how she completely changed her approach to reading instruction to help students become life-long readers, and how other teachers can do the same.

Dec 03, 2017
83: What is an Innovation Class?

Most of us recognize that schools need to change to meet the demands of the information age, but we don't have many models to follow for making that change happen. In this episode, I interview Don Wettrick, who launched an innovation elective in his high school six years ago. He tells me how the program works, why all schools need an innovation class, and how you can start one in your school.

Nov 19, 2017
82: Making School a Safe Place for LGBTQ Students

Discrimination and harassment are still a daily reality for many LGBTQ students. In this episode, I share 9 specific things teachers can do to help these students feel safer and more accepted in the classroom and within the wider school culture.

Nov 05, 2017
81: The Great and Powerful Graphic Organizer

Graphic organizers can pack a strong instructional punch if you know how to use them. In this episode I review the research on why graphic organizers work so well, list 10 creative classroom uses for them, and offer a few tips so you can implement them effectively.

Oct 22, 2017
80: When Students Won't Stop Talking

One thing they don't teach in our education courses is just how freaking much students talk, and how hard it can be to quiet them down. To tackle this problem I went to Michael Linsin, the creator of Smart Classroom Management. In this episode, we look at the reasons students talk when they shouldn't and what you can do about it.

Oct 08, 2017
79: Retrieval Practice: The Most Powerful Learning Strategy You're Not Using

The research is clear: Retrieval practice is one of the most powerful ways to learn. In this episode, I talk to Pooja Agarwal about what retrieval practice is and how teachers can start incorporating it into their teaching tomorrow.

Sep 24, 2017
78: Four Misconceptions About Culturally Responsive Teaching

Some teachers think they're practicing culturally responsive teaching, when in fact, they're kind of not. In this episode, I interview Zaretta Hammond, author of Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain, to identify and correct four common misconceptions teachers have about how to best help our diverse students thrive in school.

Sep 10, 2017
77: What Teachers Want Administrators to Know

After years of hearing teachers' stories, I have reached the conclusion that there is one element that makes the difference in whether the teachers in any given school will lean toward positive and productive or desperate and crushed: That element is the administrator. In this letter, I share the things teachers wish administrators would do to help them become the best teachers they can be.

Sep 05, 2017
76: When Your School is Short on Tech

From work-arounds to fundraising to Wi-Fi on the bus, this episode explores 11 creative ways schools are addressing the digital divide.

Aug 27, 2017
75: Making the Most of a 90-Minute Block Class

Whether you're brand-new to block scheduling or you've been doing it for years, this episode will have you handling those 90 minutes like a boss.

Aug 13, 2017
74: How to Deal with Student Grammar Errors

Teaching grammar in isolation is not only ineffective, it can actually make student writing worse. So when students make mistakes, what should teachers do? In this episode, I outline a simple system for teaching grammar within the context of meaningful writing.

Jul 30, 2017
73: How One Teacher Started an Urban Gardening Revolution

You thought you knew project-based learning? You haven't seen anything yet. In this episode, I interview Stephen Ritz, a Bronx teacher who has spent the last decade developing an incredible school-based gardening project called the Green Bronx Machine, which feeds the local community, builds student knowledge in multiple content areas, and creates strong cooperative bonds with local businesses and other stakeholders. Every teacher who has ever thought they didn't have the resources to give their students an outstanding education needs to listen to this.

Jul 16, 2017
72: What is an educator mastermind, and why should you join one?

Educators, especially those in leadership roles, spend far too much time in isolation. An educator mastermind gives us a group of peers to help us problem-solve, set goals, and support each other in the incredibly challenging work we do. In this episode, I interview Daniel Bauer of the Better Leaders, Better Schools podcast about the educator masterminds he facilitates, and how you can start your own.

Jul 02, 2017
71: Why It's So Hard for Teachers to Take Care of Themselves

Why is it that so many teachers have a hard time taking good care of themselves? In this episode, I interview teacher productivity expert Angela Watson about the reasons we struggle to make time for self-care and four specific things we can do to change that.

Jun 19, 2017
70: How HyperDocs Can Transform Your Teaching

By using HyperDocs, digital lesson plans that pull together all of a lesson's resources into one place, teachers can make room for more interactive, personalized, and student-directed learning. In this episode, I interview Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton, and Sarah Landis, authors of The HyperDoc Handbook.

Jun 11, 2017
69: Three Surprising Reasons Students Don't Get into Top Colleges

For many students, getting into a highly competitive college drives most decisions about where to spend their time and energy. But what if some of these decisions actually hurt their chances of getting in? My guest Shirag Shemmassian, who helps students get admitted to highly selective colleges, shares the three mistakes students make when trying to make themselves stand out in the application process, and what they should be doing instead.

May 21, 2017
68: Twelve Ways to Support English Learners in the Mainstream Classroom

So many teachers have English language learners in class, but the teachers have no training in how to support them. In this episode, I gather tips from three ESL teachers for the most effective ways regular classroom teachers can support these students.

May 07, 2017
67: What to Do on Lame Duck School Days

The last day before vacation. After-testing days. The day when the fire drill messes up your plans. What do you do when class is in session, but actual teaching may not be in the cards? I have thirty fantastic ideas.

Apr 23, 2017
66: Why Curation Should be Your Next Class Project

A digital curation project is a fast way to engage critical thinking in any content area. In this episode, I explain how it works. For links to all the resources mentioned in this episode, visit

Apr 15, 2017
65: Five Ways College Teachers Can Improve Their Instruction

Most people who teach at the college level do so without any formal training. In this episode, Norman Eng, author of Teaching College: The Ultimate Guide to Lecturing, Presenting, and Engaging Students, shares five strategies college teachers can use to be more successful in the classroom. 

To read the full blog post, go to

Mar 26, 2017
64: Four Ways Teachers Can Support Students of Color

In far too many cases, schools do not support students of color in ways that help them grow to their full potential. My guest, Dena Simmons, shares four specific things teachers could be doing in their classrooms to change this.

Mar 12, 2017
63: Teaching Students to Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a serious problem for many teachers, and to beat it, we need to go beyond looking for new ways to threaten, catch, and punish students for it. We have to work on prevention. The 5 research-based exercises I describe in this episode will teach students how to avoid plagiarism and weave information from outside sources into their own writing in elegant and ethical ways.

Feb 26, 2017
62: 21st Century Learning at the Apollo School

Many of us like the idea of personalized learning, but we don't have many models for making it happen. In this episode, I interview the founders of the Apollo School, a project-based, personalized program built inside a public school that offers a hybrid of English, social studies, and art in one block of time. You'll definitely want to see how they make it work and possibly do the same thing at your school. Thanks to Wes Ward, Greg Wimmer, and Jim Grandi for sharing their experiences with me!

Feb 12, 2017
61: Seven Systems that Work for Outside-the-Box Learners

Most teachers struggle with what they might call lazy, unmotivated, or disorganized students. What really works with these learners? In this episode, I interview executive function coach Seth Perler about the systems he uses to help these kids finally reach their potential in school. 

To read the full blog post that goes with this episode, including links to all resources mentioned, visit 7 Systems that Work for Outside-the-Box Learners.

Jan 29, 2017
60: Six Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2017

Here they are: My six favorite ed tech tools for this year. They are not all brand-new, but I don't think any of them are getting the attention they deserve. Each one has the potential to make a real difference in your teaching. And there may just be one or two surprises at the end...

Jan 22, 2017
59: Runaway Youth: How Teachers Can Help

How significant is the runaway problem in the U.S.? What resources are out there to prevent running away and help those who do it? I interview Maureen Blaha, Executive Director of the National Runaway Safeline, to learn about how teachers can help.

Jan 01, 2017
58: Six Powerful Learning Strategies You MUST Share with Students

Can studying be taught? I interview cognitive psychologists Megan Smith and Yana Weinstein about six high-power, research-based learning strategies most teachers don't know about. These can be used in instruction and should be taught to students so they can use them in their own studying. If you enjoyed reading "Make It Stick" last summer, you're going to love what you learn in this episode!

Dec 11, 2016
57: Nine Simple Solutions for Common Teaching Problems

This episode is a goody bag for everyone! My buddy Mark Barnes, publisher of the Hack Learning series, shares some of the best ideas from all nine of the books in his series. If you don't walk away from this episode with something new to try, then I'll refund you the price of the podcast. Just kidding. It's free. But you get what I'm saying, right?

Nov 27, 2016
56: Creating a Welcoming Classroom for Special Ed Students

So many regular ed teachers feel inadequately prepared to serve the needs of students with special needs. In this episode, special educator Jam Gamble shares five ways regular ed teachers can make their classrooms more welcoming for special ed students.

Nov 20, 2016
55: Your Top 10 Genius Hour Questions Answered

Genius Hour has exploded in classrooms over the last few years, and teachers who want to try it have a lot of questions. In this episode I ask A.J. Juliani, creator of the Genius Hour Master Course, the top 10 questions teachers have about Genius Hour, and he gives me some great answers.

Nov 06, 2016
54: Is Your Lesson a Grecian Urn?

I've got a bit of a rant to share with you in this episode, and it has something to do with Grecian Urns. Chances are you have one or more of these in your lesson plans, and in this episode I'm going to help you find them and get rid of them.

Oct 30, 2016
53: How to Approach Your Teaching Like a Master Chef

If we want to make our content really relevant to students, we need to design our instruction the way a chef orchestrates a good meal. Rather than giving in to the educational equivalent of processed food, we could be putting more thought into preparing our lessons, from the appetizer all the way to dessert. In this episode, I interview John Stevens and Matt Vaudrey, authors of the book The Classroom Chef. They talk about how they evolved from teaching uninspired, by-the-book lessons to preparing learning experiences that truly engage students. If you're starting to feel like you're phoning in your lessons, you won't want to miss this one.

Oct 16, 2016
52: Is Your Classroom Academically Safe?

So much of learning depends on whether your students feel comfortable taking risks. In this episode, I share some suggestions for making your classroom an academic safe space.

Oct 02, 2016
51: CommonLit's Online Library of Free Texts

If you're always looking for short, high-quality informational and literary texts to use in your classroom, you are going to love the free online library at CommonLit. In this episode, I interview CommonLit founder Michelle Brown to talk about why she started the platform and walk through all of the wonderful features that help teachers get the most out of this growing library of texts.

Sep 18, 2016
50: Using Playlists to Differentiate Instruction

If you're trying to figure out an easy way to manage differentiated instruction, this episode will be a big help. Teacher Tracy Enos explains how she uses student playlists--customized, digital lists of assignments she assigns to students based on their individual needs. A playlist might contain links to videos, online articles, or interactive lessons that live somewhere online. It could also include reading assignments from actual physical books or even written exercises that come from a station or center in the classroom. Playlists could be used for any grade level and any subject area.This is definitely a system worth considering for any classroom!

Sep 04, 2016
49: How Dialogue Journals Build Teacher-Student Relationships

Dialogue journals are a simple but powerful tool for building trust with your students and sustaining that relationship all year long. In this episode I talk with teacher Liz Galarza about how she uses these journals in her classroom and the research she's doing about how they shift the power dynamic in the classroom. 

Aug 21, 2016
48: Implementing a Classroom Management Plan that Works

An interview with Michael Linsin, creator of the Smart Classroom Management website. Michael shares his insights about how to design and implement an effective classroom behavior plan.

Aug 07, 2016
47: Black Girls and School: We Can Do Better

Are we meeting the needs of black girls in our schools? In this interview with author Monique Morris, we talk about her book Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools, the 2016 selection for the Cult of Pedagogy Summer Book Study. Dr. Morris explains how far too many teachers lack the cultural competence to understand and meet the needs of black girls, the damaging long-term effects of this dynamic, and what we can do to change this.

Jul 03, 2016
46: The Gut-Level Teacher Reflection

If you're trying to figure out exactly what you need to improve about your teaching, it helps to listen to your body. In this episode, I walk you through 5 questions about key areas of your teaching to help you uncover trouble spots, then create a plan of action to improve them.

Jun 05, 2016
45: Ten Ways to Sabotage Your Classroom Management

If you’re finding that your classroom management seems to be a problem no matter what you do, there’s a good chance you might be doing something to get in your own way. Here are 10 mistakes teachers make that can undermine even the best classroom management system.

May 26, 2016
44: Bring Podcasts Into Your Classroom with Listen Current

If you've ever thought about using podcasts as classroom texts, but didn't have time to find the right ones, you're going to be blown away by Listen Current, a website that curates the best podcasts of public radio and wraps each one with classroom-ready materials. In this episode, I talk to Listen Current founder and CEO Monica Brady-Myerov about what the site offers to teachers.

May 15, 2016
43: How to Make Better Use of Twitter

For educators, Twitter is part of an essential 21st century toolkit, but so many people don't know how to use it well. In this episode, I share six ways to make better use of Twitter. I'll also tell you about a new online course I have created that shows you exactly how to do those six things, plus a whole lot more.

May 01, 2016
42: Kindergarten Redshirting

Many parents opt to "redshirt" or delay their child's entrance into kindergarten. This practice is generally seen as beneficial to a child's success in school, but how does it impact their overall happiness later in life? In this episode, I interview Dr. Suzanne Jones, who studied the perceived life satisfaction of adolescent boys who were redshirted at kindergarten compared with those who could have been, but were not. 

Apr 24, 2016
41: Student-Made E-Books

When choosing end-of-unit or end-of-year assessments, we often fall back on essays, presentations, or tests. In this episode, I'll teach you how your students can easily create PDF e-books to demonstrate their learning, and 12 different ideas for the kinds of projects they can do with these.

Apr 11, 2016
40: How to Stop Yelling at Your Students

Do you yell at your students (or your own children) more often than you want to? I'll share some techniques that can help you stop yelling, and the research on why you should.

Apr 03, 2016
39: How to Plan Outstanding Tech Training for Teachers

What are the best practices in tech training for teachers? In this episode, I interview three technology integration specialists to hear what they've learned about the most effective methods for planning and delivering ed tech training in schools. Thanks to Sarah Thomas, Rodney Turner, and Craig Badura for sharing their experiences!

Mar 20, 2016
38: The Library that Increased Student Use by 1,000 Percent

To adapt to changing student needs, some school libraries are reinventing themselves as makerspaces. But the principal of one Ohio middle school had something slightly different in mind. In this episode, I interview two educators who completely changed the function of their school library and saw its average daily student use grow from 10 to over 100.

Mar 06, 2016
37: How to Motivate Students: Five Questions for Teachers

If we know what works to motivate students, why are so many students still unmotivated? These five questions will help you determine if your practice is really in line with research.

Feb 20, 2016
36: How I Teach Argumentative Writing

Hundreds of thousands of teachers are required to teach students the art of argumentative or persuasive writing. As an experienced writing teacher, I want to share my own best practices in this area. In this episode, I'll take you step by step through my process for teaching argumentative essay writing.

Feb 08, 2016
35: Six Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2016

While working on the update of my book, The Teacher's Guide to Tech, I learned about a whole lot of tools that can make your teaching more efficient and effective. Here are six of my favorites.

Jan 25, 2016
34: Starting a Teaching Job in the Middle of the School Year

So you got a new teaching job. Congratulations! The only catch is, you're starting in the middle of the year. This survival guide will help you figure out what to focus on right away so you can hit the ground running without falling down.

Jan 09, 2016
33: Five Powerful Ways to Save Time as a Teacher

Teachers never seem to be able to find enough time to get their work done AND have a healthy, balanced life outside of school. And until now, I had very few solutions to this problem. But that was before I heard about Angela Watson's 40 Hour Teacher Workweek. In this episode, she shares 5 of her incredible time-saving strategies for teachers...and everyone else.

Dec 26, 2015
32: How and Why We Should Let Our Students Fail

Is it better to rescue our kids every time they make mistakes, or let them experience the consequences of their actions? In this episode, I interview Jessica Lahey, author of The Gift of Failure: Why the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed. We discuss how helicopter parenting can stunt a kid's growth, what parents should do instead, and the teacher's role supporting a student's autonomy.

Dec 12, 2015
31: The Power of Being a Dork

Can being more dorky make you a better teacher? Can it make the world a better place? I say yes.

Nov 25, 2015
30: How One Teacher Manages a Self-Paced Class

Is it possible to differentiate instruction so that students truly move at their own pace? My guest, middle school math teacher Natalie McCutchen, explains exactly how she does it--a process I believe teachers of any subject could adapt for their own classrooms. 

Nov 12, 2015
29: Four Things I've Learned About Teaching from CrossFit

What can CrossFit, a fitness movement that is quickly growing in popularity, teach us about learning and motivation? As a new and very low-level student of CrossFit, I'm noticing some principles we can take from their approach and apply to our own teaching to get students motivated and help them learn better.

Oct 29, 2015
28: Class Discussion Strategies

Do you need some fresh ideas for class discussions? When it comes to helping students practice speaking listening skills, are you stuck? In this episode, I describe 15 class discussion strategies you can start using right away. 

Oct 15, 2015
27: Interview with an Instructional Coach, Part 2

What is it like to be an instructional coach? To learn more about the challenges of instructional coaching, I asked two coaches to explain what they do, how they approach their work, and what they have learned about helping teachers improve. In this episode, I talk to Eric Sandberg, an instructional coach from Pennsylvania. 

Oct 01, 2015
26: Interview with an Instructional Coach, Part 1

What is it like to be an instructional coach? To learn more about the challenges of instructional coaching, I asked two coaches to explain what they do, how they approach their work, and what they have learned about helping teachers improve. In this episode, I talk to Gretchen Schultek Bridgers, an instructional coach from North Carolina.  

Oct 01, 2015
25: When a Student Hates You

Despite our best intentions, sometimes teachers make decisions that alienate students beyond repair. In this episode, I share stories of mistakes I made that damaged my relationships with three different students, and what I learned from each one.

Sep 16, 2015
24: Five Teaching Practices I'm Kicking to the Curb

Are any of these ineffective teaching methods still part of your practice? I have done them all, but now I know better. In this episode, I'll explain what the research says about these methods and what you should do instead.

Sep 03, 2015
23: How We Say Our Students' Names...and Why It Matters

Every teacher has had students whose names are hard to pronounce. Some of us shrug this off, saying we're just no good with names, or we give our students nicknames instead. In this episode, I talk about the message we send to students when we continually say their names wrong, and I share some strategies and tools to help you get them right.

Aug 19, 2015
22: Three Hacks that Solve Big School Problems

When we try to solve school problems with committee meetings, district-wide initiatives and new policies, change can be slow as molasses. But we are lucky enough to live in a new era, a time when teachers no longer have to wait for top-down solutions--you can hack so many problems yourself, using the resources that are already available to you. In this episode, I share three hacks that can solve big school problems, straight from my brand-new book, Hacking Education.

Aug 05, 2015
21: Make It Stick Author Peter Brown

Are we taking the wrong approach to learning? The book "Make It Stick" presents new research that shows how some of our most common studying and teaching practices don't have any real research to support them. In this episode, I talk to one of the book's authors, Peter Brown, about some of the book's most important takeaways.

Jul 15, 2015
20: Dogfooding

What is dogfooding, and why do teachers need it? In the Season 1 finale, we explore the essential practice of doing your own assignments -- to find and fix problems -- before giving them to students. 

Jun 10, 2015
19: Goal-Setting for Teachers

The list of ways a teacher can improve is a mile long. Since you can't do it all at once, here are eight paths you might take toward professional growth.

May 27, 2015
18: How Ordinary Teachers Become Activists

A lot has changed in education over the last decade, and many teachers will tell you those changes have not been good for anyone, least of all students. But what can a teacher do about it? Is it possible for teachers to influence the policies that impact their work? Education activist and blogger Anthony Cody joins me for a discussion of the current problems in U.S. public education and how frustrated teachers can take action and make their voices heard.

May 09, 2015
17: Tools that Help Students Follow their Passions

Not long ago, if you wanted to record and distribute music, publish a book, produce a film, sell your art, or reach an audience with your voice, you had to hope a large corporation would make that happen. But those days are over: A special group of technology tools now makes it possible for our students -- and us -- to pursue our talents and passions to the fullest extent possible, just like the pros. I call this collection the Passion Tools, and in this episode, I'm going to tell you all about them.

Apr 25, 2015
16: Job Interview Advice for Teachers

Are you preparing for a teaching job interview? In this episode, I talk to five experienced administrators about the things prospective teachers should and should NOT do in interviews. Many thanks to Chris Nordmann, Penny Sturtevant, Herbert O'Neil, George Couros, and Joe Collins for providing us with these great insights.

Apr 08, 2015
15: A Teacher's Coming Out Story

After teaching elementary school for years without revealing that she was gay, Jessica Lifshitz finally decided it was time to come out at school when she got engaged. This is her story. 

Mar 25, 2015
14: Seven Easy Ways to Support Student Writing in Any Content Area

Helping students improve their writing skills is no longer solely reserved for English language arts teachers; educators in all content areas are expected to help students develop their abilities to write effectively. Fulfilling this goal isn't as hard as it might seem; these seven strategies (plus one bonus) are easy to implement, won't consume a lot of instructional time, and deliver big results.

Mar 06, 2015
13: Could You Teach Without Grades?

This year, Starr Sackstein made a drastic change in her high school English and journalism classes: After years of feeling as if students cared more about their grades than they did about learning, she decided to stop giving grades altogether. In this interview, Starr talks to me about how she runs a no-grades classroom in a school that still requires traditional grading. She shares her strategies for helping students learn to self-reflect, describes how her teaching workload has changed, and talks about how throwing out grades has improved students' learning.

Feb 20, 2015
12: How Your Nonverbals Impact Your Teaching

How important are nonverbals when it comes to your effectiveness as a teacher? In this episode, I talk with Teaching for Success CEO Jack Shrawder about the specific non-verbal behaviors that make teachers less effective and how you can adjust your voice, posture and other non-verbals to give yourself more presence and confidence in the classroom. 

Feb 06, 2015
11: Avoiding the "Wait 'Till Your Father Gets Home" Trap

For some teachers, it has become a habit to send the majority of discipline problems elsewhere: Either we write up an office referral, threaten to call parents, or even enlist a more intimidating colleague to deal with a problematic student. When we do this, we are giving our power away, limiting the respect our students have for us and missing an opportunity to model assertive, skillful problem solving. In this episode, I'll share some ideas for breaking this habit and reclaiming control of your classroom management.

Jan 25, 2015
10: In Praise of Think-Pair-Share

Sometimes the simplest techniques are the most effective. Think-Pair-Share is a humble but powerful teaching strategy that's due for some attention. In this episode, I talk about the benefits of Think-Pair-Share, plus some tips for making it work better for you.

Jan 12, 2015
9: How to Connect with Your Students

How important is the relationship you build with your students, and how can you make that relationship better? James Sturtevant, author of the book You've Gotta Connect, joins me to talk about why the teacher-student relationship is more significant to student learning than even socioeconomic status, the specific things teachers can do to build a strong, trusting relationship with students, and why sarcasm will always bite you in the butt. A must-listen for teachers interested in improving classroom management.

Dec 17, 2014
8: Talking about Race in the Classroom with José Vilson

What are the most productive ways for teachers to talk to their students about the shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the incidents that have occured in its aftermath? In this episode, I talk to José Vilson, a teacher and writer whose work focuses on issues of race, culture, privilege, and education, about how teachers can approach this topic in their classrooms -- and the inner work they'll need to do beforehand.

Dec 03, 2014
7: Should You Give Timed Math Tests?

When she gives her son timed math tests, a homeschooling mom notices his anxiety and wonders if she's taking the right approach. I pull together some research and some real teacher responses to answer her question.

Nov 26, 2014
6: Our First Call-In Advice Show!

Welcome to our very first installment of "Ask the Cult," our call-in advice show for teachers and anyone else with questions about teaching, learning, and education. In this episode, we hear from a science teacher who wants advice on making his class more challenging for gifted and advanced students, a graduate student who needs help keeping her online bookmarks organized, and a teacher who doesn't know what to do about a co-worker who mistreats students right in front of her.

Oct 30, 2014
5: What is 20 Percent Time? A Conversation with A.J. Juliani

Whether it's called 20 percent time or genius hour, more teachers are starting to carve out instructional time to allow students to pursue their own interests and passions. A.J. Juliani tells us how he did it, what problems he encountered, and what other teachers who want to try it should do.

Oct 16, 2014
4: What the Mother of an Autistic Child Wants Teachers to Know

In the 10 years she's been raising a daughter with autism, Leigh has had good and bad experiences with teachers and schools. In this honest, funny, and moving interview, she talks about how she communicates with teachers, the steps she's taken to improve her daughter's social life, and the three things all teachers should know about giving students with autism a much richer school experience.

Jul 21, 2014
3: The Montessori Method

What makes a Montessori school so different from a traditional public or private school? How is the Montessori philosophy -- which many only associate with the preschool years -- applied on the elementary level? How can all teachers use some of the Montessori approach in their own classrooms? We spend an hour with Benedicte Bossut, who started her own Montessori school for grades K-8.

Nov 29, 2013
2: Why One Teacher Left the Profession

In Episode 2 we talk to Carrie, a former elementary school teacher who recently left teaching to pursue a different career. She talks about the events and experiences that finally led her to make this decision.

Sep 10, 2013
1: Best Practices for Teaching English Learners

Kim, a passionate ESL teacher and our very first guest, talks candidly about the complexities of teaching English learners: the power imbalance that arises when the kids speak English but the parents don't, why ELL students won't look their teachers in the eye, and the well-intended mistake so many content area teachers make when working with a diverse population.

Aug 15, 2013