242 épisodes

Truth for Teachers is designed to speak life, encouragement, and truth into the minds and hearts of educators and get you energized for the week ahead.

Angela Watson's Truth for Teachers Angela Watson

    • Éducation
    • 5.0 • 2 notes

Truth for Teachers is designed to speak life, encouragement, and truth into the minds and hearts of educators and get you energized for the week ahead.

    EP228 Preparing to regroup after a stressful school year...what comes next?

    EP228 Preparing to regroup after a stressful school year...what comes next?

    LAST EPISODE OF SEASON 13!

    Education is in a time of transition. We’re not quite to the point of post-pandemic teaching, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Moving forward, there’s going to be a lot of talk about what expectations to keep and what to let go of, and it’s critical to reflect:
    What parts of pre-pandemic teaching do we want to return to? What parts of remote and hybrid learning are here to stay? What do we want the future of education to look like? The summer plan I’m suggesting in this episode to help you regroup includes 3 elements:
    A mental vacation (taking a break from thinking about work) Reflecting on what you learned about yourself and your teaching Daydreaming and reimagining the future  We all need a time of recovery and preparation between school years. And this summer, it's going to be more essential and than ever before to process how the past year has shaped our identities…not only as educators, but as humans.
    Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.

    Learn more about the 40 Hour Workweek, 40 Hour Leadership for administrators, and 40 Hour Instructional Coaches.

    • 19 min
    EP227 Five things teachers wish their admins knew

    EP227 Five things teachers wish their admins knew

    There’s a big focus now on the teacher attrition and shortage crisis. So what does that mean for the teachers that stay? How can schools keep their best teachers and attract more folks to the profession?
    I believe there are leadership principles that any administrator can internalize and apply to immediately help their faculty feel better supported and create more manageable expectations.
    I’m going to share some of these solutions in today’s episode, through the lens of what teachers have told me they wish their administrators understood:
    Teachers are craving autonomy and respect for their professional judgment. Teachers need uninterrupted planning time in order to be at their best for students. Teachers need administrators to have their backs, and support them when their professionalism is undermined. Teachers need school leaders to provide the necessary support and resources for students to be successful, OR adjust expectations to align with reality. An organized, efficient school leadership team with clear priorities has a tremendous positive impact on the entire school. When you believe that it’s possible — and desirable — for educators to do a great job for kids AND center their own work/life balance, that belief will color how you perceive your school’s operations. You will naturally filter all information and decision-making through that perception, and make decisions based on sustainable practices rather than urgent stop-gap measures. 
    If you’d like to see systemic changes in the way your school operates, I’ll be releasing the new 40 Hour Leadership program for principals, APs, and other school leaders this summer. Click here to learn more: https://join.40htw.com/leadership
    Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.

    • 40 min
    EP226 Seven takeaways from this school year that simplify teaching from now on (with Amy Stohs)

    EP226 Seven takeaways from this school year that simplify teaching from now on (with Amy Stohs)

    What made teaching easier and more sustainable this school year, and how can we carry those principles over into next year?
    Those are the questions I'm exploring in this podcast episode with my guest, Amy Stohs. She is currently a 2nd grade teacher in Northern Virginia, and was named Teacher of the Year in 2019 while she was teaching 6th grade.
    Amy’s experience is unique in that she has now taught both elementary AND middle school in a pandemic, so she’s experienced the challenges of working with both younger and older students in face-to-face and hybrid learning.
    Her experience is also unique in that she’s been an active participant in my 40 Hour Teacher Workweek program for the last few years, and I’ve been really impressed by the ideas and resources she shares in that community.
    So at the start of this school year, I reached out to Amy and asked her to join the 40 Hour team, and help create the adaptations for the program for remote and hybrid learning. If you’re part of 40 Hour or the 40 Hour Grad Program and you’ve loved the remote/hybrid bonuses, you’re about to hear directly from the teacher who brainstormed them with me.
    Amy’s going to share 7 principles that helped simplify her teaching and make her work more sustainable:
    Do what HAS to get done, not what you WANT to get done. Backward design your classroom management: figure out the goal, then decide what action steps will get you there. Go slow to go fast. Instead of always doing your best, ask “What do I have to give today?” When you’ve tried it all, try one thing. Shift focus from finding something new and different to doubling down on what we know kids need. Look for moments of joy and find the fun. Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.

    • 55 min
    Power through with...release of regrets

    Power through with...release of regrets

    This was the most challenging school year of almost every educator’s career.  We’re used to certain aspects of the work getting easier over time, but there were so many new challenges in 2020-2021 that even the most experienced teachers often felt like it was their first year all over again. 
     
    You had lots of personal and professional growth, of course … but somehow you’re feeling less confident in your abilities now than ever before. It’s a very weird dichotomy, to feel like you worked so hard and learned so many new things, yet there’s no sense of a commensurate payoff.
     
    So what does it look like to wrap up a year feeling like this? How do you get a sense of real closure?
     
    I think it’s important to acknowledge that we’re all experiencing various levels of collective grief right now. There’s a sense of loss for what we’ve missed out on: “regular” school, being close to family and friends, traveling, vacations, and our normal way of life. Some are also grieving deeper losses for any number of reasons, and not being able to process those losses in our normal ways is also painful.
     
    The thing about grief is that we each experience it differently. And, there are many different phases and types of grief which people might cycle through. 
     
    Some days, I’m content. I’ve made peace with the limitations I have in my life right now and the things I love that are unavailable to me currently. I feel content and able to embrace my new routines for as long as I need to.
     
    Other days, I’m simply resigned to these new routines. I’m restless and frustrated. Sometimes I’m deeply sad. I have moments when I feel hopelessness and helplessness that won’t ever seem to end.
     
    But that’s the other thing about grief, right? It doesn’t feel the same forever.
     
    The ups and downs are all a natural, expected part of the process.
     
    So if that’s how you’re feeling as the school year draws to a close, know that you are not alone in experiencing those mixed emotions.
     
    There’s a surreal quality to the end of this school year, because many of the activities and face-to-face goodbyes that create closure have changed or been eliminated. Traditions have been altered. Not shutting down classrooms with our colleagues and celebrating together in the usual way makes it harder to emotionally and mentally transition into summer.
     
    On top of that, the excitement for summer may also feel a bit muted, with fewer plans to look forward to.
     
    And throughout all of this, there’s this sense that maybe you didn’t do a good enough job, because you could have done MORE.
     
    The what-ifs start to swirl: Would that student have passed if I’d done A,B, and C? Would that parent have been on my side if I’d offered X, Y, and Z? Would that kid I yelled at have participated in our Zoom meetings if I’d done a better job connecting with them?
     
    All of our lowest moments of the year circle around in our heads: the mistakes made, the opportunities missed.
     
    And this year that feeling is intensified because of all the limitations in how we were able to reach our students. The number of kids who were disengaged and not making learning gains is probably much higher for you this year than any other in your teaching career.
     
    My encouragement to you is to avoid dwelling on the losses. Don’t focus on the things you could have done, or wish you had been done differently. Don’t torture yourself by imagining how much better everything would have been if only certain conditions had been different.
     
    Your kids’ learning gains this school year are NOT an accurate measure of your abilities or theirs.
     
    Their learning (or lack thereof) is NOT reflective of your worth, or theirs.
     
    You’ve been teaching through a crisis. And if you’re reading this, that means you’ve made it th

    • 9 min
    EP225 To solve for ALL kids, start with ONE...

    EP225 To solve for ALL kids, start with ONE...

    When a problem seems insurmountable, try creating change one name at a time.
    Because if you can solve a problem for one person, that means it IS a solvable problem ... and you can solve it for the next, and the next.  
    In this episode, I’ll share how often the solution to big problems is solving smaller ones. You’ll hear NYT bestselling author Dan Heath share a short case study from Chicago Public Schools that illustrates how this name-by-name approach worked for reducing dropout rates.
    And, I’ll share an intuitive 8 step approach you can use to tackle big problems like student engagement or work completion. You can practice solving for individuals first, and notice patterns in what your students need in order to scale those solutions.
    There’s something powerful about knowing that even if you can’t solve every problem for every student, you CAN help solve THIS thing for THAT kid. 
    This is how we make progress. And, this is how we create better systems: by designing those systems for individuals rather than trying to force individuals to fit into the systems.  
    Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.

    • 22 min
    Power through with...reflecting

    Power through with...reflecting

    There are few things more frustrating than working hard and not seeing a ton of results. 
     
    It’s even worse when your hard work is unappreciated, and you’re criticized for not doing enough or for doing things wrong.
     
    When you’re trying your absolute best to teach well in a pandemic, the reality is that your best might not always be good enough. 
     
    Sometimes what you’re able to give really isn’t sufficient. 
     
    Of course you feel inadequate, when you know what you’re capable of under optimal circumstances, and also know you’re not working with anything even close to optimal circumstances.
     
    So the only options are to try to single handedly compensate for all the adverse circumstances and perform at a superhuman level every day, or adjust our expectations.
     
    You know which choice I’m going to advocate for.
     
    I want you to let go of the “shoulds” and regrets about this school year. I want you to celebrate the small wins, instead of focusing on all the things that aren’t happening.
     
    I’m going to talk more on that next week.
     
    For now, I want you to focus more on who you are becoming, instead of what you are able to do (or not do) for your students.
     
    Ask yourself, Who do I want to be on the other side of pandemic teaching? What kind of teacher — and what kind of human — do I want this experience to shape me into? 
     
    Because in our rush to figure out logistics and lessons and activities … we can’t forget that who we ARE is more impactful than what we DO.
     
    Our beliefs, values, and worldview shape the way we interact with kids and impact every decision we make, from classroom management to curriculum.
     
    Unpacking our identities and the “who” we bring to the classroom can be a grounding force that holds us steady through change.
     
    Of course, you don’t have the time or mental bandwidth right now for a deep meditation on who you are as a person and a teacher. And as always, I’m encouraging you not to make this more complicated than it is. 
     
    Self-reflection is a continual process, and it’s often more about letting go instead of trying harder.
     
    Focus on showing up as your true, whole, healed, essential self … letting go of any thoughts, beliefs, and actions that don’t serve the highest good. At your core, you are loving, patient, kind, and compassionate. You are full of life and energy and purpose.
     
    All the traits that are counter to that are simply baggage and coping mechanisms you’ve picked up along the way in your journey through life in a very challenging world. They’re reactions you’ve developed as a result of fear, emotional wounds, defensiveness, prejudice, biases, outside expectations, and so on.
     
    Growing as a person can be an act of returning to yourself and embracing who you really are, instead of trying to constantly change or improve yourself.
     
    Your very existence, your presence in the classroom, has value. And the more that you show up with an open heart and mind, free from limiting beliefs about yourself, your students, and your school, the more your essential self will shine through.
     
    So as you plan what you need to DO for kids … don’t forget to think about who you need to BE. Your essential self — who you are at your core — is exactly the person your students need this year. 
     
    Sending you much love and support.
    Sign up for the Power Through series emails on this page here.

    • 4 min

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2 notes

Anne M22 ,

Great podcast

Really great value in this podcast, and benefit is also confidence. Thanks !

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