325 episodes

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

    • Education
    • 4.8 • 1.2K Ratings

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.

    EP305 5 ways to automate teaching tasks next school year to save you time

    EP305 5 ways to automate teaching tasks next school year to save you time

    It seems like every tech tool we use has now integrated generative artificial intelligence. Open a Google Doc, you’re prompted to use Gemini to help you write. Read a post on Facebook, Meta prompts you to “ask anything” via their AI. It’s powering our phones and our email, and the customer support chatbots on nearly every website when shopping online and even with utility companies.
    AI is everywhere, and it’s designed to help save everyone time. So, why not let it help you in your role as a teacher, too?
    I talked at length in episode 304 about the pros, cons, and drawbacks of AI, so if you’re worried about AI, please make sure you listen to that episode for the context. 
    In this episode, though, I want to show you possibilities. That’s my job. Your job is to decide what’s right for you and your classroom.
    So let’s talk about possibilities. 
    Listen in for 5 easy ways I see currently for AI as a tool to automate teachers’ workloads:
    Differentiation Assessment Writing Tedious tasks Creative expression And if you’d like to stay up-to-date on all the latest with artificial intelligence, check out the new 40 Hour AI membership.
    Get the shareable article/transcript for this episode here.

    • 31 min
    Last chance for early bird discounts on the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek!

    Last chance for early bird discounts on the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek!

    Get an early bird discount by July 1st when you join the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Full Year program! The full transcript of this announcement is below.
    ----
    Hey there, it’s Angela, I just wanted to release a quick announcement letting you know that our 40 Hour Workweek programs are now open for early bird access for the 2024-2025 school year!
     
    I’m going to share the updates first for those who are already familiar with 40 Hour or have enrolled in the past. If you’re brand new and have no idea what 40 Hour is, keep listening to the end, and I’ll fill you in.
     
    We’re releasing a brand new membership called 40 Hour AI, which is designed to help you integrate artificial intelligence tools into your workflows to make teaching more effective and efficient. 
     
    It’s for folks who are worried about the ethics of generative AI and don’t want to just dive in and hope everything works out. 
     
    And it’s for folks who have tried GPT, but felt like they had to rework the output so much they might as well have written from scratch. (I get that–if you don’t know how to use AI well, it can actually take more time than writing something yourself.)
     
    It’s also designed for teachers who like using AI but feel overwhelmed with all the possibilities. I get emails from all the Ai tools designed for educators and it feels like they release 10 new features every single week. If you’re working full-time in the classroom, there’s no possible way to keep up with all of that on top of everything else. 
     
    The curation piece is where I come in. It’s my job to shorten that steep learning curve, so AI can become like your own personal teaching assistant right away.


    40 Hour AI is a brand new (and ever-growing) collection of video trainings to help you feel confident about using artificial intelligence to streamline your workload in an ethical, responsible way:
     
    ✅ Watch the on-demand trainings that show you only what you NEED to know to trim hours off your workweek. The foundational videos have no fluff or filler, and will help you quickly learn the basics of AI, an overview of the free AI tools available to teachers, and the ethical considerations.
    ✅ Learn to incorporate AI into your existing work habits so it's your go-to tool instead of an afterthought (without having to completely change systems that already work well for you).
    ✅ Utilize the ever-growing collection of 5 minute timesaver how-to’s anytime you feel stuck on how to complete a teaching task with AI. You'll know exactly which AI tool to use and how to get the results you want. The downloadable prompt resources will help you phrase your request for great AI output on rubrics, SMART goals, lesson plan ideas, text differentiation, and more.
    ✅ Discover new AI tools and uses that have been vetted by knowledgeable educators so you don’t have to spend hours on trial-and-error. You won't have to look anywhere else to feel up-to-date: new video trainings are added on a monthly basis so you always have the most recent information. I’m creating some of these myself, and others will be shared with you directly from our 40 Hour graduates who are current classroom teachers. They’ll show you exactly how they’re using AI everyday to save time. 
    ✅ Use the private discussion community to stay updated even if you don’t have time to watch training videos. It’s held within the membership site (not on social media), and you can stay in the loop and ask questions there anytime.
     
    As always with my resources, the goal is to help you avoid overwhelm and cut through the noise.
     
    You don't need to know EVERYTHING that's possible with AI up front. (Who has time for that?) 
     
    You just need the MOST impactful ways to streamline your teaching workload now, and a way to quickly get answers when you need help with a task.
     
    A free year’s unlimited access pass to 40 Hour AI is included when you enroll in the 40 Hour Full yea

    • 14 min
    EP304 Is artificial intelligence the key to a 40 hour teacher workweek?

    EP304 Is artificial intelligence the key to a 40 hour teacher workweek?

    We know there’s potential…but let’s talk about the larger implications for the profession.
    In this episode, I’m sharing how AI has already transformed the way many teachers work, and exploring the ethics, best practices, and future trends for AI in schools.
    Listen in to hear:
    What surprised me in a survey about schools' AI policies 3 principles that guide my approach to AI Why educators MUST shape the direction of AI (and not leave this to tech companies) My favorite ways to use AI to streamline teaching tasks, including differentiation and assessment When you might want to use ChatGPT in place of a search engine My recommendations for the best free AI tools for teachers 3 crucial mindsets to develop as you plan how to incorporate AI in your work Let's explore the big picture overview of AI’s impact, its strengths and weaknesses as a tool for teachers, and specific ways fellow educators have used it to reduce their workload responsibly.
    Get the shareable article/transcript for this episode here.
    Learn about 40 Hour AI here.

    • 27 min
    EP303 How Danish schools embrace the slowdown and foster work/life balance (with Pernille Ripp)

    EP303 How Danish schools embrace the slowdown and foster work/life balance (with Pernille Ripp)

    As an educator who's lived and taught in both the US and Denmark, Pernille’s story is a revealing look into two vastly different education systems. Let's unpack her journey and what it tells us about work-life balance, societal values, and teaching philosophies.
    You’ll hear:
    Why Pernille’s family moved to Wisconsin from Denmark when she was a teenager, how she became a teacher in the U.S., and why she and her American husband made the decision in 2022 to move with their four children to Denmark The cultural differences Pernille has noticed living in Denmark, particularly in relation to families, children, work, and school How the Danish school system is set up, including how students are not formally taught to read until the equivalent of 2nd grade in the U.S, and how high school (as Americans understand it) ends around age 15 so students can focus on career training What the school day looks like for Pernille, who is looping with her students through multiple grade levels, including how much instructional vs planning time she has and why Danish teachers are not permitted to work more than 40 hours a week The aspects of the Danish approach to work/life balance that U.S. educators might replicate to make teaching more effective, efficient, and enjoyable She shares, "In Denmark, being a teacher is about nurturing well-being first—both for students and educators. It's about giving your best within working hours and then fully embracing life at home."
    “And, education here isn’t just academics; it’s learning through play, community building, and practical skills that prepare children for real-world challenges from an early age."
    I’m always curious about what it’s like to teach in different countries, and if you feel the same, I think you’ll find this informal conversation is a fascinating deep dive into values, priorities, and what it means for kids and teachers to co-thrive.
    Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion.

    • 1 hr 10 min
    EP302 Education trends, predictions, and hope for the future of teaching

    EP302 Education trends, predictions, and hope for the future of teaching

    As the school year comes to a close, we’re taking a step back from practical strategies, and looking at the big picture of K-12 education. Until summer, there’s not a lot of time or mental bandwidth to consider questions like, “What are the larger factors impacting our work? How are other schools handling these challenges? How do we proactively prepare for what’s next and create a vision for where we’re heading, instead of just trying to put out fires all the time?”
    In an era of student disengagement and teacher disillusionment, it’s crucial for us to envision a better way of doing school and collectively work to make that vision a reality.
    So, in this episode, I’m sharing the statistics around teacher vacancies, student enrollment declines, and budget forecasts, along with the implications for schools.
    I’ll then analyze the trends and focuses that we’ll be seeing more of in education in the coming years. Topics covered include:
    Artificial Intelligence Student safety and mental health Rationalizing and consolidating curriculum Hybrid learning and multi-classroom models The 4-day school week Vocational-technical training and non-college prep Microschools and “schools within a school” You’ll be invited to reflect on what else might be possible for schools and use your expertise as a teacher to help shape the future of education. Together, we can change the narrative around the profession and find the overlap between what’s best for teachers and what’s best for kids.
    Read the blog post for this article here.

    • 49 min
    EP301 5 ways to make an old lesson feel fresh and interesting again (with Betsy Potash of Spark Creativity)

    EP301 5 ways to make an old lesson feel fresh and interesting again (with Betsy Potash of Spark Creativity)

    Bored with your curriculum or instructional routines? I’m talking with Betsy Potash of the Spark Creativity Podcast about easy ways to make things feel fresh and interesting again.
    Often we switch things up in our teaching to keep ourselves from getting bored. But, too much change can create unnecessary work for us. It can also waste class time for students as they spend more energy on figuring out how to complete an assignment than on practicing the skills we want them to learn. 
    So, Betsy’s identified 5 open-ended activities that you can add to your rotation of go-to strategies, and incorporate them in unique ways throughout the year. We’re talking about how to use the following in gr. 2-12 classrooms:
    • podcasts
    • stations
    • hexagonal thinking
    • escape room design
    • one-pager
    Betsy will definitely spark your creativity as you listen to these easy-to-understand activities which you can plug into the lessons you’re least excited to teach. These ideas will get students actively engaged in learning and boost your energy and enthusiasm as a teacher. 
    Click here to read the transcript, see photos of the lesson ideas, and get links to Betsy's templates.
    Resources mentioned:
    Spark Creativity website and podcast Learn about student podcasting in a free PD series Free Digital Toolkit for Hexagonal Thinking Video: Using hexagons to build critical thinking skills Free escape room toolkit Guide to creating one-pagers Angela's Teachers Box of Tricks on TPT / Truth for Teachers shop

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
1.2K Ratings

1.2K Ratings

Bethie D ,

Paradigm shift

Angela’s podcast is one of the highlights of my week. I love the way she challenges educators to challenge the norms of the modern American classroom. While I don’t always agree with her, she always makes me think. She is a gift to the profession.

hshanell ,

Just a sales pitch

I watched the most recent episode about using AI to have a 40 hour work week. In the beginning she went over the results of an online survey about teacher opinions concerning AI. The opinions or survey did not address any strategies for reducing work load. After that, very little information was given. It was mostly just a sales pitch for her other products about AI.

Cmpon ,

Thought provoking and so helpful

A coworker recommended this podcast to me. It has provided so many surprising insights that I have not considered even after 25 years of teaching. I especially loved episode 271 about examining what tasks to focus on and considering relaxing standards to do B+ work. As an overachiever, this. Halle he’s me to examine what the priorities are.

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