100 episodes

Class Dismissed Podcast is here to inspire educators through story and keep them up-to-date with the news that affects them directly.



Plus, we'll leave you with a bright idea in education that you can apply in your community.



So relax and enjoy the lighthearted 30-45 minute episodes, while doing chores around the house or commuting to work.



Regular Co-Hosts include Principal - Kristina Pollard, Teacher- Lissa Pruett, Education Data Expert-Russ Davis, and Journalist- Nick Ortego



We would love to hear from you! If you have a suggestion for the show or want to write to say hello, email us at info@classdismissedpodcast.com or find us on Twitter @classdismiss

Class Dismissed SchoolStatus - The Podcast for Teachers

    • Education
    • 4.9 • 61 Ratings

Class Dismissed Podcast is here to inspire educators through story and keep them up-to-date with the news that affects them directly.



Plus, we'll leave you with a bright idea in education that you can apply in your community.



So relax and enjoy the lighthearted 30-45 minute episodes, while doing chores around the house or commuting to work.



Regular Co-Hosts include Principal - Kristina Pollard, Teacher- Lissa Pruett, Education Data Expert-Russ Davis, and Journalist- Nick Ortego



We would love to hear from you! If you have a suggestion for the show or want to write to say hello, email us at info@classdismissedpodcast.com or find us on Twitter @classdismiss

    Practical shifts to improve special education

    Practical shifts to improve special education

    Nathan Levenson, a former school superintendent, has consulted with hundreds of districts about ways to improve special education. But in March of 2020, COVID 19 magnified the challenges surrounding special education.



    “Despite heroic efforts, by teachers and districts, kids with disabilities really did not thrive in any way shape, or form and the gaps got bigger,” says Levenson.



    Pre or post-pandemic, Levenson believes that if educators are going to serve kids with disabilities well, general education has to be lead.



    “When we’re in person, the goal is to have general ed teachers providing the vast majority of high-quality instruction to students.”



    Admittedly, Levenson says that doesn’t always happen, but when the pandemic came the split became even greater.



    “Everyone turned to the special education department and said what are you going to do for kids with special needs? And many of the things they do, don’t translate at all to a remote setting.”



    Levenson recently released a book, “Six Shifts to Improve Special Education and Other Interventions”



    In it, Levenson explains why the vast majority of students in special education need to be in the general education classroom most of the day.



    “The research is really clear,” says Levenson. “The quality of the teacher is central, and if you’re going to teach grade-level material, kids have to be in the classroom to be taught that material.”



    Levenson says studies show that students who struggle often get less instruction from a classroom teacher than if they didn’t struggle.



    “I want to be really clear on this,” says Levenson. “Imagine a second grader who struggles to read. They get less reading instruction from a certified reading teacher or a classroom teacher than a student who doesn’t struggle.”



    Levenson says we can’t be shocked if the student falls behind.



    To learn more about Levenson’s six shifts to improve special education, listen to Episode 191 of the Class Dismissed Podcast on your favorite podcast app or iTunes.



    All Rights Reserved. Class Dismissed Podcast 2017-2021

    • 39 min
    Learning through play, may be what we all need right now

    Learning through play, may be what we all need right now

    Learning through play is a great way for children and adults to develop new skills, but it’s also a great way to alleviate stress and trauma and even tap into some different parts of the mind. 



    Our guest on Episode 190 of Class Dismissed is an expert on learning through play. Dr. Bo Stjerne Thomsen is the Vice-President and Chair of Learning through Play in the LEGO Foundation.



    The Lego Foundation has partner researchers and labs throughout the world that study learning through play. And they have also recently released a new study out on children, technology, and play.



    Thomsen and the LEGO Foundation have examined the science behind learning through play and they know that children have wholly emerged in learning when being hands-on with toys and trying things out.



    "First, you understand things much deeper when you test it try it out," says Thomsen. "You basically remember things for longer and understand concepts better."



    In this episode of Class Dismissed, Thomsen dives into the skills learned while playing



    * Attention

    * Limiting Distractions

    * Retain information while building (Working memory)

    * Recognizing symbols - Same as language?

    * Spacial abilities, quantify, sort and count. 

    * Regulating Emptional Frustration



    To hear our full discussion with Thomsen, listen to Episode 189 of Class Dismissed. You can listen to the latest Episode of Class Dismissed on your favorite podcasting app or iTunes.



    All Rights Reserved. Class Dismissed Podcast 2017-2021

    • 40 min
    Inequitable from the starting line

    Inequitable from the starting line

    How schools can help overcome the disadvantage of poverty.

    When illustrating the need for systems of support in our schools’, Harvard Graduate School of Education Professor Paul Reville uses an example close to his heart; his daughter.



    He’s open about the list of advantages his daughter had when she showed up for her first day of kindergarten at an urban public school.



    * a stable two-parent family

    * adequate income

    * healthcare

    * stable housing

    * full nutrition

    * read to every night

    * well-traveled



    Reville says many of the children she sat next to in kindergarten had none of the advantages above. Plus, some of those children had already experienced various trauma on top of it.

    We’ve always thought that schools would be the great equalizer, but that hasn’t turned out to be true.

    “If you think of it as a hundred-yard dash, she’s [Reville’s daughter] already on the 50-yard line,” says Reville.



    The student she’s sitting next to, who has all the disadvantages, is a hundred yards behind the starting line.



    “And we fire the starting gun and when they don’t finish at the same time 13 years later at graduation, we act surprised,” says Reville.

    Making change outside the school

    Our current system is not enough to make up for the profound differences outside of school. Reville says that we’ve always thought that schools would be the great equalizer, but that hasn’t turned out to be true.



    This is because children learn a lot outside of school. So if you only fix the school and you treat everybody equally when they’re in school. You’re not going to get a closing of the gaps.



    “The access to opportunity outside of school is controlled by your financial and social capital,” says Reville. “We live in a society now, that has been recently demonstrated quite vividly, that there are huge disparities in wealth, income, and opportunity.”



    Reville is optimistic that many solutions can be created at the local level. He says he witnessed great progress with community programs like City Connects in Salem, Massachusetts.



    “The teacher connects with the student and the family. They develop a plan and they track progress against that plan,” Reville says.



    Reville and his co-author Elaine Weiss, recently release a new book on the topic. Broader, Bolder, Better offers solutions on how schools and communities can work together to help students overcome the disadvantages of poverty.



    To hear our full discussion with Reville, listen to Episode 189 of Class Dismissed. You can listen to the latest Episode of Class Dismissed on your favorite podcasting app or iTunes.

    Other Show Notes

    "A New Way to Inoculate People Against Misinformation"





    * Bad News

    * Harmony Square

    * Go Viral



    Will FEMA Reimburse Schools for COVID-Related Costs? Here’s What We Know



    All Rights Reserved. Class Dismissed Podcast 2017-2021

    • 40 min
    How a speech turned into a book for young adults

    How a speech turned into a book for young adults

    Jerald L. Hoover is an award-winning Young Adult fiction author and has garnered success and multiple accolades over the years. He was awarded Best New Male Writer of the Year by the Literary Society in Virginia in 1993 for his novella My Friend, My Hero. He was also listed as a bestselling author among black writers from 1994 – 1996 in various African American publications and was awarded the WritersCorp Award by President Bill Clinton in 1995.



    Hoover's series of YA fiction, known as "The Hero Book Series" is a group of Young Adult Fiction geared toward young black men ages 12 and up. 



    His first title in the series “My Friend My Hero” has become recommended reading in many classrooms throughout the world. 



    However, Hoover's success did not come easy. In Episode 188 of Class Dismissed Hoover tells us about the challenges he had to overcome to first get published in the 1990s. He says he was rejected by publishers over 40 times.



    To hear our full interview with Hoover listen to Episode 188. You can also hear any of our episodes of Class Dismissed on your favorite podcasting app or iTunes.

    About "My Friend My Hero"

    Bennett Wilson has the world at his fingertips. One of the top basketball players in New York State, he is destined to lead Mount Vernon High to the state championship for the first time. Many of the nation’s top colleges are already reaching out, eager to sign him to their roster. Scholarships are guaranteed. Still young, Bennett is seduced by the promise of fame and fortune.



    Yet all is not as it appears. Bennett’s life is plagued with strife and conflict. The oldest of three, he has grown up with his single mother in the tough inner-city projects of Mount Vernon. Life is hard but Bennett refuses to choose the fast life of the streets. He knows his only ticket to freedom is through basketball and academics.



    Bennett’s dreams come to a screeching halt when he learns his sick mother has fallen far behind on her rent and is threatened with eviction. He knows he can get easy money on the streets, but at the cost of ruining his future. Will Bennett finally succumb to a life he’s avoided and if he does, what will it cost?



    You can learn more about The Hero Book Series at this link. 



    All Rights Reserved. Class Dismissed Podcast 2017-2021

    • 42 min
    Rural education in America may not be what you think

    Rural education in America may not be what you think

    Here on Class Dismissed, we've published over 180 episodes. However, as we reflect on all the great topics we've covered, we must admit that we haven't focused enough on the subject of rural education. What are schools like in rural America? What are the myths and stereotypes about rural education?



    If you keep up with education news, you may also notice the coverage of students educated in rural communities often feels like an afterthought. Why is this the case? After all, the number of students educated in rural America is greater than the number of students educated in the top one hundred urban school districts combined. 



    Geoff and Sky Marietta join us in Episode 187 to shine some light on the topic. The husband and wife duo are co-authors of "Rural Education in America: What works for our students, teachers, and communities." 







    The Marietta's have a unique perspective. They both grew up in rural towns, and they have both taught in rural communities. But they've also spent several years living in urban communities in the northeast while obtaining degrees from Yale and Harvard.



    Now the couple lives in Harlan, Kentucky. The city of Harlan has a population of about 2000 and sits along the Appalachian mountains. Part of Marietta's reasoning for writing "Rural Education in America" was to correct the caricature of what it means to be rural. 



    Sky says that they see rural America get misrepresented all the time. "We have a lot of very talented teachers in rural America," she says. "We don't want to pretend like rural America is utopia. We're not saying it's perfect. But we lived in Boston for 11 years and moved from Cambridge to Harlan County, Kentucky. People are not that different."



    In Episode 187 of Class Dismissed, the Mariettas explains how programs like Title 1 often use a formula that can lead to funding discrepancies for rural students. They also list the topics they'd like to see lawmakers address. For instance, they say the need for universal broadband internet is a national emergency and should be a top priority. 



    You can listen to Episode 187 or any of our episodes of Class Dismissed on your favorite podcasting app or iTunes.



    All Rights Reserved. Class Dismissed Podcast 2017-2021



     

    • 53 min
    The most inspirational movie scenes for teachers

    The most inspirational movie scenes for teachers

    As educators, we sometimes need a spark. One great place to find that inspiration is from movies. In Episode 186 of Class Dismissed, we highlight some of the most inspirational movie scenes for teachers.



    The movie scenes that made our list include...

    Stand and Deliver (Rotten Tomatoes Score 82%)

    Los Angeles high school teacher Jaime Escalante (Edward James Olmos) is being hassled by tough students like Angel Guzman (Lou Diamond Phillips). But Jaime is also pressured by his bosses, who want him to control his raucous classroom. Caught in the middle, he opts to immerse his students in higher math.



    In our highlighted scene Escalante tries to convince his jaded colleagues that they just need "ganas," which translates to desire.

    School of Rock (Rotten Tomatoes Score 91%)

    Overly enthusiastic guitarist Dewey Finn (Jack Black) gets thrown out of his bar band and finds himself in desperate need of work. Posing as a substitute music teacher at an elite private elementary school, he exposes his students to the hard rock gods he idolizes and emulates -- much to the consternation of the uptight principal (Joan Cusack).



    In our highlighted scene Finn discovers his students' potential as musicians and his own potential as a teacher.

    Mr. Holland’s Opus (Rotten Tomatoes Score 75%)

    Composer Glenn Holland (Richard Dreyfuss) believes that he'll eventually write a transcendent piece of music, but in the meantime, he's taken a job at an Oregon high school.



    In our highlighted scene, Holland has a breakthrough with one of his struggling students.

    Lean on me (Rotten Tomatoes Score 69%)

    In this fact-based film, a New Jersey superintendent, Dr. Frank Napier (Robert Guillaume), watches helplessly as East Side High becomes the lowest-ranked school in the state. With nowhere else to turn, Dr. Napier enlists maverick ex-teacher Joe Clark (Morgan Freeman) to take over as principal of the declining school.



    In our highlighted scene Clark catches some students in the bathroom and challenges them to recite the school song. Their response surprises the hard-nosed principal.

    Remember the Titans (Rotten Tomatoes Score 73%)

    In Virginia, high school football is a way of life, an institution revered, each game celebrated more lavishly than Christmas, each playoff distinguished more grandly than any national holiday. And with such recognition, comes powerful emotions. In 1971 high school football was everything to the people of Alexandria. But when the local school board was forced to integrate an all-black school with an all-white school, the very foundation of football's great tradition was put to the test.



    In our highlighted scene, Coach Herman Boone, played by Denzel Washington, takes his players to a hallowed ground to prove a point.

    Dead Poets Society (Rotten Tomatoes Score 84%)

    A new English teacher, John Keating (Robin Williams), is introduced to an all-boys preparatory school that is known for its ancient traditions and high standards. He uses unorthodox methods to reach out to his students, who face enormous pressures from their parents and the school.



    In our highlighted scene Keating explains to his students the importance of the arts and self-purpose.



    You can listen to Episode 186 or any of our episodes of Class Dismissed on your favorite podcasting app or iTunes.



    All Rights Reserved.

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
61 Ratings

61 Ratings

NanaJHP ,

Excellent guests

The co-host segments are interesting and relevant and the guest interviews are first rate.

jjubran ,

Brings education topics to the forefront

Often our public education is only discussed when things go wrong. It's great to hear about the positive strides educators are making for our students.

Donny Phase ,

Tune in now

Acoustically sound, interesting information -- Class Dismissed gives a non-filler take on the modern day educator's problems and solutions. Educator or parent? Doesn't matter. Do yourself a favor and get informed.

Top Podcasts In Education

Listeners Also Subscribed To