27 episodes

Student Success Podcast discusses students, parenting, education, and strategies for academic success. Our weekly broadcast features 20 minute interviews with students, parents, teachers, administrators, experts, community and business leaders, and anyone who is concerned about education and how to help kids do better in school.

We aim for useful, interesting information that can be used by everyone engaged in our common goal of student success.

At School4Schools.com and The A+ Club, we believe that academic success starts and ends with the student. Everything we do is aimed at helping individual students find their individual success. Welcome to the Student Success Podcast!

Student Success Podcast & Blog by the A+ Club from School4Schools.com LLC ~ Tutoring & Academic Coaching School4Schools.com LLC

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Student Success Podcast discusses students, parenting, education, and strategies for academic success. Our weekly broadcast features 20 minute interviews with students, parents, teachers, administrators, experts, community and business leaders, and anyone who is concerned about education and how to help kids do better in school.

We aim for useful, interesting information that can be used by everyone engaged in our common goal of student success.

At School4Schools.com and The A+ Club, we believe that academic success starts and ends with the student. Everything we do is aimed at helping individual students find their individual success. Welcome to the Student Success Podcast!

    Dan Bozzuto on Effective Teaching, Learning & Standardized Tests: Student Success Podcast no. 27

    Dan Bozzuto on Effective Teaching, Learning & Standardized Tests: Student Success Podcast no. 27

    Dan Bozzuto explores the difficulties to replicate great teachers, the inherent problems with standardized testing, and some great ideas on how to address both.
    Part 1/2, featuring Dan Bozzuto, award winning educator and inspired classroom teacher. Dan considers my question, “are good teachers replicable?” which takes him to standardized tests and other obstacles to student learning, including to question the very purpose of modern education.
    This podcast is just a start to the essential questions of modern education, which Dan and Michael will carry forward in an upcoming Part 2 interview with Dan Bozzuto.
    Student Success Podcast No. 27, published July 19, 2016 (recorded on Aug 9, 2015).

    Subscribe to Student Success Podcast RSS or find us on iTunes

    Resources:

    Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) – Dept. of Education site
    Common Core – Common Core States Initiative home page

    See also:
    Kirkland College – Hamilton College page (relevant text reads: “Kirkland brought women to College hill along with a more diverse lifestyle and an innovative philosophy of teaching.“)
    Credits
    Host: Michael L. Bromley
    Original Music by Christopher Bromley (copyright 2011-2016) Background snoring by Stella.
    Best Dogs Ever: by Puck, Stella, & Artemis
    Massive snoring by Stella in this episode!


    Uhm, it’s 6:00, where’s our supper? The dogs have impeccable inner clocks!


    Here for Puck & Stella slideshow
     
     
     
     
    SHOW NOTES

    Michael: Thrilled tonight, I’ve got Dan Bozzuto. I’ve long wanted to have him on the podcast. He and I have conversations about these about this stuff all the time, but I just never recorded it. So, Dan, now you’re on the record, dude.

    Dan: The pressure’s on.

    Michael: No, no, its just on the record. We will of course hold this against you, and perhaps resent you, but you’re free to say anything you want, and I will note the things that you do not say.

    Dan: I look forward to saying everything, then, because I don’t want you taking note!

    Michael: Dan and I taught together back in my teaaching days, and we grew up as teachers together, so I’m thrilled to have this conversation with him on the record!

    Dan: I stayed in the teacher profession, whereas Bromley decided to go a different route. I teach at a Charter school in Washington DC.

    Michael: And, can I say this, you’re on track to become an administrator.

    Dan: Working towards it. Got some work to do, but working to it

    Michael: Thus my contention that we can, one, hold this against you, and two, resent it.

    Dan: Right, no visual cues, I’m shrugging my shoulders.

    Michael: But you’re going on the dark side!

    Dan: Let’s see where this goes before you hold this against me.

    Michael: So to clarify, you could become an administrator?

    Dan: I could become an administrator, I can not become one today.

    Michael: And you are studying to become an one. That is possible. But you are a classroom teacher now.

    Dan: Correct.

    Michael: What I want to clarify here is, do we cloud this discussion through your potential future administrative career.

    Dan: Well, if you want to understand the bias of the conversation. My experience as a classroom teacher has been largely as a classroom teacher that existed as an island.The success and failures that I have had existed entirely with what I have done. And I have very seldom come across w/ an institution that facilitated and supported teacher success in an institutionalized way.

    Michael: So you are not replicable?

    Dan: I don’t know if you can make a cookie-cutter effective teacher. I feel fundamentall there are some characteristics of personality, rapport, relatability that cannot be taught, acquired.

    Michael: So if you, again, conjecture here, if you were ever to become an administrator, you would accept the fact that great teaching is not replicabble?

    Dan: If I were to become an administrato[...]

    • 28 min
    Mike Cahir on Why Shakespeare Matters & How Parents Can Help Their Child Learn & Enjoy Shakespeare: Student Success Podcast no. 26

    Mike Cahir on Why Shakespeare Matters & How Parents Can Help Their Child Learn & Enjoy Shakespeare: Student Success Podcast no. 26

    Oh, no, Shakespeare? English teacher Mike Cahir explains why learning Shakespeare matters and how parents can encourage their child to engage in the enormous benefits of learning from the Bard.
    Featuring Mike Cahir, high school English teacher and Department Chair.
    This podcast began when I asked Mike for his advice to one of our A+ Club students on why he should care about “Othello.” As usual, Mike goes well beyond the obvious and delivers a powerful lesson for students, parents, and teachers on the power and benefits of learning Shakespeare.
    Mike reviews the skill sets required for comprehending Shakespeare and how to develop them, including his use in the classroom of “active reading,” “front loading,” and “visualization.” Mike builds student engagement by teaching them how to break down difficult text into component parts, how to make sense of the text through imagery and other clues that Shakespeare uses extensively and how he uses Yoda to teach kids old English.
    Mike’s advice is great for students and teachers, but we especially offer it here for parents to empower them to engage their own child with these difficult but magnificent and rewarding texts – and to get a better grade in English class!
    Student Success Podcast No. 26, published Jun 6, 2016 (recorded on Feb 2. 2016).

    Subscribe to Student Success Podcast RSS or find us on iTunes

    Resources:
    Mike Suggests:

    No Fear Shakespeare from Sparknotes
    Folger Shakespeare Library

    See also:
    Why you shouldn’t be scared of Shakespeare!
    Credits
    Host: Michael L. Bromley
    Original Music by Christopher Bromley (copyright 2011-2016) Background snoring by Stella.
    Best Dogs Ever: by Puck, Stella, & Artemis
    Just a little snoring from Stella in this episode, while Puck and Artemis took it easy!


    Puck, Artemis, and Stella enjoy a lazy day on the National Mall with Terry and Michael


    Here for Puck & Stella slideshow
     
     
     
     
    SHOW NOTES
    Bromley: Welcoming back Mike Cahir, my English teacher friend, great teacher!
    Mike: Doing well, great to be back!
    Bromley; Have been wanting to have you back, but what spurred this conversation was a student having trouble with Othelloa and iambic pentameter.   Does that ring familiar to you?
    Mike: Of course it does!
    Bromley: really, I guess it’s important to someone teaching English?
    Mike: it is but more often the primary reaction you get when you tell students you’re doing Shakespeare is a collective groan, because a lot of students have been forced to memorize passages or fight their way through a complicated language they don’t relate to. Half of them think it’s not even English. They consider it as a different language. That’s a significant hurdle you have to overcome
    Bromley: I suppose their parents probably had the same experience?
    Mike: a lot. I teach in a very diverse school, so a lot of them haven’t ever been exposed to Shakespeare, and a lot of the parents’ language skills are still below that of my Juniors and Seniors. Even with regular reading, they’re not always a lot of help, so when you bring something like Shakespeare into the picture, then it’s really the students on their own.
    Bromley: So why do you still teach it?
    Mike: because it’s awesome! There are a lot of reasons for that. Critics and scholars have pointed out that with Shakespeare, very seldom he came up with his own stories. He always stole stories from other playwrights. He was a voracious reader and spent his money on books which were expensive at the time and found ways to adapt and manipulate those stories to fit his time and place and his audience, but in doing so, tapped into universal themes that all authors try to get to do but very few can actually capture.
    Bromley: Thus the persistence of Shakespeare.
    Mike: Right. Let’s be truthful, if you’re getting kids ready for SATs or in Virginia, state testing, [...]

    • 23 min
    Megan Rocks! How the A+ Club assignments and grades updates help students and parents find academic success: Student Success Podcast no. 25

    Megan Rocks! How the A+ Club assignments and grades updates help students and parents find academic success: Student Success Podcast no. 25

    Megan Rocks! Megan and Michael discuss how the A+ Club helps students, parents and teachers.
    Featuring Megan Schneider, Office Manager at School4Schools.com LLC
    Megan manages the A+ Club service that provides assignment, grades and missing work updates and notifications, essay review and all-round student help with homework, due dates, studying, grades to build academic awareness and relevancy.
    Student Success Podcast No. 25, Jan. 22, 2016
    See also Megan’s interview clip



    Subscribe to Student Success Podcast RSS or find us on iTunes

    Credits
    Host: Michael L. Bromley
    Original Music by Christopher Bromley (copyright 2011-2014) Background snoring by Stella.
    Best Dogs Ever: by Puck, Stella, & Artemis
    Just a little snoring from Stella in this episode, while Puck and Artemis took it easy!




    Here for Puck & Stella slideshow
     
     
     
     
    SHOW NOTES
    Michael: thought we could talk on a podcast so anyone can listen in to you and I discuss the things we do and to hear what Megan sees in kids in their academics and struggles. What do you do?
    Megan: the main thing I do is look at school resources.. posted by school Learning Management Systems (LMS) to look for assignments, maybe an upcoming test, study guides… if I find anything I send it by email to students and parents and their moderator.
    Michael: Moderators are?
    Megan: educational professionals who are assigned to students to talk to them once a week or more if they feel they need it to go over what’s happening in school, what they’re focusing on,
    Michael: and you also review those conversations, log them and see what’s important and send to parents and students and log for follow-through.
    Why would someone come to us for this, especially assignment tracking? Why would they need this?
    Megan: it’s really helpful for them to have a daily reminder about what’s going on… It’s really easy when you come home from school and let the day slip away. But if you see the email, the reminder, oh yea, I have to do this or this… it’s a reminder. It forced the kids to pay attention, to think about what school work they have to do.
    Michael: that’s the essential piece… the whole point of the program that I developed in the classroom, that kids compartmentalize their days, 1st, 2nd, etc. period… often times only think about that class when they walk in the door and stop thinking about it when they leave the door.
    So we break that compartmentalization with these reminders… bring it to kids anyway they need it, email text… any way to get to the kids. Next piece is to get it to the kids to track their work themselves.
    I hear from educators, well, if you’re doing it for the kids, they’re not going to learn how to do this. What’s your reaction?
    Megan: well, they obviously already don’t know how to do it, so doing nothing isn’t going to help them!
    Michael: I can’t tell you how often I hear this! You teachers and schools, you administrators, you give kids so much, planners, websites… but no matter what you give them, you could give the functional kids anything.. give them nothing, and they would track their work on their own… but you can give the kids who don’t have that skill set– executive function – or more imp;orantly relevancy… you could give them any system and they won’t use it.
    You don’t know it, but I hear all the time, “Megan saved me!” So, the question is, do kids become dependent on these updates? Are we creating dependencies on Megan?
    Megan: I don’t thinks so. I don’t see dependencies , they take our emails and with the whole system, the whole service, helps them realize that school work is important, something of value, something thinking about and investing their energy in.
    Michael: Yes, it’s part of a larger process. Why can’t kids have this information delivered to them? We’re engaging kids in a process, part o[...]

    • 27 min
    Procrastination Primer Part 2: tools & strategies on how to avoid & overcome procrastination (podcast no. 24)

    Procrastination Primer Part 2: tools & strategies on how to avoid & overcome procrastination (podcast no. 24)

    The Procrastination Primer Podcast
     
    Part 2/2: Tools & Strategies on How to Avoid and Overcome Procrastination
    So what’s the harm in a little delay?
    Student Success Podcast No. 24, March 20, 2015
    Click here for PowerPoint presentation of Pt 1 & 2 (not narrated).
    ** Not For Distribution **
    Click here for Procrastination Primer Pt 1 (Podcast no. 23)


    Subscribe to Student Success Podcast RSS or find us on iTunes
    Credits
    Host: Michael L. Bromley
    Original Music by Christopher Bromley (copyright 2011-2015) Background snoring by Stella.
    Best Dogs Ever: by Puck, Stella, & Artemis
    Dogs don’t procrastinate! For them, it’s mood repair all day long!


    Snow dog! Puck loves chasing snow balls and digging into the snow!
     


     
     
     
     
    Here for Puck & Stella slideshow
     
     
    The post Procrastination Primer Part 2: tools & strategies on how to avoid & overcome procrastination (podcast no. 24) appeared first on Student Success Podcast & Blog by the A+ Club from School4Schools.com LLC ~ Tutoring & Academic Coaching.
    The post Procrastination Primer Part 2: tools & strategies on how to avoid & overcome procrastination (podcast no. 24) appeared first on Student Success Podcast & Blog by the A+ Club from School4Schools.com LLC ~ Tutoring & Academic Coaching.

    • 25 min
    Procrastination Primer Part 1: procrastination awareness – what is it & how does it operate? (podcast no. 23)

    Procrastination Primer Part 1: procrastination awareness – what is it & how does it operate? (podcast no. 23)

    The Procrastination Primer Podcast
     
    Part 1/2: What is procrastination?  Why does it happen? How does it work?
    So what’s the harm in a little delay?
    Student Success Podcast No. 23, Feb 27, 2015
    Click here for PowerPoint presentation of Pt 1 & 2 (not narrated).
    ** Not For Distribution **
    Click here for Procrastination Primer Pt 2 (Podcast no. 24)


    Subscribe to Student Success Podcast RSS or find us on iTunes 
    Credits
    Host: Michael L. Bromley
    Original Music by Christopher Bromley (copyright 2011-2015) Background snoring by Stella.
    Best Dogs Ever: by Puck, Stella, & Artemis
    Dogs don’t procrastinate! For them, it’s mood repair all day long!


    Puck, Stella, and Artemis, engaging in serious mood repair. Stella is snoring away!
     


     
     
     
     
    Here for Puck & Stella slideshow
     
     
    The post Procrastination Primer Part 1: procrastination awareness – what is it & how does it operate? (podcast no. 23) appeared first on Student Success Podcast & Blog by the A+ Club from School4Schools.com LLC ~ Tutoring & Academic Coaching.
    The post Procrastination Primer Part 1: procrastination awareness – what is it & how does it operate? (podcast no. 23) appeared first on Student Success Podcast & Blog by the A+ Club from School4Schools.com LLC ~ Tutoring & Academic Coaching.

    • 21 min
    The Late Work Game: teachers, do you want missing work, late work — or no work at all?

    The Late Work Game: teachers, do you want missing work, late work — or no work at all?

    Welcome back to the late work game!
    First semester is up and teachers and students across the country are recovering from that last minute freak out: get that missing work in!
    Stressed kids near collapse trying to dig something out, anything to get the grades up. Desperate teachers giving up all pretense of syllabus rules and pushing, pulling, and excusing the kids across the finish line. Vice Principals peering over their shoulders, demanding mounds of paper work to justify failing this and that kid. Now into the new semester and it’s starting all over again.
    Zero Tolerance (& no summer school)
    There’s a simple solution: no late work. Period. But that means failing kids — and, unbelievable as it is, even with dumbed down expectations, kids still fail. Heh, why do it now when you can just show up for a few classes in the summer which has no homework, no real expectations of learning, and passing is guaranteed by showing up?
    Solution: no late work, no grade adjustments, no excuses, and no summer school. Just do your work or repeat the year. Accountability would be complete for adminstrators, parents, and students alike.
    And we’d have hell to pay for about five years while pushing 25 year olds through to graduation or herding 9th grade dropouts into tech school or to figure out life on their own. Sorry, that’s not happening, but if it did, it would raise accountability on teachers to fulfill their pieces more thoroughly and on time (more on that below).
    It was that way when I grew up and there were regularly kids in class who were repeating the year. Sure there was a stigma, but at least some standards were being upheld. Somewhere down the line, summer school replaced repeating grades, which then replaced learning for kids who would have otherwise had to repeat. Here for a couple articles on it:

    Summer School – Remediation, Enrichment, Extended-Year for Students with Special Needs, The History of Summer School, Funding  – a broad review of historical reasons in agrarian society for summer vacations and an interesting section on Sputnik and another great American panic over education.
    Repeating a grade: The pros and cons – more about the cons than the pros, but worth a look for defense of the “self-esteem” argument against “grade retention.”

    Even summer school isn’t enough, so now we have a latest escape for learning called “credit recovery,” in which students are given an extra class during the school year to make up a failed course.
    My experience with that came when I was about to fail some 20% of my students in a semester course. The school demanded “a solution,” which was what I called, “period 9,” essentially a credit recovery after-school session. Most of the kids who showed up passed, but only because I was both their regular and “credit recovery” teacher, so the afternoon sessions reinforced the daily classroom lessons and gave opportunity for the kids to get work in they wouldn’t otherwise have completed.  My salary, though, stayed the same.
    Stuck in the Middle Again
    So we fudge it. We call summer school “enrichment.” We reduce expectations on independent work and call it “safety nets.”  We “invert” or  “flip” the classroom (see wiki article that offers no critical view of the practice) , in which independent work is performed in the classroom while instruction is to take place at home by Xbox,  I guess.
    It all adds up to less responsibility by students and more dumbing down of expectations. Don’t believe me? We had a student in the A+ Club whose school provided 1.5 hr “pre-exam” periods every day before finals. Yes, it can get that bad.
    Here’s an inventory of some current solutions employed by teachers and schools to get kids through, aka, why it’s such a mess:


    “Credit Recovery” and summer[...]

    • 19 min

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