138 episodes

Episodes appear every two weeks.

The What School Could Be Podcast What School Could Be

    • Education
    • 4.9 • 59 Ratings

Episodes appear every two weeks.

    124. The River School's Dr. Connors and Dr. Ottley

    124. The River School's Dr. Connors and Dr. Ottley

    My guests for this episode are The River School’s (https://riverschool.net) Dr. Christane Connors and Dr. Sharlene Ottley. The River School is located on MacArthur Boulevard in Washington, DC. The pillars that The River School stands on, listed at their website, include the following: a commitment to progressive education, a play-based, child-centered thematic curriculum, a commitment to diverse and inclusive classrooms and active learning. So how does The River School stand out from similar independent, progressive elementary schools? One to three students in each class live with hearing loss, which means children learn there are different ways to think, to feel, to process information, and to express themselves. A classroom where difference is the norm advances social-emotional learning and promotes an ethos of caring, engagement, and support that extends beyond the classroom. Its unique co-teaching model is unique, and having a master’s level educator and a speech-language pathologist together in each classroom has greatly impacted and enhanced the language, literacy and social outcomes of its students. Dr. Christiane Connors is the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at The River School. Previously, she was Director of Civic Engagement and Senior Projects at Edmund Burke School where she led a school-wide initiative to integrate social justice pedagogy across the school’s curriculum, instruction and administration. Christiane was an Adjunct Professor at George Washington University's Graduate School of Education & Human Development. She holds a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from George Washington University and a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University. Christiane has a daughter who is a cochlear implant user, thus, she is aware of the challenges parents face in navigating the hearing intervention landscape starting with diagnosis, through cochlear implant candidacy and rehabilitation. For over 10 years Dr. Sharlene Ottley has served as Director of Community Outreach and Research at The River School. She completed graduate studies in Speech-Language Pathology at Gallaudet University with an emphasis in Pediatric Aural Rehabilitation. Prior to The River School, Dr. Ottley worked in a variety of early intervention, school-based and outpatient settings providing services to children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, including those with hearing loss and Spanish-English bilingual students. She completed her Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Howard University with a focus on children with cochlear implants from bilingual Spanish/English speaking homes. Dr. Ottley oversees the research, assessment, and DEIB efforts at The River School, develops community based partnerships and programs, and has a passion for improving services for children and families from marginalized and underserved communities. Listeners, this is the first time I have featured a school that specializes in supporting young learners who are HH, meaning hard of hearing. Today’s guests embody what we care deeply about at What School Could Be, which is caring and connected communities. The River School is a lifeline to countless families, which is what makes this episode so special. Editing was provided by the talented Evan Kurohara. Our theme music comes from the catalog of master pianist, Michael Sloan. Please leave us a review and rating wherever you find your podcasts!Links:Our Ocean Palau - Mia Kami (https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=0mFHL_x5mXM)Why The River School? (https://riverschool.net/about-our-program/from-the-head-of-school/)

    • 1 hr 26 min
    123. The GRAMMY Music Educator Award Winner, Ms. Annie Ray

    123. The GRAMMY Music Educator Award Winner, Ms. Annie Ray

    My guest for this episode is a Fairfax County Public Schools (https://www.fcps.edu) music teacher, Annie Ray. For many of you listeners, her name will immediately ring a bell. To introduce Annie, I am going to read verbatim from a National Public Radio (https://www.npr.org/2024/02/07/1229543396/grammy-awards-virginia-music-teacher-orchestra-disabilities) online article posted on February, 7th, 2024. “GRAMMY Awards don't only go to the people who produce and perform songs. For just over a decade, they've also been given out to those who teach others how to make music. The Music Educator Award, presented by the Recording Academy and Grammy Museum, recognizes those who have made a "significant contribution and demonstrate a commitment to music education." This year it went to Annie Ray, the performing arts department chair and orchestra director at Annandale High School in Fairfax County, Virginia. She was honored for her efforts to make music accessible to all students, particularly those with disabilities. Ray got to attend the awards ceremony in Los Angeles, take selfies with pop stars and bring home both a $10,000 prize and matching grant for her school's music program. But speaking with NPR's Morning Edition, she said she doesn't consider the award to be hers at all. "This is the students' award," she said. "I'm just lucky enough to have been a part of their journey and their process and to have been taught by them." Listeners, you all know that the five themes of the What School Could Be movement are mobilizing your community, student driven learning, real world challenges, assessing for deeper learning and caring and connected communities. Annie Ray’s story might be the greatest example of an educator, or education leader I have interviewed on this show who is tapping into all five themes Annie’s resume in the arts is long and very deep. In addition to two degrees in music from the University of North Texas, she develops training programs and workshops for disability and inclusion at a remarkable organization called String Wise (https://www.stringwise.com). She is a frequent speaker at conferences on the arts, and I will share with you that my favorite of her topics is titled, Harpe Diem: the Harp in Your Everyday Classroom. How cool is that title? In addition to her GRAMMY Music Educator award and other awards, in 2022 she was named the Outstanding Secondary Teacher of the Year by the Fairfax County Public Schools. Best of all, Annie’s students say that at times she is “unhinged.” Given this word is the way most of my former history and economics students would describe me, I felt an immediate sense of kinship with my guest. Annie lives in Virginia with her husband, also a musician, and their two young daughters, Eloise and Millie. Editing for this episode was provided by the talented Evan Kurohara (https://www.linkedin.com/in/evan-kurohara-45076b292/). Our theme music comes from the catalogue of pianist Michael Sloan. Please leave us a rating and review wherever you get your podcasts. [NOTE: THE 2ND AND 3RD MUSIC INTERLUDES IN THIS SHOW COME FROM A PERFORMANCE OF BALMAGE'S "GREATER THAN" BY THE BRISBANE GIRLS GRAMMAR ORCHESTRA. YOU CAN HEAR THE FULL PIECE HERE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47Bm7gylsQY). THE 1ST MUSIC INTERLUDE IS ANNIE RAY PLAYING THE HARP IN CONCERT WITH HER HUSBAND, IRVING.]

    • 1 hr 23 min
    122. Grab the Wheel and Make it Legendary, with Garrett Smiley

    122. Grab the Wheel and Make it Legendary, with Garrett Smiley

    My guest for this episode is Garrett Smiley, the co-founder of Sora Schools (https://soraschools.com), a description of which, frankly, is very hard to pin down. Sora is an online learning experience, but beyond that, it is a complex and fabulous answer to the question, What could school be? So that you, listeners, know what you are in for in this episode, I am going to quote directly from Sora’s website. “Our curriculum is designed to meet the needs and goals of all students, while delivering a program that is empowering, engaging, rigorous, and relevant. Our approach is founded on inquiry-based and interdisciplinary learning to give students the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills through engaging projects, based on real-world challenges and problems. We use a mastery-based approach to evaluate learning, allowing students to demonstrate skills and abilities at their own pace and in multiple contexts while fostering intrinsic motivation to deepen understanding. Students have multiple opportunities and avenues by which to demonstrate their learning. The primary methods of learning are Expeditions, Activities, and Independent Study Projects." Ted Dintersmith, the producer of the film Most Likely to Succeed and the author of the book, What School Could Be, said the following for this episode: "History has shown us that many of the biggest boldest innovations come from young visionary entrepreneurs. A few episodes ago, this show featured one such entrepreneur, Hannah Williams, with her d'Skills initiative. Today the show features the remarkable Garrett Smiley, founder and CEO of Sora Schools. Garrett is out to change the world of education, and he will do exactly that. You'll be blown away by his vision of a school that truly prepares kids for their futures, and by his plans to reach one million kids. In addition to being a fantastic entrepreneur, Garrett is just a wonderful person. You’re in for a fascinating discussion. Editing is provided by the amazing Evan Kurohara (https://twitter.com/joshreppun/status/1729195823513391111). Our theme music comes from the catalog of pianist, Michael Sloan.What Place Does Love Have in the Classroom? (What%20Place%20Does%20Love%20Have%20in%20the%20Classroom?) by G. Smiley

    • 1 hr 20 min
    121. Gold Standard Project-Based Learning, with Allie Wong

    121. Gold Standard Project-Based Learning, with Allie Wong

    My guest is Allie Wong, a PBLWorks National Faculty (https://www.pblworks.org) member who is extremely passionate about Project-Based Learning, mainly because as a graduate from a PBL high school herself, she has seen firsthand the benefits of student-centered, authentic and real world learning. From 2012 through 2022 Allie worked as a math science instructor, as a dean of students, as school director and as a graduate school of education instructor at High Tech High (https://www.hightechhigh.org), the network of elementary, middle and high schools made famous by the acclaimed film Most Likely to Succeed. Her specialties include differentiated instruction, multidisciplinary projects that incorporate math, collegial coaching techniques and much more. Allie also developed a successful approach to collaborative design that lifts student voices in the project design process. Allie holds her B.S. in Liberal Arts from Soka University of America, a masters in teaching and curriculum from the University of Pennsylvania and a masters in educational leadership from the High Tech High Graduate School of Education. She is a practicing Buddhist, lover and grower of plants, and mom to several dogs and a rabbit. Editing was provided by the talented Evan Kurohara (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iJH7SOmQx4). Theme music by Michael Sloan. Please leave us a rating and review wherever you get your podcasts!

    • 1 hr 16 min
    120: La Gioia di Imparare, with Sarah DeLuca

    120: La Gioia di Imparare, with Sarah DeLuca

    Today's guest is Sarah DeLuca, a K-1 early childhood educator at Hanahauʻoli School (https://www.hanahauoli.org) in Honolulu, where she has been teaching and learning with and from her students, colleagues, and families since 2009. Sarah was born and raised in Honolulu and graduated from ‘Iolani School. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Oregon in International Studies and her masters in teaching at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She has lived and studied in Italy and enjoys traveling to spend time with extended family there. Terry George, the Executive Director of the Hawaiʻi based Harold Castle Foundation wrote the following for this episode: "Sarah DeLuca brings intentionality and a deep love of children to her work as an educator in a progressive school. As a parent, I got to experience this firsthand when I saw how my own children grew as curious and confident learners while in her class. Sarah really works to reflect on her teaching practice, and to do so not alone, but with other educators. How wonderful would it be if teaching were a team sport every day, where teachers worked together, talked with one another about teaching strategies, and adjusted their curriculum after seeing what works best for the children under their care! A curious learner herself, Sarah recently returned from a year in Italy where she intensely studied the Reggio Emilia approach to teaching and learning. Listeners to this podcast you are in for a treat!" Editing services provided by the talented Evan Kurohara (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iJH7SOmQx4). Theme music provided by the master pianist, Michael Sloan.Blogs by Sarah DeLuca:BEAUTY AS A WAY OF KNOWING: THE ENVIRONMENT AS THE THIRD EDUCATOR (https://www.hanahauoli.org/pdc-blogposts/2023/12)BEAUTY AS A WAY OF KNOWING: THE 100 LANGUAGES OF CHILDREN AND THE ATELIER (https://www.hanahauoli.org/pdc-blogposts/2023/13)BEAUTY AS A WAY OF KNOWING: THE AESTHETIC DIMENSION (https://www.hanahauoli.org/pdc-blogposts/2023/14)

    • 1 hr 21 min
    119. The d'Skills Chief Rebel, with Hannah Grady Williams

    119. The d'Skills Chief Rebel, with Hannah Grady Williams

    My guest today is Hannah Grady Williams (https://www.linkedin.com/in/hannah-williams-genz-ceo-advisor/). Hannah grew up in North Carolina as the oldest of seven homeschooled children and started college online through College+ when she was 14, meaning she graduated from high school and college, with a degree in international business, at the same time. Hannah notes that by roughly grades seven and eight, she was mostly teaching herself, although she did have outside instructors for some subject areas. She shared with me that most of her “education” came from one subject: speech and debate, where, simply by preparing for frequent competitions, she learned research, public speaking, communication, teamwork, efficiency, history, public policy, and even science. In a few minutes, you are going to get a taste of Hannah’s verbal acumen. Hannah’s journey towards founding a company called d’Skills began in a blue pickup truck when her father handed her, at age 12, the phone so that she could close a deal on a piece of real estate. Now, as a 25-year old Native Digital, Hannah is Chief Rebel at and founder of d’Skills (https://www.dskills.io), a VC-backed start-up shifting students from test prep to life prep. It's a hub, perhaps the hub where motivated teens learn new digital skills and convert them into real-world projects, helping them leave high school with more experience and connections than most college graduates! The vision is to equip one million high schoolers with impact portfolios that will help them forge their own paths in life and lead the country in leveraging AI for good. Our editor is the talented Evan Kurohara (https://twitter.com/kurohara_san). Our theme music comes from the vast catalog of master pianist, Michael Sloan (https://open.spotify.com/artist/13fQfOrSW6Xv9zQXKEgboj). Please give us a rating and review wherever you get your podcasts.

    • 1 hr 24 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
59 Ratings

59 Ratings

JelloWogger ,

Education brightest spots!

I adore this show and the bright spots it captures in education and learning!! It’s so easy to get caught up in what school isn’t… or how negative things are. But this show captures what school could be. AND what could be school. I love it 🧡

Peers not Fears ,

First listen and I’m hooked!

This podcast hits home for me as an educator who wants more out of the educational experience! I am already hooked after only listening to my first episode.

thetravhi ,

Josh is amazing!

In the first podcast, Josh mentioned a moment in time where he took learning to another level with online discussions and taking learning beyond the four walls of the classroom at LP. I was there, 18 years ago, when he had the courage to make a difference. Looking forward to listening to all the segments hosted by Josh, he is a Innovative, deep thinker.

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