Ready To Teach Podcast


Ready to Teach is a podcast for teachers, by teachers. Well showcase teachers stories - mistakes and all - the best practices that come from those mistakes, and the research behind it all. Well cut through the buzz-words and the trends to discuss what works in the classroom, what doesnt, and why. As teachers, we know the best people to learn from are other teachers. We also know how difficult it is to build community outside of our own classrooms. Come hear stories and strategies from first, fifth, fifteenth, and fiftieth year teachers; elementary and secondary teachers; and teachers from all subject areas. Stay energized in the grind with fresh perspectives and get practical strategies that you could implement the same day you listen.


  • Episode 14: Arranging the Classroom with Jane Tomick

    Episode 14: Arranging the Classroom with Jane Tomick

    27/08/2017 Duração: 26min

    Kindergarten and 1st grade teacher Jane Wold joins me from Austin, Texas to talk about arranging her room for her students. We cover furniture, ambience, and more as the first kindergarten and elementary school teacher on the podcast shares her approach to making her classroom a safe, comfortable, and fun place to learn. Takeaways from this week’s episode: 1) The number one priority in arranging the classroom is safety. 2) Visibility is a significant part of safety: Make sure there are no places for students to hide out of your sight. 3) Avoid overstimulation and work to find balance between aesthetically pleasing and functional. 4) However possible, giving students choices for how and where they sit and work can help them stay comfortable. 5) Don’t be afraid to explore different kinds of furniture and arrangements in your classroom: You can always change it! 6) Starting off with a clear, more structured room arrangement for the first month or two is a good way to set expectations as students get comfortable

  • Episode 13: Music, Math, and More with Jesenka Filipovic

    Episode 13: Music, Math, and More with Jesenka Filipovic

    14/08/2017 Duração: 32min

    Music teacher and math interventionist Jesenka Filipovic joins me from Metro Nashville Public Schools. Jesenka is a band director, music teacher, and math teacher at a magnet middle school specializing in math and science. We talk about the unique role of the music teacher in schools, what makes teaching music unique, what makes it just like teaching any other subject! Takeaways from this week’s episode: 1) Students are able to learn more effectively when they are relaxed and having fun. 2) Music can be leveraged as a way to reach students who are struggling in core subjects, especially math and reading. 3) Teaching music requires just as much expectation setting, classroom management, and behavioral management as teaching any other subject. 4) Set expectations early in every area that students and parents need to know. 5) Music teachers - as well as non-core subject teachers and coaches - bear the unique burden of having to prove the value of their subject to their students, parents, administrators, and ev

  • Episode 12: The Tragedy of the A- with Tracy Woodham

    Episode 12: The Tragedy of the A- with Tracy Woodham

    07/08/2017 Duração: 28min

    High school English teacher Tracy Woodham joins me from California to talk about the “Tragedy of the A-” and how to coach students through challenging situations. We discuss what it’s like to teach in a highly competitive environment and how to nurture intrinsic motivation and problem solving skills in students that just want to get their A and move on to the next thing. Takeaways from this week’s episode: 1) Show value for students’ mental and emotional well-being. 2) One way to do this is through having soft deadlines - or deadline windows - so that students can learn to manage their own time effectively. 3) Moving quickly through content can prevent students from having the time and space to have original, creative thoughts. 4) When a student needs to talk, sometimes they don’t need our input. They just need someone to hear them process while they work out problems on their own. 5) Showing interest in students’ successes outside of our own classrooms can go a long way toward developing positive, trusting

  • Episode 11: Trusting Students and Families with Elizabeth KonKolics

    Episode 11: Trusting Students and Families with Elizabeth KonKolics

    31/07/2017 Duração: 26min

    Elizabeth KonKolics - licensed social worker and former teacher - joins the podcast to talk about how teachers can transition back into thinking about school and maintain a positive, hopeful mindset towards the students and families we’ll soon be meeting. Here are the takeaways from this week’s episode: 1) People grow in the context of people they trust, so begin building that trust from day one by investing ourselves in students’ experiences. 2) Young people have a sense of optimism and potential that we sometimes forget in our role as teachers. 3) Students trust adults that ask questions and listen: So we should ask questions and listen. 4) Involving families is a way to have more solutions. 5) Teachers have the opportunity to be the first person students meet that year who are excited to see them. Resources: READYTOTEACH.COM

  • Episode 10: What Really Makes Teachers Amazing

    Episode 10: What Really Makes Teachers Amazing

    20/07/2017 Duração: 15min

    To celebrate our tenth episode, your host shares some reflections on what really makes teachers amazing (Hint: The answer is not because people just say we are). Then, your host goes back to enjoying summer vacation with his family while hoping you can do the same. Enjoy! Here are the takeaways from this week’s episode: 1) Try never to let the failures eclipse your successes. I was taught – and I believe – that if we make a difference for one student – one – it’s worth it. 2) Be your own harshest critic (that way you’re in control of the harshest feedback). 3) But be gentle with yourself and remind yourself that you’re only human (and so are your students). 4) Find supportive colleagues, ones that you trust and you can learn from, who will give you tough feedback when you need to hear it, and who will also celebrate with you when you crush it. Resources: READYTOTEACH.COM

  • Episode Nine: Putting Race, Equity, and Justice at the Center of Teaching with Dr. Rich Milner

    Episode Nine: Putting Race, Equity, and Justice at the Center of Teaching with Dr. Rich Milner

    13/07/2017 Duração: 34min

    Professor of Education and Director of the Center for Urban Education at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Rich Milner (Ph.D.) joins the Ready to Teach Podcast to have a candid discussion about how to address issues of race and injustice in our teaching. Takeaways from this week’s episode: 1) As an educator, we need to constantly ask ourselves questions like, “Why am I doing what I’m doing?” and “Why do I believe some groups of students are underprepared in comparison to other groups of students?” 2) Develop a community of critical colleagues to help each other think through decisions we’re making in the classroom. 3) Family members and community members are experts of students’ experiences. 4) We as teachers have to value and understand the deep levels of expertise, assets, and strengths that every community possesses. 5) Teachers have to know students’ lived experiences and understand the history that influences their community. 6) Relationships are at the core of what makes instructional practices cultur