Category Archives: Keeping it real

Podcasts for the Winter Months

A rare sunny day in December!

The days are short and cold where I live for the next couple of months. Most days, I drive to work in the dark and drive home in the dark. I know it’s the same for people across the northern hemisphere but still, it can feel isolating. That’s why I get so excited about podcasts for the coming months. I look forward to a warm friendly voice or two to cheer me during the morning and evening drives to school. Here are the podcasts that I am looking forward to listening to in the coming months.

Cult of Pedagogy

To be clear, I would listen to Jennifer Gonzalez share her teaching wisdom in any season. Her podcast covers everything from classroom management strategies (for instance, one of my fall favorites, “When Students Won’t Stop Talking,” which was the story of my 5th hour last term!) to learning strategies (such as “Retrieval Practice: The Most Powerful Learning Strategy You’re Not Using”) to advice for reaching all students and ensuring they feel safe and honored at school (“Making School a Safe Place for LGBTQ Students,” “Twelve Ways to Support English Learners in the Mainstream Classroom,” “Four Ways Teachers Can Support Students of Color”). Gonzalez has a companion blog for her podcast (or perhaps the podcast became the companion to the blog) where she links to helpful materials and resources for every episode. That’s great news because I know I can look up the podcast episode notes when I am ready, NOT when I am driving. New episodes of The Cult of Pedagogy Podcast are released on Sundays.

Read, Write, Repeat

After a summer off, I am returning to blogging with a new, and I hope, lasting, enthusiasm.  This summer when I wasn’t adding anything to my blog, I dedicated time to reading the blogs of other educators and thinkers whom I admire.  I guess I would say that I went looking for other mentor texts to explore a greater variety of topics, styles and techniques.  Here’s what I learned.  

Telling Our Stories: Creating Authentic Narratives of Home

Recently I wrote an article that was published in the Michigan Council of Teacher’s of English Language Arts Journal of Michigan.  The theme for this edition was Location, Location, Location, and my submission reflects the uniqueness of rural northern Michigan.  Below is the article and the appendix containing my assignment.

When I moved from the suburbs of Detroit to northern Michigan twenty-two years ago, I wondered if I was moving to the frontier.

This I Believe

This week’s post is a little different for me. We did “This I Believe” essays in Junior English classes, so I thought I would share mine. I wrote my essay first and then turned it into a digital story.