How can we reimagine project-based learning (PBL) for this moment in time? In this episode of The Balance, Dr. Catlin Tucker talks with PBL international expert and founder of CraftED Curriculum, Dr. Jennifer Pieratt about how project-based learning can increase student agency and engagement in online and hybrid classrooms. Dr. Pieratt dives into what is essential about PBL and what tweaks can be made during the pandemic to ensure student success with the model. “The world is our curriculum,” says Dr. Pieratt. “It’s easy for teachers to shy away from the mess right now but the world is so ripe for kids to be finding solutions for the problems that are going on.” Listen now.
The pandemic is changing education. How will teacher preparation programs need to shift in response? How can administrators lead their communities at this time? Why doesn't society value the important work educators do? Dr. Ivy Ewell-Eldridge, current school site administrator in Southern California and Supervisor of Teacher Education and lecturer for UC Riverside's Graduate School of Education, tackles these questions and more with Dr. Catlin Tucker in this latest episode of The Balance. You can follow Dr. Eldridge on Twitter: @IEwellEldridge.
The global pandemic and reckoning around racial justice are creating immediate and sometimes overwhelming changes to the education system. As a result, the daily lives of teachers and educators across the nation look drastically different today than they did last year. Dr. Catlin Tucker invited Linwood Paul, expert executive coach and facilitator with over thirty years of rich and varied experience in individual development, team, and organizational change, to talk about what’s happening. Linwood provides advice for leaders and teachers on how to create Subtle Distinctions that adjust your mindset to create true contentment in your life. Linwood also provides practical advice for the new work-from-home lifestyle teachers find themselves in today.
As educators prepare for an uncertain back-to-school, Dr. Catlin Tucker encourages teachers to take control of what they CAN: the design of their courses. The teacher’s role as a designer of an online or blended learning course is a critical part of the teaching presence in an online or blended community. “We get to create a clear, more manageable roadmap,” says Catlin, “figure out what those most important pieces are, and start from that point.” She encourages teachers to look at their curriculum with fresh eyes when mapping out their year. Listen now.
In episode 12 of The Balance, Dr. Catlin Tucker talks with Jon Corippo, Chief Learning Officer at CUE (Computer Using Educators), where he directs CUE’s onsite, online, social media, and conference planning. Jon and Catlin discuss reprioritizing students and putting them at the center of learning. “We are doing the same thing we’ve always done,” says Jon, “and we’re expecting it to work better. And the same thing we’ve always done leaves out the number one core which is: the human child.” Jon continues by pointing out that the human connection, or rapport between the student and teacher, is key to learning. “Ever heard of School of Rock? Stand and Deliver? Every great Hollywood teacher goes and understands that if I don’t have a relationship with the child, they will reject me.” Listen now to Jon and Catlin's entire conversation—sponsored by StudySync.
Teachers are often asked to incorporate social and emotional learning into their instruction, but what about their own well-being? In episode 11 of The Balance, Catlin Tucker talks with Dr. Maria Hersey, founder and CEO of Global Education Advisors, about how educators can prioritize their own self-care and, in turn, better support student social and emotional learning (SEL). Dr. Hersey’s background as both as an educator and a former director at MindUP (the signature mindfulness program of the Hawn Foundation) allows her to speak both in researched data and personal experience. Catlin and Dr. Hersey discuss best mindfulness practices for teachers themselves and then extend those ideas to SEL strategies in the classroom.
What a whirl-wind the last few months have been for educators. Teachers and students can finally see the light at the end of an emotionally exhausting year. “So many kids,” says Catlin Tucker, “aren’t getting that closure… that celebratory ending that they really crave at the end of the school year.” With summer close, Catlin suggests a few ideas for teachers in the home stretch, including a creative project to celebrate a year of learning. Catlin also talks honestly about recovering from an emotional few months, accepting an uncertain back-to-school future, and finding fun ways to grow professionally. Presented by StudySync.
In this episode, Catlin Tucker talks with Rachelle Dene Poth, an emerging technology presenter, Spanish/STEAM teacher, author, and lawyer, about the power of relationships in education. They discuss solutions designed to help teachers build stronger connections with students, maximize their time when implementing new technology, and remember their “why” in terms of what they are teaching or asking of their students.
Catlin reminds educators that they are “lifelong learners, teaching lifelong learners” and encourages teachers to have a continuous dialogue with students about what works with a new technology or lesson or what didn’t work. Catlin and Rachelle also wrestle with the question of how do you work a sense of balance into your life when you are juggling so much? Rachelle shares that, in addition to self-care, another important element to achieving balance is to connect with your peers and build your personal learning network (PLN) so that you can share ideas….and have an avenue to vent, learn, and move forward. Listen, rate, and review The Balance so other educators will find this amazing resource.
We all have so many questions in our heads—How can I teach effectively given this new situation? How can I build relationships with all of my students via online conferencing platforms? How will distance learning and screen-time impact my students in the long run?
In this mini-episode, Catlin Tucker shares ways to build community online and engage students. She reminds us that, just like in the classroom, students need to feel safe, so plan to start with simple, online ice-breakers to build trust and increase students’ comfort levels. She also stresses the importance of personalized feedback and recommends assigning both online and offline work.
Seeking helpful tips for achieving greater balance in this new teaching environment? Listen now.
How do you balance the needs of family members, working from a new space, and still teach the way you want to teach? Recognizing that most of us are feeling totally off-balance, Catlin acknowledges that navigating this shift from teaching face-to-face to teaching entirely online is a new challenge that leaves us wondering if balance is even possible right now.
In this mini-episode of The Balance, Catlin talks about this sudden transition to teaching online and shares three suggestions to help you feel more confident navigating this new learning landscape.