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TeacherStories.org celebrates teachers and the important role they play in our lives and communities. Do you have a teacher story that you would like to share? https://teacherstories.org/submit-story
Jun 19, 2020
An Inspired English Teacher Confronts Two Crises: COVID-19 and an Act of Hate
Jason DiGioia, an English teacher in Denver, Colorado recalls two teachers who contributed to his love for writing and literature. Following in their professional footsteps, Jason explains how he encourages his own students to discover life lessons in the books they read. Because of the pandemic, Jason and his colleagues are learning to cope with the sudden closure of their school, and the effect it's having on the social and emotional well-being of his students and colleagues. He also shares a chilling story about how, in the midst of the current protests over racism and social injustice, his school became the victim of a chilling act of hate.
Jun 17, 2020
Heartbreak, Love, and Resilience: A Teacher's Apology to her Students
When COVID-19 hit the state of New York, many teachers, including Ms. Jackie Rooney, a high school social studies teacher, were suddenly separated from their students before they had a chance to say goodbye. Despite the heartbreak, Ms. Rooney found a way to reconnect to her class. In this podcast episode, she shares a heartwarming letter of apology and reads some of her students' responses. But the pandemic isn't the only crisis affecting her work as a teacher. In the wake of the killing of George Floyd, a Black man in Minnesota, she shares her thoughts about how educators can confront racism and police brutality with their students.
Jun 11, 2020
Award-Winning Filmmaker Pays Tribute to his High School Drama Teacher
Mike Barnard's first high school theatre audition was a disaster, but he finds the courage to try again and lands a part in another production. With the support of his drama teacher, Jim Lund, Mike develops confidence and acting talent and eventually becomes a leader within the school's drama community. Years later, Mike becomes an award-winning filmmaker, an achievement he traces back to his teacher, Mr. Lund.
Jun 5, 2020
Teaching and Learning During the Pandemic - No Silver Linings for Some
Many of the teacher stories published here about teaching and learning during the pandemic point to silver linings -- positive and often unexpected outcomes that have emerged in the midst of this health crisis. In this episode Ken Futernick, founder of Teacher Stories, says, "We need to hear stories of hope but just as importantly we, especially those of us in a position to make a difference, must hear stories about people--especially children, who face unbearable obstacles--those for whom there are no silver linings." Ken offers suggestions on what many of us can do to make a difference.
Apr 30, 2020
The highs and lows of teaching amid the pandemic with Rachell Auld
While most schools across California and the nation are closed due to the pandemic, Rachell Auld, a high school biology teacher, must find ways to connect and teach her students. In this podcast episode, Rachell describes the challenges and rewards of teaching, learning and coping during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this podcast episode, you'll learn: - What Rachell is grateful for (1:30) - How students are coping (3:22) - What Rachell thinks students should consider doing with their time right now (6:30) - The rewards of virtual teaching (9:30) - What Rachell is doing to help struggling students (12:05) - How this crisis is fostering resilience (15:20) - The silver linings of this pandemic (17:51) - What Rachell's colleagues are doing to stay connected (20:00) - What Rachell hopes for the future (23:00) If you enjoyed this story, please view a video Teacher Story with Rachell, "Finding One's True Calling" on our website, www.TeacherStories.org.
Apr 20, 2020
High School Engineering Teacher Uses 3D Printers to Protect School Volunteers
Carmen Garvis left her job as an engineer in 2004 to become a high school engineering teacher. One of her priorities has been to encourage young females to choose a pathway in science. Carmen describes how she helped a bright, but shy, student find her voice. Carmen also explains how, during the COVID-19 crisis, she and a few of her her colleagues are using 3-D printers to produce face shields for the school volunteers in their district who are preparing student meals.
Apr 20, 2020
Bilingual Students Band Together to Help School Stay Virtually Connected
When Crawford High School in San Diego closed due to COVID-19, many of the school's families lacked internet access and the technology that would allow their children to participate in online classes. With the help of a teacher, a group of students banded together, reached out to parents, and helped solve the problem. Pictured here is Tina Tran, student body president, working on their outreach plan.
Apr 11, 2020
One Student's Journey from Afghanistan to a Better Education in the U.S.
Just fourteen years old, Mahboba Ansari fled Afghanistan and the Taliban for a better life and a better education. She landed in Modesto, California in 2016 unable to speak English. Just four years later, with the support of her high school social studies teacher, Lindsey Bird, Mahboba was accepted into the University of California at Davis and will begin classes in fall 2020. Lindsey and Mahboba talk about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lessons that they hope will be learned.
Apr 10, 2020
What It’s Really Like Homeschooling During a Pandemic
Megan Sargent, an experienced homeschooling parent, describes "a perfect storm" -- a recent day in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic when she and all three of her children were crying at once. While little academic learning took place that day, they all learned important lessons about relationships, kindness, and forgiveness.
Apr 3, 2020
Beginning Teacher Survives Her First Year During COVID-19
Life as a beginning teacher is hard, and many quit within a few years. Valerie Sujanani is not only a first year teacher with 30 second grade students, the closing of her school due to COVID-19 has forced her to teach and support her students online-a challenge she and most of her colleagues were not trained to do. Listen to Valerie's story to find out how she's managing during this crisis and whether she will return for a second year.
Mar 30, 2020
Special Education Teacher Adjusts to New Reality to Meet Student Needs
Landi Tessman, a special ed teacher in the Minneapolis area, describes the profound impact the coronavirus is having on her students and the challenges she and her colleagues face educating students while their schools are closed. She also shares lessons of hope that are emerging from the crisis.
Mar 6, 2020
Tavis Danz Follow Up Interview on Mindfulness
In a previous podcast Mr. Danz, shared a story about teaching Mindfulness to his 5th grade students. In this follow-up interview Mr. Danz, some of his students, and his principal respond to concerns raised by author, Alfie Kohn in another teacher story podcast, who worries that trendy concepts like mindfulness, like other trendy ideas, grit, are often used simply to get students to be compliant -- to tolerate situations that shouldn't exist in the first place.
Jan 6, 2020
Dean Lesicko's Third Grade Teacher Makes a Home Visit—Fifteen Years Later He Finds Out Why
Dean Lesicko has spent much of his 30+ years as an educator supporting "marginalized" youth. That may not have happened were it not for Dean's 3rd grade teacher, Ken Meberg.
Dec 17, 2019
What Makes a Good Teacher? A Conversation with Alfie Kohn
Alfie Kohn (alfiekohn.org) has written extensively about teaching, parenting, education, and schooling. In this thought-provoking podcast, Alfie says we must be clear about our shared, long-term goals for children before we can describe what good teachers do in the classroom. If we want thoughtful, life-long learners, then we would want teachers who encourage their students to be questioners and challengers and in control of their learning -- not passive receptacles of facts.
Dec 2, 2019
Teaching Mindfulness to Fifth Graders—What Do Parents Think?
Tavis Danz is a fifth grade teacher and has incorporated "mindfulness" into his classroom to enhance academic, social, and emotional learning. But he has occasionally worried that the parents of his students might disapprove of this approach. When he received an email from a parent with the subject line, "Mindfulness, " he thought his worst fear was about to be confirmed.
Nov 17, 2019
From The Rodeo to University President
Robert Nelsen was content to work on his ranch in Montana and to ride in the rodeo. As "punishment" for being a "smart ass," Nelsen's high school teacher made him apply for college. Now Dr. Nelsen is now president of one of California's largest public universities.
Aug 19, 2019
Karina Figueroa-Ramirez Could Relate to Her Latinx English Teacher
Until becoming a teenager, Karina Figueroa-Ramirez had never had a teacher who shared her cultural background or looked like her. That changed when she was assigned to a Latinx English teacher in 7th grade who supported Karina's interest in books, who listened to her, and who challenged her to imagine a different future. Nearly 20 years later, in a very different educational setting, Karina is paying forward the gift she received from a caring and inspiring educator. She also remains in touch with this teacher who has since retired.
Jun 30, 2019
Emili Danz Uses Performing Arts to Transform Lives
Emili works with a teacher in South Central Los Angeles who helps a young, angry high school student deal with her emotions--through dance. This teacher story is about trust, the freedom to fail, and how the arts can transform lives.
Jun 30, 2019
Efrain Solis Becomes a Professional Opera Singer
Efrain Solis, a professional opera singer, honors his high school music and drama teacher who helped him discover his voice.
Jun 30, 2019
The Passion of Brian Rankin's High School Physics Teacher
Brian Rankin's high school physics teacher lies on a bed of nails. He then places a cinder block on his chest and asks Brian to smash it with a sledge hammer -- all to demonstrate a key physics principle to his students. Brian is now a physicist using laser technology to solve real-world problems.
Jun 30, 2019
John Lescroart: Typist to New York Times Best-Selling Novelist
John Lescroart is a New York Times best-selling novelist who says that he might be still be a typist in a law office--or, possibly, homeless were it not for his English teacher, Father Stadler at Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, California. TeacherStories.org celebrates teachers and the important role they play in our lives and communities. Please share this story with your friends! Do you have a teacher story that you would like to share? https://teacherstories.org/submit-story Find more inspiring teacher stories: WEBSITE: https://www.teacherstories.org INSTAGRAM: https://instagram.com/inspiringteacherstories TWITTER: https://www.twitter.com/teacherstories3 FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/InspiringTeacherStories
Jun 29, 2019
Bob Futernick: How One High School Art Teacher Launched a Career in The San Francisco Arts Community
Bob Futernick, former Associate Director of the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums, sends a thank you note to his high school art teacher -- 50 years after taking his class. TeacherStories.org celebrates teachers and the important role they play in our lives and communities. Please share this story with your friends! Do you have a teacher story that you would like to share? https://teacherstories.org/submit-story Find more inspiring teacher stories: WEBSITE: https://www.teacherstories.org INSTAGRAM: https://instagram.com/inspiringteacherstories TWITTER: https://www.twitter.com/teacherstories3 FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/InspiringTeacherStories
Jun 29, 2019
How Nikki Ahrenstorff's Life was Transformed by Gary Childs
Nikki Ahrenstorff believed that her high school was "reserved for a special group of people" and that she wasn't part of it. That changed when she took an English class with Mr. Childs.