Lesson: Impossible - An Exploration of Educational Innovation

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MEET A RESOURCE: Kailey Lefko of Educalme

Your lesson, should you choose to accept it, is to consider a new resource: Educalme, a school-based mindfulness app available in English and French. The resource specialist assigned to help you with this task is Kailey Lefko, teacher and co-founder.

 

Click here for links and resources mentioned in the episode or more information about the podcast. Click here for Lesson: Impossible’s blog for modern languages/ELL teachers.

Lesson: Impossible is proud to be one of the many amazing School Rubric podcasts.

Agent Robert Kaplinsky (#ObserveMe)

Your lesson, should you choose to accept it, is to join the global #ObserveMe movement by requesting constructive feedback from your colleagues. The special agent assigned to help you with this task is Robert Kaplinsky

 

In our conversation we discuss:

1️⃣ The origins of the #ObserveMe movement

2️⃣ Why we need to rethink how we ask for feedback and why it matters

3️⃣ The role of the observer

 

Click here for links and resources mentioned in the episode or more information about the podcast. Click here for Lesson: Impossible’s blog for modern languages/ELL teachers.

Lesson: Impossible is proud to be one of the many amazing School Rubric podcasts.

Agent Stephanie Ferri (Holistic Fitness & Wellness)

Your lesson, should you choose to accept it, is to teach PE and health with a focus on all students’ needs. The special agent assigned to help you with this task is Stephanie Ferri.

 

In our conversation we discuss:

1️⃣ Developing her student-centered, holistic, motivating, ungraded PE and wellness curriculum

2️⃣ The messy conversations that need to happen in health classes and her favorite fitness units

3️⃣ How this model could be applied outside of her private, single-sex school context

 

Click here for links and resources mentioned in the episode or more information about the podcast. Click here for Lesson: Impossible’s blog.

Agent Julia Spiegelman (Challenging Language Textbooks)

Your lesson, should you choose to accept it, is to critically examine how language textbooks perpetuate colonialism. The special agent assigned to help you with this task is Julia Spiegelman, a PhD Candidate at UMass Boston.

 

In our conversation we discuss:

1️⃣ How language textbooks position students as traveling consumers

2️⃣ Confronting linguistic prescriptivism and the idea of the textbook as the objective truth

3️⃣ Using the textbook to subvert the colonial narrative

 

Click here for links and resources mentioned in the episode or more information about the podcast. Click here for Lesson: Impossible’s blog.

 

Agent Jessica Zeller (Ungrading Dance)

Your lesson, should you choose to accept it, is to ditch the red pen and begin ‘ungrading’. The special agent assigned to help you with this task is Jessica Zeller, a professor of dance.

In our conversation we discuss:

1️⃣ What ungrading looks like in her dance history and dance methodology classrooms

2️⃣ How ungrading creates an environment for engaged, risk-taking, and honest students

3️⃣ Getting students to do the thinking instead of teachers doing the thinking for them

 

Click here for links and resources mentioned in the episode or more information about Jessica and/or the podcast. Click here for Lesson: Impossible’s blog.

 

Lesson: Impossible is proud to be one of the many amazing School Rubric podcasts.

Agent Chad Dumas (Professional Learning Communities)

Your lesson, should you choose to accept it, is to improve your teaching practice by being part of a Professional Learning Community, or PLC.  The special agent assigned to help you with this task is Chad Dumas.

 

In our conversation we discuss:

1️⃣ What is, and is not, a PLC?

2️⃣ How to start a PLC for the first time

3️⃣ How to improve an existing PLC with a focus on community

 

Click here for links and resources mentioned in the episode or more information about Chad and the podcast. Click here for Lesson: Impossible’s blog.

 

Lesson: Impossible is proud to be one of the many amazing School Rubric podcasts.

Agent Drew Thompson (Neurodiversity: sometimes you just need a wiggle and a snack)

Your lesson, should you choose to accept it, is to use various planning and instructional strategies to support your neurodiverse students. The special agent assigned to help you with this task is Drew Thompson, of Organized Minds.

 

In our conversation we discuss:

1️⃣  Drew’s personal experiences as a neurodiverse learner and the supports he wished he had received

2️⃣  Scope creep, the dark side of graphic organizers, inductive versus deductive thinking, the value of chunking assignments, and making social interpretations clear

3️⃣  Why sometimes giving students a “wiggle and a snack”, no matter what age, can make a huge difference!

 

Click here for links mentioned in the episode or more information about the podcast. Click here for Lesson: Impossible’s new language-learning blog.

Agent Mike Kaechele (SEL through PBL)

Your lesson, should you choose to accept it, is to incorporate Project Based Learning into your teaching to support, among many amazing things, the Social-Emotional Development of your students. The special agent assigned to help you with this task is Mike Kaechele.

 

In our conversation we discuss:

1️⃣ Responding to school and community needs, such as reacting to an ICE raid, or helping farmers choose their next potato crops

2️⃣ Giving students agency and hope for the future, such as a Chemistry, English, US History project looking at poverty in America or returning the rapids to Grand Rapids

3️⃣ Making it work by providing structure, connecting to standards, learning from mistakes, adapting year-to-year, and having the students ask rather than the adults

 

Click here for more details about our conversation, links mentioned in the episode, and more information about the podcast.

Agent Orly Klapholz (SLIFE: Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education)

Your lesson, should you choose to accept it, is to welcome students with limited or interrupted formal education (aka. SLIFE) into your classroom. The special agent assigned to help you with this task is Orly Klapholz, co-founder of “Inlier Learning” from Hollywood, Florida.

 

According to the UN, by the end of 2021 as many as half a million people will likely flee Afghanistan. After time spent in refugee camps, many families will resettle in North America and Europe, and I think it’s worth asking ourselves an important question:  would our schools, and would we, as teachers or administrators, be ready to provide Afghan students, or any other population with limited or interrupted schooling, with the best education possible?

In our conversation Orly and I discuss:

1️⃣ Defining SLIFE (Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education) and the need for more data

2️⃣ SLIFE social, emotional, cultural, linguistic, and academic needs as well as the systematic issues that lead to a high drop-out rate

3️⃣ Providing age-appropriate appropriate and trauma informed resources

 

Click here for more details about our conversation, links mentioned in the episode, and more information about the podcast.

Agents Mealey & Tudisco (Educational Podcasting)

🎙Your lesson, should you choose to accept it, is to consider becoming an educational podcaster🧑🏽‍🏫💬. The special agents🕵️‍♂️🕵️‍♂️  assigned to help you with this task are co-hosts Mealey and Tudisco of the Unprofessional Development Podcast.

 

In our conversation we discuss:

1️⃣ Their origin story and how podcasting has enriched their teaching

2️⃣ Their division of labor and co-hosting dynamic

3️⃣ Their only rule: don’t get fired

… as well as Tudisco and Mealey going on many hilarious tangents

 

Click here for more details about our conversation, links mentioned in the episode, and more information about the podcast.

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