Month: October 2020

Emergency Episode: And What Happens if I Get Sick?

We sit down with Bianca, Nathan, David, and Susan of the Austin Independent School district to discuss their district’s reopening plan and the high price of opening schools. They have learned that working remotely is NOT an option, yet they must provide remote AND in-person instruction starting in November. They have been told that living with a person who is immunocompromised is NOT sufficient reason to be allowed to work remotely. They have seen their sick days drained…because they taught remotely, and not in the building. They have been told that being absent from the building presents a hardship, even though their and other buildings in the district are barely occupied. At least one teacher is under threat of termination for refusing to teach in-person. All this after leadership told news cameras that they “would work with teachers.”

It is probably no surprise that these teachers serve an overwhelmingly BIPOC student population. Tune in to hear their stories and learn ways to support these courageous and beaten-down public school teachers.

Episode 72: Unlearning with ZB

We meet some of our favorite people on social media. Today we take a step back from #PandemicLyfe and chop it up with Zaynab Baalbaki, who, in hxr own words, “could talk about education all day.” She shares her experience teaching at Escuela Verde, which is one of the most radical schools in the US. The project-based, teacher-powered school, which has no principal or traditional leadership structure, focuses on social justice, peace, and ecopedagogy. The school is vegetarian, gradeless, and does not hold traditional classes, instead providing workshops that connect the interests of the students to authentic and community-oriented learning.

In other words, the school is, just by its existence, a challenge to the industrial capitalist schooling system, by emphasizing humanity and interdependence as ideals to reach toward. This is a mind-blowing pedagogical experience, and shows us the value of trusting our communities to WANT to learn and contribute to the greater good, to have community-focused processes and ideals to which we return in hard times, and to constantly interrogate and disrupt structures that oppress.

Also, top five rappers.

Episode 71: For Dope Unprofessionals (the Crossover, the Sequel)

Do you remember the time that you tried to watch Return of the Jedi as your first Star Wars movie? Or the Godfather, part II, before you had seen the first one? It’s weird, huh? So if you haven’t heard part one of this legendary pod in the making, stop right now and listen to it. Cos it won’t make sense otherwise.

But if you have, join us again as we hook up with Mealey and Tudisco of the Unprofessional Development Podcast to play some debate games and dig into pedagogy and praxis. Super-fun conversation (for the four of us, at least), and you miiiiiiight even get some teaching ideas for that day that you run out of content, or that day that it’s a blizzard and only four kids show up. Or really teaching in general.

Also, download this one and theirs, subscribe to both, retweet our pinned tweet, and tell someone about us. We stay out here working for our communities.

Episode 70: Crossover! Feat. Unprofessional Development part 1

Few weeks back, we did our first true crossover with our Philadelphia brothers Mealey and Tudisco of the Unprofessional Development podcast. We had so much fun we had to divide the session up into two episodes! They bring super-fun conversation games into the fray and what ensues is a fun but, we hope, informative and helpful crossover. Subscribe and download on both platforms!

Episode 69: Joe Truss and Culturally Responsive Leadership

Joe Truss is an utterly transformational abolitionist leader in the Bay Area, and has risen in profile as a result of #realtalk about antiracism and dismantling White supremacy culture in schools. During the course of this conversation, Dr. Truss, who received his doctorate from the TooDope University of Real Talk and Real PD, shifts our center regarding school leadership and developing a leadership voice. We learn about his background, his experiences, how this self-described “schoolboy” became a teacher, and much more. Plus his top 5 MCs with a lot of qualifiers.

Episode 68: October Count(down)

It’s October, which means Count Day and countdown to hybrid in many districts across the TooDope Nation. We discuss anxieties, preparation and whether anyone is qualified to train or evaluate anyone else in this moment. Plus some teachers about upcoming guests, a brief requiem for the Nuggets, and a lil surprise about 20 minutes in.