Month: March 2021

Emergency Episode: AAPI Educators Speak Out: “Celebrate Us and See Us”

In this emergency episode, Gerardo hosts a roundtable with five Asian American/Pacific Islander-identifying educators from across the United States to discuss the horrific murders of eight Asian and Asian American people in Atlanta a few days ago. Carla, Erika, Tran, John, and Kim share their stories of struggle, triumph, purpose, pain, and invisibility as this threat of violence and death hangs over them, as is has over all Asians since they first came to these shores.

In this episode, they express pain, anger, frustration, disappointment, and more than any other emotion, numbness. The draw critical connections to a larger AAPI Civil Rights struggle, acts of murder and violence faced by their community, and ways in which anti-Asian hate and violence are acceptable in our world, as they have always been.

This episode is heart-wrenching and inspirational. Listen today and stand in solidarity with our AAPI neighbors and friends.

92. The Comeback

Just the fellas today. This harrowing adventure of schooling during a pandemic is fraught with contradiction, anxiety, frustration, joy, disappointment and doing one’s best with what one has. We engage in some real talk around returning to in-person schooling, including our own experiences, as well as across the country.

Additionally, we shout-out our financial supporters with nicknames (can you find yours?) and look ahead to the final weeks of school. Don’t call it a comeback! Actually, call it a come back. Because we’re literally coming back…to school buildings…

91. To Be Received, with LaChanda Garrison, 2021 DODEA Teacher of the Year

To talk with LaChanda Garrison, the 2021 Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA), is to be taken to school by next-level brilliance, compassion and intellectual and spiritual depth. Her story is unique and fascinating, and reminded us that each person has a unique path and set of experiences. A self-proclaimed “military kid,” LaChanda shares her story of racial insecurity and a desire to “be received” and be seen for who she is.

We could not be prepared for the deeply honest and open experiences that LaChanda shared. She shares stories of her biracial identity, her work in the “family business” of DODEA teaching, and living in Bahrain. She shares her praxis of student-centered, relationship-driven mathematics instruction, and takes us to school. And finally, a wonderfully constructed Top Five rappers/performers that gives us even more of a glimpse into this amazing spirit.

A longer episode, and worth every second.

Exit Interview 03. “God Said it Was Time” with Donna Druery

Being a Black educator in the American system of schooling will test the faith of the strongest. In this powerful episode, Doctoral candidate Donna Druery (who has her defense the day after this episode!) shares the long journey through education that ultimately ended with her departure. She shares upsetting experiences, ranging from the hostile to the absurd. An excellent educator once highly recruited and touted as exceptional in her context, she experienced what so many Black educators experience. Her professionalism was not simply questioned, but outright attacked. She was the subject of gossip among White teachers. For over a decade she found herself in a textbook abusive relationship with her job. At times, she felt that “we were turning a corner” only to find herself attacked again.

Listeners will find resonance with Donna’s story. The “constant strategizing” simply to be heard in her community the physical manifestations of her racial battle trauma.

Through it all Donna’s faith carried her to a degree that is jarring and powerful. Don’t miss this episode of the Exit Interview!

90. National Teacher of the Year Finalist Juliana Urtubey

Juliana Urtubey’s family came to the United States to escape the Civil War in Colombia. Their transition was aided by existing citizenship, and Juliana has made the most of her opportunity, not only in her own educational attainment, but as a highly skilled and accomplished elementary educator. She brings a different energy, one that is completely consistent with her nickname “Ms. Earth” a moniker given her by a student. She is a person of many worlds, who crosses borders daily in her quest to humanize the schooling process in Nevada, where she is the first Latinx educator to be named Nevada Teacher of the Year. She is also one of the four national finalists for National Teacher of the Year, and this interview tells you only SOME of what you need to know about this well-deserved distinction.

Over the course of an energetic, healing and fun conversation, Juliana shares her experiences with community gardening at the school, National Board Certification, grassroots teaching and learning, humanizing pedagogies, and teaching to thrive in a space where multiple worlds meet. Also, a top five rappers list that is completely on brand with her worldly and colores de la tierra ways!

90. National Teacher of the Year Finalist Juliana Urtubey

Juliana Urtubey’s family came to the United States to escape the Civil War in Colombia. Their transition was aided by existing citizenship, and Juliana has made the most of her opportunity, not only in her own educational attainment, but as a highly skilled and accomplished elementary educator. She brings a different energy, one that is completely consistent with her nickname “Ms. Earth” a moniker given her by a student. She is a person of many worlds, who crosses borders daily in her quest to humanize the schooling process in Nevada, where she is the first Latinx educator to be named Nevada Teacher of the Year. She is also one of the four national finalists for National Teacher of the Year, and this interview tells you only SOME of what you need to know about this well-deserved distinction.

Over the course of an energetic, healing and fun conversaton, Juliana shares her experiences with community gardening at the school, National Board Certification, grassroots teaching and learning, humanizing pedagogies, and teaching to thrive in a space where multiple worlds meet. You will love her insights and stories!