Category: The Pod

Listen to Episodes from Seasons Past and Present!

Throwback: Dr. Bettina Love and the Abolitionist Imperative in Education

You may remember the summer of 2020. We were caught in the grip of the initial months COVID-19 pandemic. A racial reckoning was beginning to materialize across the nation and, frankly, the world. When our guest that summer, Dr. Bettina Love, spoke with us at the NEA Racial & Social Justice Virtual Conference that year, she uttered the words “it is good to be here” and it was. We were surviving under constant threat of disease and violence.

Nearly three years have passed since this incredible conversation, and we wanted to revisit it. Dr. Love is a light of joyful tenacity in our work, and we look back and realize with greater appreciation, how much she got us all through it. Many of you have reached out to ask us for this episode, so please enjoy this throwback to a more bootleg time for us (audio much less cute than now), but this beautiful liminal space that we found ourselves with great minds and spirits.

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(Dr.) GLOVE(r) and Basketball and Student Voice with Dr. Erica Glover

Dr. Erica Glover is brilliant, and able to speak on most anything, from hoops to equity to student voice to hip hop! In this joyful and amazing conversation, we get Dr. Glover’s take on QUEENS Angel Reese and Caitlin Clarke, the weather, the origins of Disrupter University, and, most importantly, her new book, Centering Student Voice: A Guide for Cultivating Emotionally Intelligent Educators and Culturally Responsive Classrooms. Plus a top five rappers that is straight out the barbershop.

Dr. Glover is a servant of education, committed to equity, inclusion, and justice. Throughout her career in education, Dr. Glover has worked as an educator, administrator, and Human Resource/Diversity, equity and inclusion professional. 

As a former student-athlete and former professional basketball player, Dr. Glover realized that her passion to impact change was not limited to the basketball court. She remained committed to her community through the development of her non-profit, OKBNU, Inc. Through this non-profit, she was able to provide local youth with the opportunity to participate in AAU programs without the financial burden that deters many youth today.  

In 2017, Dr. Glover earned her doctorate degree in Urban Education, from Cleveland State University. With an emphasis on Policy and Planning, Dr. Glover has transferred her learning into reimagining the ways in which we socialize future teachers (current students and pre-service teachers), and in-service teachers. 

Today, Dr. Glover supports school districts and scholars through her organization, Disrupter University. Through this organization, she provides intercultural coaching for scholars and educators. She believes that advocacy is the key to liberation and peace, and develops training that allows others to see themselves in this work.  

Dr. Glover is also an author. She has just released her first book, Centering Student Voice: A Guide for Cultivating Emotionally Intelligent Educators and Culturally Responsive Classrooms.  

In her spare time, Dr. Glover enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with family.

Centering Student Voice book

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116. Educators as First Responders with Dr. Deborah Offner

Dr. Deborah Offner is a clinical psychologist with expertise in adolescent development, student mental health, and school life.

She serves as Consulting Psychologist at Beacon Academy in Boston, a 14-month program between eighth and ninth grade that prepares students from communities with limited resources for entry into independent day and boarding high schools. She also provides ongoing professional consultation to several independent middle and secondary schools.

Dr. Offner maintains an active clinical practice where she works with middle, high school, and college students, and their families.

Her book, Educators as First Responders, shares the truth known all too well by educators: often, when a student is struggling, particularly in their adolescence, that student will often speak to a teacher first. Not a family member, not a parent, but a teacher.

Dr. Offner shares with us her observations and recommendations for how we may better support our unsung first responders: teachers.

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112. Kevin Discovers #ChatGPT

Kevin forgot the podcast email password years ago. He texts Gerardo stuff to tweet. He has a vague notion that Instagram and Tik Tok might not be the same thing. He doesn\’t answer 67% of texts.

And yet, he is using #ChatGPT for lesson planning. Our good friend Angela Watson of 40 Hour Teacher Work Week fame has developed content around the same topic, although way better and detailed than we did, and our friend Donnie Piercey vanished into a #ChatGPT rabbit hole, periodically surfacing to make fun of Gerardo.

But, peoples, this isn\’t the act of a lazy teacher. Kevin and Gerardo discuss ways in which #ChatGPT may streamline the lesson planning process for teachers who are overwhelmed and stretched too thinly (this of course means ALL teachers). Kevin discusses how his framework for teaching is more personalized having used the AI. He is able to see exactly what it is that he does, reflect, and tweak. Gerardo muses about the way that #ChatGPT may support neurodivergent educators. He recalls being paralyzed by the instructional choices he had to make as a teacher, and how it caused him to spend too much time looking for materials, and wandering off track.

What do you think about #ChatGPT for lesson planning? Let us know!

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110. Poetry for the Revolution with Poet Queen Valyn Lyric Turner

Valyn Lyric Turner is a spoken word poet, theatre artist, songwriter, and activist hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, the ancestral homeland of the Cherokee and Creek native nations. Valyn is a Senior Posse Scholar at Boston University where she double majors in Theatre Arts and Spanish. Some of her acting credits include starring in the radio drama “Iris”, local online safety series “Digital Citizenship,” and most recently, “LORENA: A TABLOID EPIC” at Boston Playwright’s Theatre. She is currently in rehearsals for the world premier of Kirsten Greenidge’s new play, Little Row Boat, or Conjecture at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts. As a spoken word artist and activist, Valyn has collaborated with several equity initiatives across the country, including the Minnesota National Association for Multicultural Education, Gwinnett Educators for Equity and Justice, Kalamazoo College, Gwinnett County Public Schools, Eden Prairie Public Schools, Georgia First Generation Association, and Kern County Superintendent of Schools to help educators foster cultures of inclusivity and equal opportunity for all students. She has recently been moved to use her platform to champion human rights in light of issues of systemic racism on display in the United States. Her work has been featured on numerous episodes of the LA-based podcast “The Only One in the Room” with Laura Cathcart Robbins, available on all streaming platforms. Valyn’s mission is to inspire, empower, and serve others through her craft.


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Bonus Episode! Teachers of the Year Raise Our Voices for Honest Education

Dishonesty in education policy is not a new thing. From the criminalization of Black education to the arrests and trials of the East LA 13 to now, individuals from historically marginalized, oppressed, and excluded communities have received the message that our histories, our contributions, and our humanness are not welcome in our schools.

A few months ago Monica Washington (2014 Texas Teacher of the Year), Tracey Nance (2020/2021 Georgia Teacher of the Year), Chris Dier (2020 Louisiana Teacher of the Year), Takeru Nagayoshi (2020 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year), and I were invited to participate in the Voices for Honest Education Fellowship. We were deployed as voices for and with educators to combat fear-based education gag orders and book bans. Initially, the manufactured uproar over Critical Race Theory was the pressure point that bad actors located. As this strategy foundered, they turned their attention to LGBTQ students, teachers, and communities. We know that these bad actors are a fringe minority, but, unfortunately, they represent the tail that has wagged multiple dogs at the state and local levels. While it may be easy to dismiss them as a small group that doesn’t represent all Americans, they have successfully removed teachers, curriculum, and books from K-12 schools. One need look no further than Florida to see what happens when a small group gets the attention of an ambitious politician.

We sat down to discuss our work, and to invite you into the struggle. Find more information by finding Voices for Honest Education on all social media platforms. Read our blog, attend our events, and let us know how it’s going in your space.

2023 Colorado Teacher of the Year Jimmy Day II!

In October 2022, Aurora Public Schools middle school band teacher Jimmy Day II was named Colorado Teacher of the Year. He became the first Black male to receive the honor, as well as the first graduate of a Historically Black College or University to be named Colorado Teacher of the Year.

Gerardo was onhand to witness the historical event, and got to sit down with this creative, passionate, and brilliant teacher. We defy you to listen to his story and resist him.

108. New Year, New Dopeness

It’s been a season of change in #TooDope Nation! With Gerardo firmly entrenched in the dark side, and Kev still holdin down the block, it was past time to catch up. In this episode, we catch up on the work we’re doing, talk about these education streets, and make some resolutions for 23.

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Want great abolitionist PD for your community, school, or district? Check out Quetzal Education Consulting.

86. Resist. Heal. Create. Ki Gross of Woke Kindergarten!

Ki Gross is clear on many things. They are here to serve Black and Brown children, their families, and communities. They center healing and radical love of Black and Brown babies. They create spaces for all manner of Black, Brown, and LGBTQIA+ folx. We’ve been excited about Ki’s work since we first heard of Woke Kindergarten on the Abolitionist Teaching Network’s podcast hosted by Dr. Bettina L. Love, and are deeply honored and humbled to conversate on the show with them.

We were not prepared for the deeply spiritual and healing conversation that ensued. They started by asking us not how we were doing, but “How are you nurturing your spirit today?” And that set the tone. Ki pushes us with passion and love to develop deep learning of the spaces we occupy. Before teachers put a curriculum in place, we must form relationships with our students, their families, and communities. We engage in the practice of education as a community, setting priorities as a collective.

Among the most powerful statements Ki makes to students that “you exist in the future” and that Black and Brown lives are precious. Yes, there are resources shared here, like the Tenets of Woke Kindergarten, the Nap Ministry, 60 second stories, Little Revolutionary, and Black Children Play. But really the power of their ideas is in causing us to reconsider ways in which we may center healing in our work. This conversation was mind-altering, and we hope it gives you the chills of possibility as it did for us.

Please consider attending the Bank Street Early Childhood Symposium TODAY, February 4, 2021!

85. 2021 Texas Teacher of the Year Eric Hale!

This one is a history-making episode, y’all, and instant classic. We go for an energetic and inspirational ride with Eric Hale, the 2021 Texas Teacher of the Year. The first Black man to earn this award in the history of Texas. We cover a wide range of topics, from serving your community and meeting its needs to raising the achievement of his students who come from historically marginalized communities, to raising money in the wake of a tornado that devastated his community. Also, we discuss his critical perspective on the TooDope Top Five MCs .He has appeared on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, as well as the Kelly Clarkson show, and now he is with us!

Fasten your seatbelts and enjoy this conversation! It left us ready to run through a wall, honestly.

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