Category: The Pod

Listen to Episodes from Seasons Past and Present!

Encore! Boots Riley!

This week we revisit our memorable session with the incredible and real Boots Riley, who breaks down artistic expression, social justice, community organizing, hip hop, and education from the 2019 Revolutionary Summer Mixtape!

76. Growth Game and Gratitude

The most anticipated break in the history of public education is finally upon us. In the most chaotic moment that either of can remember, with a future that is hazy at best, Kevin and Gerardo take some needed “us” time for their relationship. No guest this week means that we chop it up like we used to. We discuss what teaching, learning, and evaluation should look like in this moment, share an less toxic approach to our work as teachers, and conversate about the news of the day, especially the sudden resignation of Superintendent Susana Cordova days ago. We close off by expressing what great and terrible building leadership has looked like during our long and storied careers before demanding that our BIPOC people bum-rush the NCTE call for proposals.

Please follow us @TooDopeTeachers on IG and Twitter, like us on Facebook, and email us See our Twitter and Facebook profiles to support this important work.

75. Double Episode 2: Racial Battle Fatigue with Asia Lyons

Not too long ago, Asia Lyons found herself at a career crossroads. By introducing social justice curriculum, she landed in hot water with her school leadership. Now, having been away from the classroom and running her own consulting business, Lyons Educational Consulting, Asia has started her doctoral research on Racial Battle Fatigue. Teachers of color, and Black teachers in particular, face institutional racism at work, and the fatigue and frustration doesn’t end at 3:00. When they come home, they must find ways to engage with friends, family, and loved ones. This is exhausting, and Asia shares her insights on an issue that has not been researched nearly enough.

74. Double-Episode 1:Olivia Meikle of What’s Her Name

On this historic weekend, we talk to Olivia Meikle, have of the dynamic duo that hosts the incredible “What’s Her Name?” podcast. On this historic day, Olivia shares with us what motivates her and Dr. Katie Nelson to publish a true labor of love and scholarship which aims to tell amazing stories of women you never heard of. Moving deeper than the traditional list of important women in history, What’s Her Name highlights amazing women from every time period and every continent. Fun, entertaining, and engrossing, Olivia is all of the above. Join us for this very celebratory moment of firsts, smiles, and cupcakes–but only for the winners!

Episode 73: Update

Over the summer, we invited Jordan Huerta to tell his story of solidarity and sacrifice for his students in Tattanal County, Georgia. He found himself on the wrong side of his leadership after his social media posts expressed his support for #BlackLivesMatter and his commitment to listen to and support his Black students in a dark time.

Jordan, an exemplary social studies teacher and highly successful coach, returns to update us on his situation. Don’t miss this one.

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.