Category: Season V

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.

84. “I Didn’t Have Teachers Like Me” LGBTQ Educators of Color

This week we have a fun, insightful, and heartfelt conversation with Julio and Daniell, two queer educators of color in our city. In this honest and direct conversation, they explain the spaces they inhabit, their process of accepting and celebrating themselves, and the daily identity negotiation that comes with working closely with students and their families. 

Our podcast has not done nearly enough to bring stories of LGBTQ educators of color to light, and we are grateful that these two brilliant and energetic educators shared their stories with us. The discuss their childhood, the impact of adults, the influence of educators and mentors, and their hope that they can be role models for LGBTQIA students, students of color, and students who live in those intersections. Plus top five rappers.

You will not want to miss this episode.

Bonus Episode! Natalie Vardabasso of #educrush

In this bonus episode, Gerardo sits down with Natalie Vardabasso, host of the #Educrush podcast. In this conversation, we discuss the ways in which antiracist and culturally responsive practice must merge with principles of feedback and student growth. Natalie shares her insights on feedback, grading, and growth rooted in relationships.

This episode is a crucial listen if you are a teacher who is weary of the grading rat-race. Enjoy!

Bonus Episode! Lauren Piraro of Teach to Blossom

We’ve really tried to avoid thinking about work these last couple of weeks. However, we agree that in these few days before we see students, some planning is in order.

Lauren Piraro is a brilliant early-service teacher in the Bay Area. She teaches high school history, and like so many of us, is dedicated to doing the best she can for ALL students, especially her students from communities of color and LGBTQ communities.

We found her on instagram under the handle @TeachtoBlossom, where she shares a wide range of professional experiences. From her exemplary planning and leveraging of digital platforms to her own work as a graduate student in History, her field of passion, Lauren works hard to connect to others and build community.

Planning is at the center of equitable praxis. The more energy we dedicate to planning and responsiveness, the more we reach all students, especially students from traditionally oppressed and marginalized communities. Her Instagram account reflects these realities in a powerful way.

In addition to, and more importantly, Lauren makes her content relevant and accessible to students. Her students complete a local history project, even in her Advanced Placement History class. We mention the AP class because she has taught us and so many others that there is ALWAYS a call to make content and skills applicable to students’ lived experiences, and curricular demands, especially high-stakes assessments must NEVER throw us off that focus.

Gerardo has a fun conversation with Lauren. Follow her at @TeachtoBlossom on Instagram where, in the interest of community and collective learning, she unselfishly shares her wisdom and resources.

78. Trauma-Informed and Anti-Racist with Emily Santiago of the Center for Cognitive Diversity

Gerardo flies solo this week, as Kevin attends to family business, as Emily Santiago of the Center for Cognitive Diversity breaks down the urgency of trauma informed practice and antiracism in schools. After beginning her career as a Montessori teacher, Emily discovered that providing true social/emotional support was her true calling. As the executive director of the Center, she and her team have provided important programming for whole school communities, including adult staff, who also deserve the lens of trauma informed praxis. This episode is a must-listen in these anxious and stress-inducing times.

Season Five Premiere!

The boyz are back to kick off Season Five of Too Dope Teachers and a Mic, Pandemic/Uprising edition! Join us as we blow off a lil steam, talk about the adventure of Remote Teaching, and bomb on School-o-lo-gy. Plus, the answer to the Twitter question of the day: could current Kev and Gera beat up 20-year-old Kev and Gera? The answers and more right here! Mind the volume, this episode is loud and rawkus, but we hope that we can speak to you in this wild and stress-inducing time. We’ll be aight, believe that!

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