Category: Uncategorized

2023 National Teacher of the Year Rebecka Peterson’s MANY Good Things

This week’s guest is a direct challenge to how many of us are living our education lives in 2023. Believing is hard. Optimism is something we can switch on with students, when we need to maintain our authority in the classroom, but we struggle to live in optimism. Look, we get it. Teachers are entering yet another school year of unrealistic pressure, political attacks, and dwindling capacity to teach our students and live joyfully.

Rebecka Peterson has an idea for all of us.

Rebecka Peterson, the 2023 National Teacher of the Year, is a math teacher who loves stories.

Rebecka has taught high school math classes ranging from intermediate algebra to Advanced Placement calculus, for 11 years at Union High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Amid a difficult first year of high school teaching, she found the “One Good Thing” blog. She credits daily posting there to helping her recognize the beautiful and positive experiences occurring in her classroom, which inspired her to stay in the profession. She has since contributed 1,400 posts to the blog. As Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, she has visited teachers across the state to highlight their important work through the Teachers of Oklahoma campaign. 

As National Teacher of the Year, Rebecka plans to use her platform to highlight teachers’ stories of the good that’s happening in education. Teaching is a profession that affords creativity, autonomy and purpose, and Rebecka believes that highlighting the stories of joy happening in classrooms across the country will help encourage current teachers and attract new educators to the profession. 

Rebecka is a proud immigrant of Swedish-Iranian descent and lived in several countries around the world as her parents traveled as medical missionaries. Her own experience with supportive teachers who celebrated her diversity and math abilities informs Rebecka’s efforts to create a supportive and accessible classroom for students. She values listening to students’ stories as a way to better understand them and elevate their voice. 

Before joining the faculty at Union High School, Rebecka taught for three years at the collegiate level. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Oklahoma Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of South Dakota. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with her husband, Brett, and son, Jonas, and she enjoys reading, crafting and playing board games.

Check out Rebecka’s contributions to the One Good Thing blog!

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2023 SUMMER REVOLUTION MIXTAPE TRACK 1: BEN FARRELL & CHATGPT AIN’T SO BAD!

he 2023 Summer Revolution Mixtape is here, at last! It’s late, but as friend of the podcast Marylin Zuñiga told us so many years ago, we gotta decolonize time, y’all! We know you are mostly back in the teaching game, but the time for radical imagination is always RIGHT. NOW.

The mixtape series is when we bring experimental, cutting-edge and unexpected ideas to you to consider as you enter another year guiding students. We hope to challenge and inspire you with these conversations.

Generative Artificial Intelligence, best identified through apps like ChatGPT, stands to hit education like that meteor that did the dinosaurs in, and if we aren’t careful, it will do the same to us in education. So argues our guest, Ben Farrell, a principal at a school that had the audacity to embrace this terrifying technology.

Is it the pedagogical equivalent of Oppenheimer’s experiment, or is it like the invention of pockets? Sorta depends on who you talk to. If you talk to Ben, he will tell you some of his school’s generative AI practices, and how we may all learn from them. No spoilers, tho. Y’all gotta listen.

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Chicanologues 04. The Trailtinos’ Laura Cortez

Laura Cortez was a soccer player in Texas. Her coach required that players run track and cross country in order to maintain their fitness for the season. A self-identified tejana, she grew up with community, culture, and of course, Selena.

Having relocated to Colorado, Laura, along with Victor Fallon, formed the Trailtinos, a Latiné running collective that spans generations, experience levels, and culture. I had a chance to run with the crew, a nice 7-miler that was extremely hard without water. The conversations were incredible, and it was beautiful to see so many members of our raza prioritizing fitness, wellness, and community.

Laura joins me to discuss the formation of the Trailtinos, and the importance of community wellness.

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¿Cómo que “representation”? 😡 Chicanologues 03

I’m angry today. As I attend meetings, webinars, read social media posts and articles that feature people with the actual power to improve the diversity (actually ESTABLISH diversity) in the teaching profession, I also see people in the same positions continually ostracize, ignore and otherwise sanction raza educators at every level of this work. It’s plain to see that the system desires our faces, our surnames and our pedigrees, but not our convictions, beliefs, and humanness. And often, the agents of this process of icing out gente who truly represent the hopes, dreams, ambitions, the social and political convictions of our communities, are people who look like us, claim to be us.

We have to stop caping for a system that asks us to commit cultural, spiritual, and political self-harm. We have to have the courage to support each other, even when we have everything to gain from shutting each other down.

It’s the Chicanologues, episode 3. Please subscribe!

website: www.gerardomunoz.co

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2022 Hawaii Teacher of the Year & National Finalist Whitney Aragaki plus Sub John Arthur

For Asian American/Native Hawaiian/South Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we are spotlighting the stories, the experiences, and the wholeness of AANHSAPI teachers, their histories, and the communities they serve. They are part of our teaching force, battling inequities on behalf of their students and themselves.

Whitney Aragaki (she/they) is an educator, parent, and learner from Hilo, Hawaiʻi.  She supports students to learn through a lens of abundance that honors place, people and cultures. Her teaching focuses around conversations, practices and systems that sustain the intimate inter-relationship of public education, community and environment. Aragaki is the 2022 Hawaiʻi State Teacher of the Year and National Teacher of the Year Finalist. She is a National Board Certified Teacher in Adolescence and Young Adulthood Mathematics.

Check out Whitney’s writing, connect at https://www.whitneyaragaki.com/

Whitney’s socials:

Twitter: @sayuri_neko

Instagram: @mamasayuri

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Throwback: 2021 AAPI Teacher Roundtable

We are one week into Asian American, Native Hawaiian, South Asian and Pacific Islander heritage Month, and we thought it would be meaningful to re-releaase our roundtable interview with AANHSAPI-identifying educators from around the country. At the time of this interview, COVID-19 was raging, and the all-too-predictable hatred toward people of Asian descent as somehow culprits of the pandemic was palpable and harmful. In this episode, brave AANHSAPI teachers speak on their experiences, their pain, and their hope as they demand to be celebrated and seen.

toodopeteachers.com

Support PoC Grassroots Media!

Throwback: 2021 AAPI Teacher Roundtable

We are one week into Asian American, Native Hawaiian, South Asian and Pacific Islander heritage Month, and we thought it would be meaningful to re-releaase our roundtable interview with AANHSAPI-identifying educators from around the country. At the time of this interview, COVID-19 was raging, and the all-too-predictable hatred toward people of Asian descent as somehow culprits of the pandemic was palpable and harmful. In this episode, brave AANHSAPI teachers speak on their experiences, their pain, and their hope as they demand to be celebrated and seen.

toodopeteachers.com

Support PoC Grassroots Media!

Chicanologues 03. Cinco de mayo and a Time for Warriors

Please forgive the poor audio quality. I wanted to re-record it for you but I had class late and just don’t have time this week. I will make this up to you!

Cinco de mayo can still mean something to our gente. It could be a time for warriors if we let it be.

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02. Introducing the Chicanologues!

As it turns out, solo podcasting is hard! While there will be guests, friends, and crews on this show, there will be some solo stuff, like this episode. In this one, you can learn a little about what is motivating this new podcast. I’m in a search for myself, as a researcher, scholar, advocate, friend, and human.

The best way to support this podcast is to subscribe! The episodes will be here until we get up and running on a separate feed, but please check me out there!

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Emergency Episode! Mayday Strike!

We’re dropping this emergency episode from the organizers of a Mayday walkout tomorrow. This group of concerned citizens–parents, teachers, youth and others is hoping to spark a larger general movement to demand common sense gun policy. Listen for details, and find them on Instagram and Facebook, Mayday Walkout!

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