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Habitually Disruptive 18. “I Can’t Protect You” with Lauren Cantell

A cancer diagnosis can profoundly disrupt and destroy a person’s sense of self and purpose. While I have not experienced this, many have, and categorically the trauma and fear others have shared seems unreal and life-altering, even (especially) after recovery.

Lauren Cantell does not view herself as a representative of cancer struggle or survival. She believes that systemic oppression, especially racism and misogyny, play out in the American healthcare system. She feels rage at the fact that BIPOC womxn are the least likely to be treated with humanity or respect in this system. She also knows that her journey from diagnosis to recovery is her own, and that it is not the only way that recovery may occur.

Lauren came to realize that much of her recovery was driven by her fear of burdening others, or protecting those around her from her own illness and uncertainty. And while she is quick to explain that her friends and loved ones did not expect her to do this, she also realizes that there is a way that our society talks about life-threatening illness that often is not inclusive of individual experiences and perspectives.

Lauren talks about her cancer diagnosis as a Kindergarten teacher, and how it drove her to write a crown-funded feature film which explores her experiences. She shares her ambivalence about her own experience, and hopes to encourage others to share their stories, even if they are difficult, even if they do not have a happy ending.

To support Lauren’s film financially, please consider donating here

https://seedandspark.com/fund/i-cant-protect-you#story

SUMMER REVOLUTION MIXTAPE 2022 TRACK 2: THE TEACHERS’ CAUCUS feat. RODNEY & SHAWN!

It was deeply humbling and inspiring to collaborate with 2019 National Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson and 2016 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Shawn Sheehan, co-hosts of the Teachers Caucus Podcast, which examines the role of teachers in policy spaces.

For this collaborative episode, we discuss lighter moments in the classroom and touch on multiple other topics and issues. Laughter, insight, and wisdom prevail in this fun conversation. We’re posting a little late, but we hope you enjoy it.

REVOLUTION SUMMER MIXTAPE 2022 TRACK 1: ELENA AGUILAR

Elena Aguilar has been out here in these education streets a long time, pushing important ideas around social justice, equity, social emotional learning, and teacher wellness. As founder of Bright Morning, Elena remains at the forefront of important conversations with and about educators.

She joins Kevin and Gerardo for a terrific conversation, in which she shares her education journey, the passion that drives her, and a very summer top five!

Habitually Disruptive 17. Jena Nelson, Teacher of the Year, Candidate for State Superintendent!

Jena Nelson, the 2020-2021 Oklahoma State Teacher of the Year, is a force to be reckoned with, an energetic and authentic educator with a big heart and an even bigger sense of fight for educators and the communities we serve. We connect for this episode to disrupt the idea that a teacher’s place is ONLY in the classroom. She is currently the statewide candidate for Education Superintendent, an elected position, in the state of Oklahoma. Constantly on the campaign trail and connecting with communities and constituents, she takes a moment to talk with me about her work.

Habitually Disruptive 16. Sports and Resiliency with Laken James

Habitually Disruptive is about those who think differently about how we do things. Those who question the fundamental assumptions we make as we navigate and try to survive the status quo. That’s really it. You can be disruptive really anywhere, because most systems are designed to work exactly as they work, and most systems are maintained by human beings who either sustain or disrupt the status quo.

I met Laken James on Twitter, where all great friendships are born. She had posted an op-ed in which she described the impact of being benched after a loss as a college basketball player. She shared that it was devastating, but formed a foundation for healing and, ultimately success. enjoy this conversation with my favorite professional basketball player!

The Exit Interview 05. Dr. Jeanette Patterson

Another fire episode!  This time we are speaking to Dr. Jeanette Patterson, a former principal who now finds herself supporting the youth of the Denver Metro Area in a whole new way.  Tune in as Dr. Patterson shares her education journey, what she thinks school districts can do to support educators, what’s bringing her joy these days, and her plans for the future.

Habitually Disruptive 15. Back Again! with Lauren Piraro

Just a couple of years ago I connected with Lauren Piraro, history teacher and digital community builder extraordinaire, and could not have anticipated how wonderful it would be to speak with her. In her first appearance on Habitually Disruptive, we de-prioritize classroom teaching to focus on wellness. She has developed wisdom and power early in her career, and it is my distinct privilege to share her voice with you.

Habitually Disruptive 14: 2021 Montana Teacher of the Year Kristi Borge

I met Kristi Borge, 2021 Montana Teacher of the Year, in person during our fall Washington Week event. Her teacher story was intriguing; she teaches in a one-room school. Immediately my mind jumped back to 19th-century schoolmarm, chalkboards, big wooden desks that doubled as lockers, and a bell to let the children know that school is in session.

Hearing Kristi’s story was powerfully educational for me, as a (relative) city kid. She is responsible for EVERYTHING from clearing the snow, discipline, and if she is out sick, there is no school. She describes maternity leave, the ski resort she purchased with her husband, and the only kind of traffic jam you will ever see in her area. Plus we find solidarity in challenges that face both urban and rural kids. Listen, learn, and disrupted your assumptions!

Habitually Disruptive: Chicanisma for the New Milennium

I’ve had a chance to reflect on my 23 years of teaching, and I’ve been reminded to consider the role that Chicana/o/x Education has played in my life. When I came into teaching, and declared myself to be a Chicano teacher, some looked at me quizzically, wondering aloud, “Is that still a thing? Do people still identify as Chicanos?” Later I read a quote by some journalist declaring that “Chicano” is only used by old guys who have handshakes and reminisce about the past.

Welp, thanks to stickin’ around so long, I have seen a renacimiento of the Chicana/o/x name. Not that we ever went anywhere, but there is a new generation of Chicanas and Chicanos entering the teaching profession, but unlike me, the show up as their authentic selves.

I hope you enjoy this Chicana roundtable with Isabel Barajas de Benavidez, Emely Contreras, and Diana Bustamante Aguilar, three early-service teachers who are proudly and uncompromisingly CHICANAS…and who are connecting with each other for the first time.

Habitually Disruptive Emergency Episode: Adams 14 and the Privatization Threat

When Colorado, like so many other states, created its draconian school performance framework and accountability measures (mainly standardized test results), an “accountability clock” was institutionalized and put in place. This meant that if a school did not perform satisfactorily according to standardized testing data, that school or district would face an extinction-level event, in terms of public education: state takeover and potential privatization.

Adams 14, the district serving a population decimated by institutional oppression, environmental racism, and utter neglect, saw its accountability clock run out in 2018. Since then, a comedy of errors has ensued, with charter mismanagement that has landed the district and its hardworking allies in the courts with those who have done them harm.

I sit down with four educators/community members to unpack the urgency of this situation. This is a must-listen. Adams 14 is all of us.