Man, we had no idea there were Chicano teachers in Nebraska, and we sure didn’t know they were as fire as Lee Perez, who represents that state for 2022. On a passionate and animated episode, Lee shares his path, his story, his commitment to justice for multi-language learners and the critical issue of teacher pay and working conditions. His top 5 is fire, and you cannot help but love this dedicated and passionate teacher.
“Oh sure, they’re gonna pick the big gay Appalachian” was Willie Carver’s first thought when he learned he had been nominated as 2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year. It was a crowning achievement after fifteen years. Guided by the credo “fear has armor, love has none,” Willie supported students, especially LGBTQIA+ students, in being themselves and building a deeper understanding of their identities. Despite being warned by a school leader that being out and advocating for his community “you will be crucified, and no one will protect you, including me,” Willie continued to fight for his students.
The homophobia and hate reached a boiling point, and Willie Carver, the 2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, resigned his teaching position.
Hear his thoughts here. Support marginalized and minoritized teachers, students, and communities.
When a former director of equity in a school district joins our podcast you know it’s gonna be good. Stacey Brandon shares what led her to become a social worker in a Denver Metro school district, her journey to becoming director of their equity department, and consequently the decision she had to make realizing that it was time to move on. Enjoy another great episode!
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
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.
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!
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 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!
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.
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.