Did you have that teacher that just got it? The one that helped you learn to creatively, problem solve, and believe that you could do it—even when you were SURE you couldn’t?
Today in this very special episode, we will take a look at a teacher who has made a lasting impact. I’m chatting with Terry Risdon, unofficial co-founder of our LEADPrep micro-school, an amazing hands-on science teacher, and my educational partner-in-crime since 2014.
Terry has helped grow LEADPrep into a learner-centered sanctuary serving a multitude of students over the past seven years. All good things must come to an end, and Terry is retiring, but her legacy of educational excellence and accessibility will live on in our students, teachers, and our community.
About Terry Risdon
Terry Risdon is the recently-retired Director of Learning at LEADPrep. Her education is in Zoology, Ecology, and Secondary Education. After teaching briefly in public schools, Terry found her heart’s calling while homeschooling her son through high school, in addition to teaching many other homeschooled students and students with special needs. She can be found gardening with native plants, swimming, and watching birds at her backyard feeders in her spare time.
Jump Through the Conversation
- [3:11] Inquiry-based learning starts with the student exploring
- [5:06] Scaffolding to get past student resistance
- [14:43] Science and service-learning combined
- [16:58] Obstacles to learner-center, hands-on learning
- [21:23] Turbo Time with Terry
- [29:09] Terry’s Magic Wand: Letting students design and implement their own learning experiences
- [30:52] Maureen’s Take-Aways
Links and Resources:
- Inquiry-based learning
- Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History is a 1989 book on the evolution of Cambrian fauna by Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould
- The Disarming Case to Act Right Now on Climate Change, Greta Thunberg’s TED talk
- LEADPrep’s video tribute to Terry
- LEADPrep’s Tribute to My Partner-in-Crime blog
- Email Maureen
- The Education Evolution
- Facebook: Follow Education Evolution
- Twitter: Follow Education Evolution
- LinkedIn: Follow Education Evolution
- EdActive Collective
- Maureen’s book: Creating Micro-Schools for Colorful Mismatched Kids
- Micro-school feature on Good Morning America
- The Micro-School Coalition
- Facebook: The Micro-School Coalition
Thanks for listening! Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Android. If you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes and share what you liked about the show.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 0:03
Hello fellow parents and educators. Thank you for joining me at education evolution, where we are disrupting the status quo in today’s learning models. We talk about present-day education, what’s broken, who’s fixing it, and how. I’m Dr. Maureen O’Shaughnessy, your host, and founder of education, evolution, and the micro-school coalition, where we are fiercely committed to changing the narrative to reimagining the education landscape and creating learning that serves all children and prepares them to thrive. If you are new, welcome to the podcast. Please subscribe to our website to get it delivered to your inbox weekly. If you’ve been around awhile, have you left a review?
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 1:09
Hi, Terry. It is so good to have you on the podcast today. Thank you. I’m happy to be here. And listeners. Today I’m chatting with Terry risen, science teacher extraordinaire. And pretty much the co-founder of our lead prep micro-school. Terry was recommended to me in 2013 as an amazing hands-on science teacher. The following year, she joined our fledgling school and quickly became my partner in crime. growing our idea into a school that has been a learner-centered sanctuary serving a multitude of students over these past eight years. I count Terry as a friend. And it was with mixed emotions that our community recently celebrated her retirement. Tara, you’ve amazed me for years with your thoughtful and creative approach to science. Let’s share with our education evolution listeners. Sure. So I want to start out with you coming from teaching in homeschool co Ops, homeschool is often about educational innovation that’s needed but the families haven’t been able to find and so like, Hey, I’m going to do it myself. So why did you leave public school teaching and switch to homeschool teaching?
Terry Risdon 2:26
I actually took quite a break when my son was after my son was born and wasn’t teaching for a while. But when I started homeschooling him in the fourth grade, we joined a co-op. And I realized right away that homeschoolers, a lot of homeschool families are not really comfortable teaching science, they think it’s just beyond them. I don’t think it really is. But they think so. And so I started some classes, and I wanted my son to be able to take them, but there were so they were always full. There were so many parents who are grateful to have a teacher do science with their kids love it. Yes. And you focus on science education by inquiry.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 3:13
Could you explain that approach?
Terry Risdon 3:14
Yes. So rather than lecturing and telling students, these are all the scientific truths that have been discovered, and so and so discovered this in 18, whatever, and then have them do a lab, which then verifies that this actually is real and true. That’s the model that the Standard Model, like in public school, traditional school inquiry means you have the students do the experiment first. And you don’t tell them what the results are supposed to be. So then they have to think about what does this means? And then you start filling in well, so and so did this did an experiment similar to this, and they’re much more engaged when there’s that unknown? And they’re not just going through the motions, and I’ve had students even recently Tell me, why do I have to do this experiment? I know what’s going to happen?
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 4:15
I love that. And I think some listeners might go, well, wow, that’s radical. But when I was overseas, our Canadian teachers at our international schools use constructivism and inquiry and, you know, it’s really a best practice. It’s not a one-off a lot of people swear by this because it’s having kids think And isn’t that what school is about?
Terry Risdon 4:40
Exactly, exactly. And it helps develop all of those higher-level thinking skills.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 4:45
Yeah. So we know many of the kids that come to us just want you to tell me the hoops. Let me get through this. And that’s kind of how they’ve maybe survived. It’s not about oh, I’m curious and what can I learn And I can picture some of our students, I can picture one in particular who’s like, just told me what to do? And how have you gotten past this resistance when I get a new high school student, and say you present them with a design thinking challenge, because I know we’ve had some big Junior grumpy kiddos that end up loving you, how do you get them past that resistance?
Terry Risdon 5:20
They probably are unsure that they have the skills and they may not have ever practiced that. And so it’s really an unknown territory to them, and they may not have the confidence. So I think that when I see a student like that, I will start scaffolding for them. And just say, Well, okay, let’s chunk it down. What is it the question that you’re trying to answer? And, you know, what’s one thing, one way that you can go about trying to find this out, and just kind of sit with them and help them piece things together and take the little steps, and just encouraging them but definitely not backing down and letting giving them the answers? Or they are having them work with other students who are a little more confident with those skills. And so they can kind of go along for the ride and watch other students doing it. And to kind of see, see that model for them.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 6:24
That the answer just personifies why it was so great to have you, our Director of learning, as we brought on younger teachers that maybe didn’t have as much experience but had a passion for working with our kids. Because scaffolding, you know that instead of seeing the behavior as taking it personally, like, Oh, this kid is being disrespectful or contrary or something, huh? What does this behavior tell me? What’s behind it? And then how can I break it down? And oh, my gosh, thank goodness for people that break down. Anything that has to do with my car, or income taxes? Or, you know, we all need things scaffolds for you to go Hmm, what’s behind the behavior? How can I break it down? How can I use peers? That’s that master teacher that is going to help kids get to the learning and, and help them build confidence. So that’s something we’re gonna miss.
Terry Risdon 7:13
You know, we all have our areas. I mean, I think that teachers always have to remember that students are asked to do things they don’t know how to do every single day. Think we sort of know what we’re planning, but students are asked to come to school every day and try things they don’t know how to do, or they might not be particularly good at. And, yeah, it’s really important to support them in that.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 7:40
Absolutely. And by our age and experience, I know I have eliminated a ton of things that I’m not good at, or I don’t know how to do I have somebody else do it, or it doesn’t get done. And yeah, they don’t have that choice. So you’re right, they’re in a pretty vulnerable position at a developmental stage when they’re really caring about what others think about them. That’s kind of a double whammy. Yes.
Terry Risdon 8:03
Yes. It’s a challenging time to be a young person. Yes.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 8:09
So tell us one of your favorite hands-on learning activities. You did so many cool ones that I was one that you’ve found fun.
Terry Risdon 8:19
Well, the first one I did when I was in the second year of school, the first year I was there. We built mousetrap cars. Yeah. And that was just so much fun. And I didn’t have really experience in doing it. So I was pretty much learning along with the students. And it was a huge build project. Because we were we did some prototypes, and we figured out what worked best. And then they built the final ones and tweak them. And we were I’m using it to illustrate Newton’s laws of motion. And so they had to be able to help, you know, show me their car at the end. And describe how does that car illustrates Newton’s first and second and third laws. And they were pretty much able to do it at that point. But you know, when they started out, I remember a couple of students coming up to me and said, Can you cut this? I can’t use scissors. And so yeah, and those that that one student, in particular, ended up being just a, you know, how many years later a wonderful engineer and could build anything built the generator for his group in physics, and yeah.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 9:31
And I wasn’t one of those kids that really liked science. I memorized it and did it. And so I’ve always been impressed. Like, wait, they’re playing, they’re creating, they’re laughing and it doesn’t work and they’re fixing it and they’re having so much fun. And then when you’re describing, you know, you put a blurb in our newsletter, you know, Newton’s law and this and that and this and that. It’s like, wait, that was that scary science that I tolerated. But I saw this fun stuff going on with kids. laughing and learning, it’s like, for me, that was almost cognitive dissonance that that scary science stuff could be so hands-on and fun and, and it’s like, wow, why didn’t more of us get that amazing experience?
Terry Risdon 10:14
It’s a lot of work for the teacher. Okay, one of the things that I adamantly will always do is I always do the experiment. First, I always build the project first. And that’s one thing I’ve been telling our new newer teachers always do the experiment first because you don’t want to just not work and, and as a teacher, I just I learned a lot I enjoy being hands-on do hands-on things, then I can refine, refine the maybe the materials and give them some tips and make it go a little more smoothly. Yes.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 10:50
So flash forward, pandemic, and I’m remote, and I’m seeing that Oh, wait, I pop into school, and I’m seeing these baggies and stuff. How in the world for our kids that needed to stay remote? How in the world? Did you get hands-on science in the middle of a pandemic?
Terry Risdon 11:10
Well, a lot of planning, planning way ahead. So the other science teachers and I, we would get way out ahead, you know, get decide what we were going to do, it was rather expensive to buy materials for every single student. So we really had to think hard about what was the best use of our funds, and then get order materials, bag them all together, make sure that their parents pick them up in time and, and they had them at home. And then I would have to make sure that I gave them a heads up next time you’re going to need this. Because if I just said okay, go get your baggie of materials. And they say what Peggy and mom had it and mom was at work or on doing an errand or something. So there was a lot of logistics just right at the time of the class. But that said, we did circuits we built circuits. I had them buy fruits and potatoes, and they built a potato circuit. And they were really thrilled that the light bulb actually lit up. And so we were able to do certain things.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 12:26
And yeah, I’m impressed I am. So I mean, all of the teachers kept the connection and learning real during the pandemic, which is huge. But for you to do hands-on science, with kids that are remote. Hats off, Terry, that’s amazing.
Terry Risdon 12:40
And the one thing that the other side’s teachers and I didn’t realize was then we had to get all the materials back, sort through them and organize them again. And but it was well worth it the students. I think they really appreciated being able to do something.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 12:59
Yeah, I think they did, too. And I heard great things from parents and students. So shifting a little bit, how can we encourage girls in science and engineering?
Terry Risdon 13:11
I think that making it’s great if they have role models, and maybe bringing out pointing out all of the women who do work in science, technology and etc. Engineering, I think it really needs to start from a pretty young age. And I really, appreciate when elementary teachers will be doing hands-on doing science and encouraging girls. But I think one of the turning points, of course, is right around sixth-grade middle school age, when girls become socially aware before the boys do. And they think that they should be that it’s not feminine, to be smart. And especially in engineering. I really do see that changing in like saved from my generation. Absolutely. From my generation to what I see today. It’s a hard thing. You know, I’m not sure that one teacher can change everything changing anything for a particular student, but we can all just work at it. And I think that as teachers, we need to maybe have it as a priority to make girls. Help girls feel capable.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 14:27
I agree. Yeah. Yeah. We know there are so many STEM, jobs not being filled. And boy, we need to make sure all of our kids have that opportunity and especially, especially our girls. Yeah. So you’re passionate about climate change and also about service. You’ve done so much work with Audubon and birds. And it seems like service is a natural part of hands-on learning. What are some examples of how you’ve gotten kids into nature Sure, and supported service-learning?
Terry Risdon 15:03
Well, we partnered with both mountain sound Greenway and green Kirkland, and just set up service projects and workout doors with them. It inevitably involves a whole lot of pulling blackberries with or mulching, which is not the, you know, the most exciting thing to do. But I’m always surprised like, even this spring, we were able to do a trip with social distance, not sharing tools and things. And several students who were very resistant in the classroom, just dove in. And were really excited about filling their bucket the most times with blackberries and things like that. I just think it’s really, really valuable for students to be out doing service and doing something that they are not directly going to benefit from. But feeling and feeling part of something bigger too.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 16:07
Absolutely, yeah, I remember one of the services I think was with monster sand Greenway. Kids came back and the highlight was digging. postholes
Terry Risdon 16:19
Yeah, they go figure. And you know, when we go back to that park, I point out to the new students over there, that stretch of fence, our students put those posts in our students built that fence. I don’t know how impressed they are, but that is cool. And it’s just so much fun.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 16:40
Yeah, absolutely. So in CO founding lead prep with me, I would talk on the podcast about others starting something that they believe in, what do you think have been the biggest struggles or roadblocks to starting this learner-centered hands-on micro-school?
Terry Risdon 17:00
I think that the way that we educate the model that we have, without textbooks without lectures, I think that that’s it’s just not traditional. And I think that a lot of parents just weren’t sure how their students could learn that way. I’m hoping that it becomes more and more prevalent as people see different ways of learning that they’ll understand that it works for it really works for it will work for all students and it really benefits some students.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 17:42
Absolutely. You know that is it’s such a mindset. I’m trying to unpack the neuroscience Why is there so much resistance and I’m learning about herding instinct, all these survival things that are subconscious. And recently I had two of our alum from the class of 2019 on because they both are just wrapping up their second year of college and nailing it it’s like wait, you guys didn’t have hours and hours of textbooks and papers? How can you nail traditional college when you like Hello, we had we know how to read and write you guys made sure of that. But you taught us our passion so and we knew our strengths. We had all this confidence we were ready because we weren’t bogged down with stuff that felt deadening you know, and so I think parents are so afraid if I don’t have traditional high school How can they go on to traditional college and the journey I’m Bella Bella both assured me they didn’t need more textbooks. Once you know how to read, you can read when you need to. Once you can write you know that they really needed to explore and communicate and know how to talk to teachers that translated to talking to the professor’s so I wish her parents could I maybe I should make all of our prospective families listen to that podcast because we don’t need traditional high school to be amazing in college.
Terry Risdon 18:54
Yes, and you know, maybe this experience with being at home during COVID and parents getting an earful you know, being part of their students’ education, maybe they will begin to see that it’s not so much about the techniques, teaching, etc. It’s about the whole student. Yeah, we care about the whole student.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 19:19
Yes, absolutely. Okay, now that retirement is here. What what’s next for you? You’ve always been busy. What are you going to be doing to stay busy?
Terry Risdon 19:31
Shop shopping, suffer. But seriously, I’ve been doing a little reading on what makes a successful retirement and I’m not sure and when I gave the graduate commencement speech two days ago to our six graduates, one of the things I talked about was uncertainty. And then the uncertainty of the future opens up makes you think you make you capable of being more open to possibilities. So I don’t know what I’m going to do. This is what I remember when my son was at the end of his high school years, and he was going to go on to college and I was through homeschooling. I remember telling friends, I want to do something really meaningful. And I know I’m making a difference, but I have no idea what it is. And guess what? We found each other. And I found the place I belonged. And I look at that, and I think now, okay, what’s next? I don’t know. But I’m just sure that if I’m consciously looking for something meaningful, that I’ll find it. That said, I’ve also told I told some students this last month that I would be perfectly happy being known as the lady who plants trees all over the Northwest.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 21:00
Oh, yes. Yes. I think that’s funny. I think you have to be careful what you wish for. Because, boy, we gave it to you, didn’t we?
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 21:11
Oh, so let’s get to know the person Terry Behind the Science Teaching, an amazing experience. Let me throw some turbo time questions your way. So what’s the last book you read?
Terry Risdon 21:28
The last book guy. Well, the book I read is called wonderful life. And it’s actually about a fossil find in British Columbia. And it’s a book from the 80s. But it’s fascinating. And it describes how finding this rich array of fossils really led scientists to rethink how evolution happens. Wow, very cool.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 21:54
Who are two inspirational folks or characters that you’d love to meet?
Terry Risdon 22:00
Well, I’ve always said that I would have loved to met and known Eleanor Roosevelt. She is such an amazing person who did so much and beyond what she thought she could do. And I think I would really love to meet Jane Goodall.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 22:21
Terry Risdon 22:22
Yes. She was the young woman who just followed her passion. Yes. And just kept following it.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 22:30
Boy, Yeah, totally. They’re both so inspirational and real life. amazing people.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 22:36
Yes. How about a TED talk that inspires you?
Terry Risdon 22:41
You know, this past year teaching students about climate change. We all listen to a TED talk by Greta Thornburg. And she to me is so inspiring. She’s so intense. And she’s just so real.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 22:59
And a student. She’s like, Hey, come on. I’m young. This is my planet. Come on, guys. So I find her inspiring. Yes, I did, too. What’s the biggest thing you wish folks knew about inquiry learning?
Terry Risdon 23:16
Well, it’s hard work. But it’s so much more fun. That’s the thing. It’s so much more fun to discover things and help students discover and see their light bulbs go off.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 23:31
Absolutely. Mary Poppins. Nailed it. A spoonful of sugar. Come on. Let’s have some fun in school. Yes. How about a pet peeve of yours?
Terry Risdon 23:41
wastefulness. Just in general day to day wastefulness. And overall to you know, driving the big cars and using up all that gas and throwing away the plastic bags is like no. We need to just be really careful about materials.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 24:01
Yes. And you led the whole composting and sorting campaign as we moved into our own space in Kirkland, and you’ve helped another generation that was somewhat successful. Work in Progress, right? Yes, yes. Ah, yeah.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 24:20
What’s the passion you bring to the science classroom?
Terry Risdon 24:24
Just trying to I always want to know the how, how is this going to work the why, why does this happen? So I think discovery, the discovery piece is really important to me.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 24:37
I see that and I see that not just in science, but I see that in, in your relationships with students is ha what makes this kid tick. So I see that overall in you and I think the tributes that you got to graduation from alumni and everything were in the stories they would say you did this or you mentioned this TV show and you know the You were constantly discovering and helping the students discover themselves. So I think it really made for rich relationships too I treasure those relationships. And everybody knows it. It’s so mutual. What’s your favorite thing or fun fact about your passion for bird watching?
Terry Risdon 25:22
Oh, I was just out last night. I mean, at dusk, 10 o’clock at night, looking for common nighthawks, which we saw. Anyway, that’s another story. But there was a group of us watching for them. So birdwatching for people who don’t really understand it or can’t see the point. It’s not about ticking off the names of the birds and stuff. It’s it connects me with the seasonal rhythm of the earth. And birds migrate, they, they come and they go. And so like right now certain birds are showing up. They’ve been somewhere else for the winter, and they’re showing up. And they’re like old friends. Oh, you’re back again. Yay. You know, and it just, yeah, there’s this rhythm of life. And they go through that generational rhythm every year as they do their nesting and raise their babies.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 26:21
That definition because I’m one of those that like, Ha, what’s its attraction? Very cool. How can others be activists and create learner-centered classrooms?
Terry Risdon 26:38
I think you have to come from the thinking from the position that What? What are my students? What would they like to do? How would they like to work? What would they like to be doing? Not about what do I need to teach them? But if you’re doing this topic, what would you think about what the students are actually going to be doing? moving around handling things, etc. So that makes them the center of your lesson plans. And think about it from that point of view, not just about what you’re trying to teach them.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 27:24
That student-centered spin, versus you as the expert, dispensing wisdom. Wow, that, that I think that’s the 180 that we all need to be aspiring to. can own it.
Terry Risdon 27:39
Yeah. And that’s one thing that I said to our teachers, and as I mentor them, is that well, yeah, you’ve got a great lesson here. But what was your student doing? You know what you’re doing, but what was your student doing during this whole lesson?
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 27:55
And that question, I don’t think I ever had raised in all my teacher training, somebody say make sure you know, you know, it’s all about what am I going to do? What do I do next? Did I set the anticipatory set? Did I? So you’re totally flipping it is like, Oh, right. We should be thinking about the students Imagine that.
Terry Risdon 28:15
It’s their experience that could matters.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 28:18
Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Last question in the turbo time questions. What’s something about you most folks don’t know, Terry.
Terry Risdon 28:28
When I was young, I love to dance. And I took like tap dancing lessons. And I put on the tutu and whatever, sing and dance. But I’ve even done modern dance when I was in my 20s. And I’m thinking now I’m retiring, and I’ve got this old body, but I want to dance again. I want to move around. I love moving to music. So maybe that’ll happen. Of course, you
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 28:55
I see when you set an intention and throw it out in the universe, it happens. So, okay, I’m gonna check in with you and see how that’s coming. I love it. I like to end my podcast with a magic wand question. Just because when we aspire, and when we can visualize things, they get created, as you and I well know. So Terry, if you had a magic wand, what would you want science and schools to look like for our wonderful learners?
Terry Risdon 29:28
Wow, that’s a big question. I now um, I think I would want to be for students to be able to design some of their own topics, classes, and have time to pursue them during the school day and not have to wait until they go home after school. And try to pursue their passions and give them time and space to do that. As school. I think that’s the direction that Lead PrEP is heading. Now, but I think that that’s the thinking about too much teaching in public school and where it’s so regimented. And you’ve got 50 students 50 minutes with for each class, to have a little more fluidity. And for students to be able to just like I said, pursue something that they really want to learn.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 30:27
Love it. Terry, thank you so much for the seven years you’ve given to lead prep, and for being my guest today on the education evolution podcast. It is my pleasure.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 30:53
It is really bittersweet to have this conversation with Terry. I will put a link in the show notes to the tribute that our alumni and teachers and parents, the video creation we made to thank her, and also to a blog that I wrote in tribute to her seriously, lead prep would not exist without her amazing collaboration. So I feel gratitude. And I feel sad that we’re coming to the end of this era. But Terry is definitely a unicorn in the world of educators. She has always gone above and beyond. And one of the examples I give in my tribute is when she created conductive playdough to work on circuitry with the students that amazed me. And then I’m like, wait, what’s this over here? Oh, that’s gluten-free, conductive playdough. For one of our students who has a gluten intolerance, it’s like, oh, my gosh, she had groups arranged in advance where they would sit. And her question I think resonates for all of us working with youth, when we get busy and think, Okay, what am I going to present? What activities? Am I going to plan? What am I going to lead? she flips that whole conversation on its head by asking, what should my students be doing?
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 32:28
What will my students be doing? Are they creating? Are they this? Are they that? What would they like to be doing? You know, looking at the whole activity through the lens of the student? Is this activity for my students? Is this engaging? Is there room for the agency? Can they have a voice in how this plays out? Do they have choices? So that whole idea of the student experience is powerful? And the other idea that we ask kids to come to school and do stuff that they don’t know, they’re not good at? And perhaps five or six subjects a day? And if there’s defensiveness, could that be that behavior is telling us something else, and for her to always be curious, and to figure out ways to break it down and get to where there is that success, and then build on it? I know, when I had five classes, 30 kids in each class, I didn’t have the bandwidth to be this personalized. But there are ways we can all be taking some steps to be personalized. I know when I taught Elementary, I did every art project in advance and had a sample had some ideas, and had a chance to explore what worked or what didn’t work. It’s more work. But we can do the experiments we can do the projects in advance, have that run through before we do it with kids. There’s so much we can do to be that top-caliber educator that Terry is and was it’s a she to me is just a representative of student-centered inquiry learning that we can all aspire to. And we are definitely going to miss Terry and pull her back in for some of the mini-projects and design labs as we move forward. And I’m so glad you got to hear a little of her magic today. Thank you for joining us.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 34:32
I know how challenging it is to make changes inside your own school or community. I’ve spent years working with schools around the world on creating learner-centered programs. And it always struck me how much schools were able to get done with the right tools and guidance. If you’re ready to make changes like this in your own school, let’s talk and put together an action plan. Visit educationevolution.org/consult for a free 15-minute call. And let’s see if we’re a good fit for more work together.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 35:09
Education evolution listeners, you are the ones to ensure we create classrooms where each student is seen, heard, valued, and thriving. We need you. Let’s go out and reach every student today.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 35:30
I’d be so grateful if you’d head over to your podcast app to give a great rating and review if you found this episode valuable. Don’t wait. Please do it right now before you forget. I really appreciate it. Thank you for listening, signing off. I am Maureen O’Shaughnessy, your partner in boldly reimagining education.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Reading is simple, right? Not for everyone, and it’s especially challenging for those who don’t have access to all the tools and resources they need to be successful. This week we hear from Marnie Ginsburg, founder of Reading Simplified, who has dedicated her career...
The further away administrators get from their roots as teachers, the more they forget what it’s like to be in the trenches. The result is often either a real or perceived lack of empathy for teachers. Both teachers and administrators have vital roles in the school,...
We all want what’s best for our learners, but oftentimes biases get in the way of having productive conversations about what learning should look like in the classroom. Instead, we need to have evidence- and research-based conversations that support what truly works...
Latest Blog Posts
School change is so much harder than I thought! When I did my doctoral research on school innovation and created a hands-on learning school-within-a-school in the 90s, I had no idea that I’d spend the next few decades making tiny changes. Changes that often...
Thanksgiving looks different this year. Traditions are being shattered in 2020 and new realities are emerging. Thanksgiving is no exception. After Canada’s Thanksgiving in October, COVID statistics jumped, reminding us that, sadly, the pandemic isn’t taking a break...
A traditional classroom setting is just that...traditional. Teachers must teach specific subjects for a required amount of time, often using prescribed curriculum materials that may be a decade old. There’s little consideration for the individual learner--their...
This week on the podcast, we’re welcoming back author and educator Miriam Plotinsky. She’s sharing about her latest book, Lead Like a Teacher, and talking about what school leaders can do to build more trust and a more collaborative school environment.
We can all be active in policy making, starting at our own schools level. Parent and teacher involvement is vital in ensuring that we focus on overall coherence in our schools.
Tune in to discover how education and practical programs are transforming lives by providing access to nutritious food and empowering young learners to develop lifelong healthy eating habits.