Sign Language and Inclusion Literature with Kathleen Marcath
July 27, 2021
Sign Language and Inclusion Literature with Kathleen Marcath

As we strive to create environments where all students feel seen, heard, valued, and are thriving, it’s important to ensure that students feel supported and connected with not only educators, but also each other. This may seem difficult to accomplish when you consider that kids come from all different backgrounds and have different needs and methods of learning, but we as educators can gently encourage better social inclusion in education.

Today’s guest, Kathleen Marcath, joins the podcast to discuss the importance of inclusion literature in our classrooms, especially as it pertains to deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Inclusion literature not only helps normalize and celebrate the differences we have, but it keeps kids engaged and fosters better communication and connection between them socially.

Listen in as Kathleen shares about her experience with writing inclusive children’s literature & her mission to extend the conversation of inclusion.


About Kathleen Marcath

Kathleen Marcath has a B.A. degree in Deaf Community Studies. Years of experience as a special education sign language supporter have kindled her passion for helping children reach their educational potential. Kathleen is delighted to help fill the need for picture books illustrated in American Sign Language and is the author of My Monster Truck Goes Everywhere With Me, an educational and fun story that teaches 32 signs in American Sign Language. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother, and resides in Michigan.

To learn more, you can visit her website or find her on Facebook and Instagram.


Jump Through the Conversation

  • [1:48] Following our passions in life and making a difference
  • [8:48] Inclusion as a lens for selecting an illustrator
  • [9:58] Benefits of ASL for children and everyone
  • [28:07] Kathleen’s Magic Wand: Sign Language instruction and practice available in schools for children of all ages
  • [30:03] Maureen’s Take-Aways


Links and Resources:


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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 on our website to get it delivered to your inbox weekly. If you’ve been around a while, have you left a review?


Hi, Kathleen, so good to have you as our guest on Education Evolution today. 


Kathleen Marcath  1:15  

Thank you, Maureen. I am so excited to be here and chat with you. 


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  1:20  

And listeners, today I’m chatting with Kathleen Marcath, who is the author of a children’s book entitled, “My Monster Truck Goes Everywhere with Me”. And this is an educational and fun story that teaches 32 signs in American Sign Language, ASL. And Kathleen is passionate about creating more inclusion for deaf and those hard-of-hearing and exposing people to sign language. So let’s hear her story.


Kathleen, in learner-centered schools, we work with our students to have them pursue their passions. So I think it’s really cool and we as adults model that. How did you shift from a career in insurance to your degree in Deaf Community Studies and writing a children’s book teaching ASL?


Kathleen Marcath  2:10  

Yeah, how do you do that, right? Well, I had gone to a retreat, that I wasn’t particularly crazy about going to but a friend asked so we went. And in that retreat, we learned a song in sign language, “Our God is an Awesome God”. And so the next week, we signed that song at our church. And in that moment, like I felt the electricity of the sign language go through me, something happened. So from that day forward, I had an interest in sign language. But before that, I had an interest in writing children’s stories. Then eventually, I went back to school, I quit my job in the insurance business, and I went back to school to get a degree in Sign Language.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  2:59  

I love it that something spoke to your heart and that you pursued it. That, we want that for all of us as lifelong learners. So I’m curious, what do you think are the benefits of teaching ASL in schools and at home? Because this book was more than just you wanting to create; I think you had some purposes behind it?


Kathleen Marcath  3:23  

Yes, so learning sign language, and I’ve shared the story before. So took classes for sign language at Madonna University, and I earned a bachelor’s degree. At the same time, I was taking an English class. And in that class, we were talking about inclusion literature. And in my sign language courses, we were learning about deaf culture, and how so many deaf children only earn a fourth grade education. And that’s history, and not always true. But in the sign language class, we were supposed to pick a children’s storybook, and then sign it. Like, okay, so I’m going to go to the library and find one of those books and that’s the one that I’m going to sign. But there weren’t any. There weren’t, there weren’t any books with deaf children in them.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  4:15  

Wow. So that led you to want to change that scenario? 


Kathleen Marcath  4:22  

Yeah, yeah. I thought I thought it needed to be changed. Like, so how do deaf kids learn, you know, without a book, because we all learn from books, right? And yeah, I strongly felt the need for that.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  4:39  

I agree. And how did you come up with such a fun theme? I mean, monster trucks. It just makes me smile. The title of your book. 


Kathleen Marcath  4:47  

Oh, good. Well, that credit goes to my grandson, who at three loved monster trucks. I mean, everywhere we went, we tow tons of monster trucks. Everything we did, we went to monster truck shows and we built ramps, and you know, all the things that monster trucks do we fixed…they crashed and we fixed them. So all that stuff went into the story, really about my grandson and his love for monster trucks.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  5:17  

How perfect. And isn’t that how the world works, that we weave in from our personal experiences, and I love that you’re playing that out, knowing that your grandson loves it, I’m sure lots of young kids are going to be gravitating towards your book. So that’s a really special connection.


Kathleen Marcath  5:35  

Yeah, thank you. And I have another fun story about that. So at the first printing of the book, a small print company, her daughter, you know, with COVID, they’re spending a lot of time at work with parents who, you know, are self-employed. So her daughter was helping them pack the book, and she fell in love with the book because the truck was purple.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  6:01  

Color makes a difference, too. I love it. So I don’t think we mentioned this in a previous conversation, but early days in my career, I taught kindergarten. And I really wanted learning to be whole-body learning. So we did a lot of movement, and we did a lot of auditory/visual. And I taught all the kids to finger spell. And so when we’d get to, “Book, what do you think it starts with? Ba, ba, ba,” you’d see their little fingers, their hands up in the air going bah, bah, bah, with their hands. And I know that kinesthetic piece made a difference. Do you see…do you have, from your studies, a sense of ways that sign language impacts cognitive abilities or anything? 


Kathleen Marcath  6:52  

Oh, absolutely. I love, I love that you did that. That’s amazing. So perfect. Yeah, there have been several studies and ongoing studies, and one that I’m most familiar with was done in Italy, where they took second…first and second grade students, studied for two years, children that elected to take sign language classes, and children who elected a different class. So the students who took the sign language classes for the two years, with each…and we know how important testing is, right? With each testing, the children in the sign language group, their scores were higher than those in the other group. In studies like that, there are numerous studies that show that the cognitive ability of students who learn sign language improves like 15 to 20%.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  7:48  

Wow. And we see that. I worked in international schools and I raised my girls to be bilingual Spanish; we see that kids are sponges and their brains make all of those connections, and that it’s really the right time for children. You know, the first nine years is really important to be learning these extra languages. So it doesn’t surprise me that when we create this extra way for our brains to process that it enhances overall cognitive abilities. 


Kathleen Marcath  8:18  

Yeah, it does. And there’s a…inside of that study there’s another one that I really love, where they show the fMRI images of the brain. And they actually show what areas of the brain are activated by sign language. So I think that’s a very exciting thing. And our brains are an amazing, amazing, amazing machine that we don’t use fully, you know?


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  8:45  

Absolutely. Yes. Tell me a little bit about the illustrator of your book and how you found him. 


Kathleen Marcath  8:54  

Oh, okay. So Isaac Ling is a deaf Illustrator, and he lives in Singapore. And I had searched, I had made contact with a few people, local people in my area and things just didn’t…so I saw an article about Isaac on the internet. I tracked him down and he was very excited. So his story is, he began his artistic career at age four, writing/drawing on his parents, mother’s cabinets. I’m not sure how that went, but he’s a very artistic young man, he’s very excited about the project. And it was his first book to illustrate. So he was very excited about it, and what he was most excited about was imagining a deaf child seeing sign language in a book; he goes, “When they see this, their eyes, their faces are just going to light up.” And that’s been true.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  9:58  

Yes. I think it’s so important for all of us to raise this awareness. I know when I’ve been, whether it’s at the Seattle Men’s Chorus amazing concert or in a church service, when I see sign language, it’s just like, “Oh, right! Here’s a whole ‘nother way of communicating” And not only does it increase awareness for me as a hearing person, but I also am so drawn into the beauty. It’s not this mechanical thing, I, it’s like a form of drama. I love the expression. And I just think, wow, this…it really raises my awareness and I imagine that it adds a benefit to everybody that gets exposed to it. 


Kathleen Marcath  10:41  

It does, and I’m so happy that you, you know, see and notice that. Because it is, it’s a very beautiful language and a very powerful language. And with sign language, you can communicate anything expressively. And, like in the book, we use a classifier. For truck, we identify it on the first page of the book, we spell out “monster truck” finger spell it. And then we identify a classifier, which is known as the three classifier, the number three in sign language. And then that truck can move through the air, it can jump over ramps, it can spin in circles, it can race with another truck, and there’s just nothing you can’t do with it. So it’s, it is very beautiful and powerful and fun.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  11:29  

I love that. As somebody that doesn’t sign but speaks Spanish, I would need to change all my words to make a truck, in a verbal language, do different things. And it wouldn’t share any of the energy. So I can just picture that truck doing all kinds of really cool things. And I can picture the energy. So it’s just such a powerful tool for communication. And these are new thoughts for me, but I’m sure they’re like obvious to you.


Kathleen Marcath  11:59  

Yeah, no, there…it is, it is amazing. And when I wrote the book, I had an idea that I wanted, how I wanted, the illustrations and the signing of the story. So I imagined a person reading the story and another person signing the story for a video to join the book, right? Well, that was my vision but it turned out different. And it turned out so much better than I had planned. In that, we’d met two wonderful deaf women, Diana Campbell, and Michelle Osterhaus. And when…their video is accessible with the QR code in the book, so they sign the story, from their perspective, from their excitement in the joy. And it is, it’s just you…it’s amazing, just amazing storytelling and so expressive. I just loved it.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  12:55  

What a creative idea to have the video and have it available in a QR code. Wow, this is just so well thought out. Kathleen, I’m super impressed. Talk to me about some hopes for the book. I know that you have a friend that shared it with her second grade class. What…how do you see it being used? What are some hopes? 


Kathleen Marcath  13:21  

Well, it’d be my hope…you know, I’ve already talked about preschool and kindergarten, that definitely would be an asset to every classroom at that age. Within the second grade, they had an amazing conversation about, “Oh, not everybody can hear the same as I do. Oh, people use their hands to talk and can do that, too.” And they had days of conversation about what it would be like and, “Well, could we sign this? Let’s read the book again. And, and what was that sign for ‘good morning,’ and what was the one for, ‘thank you’?” And so it just opened up a whole wonderful conversation that they they were so excited.


And then beyond that, I’ve had grandmothers and moms buy it for their children who are taking college courses. So there’s, you know, that back to my college class where I had to sign stories. So here’s a book for them to you know, look a little deeper into that. “So what sign what I used to sign ‘truck’?”, because since the illustrating of the book and talking with different deaf people across the country, I’ve seen four and five different ways to sign “truck”. So there’s sign selection, and we talk about that with the supplement sheets that we offer. What signs you choose for “big” and how do you express that. So for the college student, the person or high school student whoever’s taking the sign language class. It’s a great resource for the simple signs that we also give instructions on, or for the story told by Diana or Michelle which will give you some new ideas on how to express your communication with sign language.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  15:12  

That makes perfect sense. I’m curious about inclusion literature. I know the media talks about shaping norms, and how important it is for children to see others in advertising, books, movies, you know, kids who look like I do, and I know Hollywood’s taking that on too. So what’s inclusion literature? And how does your monster truck book help us with that whole awareness and inclusivity?


Kathleen Marcath  15:46  

Yeah, so, like Isaac expressed, you know, when a deaf child sees sign language in a book, their eyes will light up. So, yes, there you know, there are deaf people. There are other people that use sign language that are not deaf. There are other reasons to use it. So just to see that, and I’ve had children express this, and that was a hope of mine as well in the book that, “Oh, well, this is kind of cool. This is kind of fun.” And there’s nothing odd or unusual about it. It’s language. And so yeah, I think that inclusion, showing that, you know, sign language is a very cool thing. It’s a very normal thing. And it’s very, as we said, powerful and beautiful. So I think everyone needs to be represented in a book, and not inclusively for the deaf community, but for everyone. Because that deaf child sits in a classroom with hearing children. And for them to see, “Oh, yeah, he’s in a storybook, too, the same that I am.” That, “I guess we’re more the same than I thought we were.” And really, we are the same. We’re, we’re all seeking for love and compassion and a place to belong and our purpose in life. So I think it just brings more unity to our classrooms, to our children, to our families, and acceptance that we’re, we’re all unique and different, but we’re still all the same.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  17:21  

I completely agree. And I see that. When kids understand…I see that in my micro-school. We have so many different kinds of learners, and we have different sexual orientation, gender identity, gifted, Autism, ADHD. And the kids really get to learn from all these differences and they’ll break it down for a student who’s missing a social cue, or knows that, “I get that math comes easy to me, I’m going to break it down and make it more detailed, because it’s harder for you.” We’re all trying to figure out how we’re like others, how we’re different, and “Can we be included?” And I just see this as a really grace-filled way to extend the conversation of inclusion and not just tolerating differences, but celebrating and welcoming differences.


Kathleen Marcath  18:14  

Right, right. And that’s so true because, you know, like you said, and I love everything you’re putting together with the micro-school, I think that’s amazing. But yeah, when a child sees, “Hey, you know what, Bobby over there, he knows sign language and he’s really good at math. But he needs a little help at reading, and I’m fabulous at reading and writing. Maybe we could work, he could help me and I could help him.”


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  18:37  

Aha. And they feel…I think our school system sometimes makes kids feel like, “If I’m not great at math, English, social studies, chemistry, PE; if I’m not great at these seven topics, something’s wrong with me.” And truthfully, as an adult, I do very little that has to do with mechanical or engineering or this or that; I, I get to play to my strengths. And I think, understanding this rainbow of differences and that I don’t have to be everything, and I don’t have to expect others to be everything is really gentle and compassionate.


Kathleen Marcath  19:12  

Yeah, I think so too. And yeah, just celebrating those differences and accepting them and…and then allowing the kids to find, you know, their strengths. And, and to be included, like every little thing that, every little purpose that we all, we all have a purpose, I believe that. And, and we’re all put together in a classroom with such diversity, right? But yet, we’re…we’re all there for a purpose. And that purpose is to connect with each other and learn from each other, because unless you communicate with me, you don’t know what gift I have to give. And every child has a gift to give.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  19:58  

Yes. You know, that reminds me: just before the pandemic, I got to visit a friend’s preschool. And I’m familiar with immersion language programs. And this was an immersion ASL preschool. And part of the kids were deaf and part of the kids were hearing. And talk about a switch up on gifts. I went into the classroom, and it was silent. And it was so active, and fingers were flying. So all of the sudden, it was a level playing field for the deaf students because nobody was talking and they were actually getting to share their strengths. And the other kids were soaking up sign language as we see children in any culture, soaking up the local language so that they can communicate and connect. And that strength, turning what strengths look like, you know, flipping it, it was really priceless. And we…these strengths…sometimes we forget, we label things as deficits or advantages. And when you spin it, it’s like, “Oh my gosh, no. There are some really important strengths here.


Kathleen Marcath  21:07  

Yeah, absolutely. That’s so funny you should mention that. I was thinking of that earlier today. Like, “What would that be like if, you know, you have a deaf child in the mainstream classroom, and he has his or her interpreter, or, you know, person to help them one-on-one? And what if for a day, they switch that? And the class was taught in sign language?” What an experience that would be.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  21:35  

Yes, yes. Oh, I love it. Well, I am going to put a lot of these things that we’re talking about in the show notes. I really want people to have access to your book, and to some of these other ideas. So thank you. I think that you’re sparking a lot of ideas for me and for the listeners as well.


Kathleen Marcath  21:56  

Well, thank you so much, and I, I just appreciate sharing this and, and I love your podcast, it’s amazing. I am learning so much there myself.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  22:06  

Thank you. And I want to take it from inclusion literature and your book and spend a little time getting to know you with some turbo time questions. How’s that sound? 


Kathleen Marcath  22:17  

Okay, sounds good. 


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  22:20  

So, Kathleen, what is the last book you read?


Kathleen Marcath  22:23  

Well, the book I’m reading right now is “Whole Brain.” It’s by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. And she talks, so she’s like a brain scientist, right? And she studies the brain because her brother was a schizophrenic. And so she’s fascinated by the brain; she wanted to learn how to help him. And so she actually has a stroke at age 37. And as a scientist of the brain, she studies her own brain going through the stroke. And then she talks about her recovery, her eight year recovery, and the life after and how we how to better incorporate our whole brains and that of other people. So I think that’s fascinating. fascinating topic.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  23:12  

Yes, yes. How about two inspirational folks you’d love to meet?


Kathleen Marcath  23:17  

Um, well, a new one on the horizon for me is Jim Kwik, because he also wrote a book that I’ve read too, “Limitless” and talks all about the brain. He was known as, known as the boy with a broken brain growing up. And he has proven his brain is not broken. So I would surely like to meet Jim Kwik. And Katie Davis from the Institute of Children’s Literature. I’d love to chat with her one day.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  23:43  

I love it. How about one TED talk that inspires you?


Kathleen Marcath  23:48  

Yeah, I love TED Talks. And, so Jill, apparently, from, who wrote “The Whole Brain” was the first TED Talk to go viral; she, she mentions that. So hers is pretty fascinating. But Christine Sun Kim is a deaf artist. And so she takes language and sound and she compares it to music and art. And talks a lot about her personal identification. And, and then that communication that goes through an interpreter. So it’s pretty fascinating too, how she expresses, and just gets you thinking like, “Oh, yeah, that’s something to consider.” So she’s pretty interesting. 


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  24:34  

Yeah. What’s the biggest thing you wish folks knew about learning sign language?


Kathleen Marcath  24:40  

It’s not that hard. It’s not that hard. So yeah, I caught on with a song. And if you just watch, even now it’s on the news more often…if you watch you’ll catch it, you’ll catch on. So to know a little bit of sign language is a great thing. I think everybody should know a little bit, a few signs, a hatful of them. So it’s not that hard. It takes practice. And anytime you don’t know something, you can go to the internet and look it up, learn about, you know, reliable resources and go to them and…and then, you know, meet a deaf person and start a relationship. And…but yeah, it’s not that hard to learn a little bit. And you can go, you know, learn a little, learn a lot. You can go as far…as much as you like.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  25:31  

Yeah. How about a pet peeve of yours? 


Kathleen Marcath  25:36  

Double standards. They just drive me up a wall. I need not say more. 


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  25:46  

How about a passion you bring to inclusion for deaf students?


Kathleen Marcath  25:52  

Well, it’s just that I just love kids so much. I think they’re, you know, the greatest gift to us is children. And they’re just full of joy and excitement and love and everything is just thrilling to them. So I kind of think they provide me with maybe more inspiration than I provide them, but yeah. Children, children are, are truly a blessing.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  26:19  

 Yes. What’s a favorite thing? Or a fun fact about being a grandma?


Kathleen Marcath  26:26  

Everything. Yeah, I just, well, yeah, I love kids. And grandkids are fun because, yeah. Like my daughter says, “You’re letting him sit on the endtable?” I go, “Not really hurting anything.” She goes, “If I would have done that…” So yeah, we learn, you know, what, what maybe is important and what’s not so important. And yeah, being a grandma’s wonderful.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  26:57  

How can others be more of an activist in terms of inclusion in our schools?


Kathleen Marcath  27:06  

Yeah, that’s a great question. So I, I think just being involved, being engaged, and being open to new ideas and suggestions, and…and then, as you spoke before, you know, kind of gently encouraging this or that. Why don’t walk gently and tread lightly bringing new ideas to, to fix situations. But yeah, just being involved and willing to participate and help out. Yeah. 


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  27:44  

Yes. And what is something that most people don’t know about you?


Kathleen Marcath  27:51  

Well, um, I guess a lot. I like to speed. So I, I like to say, “Oh, I could have been a racecar driver, or brain scientist.” Um, but yeah, so I guess those are a couple things. 


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  28:08  

Very fun. And I close with a magic wand moment, I just see the hope, when we start to think about possibilities. So if you had a magic wand, Kathleen, what would you wish for, pertaining to sign language learning in schools?


Kathleen Marcath  28:28  

Yeah, my magic wand would put sign language in every preschool, kindergarten, K through eight. Make it elective in high school. And like, I don’t want to be like, “Oh, you have to learn sign language,” no. But make it accessible, make it accessible to the children. And then I just have this wild imagination about the limitless possibilities that we haven’t even tapped into, the potential that sign language offers to so many areas of our life that, they’re waiting to be explored. And so just, yeah, just to imagine, you know, children, deaf and hard-of-hearing and hearing, just exploring the wonders of life and reaching their full potential. But yeah, my magic wand would have my book in every, in every school, in every library, right? But yeah, just that sign language be more… you know, it’s not a scary thing, it’s not a bad thing, and it’s not a weird thing. It’s a wonderful, wonderful, powerful, beautiful expression of language and, and communication. So…


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  29:35  

Yes. Oh, I love it. Kathleen, thank you so much for being our guest today on Education Evolution. I really appreciate all you are doing for our learners.


Kathleen Marcath  29:47  

 Well, thank you so much for having me, Maureen. And I will be staying tuned because you had…your guests are up to great things and it’s very exciting.


Maureen O’Shaughnessy  29:56  

Thank you.


Purple monster trucks, I think that has reframed children’s toys for me, I love it. I’m so impressed that Kathleen made a whole career change based on following her heart. And we talk about ikigai, and what is my passion, my purpose, my skills. And to bravely make a change, later in a career is, is just so courageous. I am going to drop into the show notes, some of these links, and I just want you guys to think about exploring inclusion through the lens of sign language. It’s a newer way…I had it on my radar, but not front and center. So it’s a newer way for us just to think and it will spark even more ideas. And we all need to just keep thinking on how we create more of us-and-we out of the world, and this is one of many wonderful ways. 


I’m also going to put Jim Kwik’s link in the show notes. I’ve done some of his trainings, I think he’s super smart, whether it’s speed reading, or how the brain works. He has a lot of great resources. I appreciated how Kathleen talked about her passion for kids, and how she sees kids as a blessing, and how they’re full of joy. And I think that inspires all of us. And it sure inspires me to look at, what am I doing with middle and high school kids, so that they can perhaps reconnect with that joy if it’s started to dissipate, or how they can find that spark again. I want our schools to be places of kids being engaged and alive and vibrant, because they do come to us with this wonderful sense of joy. And we can do a lot to keep that fire burning. 


I also liked how Kathleen reminds us to be gently encouraging ideas in fixed situations. That takes me back to thinking about polarities, and how we look at the both/and of a situation. And to Episode 61 where Lindsey Burr unpacks that. A fixed situation has many good things in it. What are the upsides of that situation? And what are the upsides of adding in inclusive communication that could include sign language? How do we gently encourage so that we don’t create an us/them or repel people? So I think Kathleen just gave us so many wonderful ideas for how we could be thinking about inclusion differently, inclusion literature differently, and making sign language available, as she said in her magic wand. Wouldn’t that be great if every preschool and kindergartener had access to sign language, and so did all of our other students? And it was one of the foreign language choices in our high schools? I think that’s a wonderful magic wand.


Thank you all for joining me, and for being activists on this Education Evolution journey, where we make sure that learning works for all learners.


If you’re finding yourself thinking, “I need to do this in my school,”let’s talk about it. I consult with schools to help them find new, innovative solutions to reaching every student. Let’s put together an action plan. Visit to book a call and let’s get started.


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. 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.


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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...

Instilling a Practice of Gratitude in Uncertain Times

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...

Building Interdisciplinary Learning into Traditional Classrooms

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...


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Related Posts

Unlocking the World of Literacy with Marnie Ginsburg

Unlocking the World of Literacy with Marnie Ginsburg

This episode explores the multifaceted world of literacy and emphasizes the importance of equipping our children with the tools they need to unlock the joy of reading, even before they step into a classroom.

Leading Like a Teacher with Miriam Plotinsky

Leading Like a Teacher with Miriam Plotinsky

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.

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