Episodes

The conversations teachers are having in schools today could determine what our world looks like in the future. THIS PODCAST GIVES THOSE TEACHERS A VOICE THROUGH A WEEKLY CONVERSATION ABOUT THE BIG ISSUES OF THE DAY. LISTEN AND GET A TEACHERLY TAKE ON THE WORLD. HOSTED BY PUBLIC RADIO NEWS ANCHOR KYLE PALMER AND A DEDICATED TEAM OF TEACHERS.

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THE “FORTNITE” LESSON

SOME SAY FORTNITE, THE VIDEO GAME, SHOULD BE BANNED. OUR TEACHERS SAY THAT’S A BAD IDEA. INSTEAD, SCHOOLS SHOULD BE LEARNING HOW TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF KID’S GAMING PASSION.

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The “achievement gap” Lesson

The achievement gap between rich and poor students has hardly budged in 50 years. Our teachers say maybe we need to redefine what “gap” even means. Plus, bathroom access is always a hot topic at schools, but are we hurting student’s health by restricting when they can go?

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The “Incentive Pay” Lesson

THE DENVER TEACHER STRIKE WAS FOCUSED MOSTLY ON COMPLAINTS ABOUT INCENTIVE PAY. OUR TEACHERS BREAK DOWN THAT IDEA. PLUS, STANDARDIZED TESTING…WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?

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The “Class Size” Lesson

CLASS SIZE WAS A BIG STICKING POINT IN THE RECENT LA TEACHERS STRIKE. BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN A CLASS REALLY IS TOO BIG? AND THE COVINGTON CATHOLIC MESS, SOME SAY IT’S A TEACHABLE MOMENT. IF SO, WHO’S GETTING TAUGHT AND WHAT ARE THEY LEARNING?

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THE “LEARNING TO READ” LESSON

IF READING IS FUNDAMENTAL, WHY DO SO MANY AMERICAN KIDS STRUGGLE WITH IT? Emily Hanford from American Public Media explains. PLUS, WE KNOW ABOUT THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE HOMEWORK GAP.

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DISCIPLINE. OUR TEACHERS SAY THEIR SCHOOLS ARE STARTING TO GET IT RIGHT. NOW, BETSY DEVOS IS GETTING INVOLVED. PLUS, THE OLD TENSIONS BETWEEN CHARTER SCHOOLS AND DISTRICT SCHOOLS IS BACK IN THE HEADLINES AFTER A CHARTER SCHOOL STRIKE IN CHICAGO. AND, HOW WHAT MONTH YOUR CHILD IS BORN IN AFFECTS WHETHER THEY’RE DIAGNOSED WITH ADHD.

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THE “TEACHER SHORTAGES” LESSON

TEACHER SHORTAGES HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR DECADES, BUT NEW RESEARCH SHOWS IT’S GETTING WORSE. WHAT IMPACT DOES THAT HAVE ON KIDS AND CLASSROOMS?

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THE “COLLEGE ADMISSIONS” LESSON

A COLLEGE ADMISSIONS CHEATING SCANDAL HAS SHOCKED AMERICA. OUR TEACHERS SAY…YOU THINK THAT’S BAD…HOW ABOUT ALL THE LEGAL WAYS THE ADMISSIONS PROCESS IS UNEQUAL. PLUS, “GRIT”…OUR TEACHERS SAY THERE’S A LOT WRONG WITH HOW IT’S BEING USED IN THE CLASSROOM.

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THe “Mass INcarceration” Lesson

THERE’S A GOOD CHANCE YOU HAVE OR HAVE HAD A STUDENT WITH A LOVED ONE IN PRISON. BUT WE RARELY TALK ABOUT HOW TO HELP KIDS DEALING WITH THE EFFECTS OF MASS INCARCERATION. WE FIX THAT ON THIS WEEK’S EPISODE.

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THE “TEACH-IN” LESSON

THE NATIONAL TEACHER OF THE YEAR CALLS THE DETENTION OF MIGRANT CHILDREN AT THE BORDER “ABUSE” AND AN “ATROCITY”. BUT SHE SAYS TEACHERS CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. PLUS, AS AMERICAN CITIES ARE BECOMING LESS SEGREGATED…ARE SCHOOLS FOLLOWING SUIT?

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The “Civics” Lesson

CAN CIVICS CLASS SAVE AMERICAN DEMOCRACY? OUR TEACHERS SAY THE PERENNIAL DEBATE HAS A NEW LOOK AFTER TRUMP’S ELECTION. PLUS, SCHOOLS ARE INEQUITABLE BUT, IT TURNS OUT, SO ARE PTAS. HOW THIS INEQUALITY CHANGES THE DYNAMIC IN SCHOOLS. FINALLY, THE EPIDEMIC OF ABSENTEEISM.

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The “INCLUSIVITY” LESSON

The teaching profession notoriously has trouble recruiting and retaining teachers of color. We discuss why that is and what can be done about it. Plus, a new digital divide…it’s not about having too little technology, but having too much.

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The “seeing The Signs” Lesson

WARNING: This episode contains conversations about teen suicide. The number for the National Suicide Helpline is 1-800-273-8255.

The specter of teen suicide is again in the news. Do you feel comfortable broaching that topic with your students? Our teachers have advice.

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THE “DR. SEUSS” LESSON

DR. SEUSS IS ONE OF THE MOST BELOVED CHILDREN AUTHORS OF ALL TIME, BUT HIS PLACE IN THE LITERARY CANON IS BEING CHALLENGED. THE REASON HAS TO DO WITH HISTORY AND RACE. PLUS, CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS HAS A BIG PROBLEM WITH GANGS…BUT OUR TEACHERS SAY WHAT THEY DID TO FIX THE SITUATION ONLY MADE IT WORSE.

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The “Gentrification” Lesson

MANY CITY SCHOOLS STRUGGLE WITH THE G-WORD. GENTRIFICATION. BUT THERE ARE ACTUAL STEPS SCHOOLS CAN TAKE TO GET INVOLVED. PLUS, NORMS ABOUT MANHOOD ARE CHANGING BUT OUR TEACHERS SEEING A DIFFERENCE IN THEIR MALE STUDENTS? THREE FEMALE TEACHERS GIVE US THEIR TAKE.

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THE “HAPPY SCHOOLS” LESSON

A KANSAS TEENAGER IS SET TO GRADUATE FROM HIS HIGH SCHOOL, AND HARVARD UNIVERSITY THIS SPRING…AT THE SAME TIME. WE HAVE A WHOLE LOT OF QUESTIONS. PLUS, IS YOUR SCHOOL A HAPPY PLACE? DOES IT NEED TO BE IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL? OUR TEACHER’S ANSWERS MIGHT SURPRISE YOU.

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THE “PENSIONS” LESSON

RETIREMENT. IF YOU’RE A YOUNG TEACHER YOU MIGHT NOT BE THINKING ABOUT IT MUCH, BUT OUR VETERAN TEACHERS SAY YOU SHOULD START RIGHT NOW. PLUS, TIS THE SEASON FOR SNOW DAYS. STUDENTS AND TEACHERS LOVE THEM, RIGHT? WHY SNOW DAYS CAN BE SO DISRUPTIVE. AND, HOMEWORK IN KINDERGARTEN…IS THAT TOO YOUNG?

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THe “White Fragility” Lesson

It’s one of the most difficult topics to discuss in schools: white fragility. And yet, it has major seen and unseen effects on faculty and students. This week, we talk with Robin DiAngelo—the woman who coined the term “white fragility”—about what educators can do to address it in school.

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The “renewal” Lesson

There is a growing schism among education reformers. One side says schools should be held account for their performance…even to the point of closing them down. The other believes we should give them more resources and funding to see what happens. This conflict has come to a dramatic point in New York City with an initiative called Renewal. New York Times reporter Eliza Shapiro talks with us about what this all means for education reform efforts across the country. 

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THE “WE WILL NOT BE ERASED” LESSON

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WANTS TO REDEFINE GENDER. YOUNG TRANS PEOPLE AND THEIR TEACHERS ARE READY TO FIGHT BACK. PLUS, SHOULD TEACHERS STAY NEUTRAL ABOUT CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN CLASS? IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? ONE CHICAGO TEACHER THOUGHT HER DISTRICT’S DIRECTIVE ABOUT THE LAQUAN MCDONALD KILLING WASN’T RIGHt.

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The “Midterms” Lesson

Holding back students a grade level is seen by many as a way to uphold rigorous academic standards…but it can also backfire. Plus, we thought after this spring’s rallies that teens were going to be a voting force in the year’s midterms…does that still hold true?

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THE "BRETT KAVANAUGH ACCUSATIONS" LESSON

The sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh feel very familiar to our teachers. They say too many of their kids have similar stories to tell. Plus, should school end their football programs? Those topics and “Kids These Days” on this episode!

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The “Monitoring Students” Lesson

Should schools monitor student’s social media to help prevent school shootings and suicides, or is that an invasion of privacy? Also, we like to think schools are making progress when it comes to being inclusive. But the tragic story of a nine year old who came out as gay reminds us we may not have come as far as we want. Those stories plus “Kids These Days”.

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THE "50 PERCENT" LESSON

On this episode: what’s the difference between a 0 and a 50 percent…our teacher’s say it could mean everything. Plus, when does your school start…whatever time it is, experts say it’s likely too early.

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THE "ACT/SAT" Lesson

As more states require students to take the ACT/SAT, we ask...is that actually a good idea? Plus, kids are not reading for fun as much as they once did, but we're not ready to give up on books just yet. All that and "Kids These Days".

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The “Monitoring Students” Lesson

Should schools monitor student’s social media to help prevent school shootings and suicides, or is that an invasion of privacy? Also, we like to think schools are making progress when it comes to being inclusive. But the tragic story of a nine year old who came out as gay reminds us we may not have come as far as we want. Those stories plus “Kids These Days”.

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The “Teachers Who Look LIke You” Lesson

America’s students are getting more diverse…but our teaching force is going in the opposite direction. Plus, you know that phrase those who can’t do, teach…well a new piece turns that idea on it’s head. And, as always “Kids These Days”.