Public education sucks, and we want to fix that! This podcast was born during lunch in the teachers’ lounge, where teachers often gather to lament, complain, share, and suggest ideas to each other. We thought, “Wow, this would be so awesome if people outside of the school could hear what teachers really do and think and deal with in the classroom and how the policies and opinions of those outside of the classroom actually affect those of us in it.” So I, along with two of my teacher friends, Sharyn and Jennifer, created this podcast to do that. We do this podcast for new teachers just getting into the classroom so they can have insight and solutions to problems they may face.
We do this podcast for veteran teachers so they know they are not alone in their thinking, and we do this for parents and decision-makers so they can understand how their actions affect teachers and, ultimately, the students we all care about. I just retired last June 2022 after 36 years of teaching middle school English. Over those years, I have seen how student’s needs have changed and how much the way we teach hasn’t. There are many things that can be done to make public education better, but change is hard, especially in a system that has pretty much been stagnant for the last 100 years.
Innovation is scary, but there are people and school districts who are innovating and making progress. I aggressively research these innovators and hope to inspire others to be brave and try something different. Our podcast is a discussion about various timely educational topics and how they are playing out in our classrooms. We present research and our opinions about the topic. We share what we think would work better and give suggestions on how to make changes. We are not a “tips and tricks” or a “how to” podcast.
We discuss controversial topics in hopes that they will start conversations that might bring change or at least inspire a change in thinking. We’ve discussed racism in the classroom, whether or not teacher credentials mean anything, ending state testing, who should be chosen for secretary of education, how to make student teaching better, grading policies, parent involvement parameters, and much more.
Our podcast audience is mostly females 25 – 35, which makes sense since most teachers are female. They are generally teachers and those interested in educational issues. They love to listen to Jen and Sharyn because they give a no-holds-barred kind of banter, while I tend to play the “straight man.” So, there is plenty of humor mixed into our discussions. Many tell us they like the perspectives we share and often find them thought-provoking or new.