Podcast Episodes

tettegah_pict

Dr. Sharon Tettegah, a Professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, shares stories about her life and her most memorable teachers. Growing up in Wichita, Texas (a completely segregated community) all of her teachers were Black. Here, she received an excellent education and was two grade levels ahead of her classmates when, as a fifth grader, she and her family moved to San Francisco. She soon moved across the Bay to Oakland and was fortunate to have had…

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Story added: 2020-08-06
Josh_gaston_pict

Unsure what to do with his life, Josh Gaston decides to become a teacher of English -- first in Asia and then in other countries around the world. His stories are about navigating the striking, but sometimes subtle, differences in local teaching practices and cultural norms. In Korea, for instance, where students were accustomed to lectures, he had to figure out how to get students to work in small groups.  In Uzbekistan, he wanted to give a voice to his female students…

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Story added: 2020-07-24
Tracy Barnett Image

Tracy Barnett, who teaches U.S. History to 8th graders in Fremont, California, says the ideas behind history are more important than dates and battles--the things most people associate with this subject. Tracy embraces the challenge this poses since many of her students enter her class primarily concerned with earning high marks.

An unexpected letter from one of her students reminds Tracy that her approach to teaching history, at least for this student…

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Story added: 2020-07-23
Victor Rios pict

At age 14, Victor Rios' best friend is shot and killed. Afterwards, Victor thought, "I am going to end up dead like him or in prison for life." But Victor turns his life around after having a high school technology teacher named, Ms. Russ. He goes on to college, earns a Ph.D. in sociology, and becomes a professor at U.C. Santa Barbara.  

In this extended podcast episode, Dr. Rios reflects on his extraordinary life, the critical role teachers can play in…

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Story added: 2020-07-16
Isaacs picture

When Kathryn Isaacs was in 8th grade she proudly read an essay aloud in class, comparing her very demanding teacher, Mr. Del Rossi, to the Wizard of Oz. At the end of her essay, she describes him as "merely a language teacher" and learns a painful, but important, lesson about the ways people often talk about teachers. To discover the ultimate irony of the story, find out what Kathryn does now for a living. Kathryn also reflects on the uncertain future posed by the…

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Story added: 2020-07-13
Jason_DiGioia

Jason DiGioia, an English teacher in Denver, Colorado recalls two teachers who contributed to his love for writing and literature. Following in their professional footsteps, Jason explains how he encourages his own students to discover life lessons in the books they read.

Because of the pandemic, Jason and his colleagues are learning to cope with the sudden closure of their school, and the effect it's having on the social and emotional well-being of his…

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Story added: 2020-06-17
Jackie_Pict

When COVID-19 hit the state of New York, many teachers, including Ms. Jackie Rooney, a high school social studies teacher, were suddenly separated from their students before they had a chance to say goodbye. Despite the heartbreak, Ms. Rooney found a way to reconnect to her class. In this podcast episode, she shares a heartwarming letter of apology and reads some of her students' responses. But the pandemic isn't the only crisis affecting her work as a teacher. In the…

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Story added: 2020-06-15
Barnard_Lund

Mike Barnard's first high school theatre audition was a disaster, but he finds the courage to try again and lands a part in another production. With the support of his drama teacher, Jim Lund, Mike develops confidence and acting talent and eventually becomes a leader within the school's drama community.  Years later, Mike…

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Story added: 2020-06-08
Ken Futernick

Many of the teacher stories published here about teaching and learning during the pandemic point to silver linings -- positive and often unexpected outcomes that have emerged in the midst of this health crisis. In this episode, Ken Futernick, founder of Teacher Stories, says, "We need to hear stories of hope but just as importantly we, especially those of us in a position to make a difference, must hear stories about people—especially children, who face unbearable…

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Story added: 2020-06-04
Rachell Auld Picture

While most schools across California and the nation are closed due to the pandemic, Rachell Auld, a high school biology teacher, must find ways to connect and teach her students. In this podcast episode, Rachell describes the challenges and rewards of teaching, learning and coping during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this podcast episode, you'll learn:

  • What Rachell is grateful for (1:30)
  • How students are coping (…
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Story added: 2020-04-30
Tina Tran Pict

When Crawford High School in San Diego closed due to COVID-19, many of the school's families lacked internet access and the technology that would allow their children to participate in online classes.  With the help of a teacher, a group of students banded together, reached out to parents, and helped solve the problem.  Pictured here is Tina Tran, student body president, working on their outreach plan.  

Story added: 2020-04-19
Carmen Garvis Pict

Carmen Garvis left her job as an engineer in 2004 to become a high school engineering teacher. One of her priorities has been to encourage young females to choose a pathway in science. Carmen describes how she helped a bright, but shy, student find her voice. Carmen also explains how, during the COVID-19 crisis, she and a few of her her colleagues are using 3-D printers to produce face shields for the school volunteers in their district who are preparing student meals…

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Story added: 2020-04-15
Bird-Ansari

Just fourteen years old, Mahboba Ansari fled Afghanistan and the Taliban for a better life and a better education. She landed in Modesto, California in 2016 unable to speak English. Just four years later, with the support of her high school social studies teacher, Lindsey Bird, Mahboba was accepted into the University of California at Davis and will begin classes in fall 2020. Lindsey and Mahboba talk about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lessons that they…

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Story added: 2020-04-11
Meg Sargent Pict

Megan Sargent, an experienced homeschooling parent, describes "a perfect storm" -- a recent day in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic when she and all three of her children were crying at once. While little academic learning took place that day, they all learned important lessons about relationships, kindness, and forgiveness. 

Story added: 2020-04-10
Valerie_pict

Life as a beginning teacher is hard, and many quit within a few years. Valerie Sujanani is not only a first year teacher with 30 second grade students, the closing of her school due to COVID-19 has forced her to teach and support her students online-a challenge she and most of her colleagues were not trained to do. 

Listen to Valerie's story to find out how she's managing during this crisis and whether she will return for a second year. 

Story added: 2020-04-03
Tavis_Danz

In a previous podcast Mr. Danz, shared a story about teaching Mindfulness to his 5th grade students. In this follow-up interview Mr. Danz, some of his students, and his principal respond to concerns raised by author, Alfie Kohn in another teacher story podcast…

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Story added: 2020-03-06
Landi Tessman

Landi Tessman, a special ed teacher in the Minneapolis area, describes the "profound impact" the coronavirus is having on her students and the challenges she and her colleagues face educating students while their schools are closed. She also shares lessons of hope that are emerging from the crisis. 

Story added: 2020-02-03
Lesicko_pict

Dean Lesicko has spent much of his 30+ years as an educator supporting "marginalized" youth. That may not have happened were it not for Dean's 3rd grade teacher, Ken Meberg.

Story added: 2020-01-08