Podcast Episodes

Laura Trieschmann

This story is about a high school teacher's extraordinary efforts to support her students and her belief that relationships come first. It's about a parent who takes the time to acknowledge this teacher's commitment to her son. And it's a story about mental heath and the struggles so many young people face today – struggles that affect their schoolwork, their relationships with friends and family, and the quality of their own lives.

In the 10 years…

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Story added: 2023-07-22
naim madyun

na'im madyun reads a short story about a second grader named Ellis and her friend Coolidge, who prayed that their 3rd grade teacher WOULDN'T be the aging Mrs. Nimble.  The prayer wasn't answered, but by the end of the year, with Mrs. Nimble as their teacher, they offered another prayer -- that she wouldn't retire. It's an ode to teachers, madyun says--one that provides insight into the journey that led him to become a teacher himself. 

Story added: 2022-02-22
Insurrection Teacher Image

Like most Americans, these three veteran teachers were horrified as they learned about the insurrection at the nation's Capitol on January 6th, 2021. But each of them had to decide how to address this highly controversial topic with their students. What's the proper role for a teacher with an event like this? What if some students' parents or the students themselves supported the insurrection? Is there any way to talk about this and other controversial topics with very…

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Story added: 2021-03-03
Sean Bui Picture

After practicing law for several years, Sean Bui, the son of Vietnamese and Filipino immigrants, suddenly realized that he didn't love his job. What he really wanted to be was a teacher and to make a difference in young people's lives. But this career shift presented a daunting challenge. Growing up, Mr. Bui's parents and grandparents had only endorsed three career paths -- medicine, engineering, and law.  And now, after successfully following one of them, he wanted to…

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Story added: 2021-01-19

After 22 years as a public school teacher, Tom Courtney finally hits his stride after discovering the virtues of the authentic connections he has created with his 5th grade students' families. Mr. Courtney, also known as "The Minister of Fun," conducts home visits and and holds monthly student and family get-togethers like star night, ice-skating night, opera night, and library night. Mr. Courtney, joined by his student teacher, Rachel Petrivelli, say the benefits of…

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Story added: 2020-12-18
Mosely and Bellinger

Before founding the Black Teacher Project, Dr. Micia Mosely taught high school history in San Francisco, California. As a beginning teacher, Micia worried that she was unable to fully connect with and help Belinda Bellinger, one of her students, who was struggling emotionally and academically.

Unbeknownst to Micia, Belinda graduates from high school, earns a bachelor's degree from Sarah Lawrence College…

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Story added: 2020-08-17
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 podcast episode, Dr. Rios reflects on his extraordinary life, the critical role teachers can play in students…

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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, 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

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
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 (3:22)…
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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

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

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