Podcast Episodes

Chris Hasegawa

Chris Hasegawa, a highly accomplished teacher educator, describes what great science teachers do to help students understand and love this subject. "You have to make yourself a little bit vulnerable," he says, and to elicit joy in what you're doing. The art of teaching is being able to teach people that don't learn the way that you learn and who may not enjoy school the way you did. 

Chris also shares stories about three teachers who made a difference…

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Story added: 2020-11-11
Lori Caldeira Image

Lori Caldeira, a teacher near Salinas, California describes an act of racism directed at an Asian school board member. She and a few colleagues facilitate an Equity Club where students can discuss issues of race, sexual orientation, and social injustice. Lori suggests students and the local community would benefit by actively recruiting for a more diverse teacher workforce at her school.  Lori also shares stories about the teachers who had the greatest influence on her…

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Story added: 2020-11-04
Fred Shoemaker

Fred Shoemaker is considered one of America's best golf teachers, but in this provocative conversation about teaching, learning, and life you'll discover how his success has come by helping students discover their own capacities for performance and enjoyment and not by fixing what's wrong with their golf swings. 

Much of what Fred has learned can be applied to parenting, coaching, and classroom teaching at any level. Here are a few notable quotes:

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Story added: 2020-09-27
UCSB Students

Four Black college students talk about their unique experiences in public schools, sharing stories about their teachers and professors, the curriculum they were exposed to, and the structural racism they periodically encountered along the way. They also suggest ways that schools can promote equity and anti-racism, by hiring and supporting teachers of color, for instance, and enabling new and veteran teachers to examine their own biases and to learn about culturally…

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Story added: 2020-08-31
McClurg and Rothman

Rob McClurg, a wise and extraordinarily accomplished elementary school teacher, shares stories from his own classroom, the privilege of being an educator, and a few of the teachers who shaped his life. Rob describes his work as a volunteer educator at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and at the Soledad State Prison.


Story added: 2020-08-19

Lisa Godwin waited 20 years before telling anyone about a traumatic childhood experience. She credits a first grade teacher and a guidance counselor for helping her cope and eventually overcome this painful episode in her life. Now, as North Carolina's Teacher of the Year, Lisa has found the courage to share her powerful story with educators and parents. She offers wise advice for teachers and for others who may have experienced similar trauma.   

Story added: 2020-08-18
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
Tettegah in DC

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 Falls, 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…

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Story added: 2020-08-06

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 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

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