#49 (11/9/20) "How Do We Stay Healthy in an Unhealthy World?" Part 2 Laurie & Matt pick up where they left off last week, adding a part two to their discussion around the question, "How Do We Stay Healthy in an Unhealthy World?" The conversation this week touches on topics like tongue scraping, vitamins, and prayer. Aristotle and gratitude are also weaved into the conversation, and the show begins and ends with a reflection on the passing of a friend. Molly was a friend of Laurie's from middle school, and her unfortunate passing at the hands of cancer serve as a reminder that living our best, healthiest life is not a task we can put off to tomorrow, because we don't know if it exists. Molly, the first person ever to review Teacher Saves World! on Apple Podcasts (molcoATX), was a vibrant liver of of her best life, an example for us to follow. This episode is dedicated to her.
#50 (11/12/20) Teen Parent Therapy: Should We Let Them Fail? Laurie & Matt put their parent pants on and look at the devastatingly tough situation our teens are in with distance learning, being asked to exercise self-control well beyond what is normally, and reasonably expected of them. Is this an opportunity for them to learn some tough lessons about responsibility and the consequences of poor choices, or should we fire up the helicopter and swoop in for some 11th hour intervention?
#51 (11/16/20) "Should We Accept Late Work?" Laurie & Matt ask an important question as we inch closer to the end of the first semester, "Should We Accept Late Work?" Late work, the assignments students fail to complete on time and want to turn in after the due date, has always been a contentious issue with teachers, but this year requires some deeper contemplation and debate.
Laurie & Matt start by asking what your priority objective is with your assignments- learning content or making deadlines? They then venture into grading late work, overly intricate and unsustainable systems, fairness to those that complete work on time, the motivation of deadlines, and the potential collapse of teacher credibility due to hypocrisy.
#52 (11/21/20) "Should Fs Be Given in a Pandemic?" Laurie & Matt take a look at a tsunami that's coming, but few are recognizing when they ask the question, "Should Fs Be Given in a Pandemic?" Our teens are being asked to perform in an educational setting nobody would purposefully design in normal times, so why should we expect normal results and apply normal grading?
Laurie suggests this episode could be just a few minutes long, her answer and feelings on the topic coming swift and strong. Matt takes a little more pragmatic approach, but ultimately believes a similar, compassionate, and reasonable set of grading principles should be applied. Things get a little emotional when the topic of "parents not doing there job" is brought up, a phrase that too many use flippantly.
#53 (11/26/20) Special Episode: Our Gratitude for 2020 Laurie & Matt take a moment to give thanks to the year 2020. In a year that will not be remembered fondly, that will forever be used as an adjective to describe something horrible, there are positives to be found and appreciated. Laurie & Matt express their gratitude for the year that forced them to reflect and grow in ways they may not have otherwise.
#54 (11/30/20) "Is Social Emotional Learning Curriculum the Way to Go?" Laurie & Matt approach the timely topic of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) when they ask the question, "Is Social Emotional Learning Curriculum the Way to Go?" Laurie, forever the joiner of committees, shares some of what's going on with the most recent group she volunteered her time for, our school's SEL Committee.
SEL is not a new topic or concern, but many of our teens' inability to lift themselves up out of the hole dug by COVID-19, has made the need to implement something, anything to support them an urgent agenda item on most campuses. Laurie shares some simple ideas we can all do immediately, while Matt questions whether canned curriculum or shifting teacher mindsets is the better approach.
#55 (12/7/20) Laurie & Matt Describe 2020 in Six Songs Laurie & Matt take a detour from talking about teaching and parenting to discuss one of their favorite subjects, music. Because they love the year-end lists that start popping up in December, they decided to make one of their own, choosing to Describe 2020 in Six Songs. Why six? Because five wasn't enough. It happens to be Laurie's favorite number too.
They take turns selecting songs (none of which were released in 2020) that they believe capture a critical piece of the essence of 2020, either through its title, the lyrics, its mood, some other association, or a mix of odd reasons. It's a year-end list you are unlikely to find anywhere else.
Find a playlist of these songs here:
#56 (12/10/20) If I Were Principal: Outdoor Learning Spaces Laurie & Matt pull an old segment out of the Teacher Saves World! Vault, resurrecting the "If I Were Principal" segment that was a mainstay of their first 25 shows. This time Matt dusts it off and plays the principal role, pushing for a reimagining of our campuses' outdoor spaces, suggesting that in light of our current pandemic, and all of the wonderfully underutilized outdoor space many high school campuses have, why don't we put it to better use?