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Ask educators why they went into teaching, and the majority will respond that they wanted to make a difference in the lives of young people. That initial idealism, however, is often challenged by the realities of heavy workloads, classroom discipline problems, and bureaucratic demands. How are you (and your teams) working to ensure that each child in your school and community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged?
In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, our guests will share what led them to teaching, what inspires them, and how they make a difference in their students' lives and learning. From building meaningful relationships or designing innovative programs that help students overcome challenges to raising academic achievement, we are taking steps to focus on the whole child project-by-project, classroom-by-classroom, and school-by-school. You'll hear from
- Mark Barnes is a veteran teacher, adjunct professor, international education presenter, and leading authority on student-centered learning and technology integration. He is the creator of the Results Only Learning Environment (ROLE), a progressive, student-centered classroom that eliminates all traditional teaching methods, including grades. While transforming his classroom into a ROLE, Barnes has also revolutionized K–12 web-based instruction by bringing private student websites into his classroom—an extension of school into cyberspace. He is the author of the ASCD book Role Reversal: Achieving Uncommonly Excellent Results in the Student-Centered Classroom and ASCD Arias publication The 5-Minute Teacher: How do I maximize time for learning in my classroom? Connect with Barnes on Twitter @markbarnes19.
- Kevin Parr is a 4th grade teacher at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Wenatchee, Washington, with degrees in environmental science and elementary education. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala, he realized his passion for teaching and working with children. A 2014 ASCD Emerging Leader, he is also a regular guest blogger for the Whole Child Blog and Inservice. Connect with Parr on Twitter @mrkevinparr.
- Allison Rodman is a 2013 ASCD Emerging Leader, instructional coach, and professional development facilitator who is committed to connecting teachers and administrators to the resources necessary to improve student achievement for all learners. A former social studies and alternative education teacher, she is currently the director of teaching and learning for Mariana Bracetti Academy Charter School, a K–12 Title I school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Connect with Rodman on Twitter @thelearningloop.
- Joan Young is a teacher and therapeutic coach with 10 years of teaching experience in elementary classrooms and 25 years of experience tutoring students of all ages. She specializes in working with students who need extra support in self-regulation and executive functioning skills. Her principle interests include the application of positive psychology to education, how resilience can help children who have experienced trauma and loss, mindfulness in schools, and teaching through multiple modalities. She is the author of the new ASCD Arias publication Encouragement in the Classroom: How do I help students stay positive and focused? and the blog Finding Ways for All Kids to Flourish. Connect with Young on Twitter @flourishingkids.
Learn how other educators make a difference in students' lives and learning with the summer 2014 issue of Educational Leadership magazine, available beginning June 16. This digital issue gives you instant access to stories about individuals, teams, schools, and even a U.S. state that are passionate about teaching and learning. In a series of videos, you'll hear from Robyn Jackson, Baruti Kafele, Doug Fisher, Jeffrey Benson, Michael Ford, Marilee Sprenger, Myron Dueck, Mike Fisher, and Eric Sheninger on becoming a teacher and how they make a difference.
Access these articles and videos—and many others—to inspire you over the summer. Download the free Educational Leadership app in iTunes, Google Play, or the Amazon Appstore. If you do not currently receive Educational Leadership magazine, subscribe now to stay informed about new ideas and best practices for educators.
How do you know when you’ve made a difference in a student's life?