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Can't Make This Up

Can't Make This Up

By Matthew Joseph
Educators are driven, intelligent, and creative. We go 100 miles an hour and have to schedule our bathroom breaks. We talk about lessons, data, and all sorts of Buzz words. We also have stories people outside the profession would not believe. We say, "You can't make this up." This podcast dives into those untold stories in education meant to make you laugh or shake your head...or BOTH.
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Kicking off 2022 with Joseph Jones and T.J. Vari
Learn all about Joseph and T.J. here
January 02, 2022
S2 Ep 1: Xello CEO Jeff Harris
Jeff Harris is the president and co-founder of Xello. Upon graduating with a degree in economics, Jeff realized that he hadn't given serious consideration to his future beyond university. Looking around, he found his fellow graduates in a similar predicament. This experience sparked research and exploration that led to collaboration on a vision for what would become Xello. As president and co-founder of Xello, Jeff has spent over 25 years dedicated to helping educators make their students future-ready. Click here to learn more Visit: @xellofuture to follow them on Twitter. What makes Xello stand apart is that while they are about "college and career readiness," they're really more focused on "future readiness." Some districts begin using the program as early as elementary school. Unlike many college readiness platforms, Xello tries to help ALL students, regardless of whether or not they are on the 4-year college track. Perhaps their future might be better served by exploring a trade program, associate's degree or military -- the point is about engaging a student in envisioning their future, and equipping them with the tools to successfully get there. The founders started Xello because they graduated from college with no idea what to do next. So they're trying to help all students envision and plan in advance to ensure their best futures.
October 25, 2021
E38: ABC Gum with Phil Stringer
Phil Stringer @xphils Dep't Head of Math. UBC MET. Deunitized learning. Flipped class. Thinking Classroom. Coach. BHAFC / X-files fan. Co-founder ACBC. #acbced. YouTube:
September 27, 2021
E37: Doug Roberts Shares his Impact on Education and The Power of Karaoke
Doug Roberts, Founder and CEO, Institute for Education Innovation Doug has worked with leading ed-tech entrepreneurs and district administrators for almost 20 years, developing partnerships that improve outcomes for students and help nascent organizations get their "sea legs." As Founder and President of Educational Solutions Consulting, Doug found that there was a piece of the puzzle missing, a barrier between those who run school districts and those who start companies to help school districts. He partnered with some of the nation's most innovative educational leaders to form IEI to bridge that gap. A Princeton graduate, Doug is a former public high school social studies teacher and ed-tech business development executive who earned his Ed.M. in Teaching and Curriculum from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. About IEI: The Institute for Education Innovation, an organization that serves as the bridge between district leaders and organizations driving change to support the greatest challenges in K-12 education, announced the inaugural Supes' Choice Awards in August 2021.Supes' Choice Awards As the only industry award judged exclusively by school district superintendents, Supes’ Choice is an opportunity for education companies to not only showcase their products but also to secure the undivided attention of superintendents across the nation. More info: Follow IEI at: @IEI_K12 Follow Doug at: @DougRoberts_IEI
September 17, 2021
E36: Wardrobe Malfunction with Dr. Chris Jones
Chris Jones has been an educator in Massachusetts for 22 years.  He has just finished his 14th year as a building administrator.  True to his "why" of improving the educational experience for as many people as possible, he is currently the Principal of Whitman-Hanson Regional High School in Whitman, Massachusetts. Chris is passionate about continuous improvement and the idea that success is not a destination, but a process.  Chris is a teacher-centered Principal and his beliefs around the importance of a positive work environment, continuous growth, and a healthy family work-life integration can be seen in the presentations/workshops he has given for the Massachusetts School Administrators Association (MSAA), Massachusetts Computer Using Educators (MassCUE), Massachusetts Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (MASCD), the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP); and his participation in the Better Leaders Better Schools Mastermind group. Chris is described by his past Superintendent as being “...wholly invested in the success of the school…a creative problem-solver who is able to deliberate yet be decisive, be creative yet accountable…calm and clear-headed even under the most trying of times…has built a strong collaborative and collegial school culture…he is a positive influence on teachers, teaching, and learning.”  Having been a guest on multiple podcasts, Chris also blogs, is active on Twitter, and vlogs on a weekly basis as a way to reflect on his progress, share his story, and get others to think about different perspectives.  His overarching goal is to positively model continuous improvement in all facets of life by being purposeful, acting with integrity, and building character. Links Twitter: @DrCSJones Insta: @drcsjones YouTube: Professional Facebook: Blog: Podcast:
August 26, 2021
E35 Lisa Toebben shows she will anything for students
Lisa Toebben is a wife, mom, and teacher who resides in rural Missouri. She has taught in grades K-12 in the Special Education Applied Setting as well as the co-teaching setting. She found herself in teacher burnout in 2018 and has since relit her passion for teaching through instilling soul fuel habits into her day.  She loves to share her enthusiasm and passion for life by helping others learn to sift through their overwhelm so they can shift it into purpose driven action to enable them to elevate their vibe and not just survive.  Through creating a magical action planning system, soon to be published by Road to Awesome LLC., Lisa has become a podcast host of the SheELEVATES Podcast, blogger, public speaker, and is currently working on her Personal Training License so she can coach others how to build and maintain a healthy lifestyle.  She is a firm believer that the root to success professionally and personally stems from building a solid foundation for oneself through a healthy maintainable lifestyle. She is on a mission to elevate others by inspiring and providing action driven tools  to start messy and go for it. Twitter: @teach_n_boots Instagram: lisa_toebben Podacst:
July 08, 2021
E34: Matthew J Bowerman shares a truly "stinky" situation
Matthew J. Bowerman has always sought to serve others. His career in education has spanned over 23 years, teaching in middle and high school as a Theatre, Special Education, English, and Reading teacher. He is the recipient of an EMMY Award, as well as a CINE Golden Eagle Film Award for Writing/Directing the educational short, “BusSTOP,” addressing the bullying crisis in the United States; he is also a Maryland Gifted and Talented Leadership Awardee, and PTSA Lifetime Award recipient. In addition, Matthew is also the Family Liaison Chair, as well as a writer for the Say Their Names Memorial. Matthew is deeply invested in the work of love-leading students and their families in his current role as a School Administrator in Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland. He is currently working on his upcoming book, Heartleader. Twitter: @MJBowerman Website:
June 24, 2021
E33 - A situation you don't wnt to be in as a new teacher wit Casey Jakubowski
#teamdynamics consulting; #keynote speaker conflict management; Education policy; Civics Educator; Leadership and life coaching Colonie, NY Website:
June 19, 2021
E32: Adam Bold Survives his conversations with students
Adam Bold (@MrBold05) Husband, Father, Instructional Equity Coach, Educator, Gamification, Genius Hour, Design Thinking, Flipgrid&Waklete Ambassador, Presenter, aspiring administrator!
June 01, 2021
E31: Dominic Armano Getting taken to school by 3rd grader
Dominic Armano (@DominicArmano) is a proud educator, a loving husband and father, and a public school advocate. Dominic has an undergraduate degree in elementary education and graduate degrees in both special education and school district leadership. He currently works as an assistant principal at P.S. 84, Steinway Elementary School in New York. Through his years as an assistant principal, Dominic has become passionate about social- emotional learning and has had the opportunity to highlight and build upon ongoing programs that help promote a positive culture for students, staff and the community. Dominic has started several initiatives that promote respect and focus on bully prevention, intimidation and bias- based harassment. As a result, his school was awarded the “Respect for All” award for the 2018- 2019 school year. As an educator, he feels that every child deserves to have fun, feel excited to learn and is happy to go to school. His main goal is to develop programs that encourage schools to educate children through a social-emotional pathway that creates a healthy school climate. He believes that by doing this, you strengthen the core of instruction and build a community of eager, enthusiastic and passionate learners. Dominic was appointed to the Board of Trustees for the Long Island Coalition Against Bullying in 2018 and was inducted into the New York Academy of Public Education in 2019. Dominic loves spending time with his family and closest friends. He currently lives on Long Island with his wife Sara and their daughter, soon to be big sister, Maria.
May 28, 2021
E30: Becky Lin Breaks some bad news to a 3rd grader
As a mentor and leader in education, Becky aims to create a positive and sustainable impact across education! She is an innovative and passionate Digital Learning Coach that serves to support teacher and student growth. Becky transitioned from an elementary school teacher to a coach, where she currently supports elementary teachers district-wide. With a Master's in educational leadership and a graduate certificate in Instructional Technology, Becky uses her skills to drive meaningful EdTech integration. She works with educators globally as a Global Google Educator Group leader and co-hosts the 3 Caffeinated Coaches podcast. This coming Spring, Becky will be releasing her first book Amplify Learning: A Global Collaborative. More information on Becky Lim can be found at
May 24, 2021
E29: Day Dancing with Sandra Donaghue
Current Role:  Elementary Principal An educator with Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board in Mississauga ON, Canada for 26 years Passionate about learning, innovating, mentoring and servant leadership Instructor working for our Provincial Principal association (CPCO) instructing future leaders in obtaining their Principal Qualifications for over 10 years Contributor to Professional Connections Leadership Magazine for our CPCO Association Former Roles:  Kindergarten, Gr. 1,5,7 & Special Education & ESL teacher, Special Education Consultant, Vice-Principal Current Projects & Passions:  Vlogging, Writing, Journalling, Connecting with equity & innovative minded educators across the globe Social Presence:  Twitter: @sandra_donaghue & @StMargaretDP     YouTube: sandradonaghue
April 13, 2021
E28: With Bee Keeper Dr. Kevin Leichtman
Kevin is the co-founder of TLC Educate alongside with his wife, Dr. Anala Leichtman. He was the co-author of “Teacher’s Guide to the Mental Edge” and the author of his newest release, “The Perfect Ten.”  Kevin has taught reading and language arts for 8 years. He received his PhD from Florida Atlantic University, where he is also an adjunct professor teaching equity and diversity courses to pre-service educators. His research topics of interest are equity, burnout, and mindset. Follow him at:@KevinLeichtman Check out TLC Consulting here
April 05, 2021
E27: You did what with a stapler Andrew J. Canlé
ANDREW J. CANLÉ is an assistant principal, district wellness coordinator, and doctoral student from the New York Metropolitan area helping kids cultivate a positive mindset through weekly focus questions on his YouTube show, EDUCanle Presents Mindset Moment of the Week. Andrew’s writing has been featured in such publications as The Marshall Memo, Edutopia, MiddleWeb, DisruptED TV Magazine and the EDCamp Foundation. He previously served in the capacities of sixth-grade level chair, general education classroom teacher and AIS Academy instructional coach. Andrew graduated from Hofstra University with a B.B.A. in accounting and a M.S.Ed. in elementary education for grades 1 through 6. He completed his advanced certificate in educational leadership and administration at the College of St. Rose and is currently enrolled in Hofstra University’s doctoral program for educational and policy leadership with a focus on game-based interventions and student social competence. Andrew is a district-certified administrator who is passionate about helping educators succeed in transforming the lives of all children and enjoys connecting with others via social media to help them overcome adversities and build resilience. Follow him at @AJCanle Check out his channel at
April 01, 2021
E26: The parent did what? With Charles Williams
Charles Williams has been an educator for 15 years serving as a teacher, a mentor/lead teacher, an assistant principal, and a principal for urban students in grades K-12.   He also serves as an equity advocate through his work with Great Expectations Mentoring, Chicago Public School's Office of Equity, and The City of Chicago's Equity Office.   Charles is the host of The Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. He is also the co-host of Inside the Principal's Office, a bi-monthly show featuring educational leaders from around the world.  After presenting at numerous events including nationwide conferences, educational workshops, and fundraising events, Charles decided to launch CW Consulting - an organization committed to delivering personalized keynotes, workshops, and consulting services focused on helping institutions to unlock their potential and delivering results. Follow him on twitter:@_cwconsulting Check out his website:
March 07, 2021
E25: With Michelle N. Moore "Yes Mr. Superintendent, YOU have to wear mask too"
Michelle N. Moore: Learner • Problem Solver • Latinx • Social Justice Warrior  Twitter:@Michelle4EDU @ASCD EL ‘19  Website:
February 25, 2021
E24: Holy Cow, is that a cow? with Lori Koerner
Dr. Lori  Koerner has been in the field of education for over three decades. She spent the first 26 years of her career as an elementary school teacher,  having taught every grade.  She is a Fulbright Specialist Scholar, and served as an adjunct professor for special education at several universities in New York. Dr. Koerner is currently the Executive Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and  Professional Personnel in a public school district on Long Island in New  York. Her research has been centered on educating the whole child; that is, developing students’ social competencies, emotional well-being, and physical fitness through recess and play so that they are best equipped to meet their maximum academic potential. Dr. Lori Koerner is the author of Actually, I Can Follow her at @Lmh822 and check out her website for more information
February 07, 2021
E23: Is that a fire truck? With Bobbie French
Bobbie French Educational Leader and 2019 NCEA Social Media Influencer of the Year #LeadLearnHope #LeadLAP #PrincipalsinAction #TheBusyPrincipal Follow her at @BobbieFrench Check out her website here Check out MA Leads Ed Camp here
February 03, 2021
E22: What was your name? With Michelle Blanchet
Michelle Blanchet: Mom. Explorer. Concert lover. Educator + Speaker. Co-author of The Startup Teacher  Co-founder of the Edu Lab + @PBLontheGo Click here to check out the Edu Lab
January 29, 2021
E21: Barbara Bray reminds us why we never leave a video camera around
Barbara Bray:podcast host, author, #DefineYourWHY empowering #equity #UDL #agency #socialjustice #SDGs mbracing #empathy #hope #kindness #JOY #rethink_learning Follow her at @bbray27 Visit her website:
January 23, 2021
E19: Kids say the Darnedest Things with Darrin M Peppard
Darrin M Peppard Ed.D. #RoadToAwesome Superintendent, Best Selling Author, Publisher, Keynote Speaker, Leadership Coach, EOY 2015, WY POY 2016, JRen HOF 2019Lead Innovator @_RoadToAwesome_ Follow him at @DarrinMPeppard Check out his website at
January 19, 2021
E 20: Bag on Stick with Chad M. LeDune
Chad M. LeDune: Father, husband, teacher, author of Discomfort by Design, speaker, EdTech and STEM doctoral student. Never underestimate the power of “becoming”. #CodeBreaker Follow him at: @Mr_LeDune Check out his website at:
January 15, 2021
E18: The F word with Lindsay Titus
She has been in the field of education for 15 years now! She is a certified general and special education teacher for students birth through sixth grade and a board-certified behavior analyst, licensed in New York State. She has experience as a K-2 self-contained teacher, and in addition, she has worked for a residential program, a not-for-profit learning agency, and an in-home private ABA company. Most recently She is a K-12 Behavior Specialist for a local district in Rochester, NY.  She is also the CEO and founder of DEFINE YOUniversity, an educational coaching company focused on training educators to define who they are so they can bring all of who they are into the classroom and into their life with confidence every day! Follow her at: @ltitus828 Check out her website:
January 11, 2021
E17 Sharing Stories with Jim Hambel
Jim Hambel PE Teacher from NYC Follow him at @JimInTheGymPE And check out his work as a fitness advocate at:
January 09, 2021
E 16: Bathroom stories always make us laugh with Daphne McMenemy
Daphne McMenemy is an educator, author, and speaker.  Her first book, Gracie,  about a young girl whose learning is brought to life when her teacher introduces her to coding and a new way of thinking, is based on her personal experiences in the classroom. As a child and young adult,  Daphne was focused on becoming an educator with purpose, to improve the lives of her students and make an impact on their educational journey. As an educator for the past 15 years, she has created opportunities for children in her classroom to explore learning in innovative ways. Using STEM to engage children as young as kindergarten age in discovering learning through coding, she develops numeracy,  literacy, and computational thinking skills through creative exploration.  Her experience in the classroom has proven to support even the most hesitant learners in building confidence in their abilities and engaging in the learning process.  Daphne is committed to building relationships, meeting students where they are, appreciating each individual, and finding opportunities to engage and motivate students in creative, innovative ways. Her newest venture allows her an extensive creative outlet as the Managing Director of Code Breaker Inc. Twitter: @McMenemyTweets Website:
January 06, 2021
E15: Oh the fun of bikes with Dr. Chris Hobbs
 Director of Athletics @tkalions 2019, @varsitybrands Natn’l HS AD of the Year, 2018 @coach_ad top 40 under 40 Sport Leader From Royal Palm Beach, FL Check out Dr. Hobbs' work here:
January 03, 2021
E14: "What" did she say with 𝐵𝓇𝒶𝒹𝓁𝑒𝑒 𝒲. 𝒮𝓀𝒾𝓃𝓃𝑒𝓇
Author/Educator/Speaker/Movie Producer. Theatre Director of the Year '18. T.O.Y. '19. National Educator of the Year '19. District Teacher of the Year '20. Green River, WY visit his website: and follow him on Twitter: @BradleeWSkinner
January 01, 2021
E13 - You won't beLEAF how Dr. Frank Rudnesky came back from a fire drill #BeEpic
Frank Rudnesky, Ed. D. @DrFrankRud: father, husband, disruptor, author, 50 Great Things Leaders Do & Fired Up Leadership. storyteller, educator, speaker,4mr principal, CodeBreaker Check out his website:
December 29, 2020
E12: Going fishing with Traci Nicole Smith
Traci Nicole Smith, PhD  Twitter: @theedepistolary  Founder of The Institute For Conscious-Driven Living. Education Curator. Spiritual Conveyor. Intuitive Writer. Visionary Activist. Autism Ambassador.SDG Warrior Check out all her work here
December 22, 2020
E11: Lizardpops with Jillian DuBois
Jillian teaches 2nd grade in Clearwater, FL and she loves the sun, sand, surf , trekking anywhere her feet will take her, using creative outlets for expression + hunting for adventures in the second act of life with her husband, Tim, and man-child son, Austin. She is also the author of Liv's Seashells. Check out all things Jillian here.  Follow her on twitter at: @JillDuBois22
December 20, 2020
E10: You Get what you pay for with Bonnie Nieves
Bonnie Nieves M.Ed. (@biologygoddess) stops by and has us laughing with TWO stories.  Follow her at @biologygoddess or visit her website
December 18, 2020
E9: Might be too HOT for you with Kellie Bahri
5th-grade facilitator Elementary Teacher of the Year (my district) Soon be author children’s book Instructional strategist Presenter Believer that all children can change the world. Follow her at @Kbahri5
December 15, 2020
E8: Abby French reminds us to always preview a video
Today I talk with #TheEduSisters Abigail French (@awfrench1) who is an advocate of Public Education, an amplifier of stories, explorer of the Natural World. Teacher. Presenter. Coach. #ELASCDClass2020. @UnisonEDU. Check out all her amazing work at @awfrench1
December 14, 2020
E7 Takes Flight with Dr. Brandon Beck
Dr. Brandon Beck is the author of Unlocking Unlimited Potential: Understanding the Infinite Power Within to Guide Any Student Toward Success. He is a  National Board Certified teacher and also holds a Doctorate in  Educational Leadership. His primary purpose as an educator and teacher  leader is a simple one: “To inspire people (adults and children) to have  faith in themselves and believe in their inner genius.” Connect with Dr. Beck at and follow him at @BrandonBeckEDU
December 05, 2020
E6: Somethings you Never want to forget with Mike R. Earnshaw
I welcome my friend  Michael Earnshaw to share his story. Mike is an elementary school principal. When he's not leading his campus and inspiring students and staff you can find him writing, reading, speaking at conferences, co-hosting the Punk Rock Classrooms Podcast, skateboarding, running, and spending time with his family. Twitter and IG: @MikeREArnshaw Twitter and IG: @PunkClassrooms
December 03, 2020
E5: Will Make you FLIP with Josh Buckley
Josh Buckley is a Social Studies Teacher in Mesa Arizona, Current President of the Mesa Education Association, Co-host of the Punk Rock Classrooms Podcast. Twitter and Instagram @JoshRBuckley @punkclassrooms Website:
December 01, 2020
E4: Your order is up with Rob Elia
Thanks to Rob Elia for joining and sharing two great stories.  Rob is a Digital Learning Enthusiast, Star-Ledger Coach of the Year; Former School Dept. Chairperson; Anti-Bullying Specialist, Safety Team Director Now@Navigate360 Check him out on Twitter at @CoachRobEDU and on LinkEd in at Also, check out @Navigate360 at If you want to contact Rob email him at
November 27, 2020
E3: Craig Shapiro Treating his students to some Gangsta Rap
Craig Shapiro (@Shapiro_WTHS) is a 30-year educator. He is a Health and Physical Education teacher, who always posts about fitness, nutrition, and all things wellness related.  He is driven to help fellow educators. Check him out on Twitter or his website at
November 22, 2020
E2: Extra time? Not on my watch with Hedreich Nichols
You Can't Make This (****) UP welcomes the incredible Hedreich Nichols (@Hedreich). Educator, writer, mom, tech/design lead and instructional designer. Speaker and host of the YouTube series on equity strategies, #SmallBites. Follow her work and don't miss her YouTube show #SmallBites - Click here to view.
November 15, 2020
Episode 1: Here we go - Baby we are kicking off Podcast
In this intro episode, I share a story about my first parent conference. Oh, "baby," it was a surprise
November 06, 2020