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The Second Question

The Second Question

By Martin Silverman
A podcast for educators and those who love education. Each episode explores how we become the best educator we can we can be the answer to the second question.
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14K Gold from Livia Chan

The Second Question

18 and an Adult - The Second Question turns 18 with Debbie Tannenbaum
Join me as I talk tech with Debbie Tannenbaum...Tech Coach, blogger, author, and now business owner from Northern Virginia!  Debbie tells us how overcoming her own fears propelled her to do things she never thought she would.  Great message from a dynamic educator!  #transformation You can connect with Debbie on Twitter @TannenbaumTech
May 4, 2021
Episode 17.5 - Celebrations and Reflections
I wanted to take this week to share some celebrations and reflections on the first 17 episodes of The Second Question! Look for the podcasts I mention on your favorite podcast platforms: * Livin That Online School Life by Ray, Owen, and Leo Porten * This Ranger Life by the students at Salinas Elementary * The Texan Connection by Daryl Porter, Jeff Springer, and me!    @ConnectionTexan on Twitter
April 27, 2021
The Edge of Seventeen - Honoring our Administrative Professionals with the Women of the Salinas Office
Happy Administrative Professionals Week!   In this episode I get to interview the women who are the face and the voice of Salinas Elementary School, the administrative support staff that run the office, answer the phones, greet visitors, take temperatures daily, register new families, order supplies, comfort students, love on parents, keep teacher classrooms supplied with any and all materials, and generally maintain the high standards of customer service that our community deserves.  We owe a huge debt of gratitude to these women, and to all administrative professionals that are the front line of service to our schools and communities! I was so glad to be able to interview three of my favorite people...Secretary Linda Bowker, PEIMS Clerk Yvonda Quarles, and Receptionist/ISS Aide Liz Daley.  These women tell of their dedication to service to our community...and they each answer the Second Question!
April 20, 2021
Sweet Sixteen with Dr. Kristin Saunders
Kristin Saunders is a dynamic and successful elementary school principal, and one of my favorite colleagues and friends.  In this episode she talks about managing through some chaos and some of the "wonderful side effects" that come from leading through change.   Kristin can be reached at:
April 13, 2021
15 Minutes of Fame with Dan St. Romain
Dan is a national educational consultant who provides staff development and consultative services to educators K-12. Dan is passionate about helping individuals shift their perspective on behavior, understanding the best ways to provide support given the challenges posed in today’s society. He regularly presents on topics impacting school climate, brain-based instruction, developmentally appropriate educational practices and presentation skills. Dan’s overwhelming strength is his skill as a presenter. Although his sessions are exceedingly interactive and engaging, his greatest asset lies in his ability to offer participants rich insight into the connectedness between educational practices and student behavior. After receiving his master’s degree in education, Dan worked in both private residential and public school settings. His work as a self-contained behavior unit teacher, Educational Diagnostician, and Director of a Learning Resource Center afforded him experience at all levels, in both general and special education settings. Dan’s consultative experience comes from his work as an Educational Specialist for the Education Service Center in San Antonio, Texas. While there, he designed a three-year program certifying individuals to serve as behavior specialists throughout the region. He also regularly provided technical assistance in the areas of behavior, special education, dropout prevention, school climate and developmentally appropriate practices. After working at the Education Service Center, Dan sought out a job returning to the school setting allowing him to work directly with children.  For seventeen years, Dan was a behavior consultant for the Alamo Heights Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas.  Though he provided support for all schools, his primary responsibilities were at the Howard Early Childhood Center working with the district’s youngest learners.  While there, he provided in class lessons, small group and individual support, as well as presentations to staff and parents. Dan retired from the school system in May of 2020 after thirty years of work in education.  Though he is now slowing down, working to have a better balance between his work and home life, he still provides presentation and consultative support as an independent consultant. Author of two books Teach Skills and Break Habits: Growth Mindsets for Better Behavior in the Classroom Dan published this book in 2018.  It is designed for PK-5 grade teachers to help them move away from a model of rewarding and punishing towards a model of teaching and practicing behaviors.  Positive Behavior Principles: Shifting Perspectives and Aligning Practices in Schools This new book, just released, is designed for PK-12 grade educators and features nine principles for positively shaping behaviors in the school setting.   The book also has Graphic Summary Sheets that can be purchased to complement the principles. Note:  Dan has NOT presented in Halifax, even though I said it at least three times in the interview! :-)
April 6, 2021
14K Gold from Livia Chan
Livia Chan is an educator passionate about community, teaching, leading, and lifelong learning. She truly believes in the power of connection and thoroughly enjoys building relationships by reaching out with kindness and gratitude. Livia lives by the belief that it is through every interaction that we have the opportunity to appreciate and uplift others to help make their day a brighter one. Her other passions include family, friends, and ringette, which she is heavily involved in as a volunteer coach, Executive member, referee, and player. For over 20 years, Livia has continued to experience the joy of teaching in the Greater Vancouver area in BC, Canada, and loves her role as a Head Teacher and classroom teacher. She previously served on the District Staff Development Team in Learning Technologies supporting K-12 educators. Currently, Livia is honored to be the Digital Content Editor and Ambassador for the Teach Better Team and loves being a part of this family! Her motto is “Working together to better ourselves, each other, and the world around us.” Twitter: @LiviaChanL Email: Livia's Blog can be read here: What is Ringette?:
March 30, 2021
Lucky Thirteen with Todd Bloomer
Todd Bloomer is the proud principal of Winston Churchill High School in beautiful San Antonio, Texas.  Todd is a passionate educator who wants to create a culture where voices are valued, and staff, students, and families are motivated to be part of the school community.  Listen as Todd tells us how he goes about building community, and how he views himself as the leader of the band...a band that cannot be successful without all it's parts.  At the end of the interview, Todd gives a lovely tribute to his favorite teacher as he answers The Second Question! Todd is author of #theBluePrint and is a regular contributor to his school district blog space.  You can read his blog posts at Todd is also eager to connect with other educators on Twitter @sachurchill  His school Instagram is peopleofwc
March 23, 2021
The Dozenth Episode - Advocacy with Sophie Torres
Join me as we discuss political advocacy with Raise Your Hand Texas Regional Advocacy Director, Sophie Torres.  Sophie is a San Antonio native, and former VP in the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  She currently works to support public education through political advocacy here in the State of Texas.   Sophie encourages you to learn more about the organization Raise Your Hand Texas by visiting the website Text alerts for advocacy information can be enabled by texting Raise My Hand to 40649 Sophie can be reached at I hope you especially enjoy Sophie's heartwarming tribute to her favorite educator!
March 16, 2021
Number Eleven with Dan Brooks
Dan Brooks is a talented and passionate educator who serves as principal of Woodlake Hills Middle School in beautiful San Antonio, Texas.  Dan shares his observations about adolescents in school, and how to particularly reach African-American boys to help them feel successful at school. Dan can be reached at if you would like to connect with him...and I suggest you do that!  He's a great guy to know!
March 9, 2021
A Perfect Ten with Brad Hughes
Join me as I interview the warm and engaging Brad Hughes all the way from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada!  Brad and I talk about building school culture, and he gives a great three year plan for a new administrator as they begin their career.  Brad also gives a heartfelt tribute to his favorite teacher as he answers the Second Question. Brad is an elementary school principal with 25 years’ experience in education. He is currently at Forest Hill Public School in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, designated a HERO Generation school in the Waterloo Region District School Board. Prior to becoming a school leader, Brad taught for 16 years in classrooms from Kindergarten to eighth grade, most recently teaching middle school Visual Arts, French and Special Education. Brad is a certified Self-Reg School Champion and has an ongoing commitment to reframing the joys and challenges of school life through a Self-Reg lens. Brad and his wife Jennifer are proud parents of a son and daughter both in university. He describes himself as an optimist and recovering perfectionist who is passionate about #LeadingWithLove and improving the lives of kids by supporting the adults that serve them. Brad can be reached on Twitter @brad_hughes His podcast is The Good News, Brad News podcast available everywhere you listen to podcasts!
March 2, 2021
PLAYing the Front Nine with Dr. Jeff Springer
Join me for a great conversation with Dr. Jeff Springer (see bio below).  Show note:  Jeff and I had about a 45 minute pre-interview conversation for this 23 min or so interview...he is a great guy for a chat!  Hear about the acronym Jeff is the King of the Hashtag...and the importance of mentorship.  Also, listen to Jeff's answer to the Second Question.  Jeff gives a lovely tribute to his favorite teacher of all time! Jeff can be reached at his website: or by email at: An educator for 34 years, is the founder of the G.O.A.L. TEAM (Getting Others to Achieve Higher Levels). The G.O.A.L. TEAM, was created for helping high school students and young adults to maximize their personal leadership potential.   Jeff, a former Texas High School Head Football Coach and eleven-year veteran of the classroom, is also formerly the Principal at Magnolia High School (2002-2016). In 2013 Jeff was selected as the State of Texas TASSP State Principal of the year. Besides founding Spring Strategies LLC, that provides educational executive coaching, Jeff also serves part time as the Minister of Men at Wildwood UMC, is a University Student Teacher Supervisor, and is also the founder of Suit Up Ministries, a nonprofit men’s ministry. Jeff attended Abilene Christian University where he played on the 1977 National Championship Football team, received his Bachelor of Arts in Teaching from Sam Houston State University and obtained his Masters of Sports Administration from the United States Sports Academy. In the spring of 2020, Jeff completed his Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in Transformational Leadership from Concordia University. Jeff is passionate about people and “play.” Developing others and helping them see their value and completeness is what drives Jeff in all his relationships. Jeff loves being a husband, dad and a grandfather. He is always seeking for ways to acknowledge men that strive to be the daily active devoted dads they are called to be.   Jeff who resides in Montgomery, Texas, has been married for 39 years and has two children, and three grandchildren.
February 22, 2021
Pieces of Eight with JJ Perez
Join me as I interview elementary school principal Mr. Juan (JJ) Perez, of Jim Martin Elementary school in Northside ISD (San Antonio, TX)!  Mr. Perez shares his educational journey, and tells about how he would spend $10K on his school if it dropped into his lap.  How would you spend it? He also gives us a tribute to his favorite educator as he answers The Second Question. JJ can be reached by phone at 210-398-1410 or by email at  You can follow his school on Twitter @NISDmartin or on Facebook.
February 15, 2021
The Seventh - With Dr. Christophor Galloway
Dr. Christophor Galloway is an amazing educator who tells a great story of his non-traditional journey into the world of public education.  Chris is an author, an educator, a husband and dad, and an innovator that is committed to providing a path to leadership through mentoring and training for other educators.  A true leader in our wonderful profession. Chris can be reached via Twitter @ChrisJGalloway
February 10, 2021
Six Degrees of Chad Broussard - The Public/Private Connection
In this episode I interview a good friend and former colleague, Chad Broussard - a South Louisiana guy who is currently the Assistant Principal of Academics and Student Life at Fordham Prep, a Jesuit school in Bronx, NY.  Chad has worked in public, charter, and private schools, and brings us the perspective of how these systems coexist and what we can learn from each other. Chad can be reached at
January 31, 2021
Give me Five - Gifted and Talented Students Have Needs Too... with Meredith Jacobsen
We often look at students with special needs with a deficit perspective, sometimes forgetting that gifted and talented students also have special needs.  In today's interview, TAG teacher, Meredith Jacobsen talks about her perspective on the needs of students who are gifted and talented, and how we can/should program for those students.  She also answers the Second Question...and honors one of her elementary school teachers (who she hopes gets to listen to this tribute!). Meredith can be reached on Twitter @heyyyy_MissJ
January 24, 2021
"Four" San Antonio with Pastor Lucas Barrientes
Lucas Barrientes is the young, dynamic pastor of Mosaic Church SA here in San Antonio, Texas.  Lucas has heart and a passion for supporting public schools and honoring the students, staff, and families connected with schools.  In our interview, Lucas talks about the For San Antonio initiative from his initiative that seeks to flip the traditional thinking about what churches are against, and focuses on what they are for.  Listen to Lucas discuss how public schools and faith communities can partner to improve and enhance our communities. And of course, Lucas answers the Second Question! Connect with Pastor Lucas on Facebook by searching for Mosaic Church SA.
January 17, 2021
Three and Me with Easton Silverman
The number three has always been special to'll hear why...and I'm excited to have my first interview son, Easton Silverman, a soon-to-be teacher!  Easton and I talk about starting out as a teacher, his student teaching experience so far, and he gives me his answer to the Second Question.
January 10, 2021
A Second Helping
Join me in my story about doing things a second time, and how sustainability in education is key.  I also tell about how education became my second major, and share the answer to The Second provided by an amazing young man as a tribute to his 4th grade teacher.
December 29, 2020
Starting with First
For the first episode of The Second Question, I talk about a few firsts in my life...and then answer the Second Question.  
December 22, 2020