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The Counter Narrative: Changing the Way We Talk (and think) About Education

The Counter Narrative: Changing the Way We Talk (and think) About Education

By Charles Williams
A podcast dedicated to changing the way we talk and think about education. We all know that the field isn't perfect but there is plenty of awesome work happening everyday. Listen in as I profile educators who are positively impacting their staff, students, and communities.
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Episode 56: Interview with Christine Ravesi-Weinstein

The Counter Narrative: Changing the Way We Talk (and think) About Education

Episode 56: Interview with Christine Ravesi-Weinstein

The Counter Narrative: Changing the Way We Talk (and think) About Education

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Episode 110: Pause to Ponder - The NY Yankees and Teacher Retention
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- What do the New York Yankees and teacher retention have to do in common? Well, consider that in the past 25 years, 44% of the championship teams also fell into the top 3 salary spendings for their respective years. In fact, the average winning team had a payroll that was nearly one standard deviation higher than the average. And the Yankees? Well their five championships during the past 25 years can be attributed to having a payroll that was 2 standard deviations higher than the average.  What does this mean? One of my favorite players, Anthony Rizzo, former first basemen for the Chicago Cubs, recently joined the Yankees and has not been quiet about his dissatisfaction with the teams reluctance to pay him or others what they were worth. In short, he said to invest in your people.  While I understand that MLB salary caps and educational funding are vastly different models, the point of this discussion still holds true. How is it possible that there are teachers who are making a liveable wage (or higher) while others are required to work additional jobs to survive? Furthermore, how can we expect the same level of performance from these same groups of teachers? Or even, what are we saying about how much we value their contributions to our organizations? In short, if you value your people, you need to invest in your people. Yes, it may be costly up front, but the results speak for themselves.  -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
13:60
July 01, 2022
Episode 109: Interview with Zachary Korth
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- In this episode, I chat with Zachary Korth,  a second year Assistant Principal within Chicago Public Schools. He previously served as the Math Instructional Coach and College and Career Counselor within Austin ISD and a STEM Instructional Coach in Portland Public.  With a wealth of experience in restorative practices and building a climate and culture of high expectations and energy, he ensures everyone gets what they n eed to be successful. Whenever interacting with Mr. Korth you know he will always listen, support, and, if needed, offer solutions. In honor of Pride Month, we centered our conversation around the LGBTQ community. Specifically, we addressed the continued issues members of this community are facing not just from society but from their parents and educators. Note that I didn’t mention peers because as Zach and I both noted, a majority of the students within our schools have largely accepted their LGBTQ counterparts. In fact, Zach shares his perceptions of why adults are so often reluctant to embrace these orientations that they view as “abnormal.” Yes, that was sarcasm Texas. During the conversation, we continuously circled back to the idea of not only acceptance but respect and love. Afterall, we are all humans and deserve to be treated as such. Ready to hear more? Let’s go! -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
40:21
June 24, 2022
Episode 108: Pause to Ponder - My Hopes for Juneteenth
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- This weekend marks the second annual national holiday of Juneteenth despite it being in existence for over 150 years and celebrated within the African American community. With such infancy, there are undoubetedly a number of issues that still need to be addressed and its these that I address as I share my hopes for Juneteenth not only for this year, but also moving forward. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
14:40
June 17, 2022
Episode 107: Interview with Carmen Daniel
In this episode, I chat with Carmen Daniel, the Owner and Founder of Dare 2 Dream: College & Career Consulting in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Carmen is a third-generation teen mom and first-generation college graduate. She believes that in order to break the generational curses and a perceived deficit thinking plaguing underrepresented students and communities, that educational policies, leadership, and financing, must be free of systemic racism and oppression. As a graduate of the Cleveland Heights - University Heights School District, Carmen took extreme pride in giving back to the community that helped to shape her educational blueprint. Her research interests include: critical race theory, college access and persistence among Black students, urban education leadership, and college persistence for Black teen mothers and fathers. Specifically, she is interested in the ways within-school segregation policies influence Black student motivations for pursuing a postsecondary degree. During our conversation, we asked an important question - are we amplifying student voices or simply masking our own. All too often we push students into postsecondary decisions without considering their aspirations. We talked about taking the time to listen to students’ stories and helping those experiences determine the pathways that students will take in life. We explored the concept of imposter syndrome and how generational educational trauma impacts our perceptions of school and the choices made beyond primary and secondary school. And we even took some time to dream about what school could be if we adopted the scheduling models of higher education in our lower levels.
40:39
June 10, 2022
Episode 105: Podcast Collaboration with Conceptually Speaking
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- This episode is a podcast collaboration. Every once in a while, podcasters will team up and blend their two shows into one. Sometimes we trip over one another’s feet but in the end it's a wonderful blend of our two spaces. In this episode, I chat with Trevor Aleo and Kayla Duncan of Conceptually Speaking. If you haven’t heard their show, and you like what you hear today, be sure to check them out on nearly every platform where podcasts are found. For this show, we blended our two show’s formats by each bringing 3-5 concepts that we believe are critical while challenging the negative narratives that often permeate our educational spaces. From identifying and grounding ourselves in our purpose to being intentional about the work that we’re doing so that it is in alignment to focusing on the assets that our students and peers bring to the table, we explore the various facets that need to be in place for us to push back and begin flipping the script. Ready for two shows in one? Let’s go. Connect with Conceptually Speaking Click here to check out their podcast Click here to check out their website -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
49:12
May 27, 2022
Episode 104: Pause to Ponder - Be A Man!
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- "Be a man!" "Stop being such a girl!" "Real men don't cry!" These toxic messages have been repeated time and time again to our young men and yet we wonder why they continue to struggle. During this episode I share some personal connections to these comments and disclose some of my past while imploring listeners to reconsider how we approach our young men who are experiencing mental health issues.  -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
16:35
May 20, 2022
Episode 103: Interview with Dr. LaQuanta Nelson
In this episode, I chat with Dr. LaQuanta Nelson, a former guest of ours on Inside the Principal’s Office and The Boss (you’ll hear more about that later). She has served in education as a mentor, motivational speaker, teacher, assistant principal, and principal over the last 17 years and currently serves as Principal of Magnolia Middle School in Moss Point, Mississippi. Dr. Nelson believes in empowering scholars and all educators on their journey to greatness. She has found a true passion in working with turn-around schools. Dr. Nelson has presented and keynoted at conferences and events at the state, regional and national level. She has served on boards such as the Mississippi Department of Education Principals’ Advisory Group, MDE Middle School Task Force and the Mississippi Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation. During our conversation, we talk about the expectations that we have for our students and how they manifest. We need to recognize the power that our words have not just on our students but on the community as whole. Dr. Nelson also points out that these positive expectations can, and will, reflect authentic caring and ultimately transform the self-efficacy for schools. She shares how her own experiences with tough love allows her to love on her kids and their families and the powerful results that stem from those relationships. We close out with some practical ideas for closing the year strong when so many educators are exhausted and ready to give up. Are you ready to learn with The Boss?
39:25
May 13, 2022
Episode 102: Pause to Ponder - Star Wars & Mental Health
What do Star Wars and Mental Health have in common? Apparently a lot more than I originally thought. Though I am a fan of the series and recognized the iconic quotes that can easily be attributed to most areas of life, I never stopped to consider their connection to mental health.  Considering that I recorded this on May 4th and that May is Mental Health Awareness Month, it made sense to combine the two into an episode.  Thank you to MensLine Australia that wrote the article which inspired this episode. 
18:02
May 06, 2022
Episode 101: Interview with Anurupa Ganguly
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- In this episode, I chat with Anurupa Ganguly, the Founder & CEO of Prisms, a VR learning platform that teaches foundational secondary math and science concepts spatially and intuitively, before building up to symbolic notation. She began her career as a math & physics teacher and later served in leadership roles across the Boston Public Schools, NYC DOE, and Success Academies. She holds a BS and MEng in EECS from MIT, and an EdM from BU. During our conversation, Anurupa explained her journey through education and how that inspired her to start a company that allows students to digitally immerse themselves into mathematical concepts through VR. Imagine how impactful and powerful it would be to shift from learning exponential rate of change on worksheets to being involved in a pandemic simulator calculating the spread of an unknown disease. Anurupa also pushed back on the idea that the limited access we often associate with such products is due to budgets and funding (consider the mass amounts of funding schools have received during the past two years) and other excuses that do little more than maintain the gaps that we see in opportunities. This is a powerful conversation that I wish I could have released immediately after recording it so be sure to check out Prisms and see how you can bring this innovative technology to your own space. -- Prisms Website Prisms Twitter Anurupa Twitter Prisms LinkedIn Anurupa LinkedIn -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
45:53
April 29, 2022
Episode 99: Interview with Debbie Tannenbaum
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- In this episode, I chat with Debbie Tannenbaum, an educator with over twenty years of experience, who works each and every day to “transform” learning using technology. During her time in education, she has served  both as a classroom teacher in various grades and as an elementary technology coach. Outside of the classroom, Debbie promotes using technology tools to amplify student learning in her work as an educational technology consultant, author, blogger and speaker. You can connect with Debbie at TannenbaumTech.com. During our conversation, I asked the question that I am sure most tech experts hate, “what tech tool would you recommend for…”. As Debbie pointed out, this is not the ideal way to approach integrating technology into your classroom. Instead we should focus on the objective and the needs of our students and find a tool that matches. We also explored the various ways that technology can be used to propel students forward. If you simply replace your traditional approaches with updated tech, you’re not necessarily going to see the gains that you anticipated. Debbie encourages teachers to instead think outside the box and embrace the opportunities that were not previously available as opposed to simple upgrades. Want to hear more from this tech guru? Let’s go. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
39:08
April 15, 2022
Episode 98: Pause to Ponder - April Fool's Day
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- What is one thing that you made smile in this past week? Was it work related? Was it personal? Was it both? So often we get caught up in doing school that we forget about the most important aspect of education - building relationships. We focus on compliance, on academic growth, on data. And because of this school can easily become a place where nobody wants to be. Its draining because it demands and expects but does little to give back ... to fulfill.  This episode is designed to make you think about moments that bring joy even in the midst of chaos and frustration. I share how my students, along with some help from my staff, finally staged an April Fool's joke that worked. Instead of being upset, instead of reprimanding them, I laughed along with them.  -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
13:51
April 08, 2022
Episode 97: Interview with Lee Hole
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- In this episode, I chat with Lee Hole, a secondary school leader for the international school of Phnom Penh in Cambodia. After starting his career as a PE educator in his previous high school and serving in various roles for nearly a decade, he and his wife moved from the UK and entered the world of International Education by serving as the head of a school in Dubai. Lee has had the honor of leading professional development projects with the British Council in Bahrain and in the US, serving as school reviewer for evaluations,  and mentoring new leaders as they enter new roles. During our conversation, we talked about the benefits of working in diverse settings and experiencing various cultures that may be drastically different from your own. Lee also pointed out his experiences with stereotypes and prejudices though these were not necessarily prevalent in his own homogenous town as he was growing up. We connected this with the concept of color blindness as a “justifiable” approach to interacting with others. Lee suggests that instead of sitting within our comfort zone that we take the time to ask questions and truly listen so that we get to know those around us. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
37:44
April 01, 2022
Episode 96: Pause to Ponder - Shifting from Discourse I to II
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- I was recently confronted with an ugly truth - that one of my middle school students did not know how to read. Instead of, as is normally done, placing blame on my staff, the curriculum, the students, or even the students' family, I opted to reflect on my role in this outcome. As the leader of my school, I know that I am responsible for the happenings within my building. If a student was able to make it this far without knowing how to read, then that meant I needed to consider my role in allowing that to happen.  This reflection led me to revisit the concepts of Discourse I & II, two different types of language that can be used to discuss the issues within schools. The first focuses on externalization, or blame, and seeks to operate more effectively within the current system. In short, it is designed to maintain the status quo. The second, however, forces us to have uncomfortable conversations as we explore how we contribute to these issues and requires us to think deeply about what steps we must take if we want to see true change.  Join me in this episode as I reflect on this journey. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
17:41
March 25, 2022
Episode 95: Interview with Lissette Jacobson
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- In this episode, I chat with Lissette Jacobson, an educator with more than 10 years experience in the field. She has worked with culturally and linguistically diverse students in grades K through 8 and is currently an elementary school principal in a suburb of Chicago. Lissette's passion for education stems from her own experience as a first generation Mexican-American in the public school system. It is important for her to affirm the identities of her students and to elevate the status of the Spanish language. She is the founder of Leading Latina, a blog and podcast that focuses on linking latinas in leadership and co-founder of Black, Brown, and Bilingue, a podcast whose mission is to unite the Black and Brown communities through education, storytelling, and community engagement. During our conversation, we talked about so-called ghetto schools and the impact this has one staff, students, and the community. What happens when staff and students begin to think they are less worthy because they are in a school that doesn't receive as many resources? Or when struggling students are congregated in that space? What happens when parents and the community embrace those stereotypes and respond negatively? Lissette also shared how it's important to listen to your stakeholders and not make assumptions. Often, this leads to us not only ignoring the cultural capital within our buildings but missing our families’ realities entirely. We discussed the role of SEL and cautioned about becoming so engrossed in this initiative that we fail to provide our students with the academic foundations that they need so that they can actually be successful in the classroom. Lissette and I closed out with a brief discussion around repackaged reforms and their role in perpetuating the very issues we are attempting to address but we figured we would save that for another conversation. Listos? Are you ready? Vamos. Connect with Lissette Facebook Twitter - @leadinglatina2 / @blkbrwnbilingue Instagram - @leadinglatina2 / @blackbrownandbilingue YouTube -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
44:41
March 18, 2022
Episode 94: Pause to Ponder - Subconscious Stress
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. Let’s get started. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- We all know that stress can wreak havoc on our bodies and thus we often do as much as we can to avoid and/or treat it. But what happens when those stressors are not immediately known to us? What happens when they are lurking within our subconscious and yet still negatively impacting our physiological and mental systems?  This was a thought that came to me while considering the misunderstood physical ailments of my wife and reflecting on the current events. Something clicked. What if all the chaos happening around us, combined with the notion that we must operate normally, is causing us to suppress our reactions to these various external stimuli? After doing some research, I realized that this is a documented yet not well-researched issue.  Maybe, just maybe, much of the stress and burnout that we are experiencing doesn't all stem from the source we originally imagined. It is very possible that our subconscious is filtering those experiences through stress thus impacting our perceptions.  Listen as I share my thoughts on this, how its impacting me, and my suggestions for moving forward.  -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
20:07
March 11, 2022
Episode 93: Interview with Alycia Worthy
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- In this episode, I chat with Alycia Worthy, a Career and Technical Education and Health Science Educator.  She enjoys giving high school students the foundation for being able to work and interact with the healthcare industry. She also loves training, teaching, and uplifting people.  Prior to entering the education profession, Alycia worked for several years for pharmaceutical companies. It was during her time in the pharmaceutical industry that she recognized that many people were not aware of the vast opportunities available in the industry.  She formed a passion for wanting to inform people about the opportunities and resources available in the pharmaceutical industry and STEM fields.  Alycia transitioned her passion into the education arena where she now works to expose students to a variety of careers and people in the medical and health care fields. She also works to empower students and to help them to pursue their goals and dreams. Alycia currently serves as the Coordinator of the Queen Cobras program, which is a space created for 9th grade girls of color that focuses on healthy identity development, social justice and civic engagement, and cultural affirmation.  She hopes that those young women will love themselves, feel supported during the crucial transition to high school, and understand the benefit of serving the community. Alycia obtained her undergraduate degrees in Biology and in Chemistry from Emory University and her graduate degree in Public Health from New York University.  She is the proud mother of one daughter, Lisa. During our conversation we focused on Alycia’s passion - STEM - and discussed why more young people, especially black and brown students, are not entering science and math related fields. It seems that this issue is multifaceted. From students not interacting with educators who reflect their backgrounds to not having access to engaging and interesting courses to not being exposed to the wide array of career opportunities that exist outside of traditional jobs. Alycia recognizes that there exists numerous incentives to increase participation in STEM but stresses that it is our job, as educators, to address all of these areas if we truly want to address this issue. Students need to see authentically passionate educators who are not only excited about sharing their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math but who also know how to curate these experiences so they are relevant to our students. Yes, there is much to be done but Alycia helps us to better understand the issue and how to address it. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
48:52
March 04, 2022
Episode 92: Pause to Ponder - Building Background Knowledge
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. Let’s get started. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
13:31
February 25, 2022
Episode 91: Interview with Lindsay Titus
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- In this episode, I chat with Lindsay Titus, an educator of 16 years who started as a K-2 Special Education Teacher for 5 years and then worked for 7 years as a behavior consultant in different capacities. During this time she worked at a residential school, for a non-for-profit, and for a private insurance based therapy company. Lindsay then returned to the public school system as a behavior specialist. She went on to complete her administrative coursework and was hired as an assistant principal in October of 2021. During our conversation, we talked about … well .. behavior and the misconceptions that often surround this challenging topic. While Lindsay drops a ton of gems that could easily be used for motivational posters or Twitter taglines, she doesn’t dwell on the typical response of building relationships. While that is necessary, she also points out that we need to acknowledge the role that we play in the behaviors that we are witnessing (even if we are not directly responsible) and that it is okay to give space and grace. Lindsay suggests that we, as adults, need to get better at recognizing and managing our own emotions so that we can do the same for our students and even provides some ideas on how we can do so through small, simple, and strategic steps. Connect with Lindsay Website - Define YOUniversity Twitter - https://twitter.com/ltitus828  -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
38:23
February 18, 2022
Episode 90: Pause to Ponder - Remember the Alamo
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- Are you tired of traditional PD? You know, those boring sit n gets where everyone is expected to learn the same thing at the same time in the same way? Me too! As an educational leader I have spent countless hours looking for something that would allow my staff the freedom to choose professional development opportunities aligned with their unique needs. I never found it. So, I created it with the help of my friends at Code Breaker. Introducing, disruptED, our take on personalized professional development led by educators currently active in the field. Join my session, Equity by Design, where we will explore the intersection of equity and universal design for learning. Or join Matthew Joseph as he shares ways to take your personal connections to the next level through his session Power of Connections. Or join Christin Ravesi-Weinstein as she helps you to unpack stories of strength, struggle, and triumph in her session Fighting Your Inner Voice. Each course is only $50 and you can sign up here. I look forward to learning and growing together. -- You know the saying, "Remember the Alamo!"? What would you do if I told you that the whole story behind this patriotic event was steeped in tyranny, racism, and slavery? To be honest, I was shocked at first too. During a recent trip to San Antonio, my wife and I decided to visit the Alamo. We're nerds and we love exploring historical spaces like this while also attempting to uncover any untold truths that may be waiting to be discovered. And what a truth we found! After touring the site we continued our exploration of the city and happened to stumble across a small museum, SAAACAM (say-cam) where we learned a disturbing reality that neither of us had ever considered. Not only did the Alamo serve as a slave auction site, but that the events leading up to the battle were fueled, in large part, by slavery.  During this episode, I recount my reactions and what I realized as I found myself digging deeper into this newfound truth.  -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
24:06
February 11, 2022
Episode 89: Interview with Ryan Tibbens
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- In this episode, I chat with Ryan Tibbens, a 16 year classroom veteran in the middle of his first year teaching in a brand-new 100% distance learning program. His work with high school juniors and seniors has helped propel students to a variety of excellent universities and fulfilling careers. Outside of school, Ryan operates Tibbens Education Services & Tutoring, a consulting and tutoring venture specializing in college admissions essays, AP prep, writing instruction, and counseling parents. Mr. Tibbens also hosts and produces the ClassCast Podcast, which blends philosophy, pedagogy, policy, and people into great discussions about improving education. He lives in northern Virginia with his wife and two (soon-to-be three) children. During our conversation, we talked about Ryan’s new role and the perceptions around remote learning. We recognized that remote learning should be a choice. There are some students who do well in the environment while others struggle. Yet, we often talk about remote learning as an all or nothing approach to education. Ryan also shared the possibilities that remote learning can offer students who want to explore opportunities that are limited through traditional school practices. Imagine being able to travel the country playing for a professional sports team while still attending class. We continue by exploring methods to make remote learning successful for both students and teachers engaged in this approach. Now, this isn’t an extended commercial or promotion for remote learning but rather an exploration of a style of teaching and learning that has undoubtedly changed the face of education. Ready to listen to the episode? Let’s go. Connect with Ryan: Facebook - www.facebook.com/classcastpodcast  Twitter - www.twitter.com/classcastpod  Instagram - www.instagram.com/classcastpodcast  Linked In - https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryantibbens/  Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCprrZS23ZR3jJYf-K06pFwg  -- Are you tired of traditional PD? You know, those boring sit n gets where everyone is expected to learn the same thing at the same time in the same way? Me too! As an educational leader I have spent countless hours looking for something that would allow my staff the freedom to choose professional development opportunities aligned with their unique needs. I never found it. So, I created it with the help of my friends at Code Breaker. Introducing, disruptED, our take on personalized professional development led by educators currently active in the field. Join my session, Equity by Design, where we will explore the intersection of equity and universal design for learning. Or join Matthew Joseph as he shares ways to take your personal connections to the next level through his session Power of Connections. Or join Christin Ravesi-Weinstein as she helps you to unpack stories of strength, struggle, and triumph in her session Fighting Your Inner Voice. Each course is only $50 and you can sign up using this link. I look forward to learning and growing together. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well.
52:03
February 04, 2022
Episode 87: Interview with Rick Holmes
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- In this episode, I chat with Rick Holmes, the founder of Relate Then Educate. He is also a twenty-year veteran classroom teacher and former high school basketball coach. Rick has a bachelor's degree in Education and a master's degree in School Counseling. When he left the classroom a few years ago to pursue new adventures, he found that his heart was still with his teacher friends at school. Through Relate Then Educate, Rick and his team work to help teachers see how valuable they are through the stories they tell of their experiences, the wisdom of what they've learned, and the message that they are uniquely equipped to do extraordinary things both inside and outside of the classroom. The Relate Then Educate message is simple, teachers are valuable as human beings first and they are justified in both protecting and investing in themselves. During our conversation, we talked about shifting the focus from how to do education to reminding teachers about why they are in the field. No amount of PD, or instructional coaching, will reignite a fire within a teacher like asking them about their story. Their why. The problem is, we don’t ask this enough and thus the amazing work that teachers do on a daily basis are perceived as nothing more than mundane tasks. They say that they are “just a teacher.” So how do we shift these conversations and perceptions? How do we encourage teachers to embrace their positions proudly? Well, Rick has a few suggestions for both teachers and administrators. Let’s dive into this episode to hear what he has to say. Connect with Rick Holmes! Website Twitter -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
37:47
January 21, 2022
Episode 86: Pause to Ponder - MLK Day: A Time for Remembrance
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- The third Monday of each January has been designated as MLK Day, a day that is often spent reflecting on the works and impacts of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While I fully support these efforts, I think that it is important that we do not limit our scope of appreciation to the efforts of a single individual but instead consider all of those who came before and laid the groundwork for him as well as those who were inspired and continued the work beyond him. In short, I want to be sure that we understand that while King and the Civil Rights Movement are often synonymous, there were a plethora of other key players that have been forgotten.  I also want us to consider the parallels between the Civil Rights Movement of the past and that of the present. Yes, in my opinion we are still in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement. We must then be cautious about how we respond to those actively pursuing our rights so that we do not replicate the same opposition that existed not only half a century ago but centuries ago as abolitionists were fighting against slavery.  For me, this day is about remembrance.  -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
11:57
January 14, 2022
Episode 85: Interview with Cale Zuiker
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- Have you heard the news? Inside the Principal’s Office has released a book! A best selling new release on Amazon! This book is perfect for any current or aspiring educational leader. Broken down into 40 weeks, this book is filled with reflections and practical advice from three educational administrators and provides space for reflection to facilitate growth. Join other leaders from around the world who have already ordered theirs to join in on upcoming book studies and workshops. Order your copy on Amazon today! -- In this episode, I chat with Cale Zuiker, the child of two educators, he grew up in Marshfield, WI and attended Youngstown State University in Ohio on a basketball scholarship for one year before transitioning and receiving his undergrad in English Education at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. Cale began his teaching career as a substitute teacher for a year before being hired as a high school English teacher where he taught 9th and 10th graders for five years. During this time he also coached basketball, track, and strength training. Cale received his masters degree in Educational Leadership from Viterbo University and now serves as a principal. During our conversation, we talked about the need for educators to be cognizant of the stereotypes that others have placed upon them, those that we place upon others, but also those that we place upon ourselves. We often talk about the issues of implicit bias and how those impact those around us but we don’t usually discuss how our negative perceptions of ourselves help to shape those thoughts and our interactions with others. Cale talks about its important for us to own what is happening in our spaces and not to shy away from difficult conversations and situations understanding that is how we make real change happen. He also shares his daily three - three questions that he uses to reflect on his leadership. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
34:57
January 07, 2022
Episode 84: Pause to Ponder - Three Questions for 2022
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- As we wrap up 2021 and begin to transition into a new year, I have been thinking about three questions. Yes, some of us make resolutions (though I once made a resolution to never make another and I'm doing well so far) and some of us to the One Word thing (still haven't picked mine out). Instead of these routes, I wanted to do some reflection and not only posed these questions to you, but also shared my own responses.  Question 1: What do you hope to leave behind as we transition into the new year? Question 2: What do you hope to bring with you as we transition into the new year? Question 3: What do you hope to acquire as we progress through the new year? -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
14:44
December 31, 2021
Episode 83: 2021 Holiday Episode
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- Last year, on a whim, I decided to record a holiday special. To be honest, the initial purpose was to explore various facets of the holidays celebrated at this time of the year but it turned out to be so much more. Instead of an informational discussion between peers, we ended up with a heartfelt conversation among friends. And, to be honest, I wanted to do it again. So here we are. In this holiday episode, I connect with four of my fellow podcast colleagues - Mealey co-host of Unprofessional Development , Aviva Levin host of Lesson Impossible, Batsheva Frankel host of Overthrowing Education, and Andre Daughty host of See What Had Happened. Unlike last year, I was able to get some holiday diversity with two my guests celebrating Christmas, one who celebrates Hanukkah, and one who celebrates both. Join us as we learn more about each other’s traditions and memories and how we plan to continue our celebrations with our own families. And, as a bonus, you get to find out which of us has a personal connection with Adam Sandler yeah … that Adam Sandler. Before you jump in, I just want to take a moment to wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season. Regardless of what you celebrate, we need moments like this more and more during these challenging times. Find opportunities to connect with family and friends (safely of course) and share the love and power of connections. I know that I have been fortunate enough to connect with these individuals and so many more so to all of you I would like to say thank you and I look forward to another amazing year of accomplishments and celebrations. Now, its time for the episode. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
01:08:22
December 24, 2021
Episode 82: Pause to Ponder - Return to Remote?
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- Remote learning isn't the solution for everyone. Some students don't have access to devices. Some don't have access to reliable and/or reliable wifi. Some don't have safe spaces in which to work. I understand because that was the case for some of my students.  But not all of them. We, as educators, pride ourselves on talking about personalized learning ... about differentiating our approaches to education so that all students can be successful. We also point out the hypocrisy of holding us accountable to such measures while simultaneously requiring the use of standardized assessments to measure student performance.  Is remote learning any different? We must admit that, while remote learning was far from ideal for many of our students, there were plenty of students who thrived in the newfound setting. There were students who suddenly became engaged and interested in their learning. There were students who finally opened up and connected with their teachers and peers. There were students who excelled.  And yet, we are actively working against having remote learning as an option. Despite an increase in COVID cases and hospitalizations. Despite parents choosing to keep their students at home with no access to instruction. Despite knowing that it can serve as a viable solution for certain populations.  In this episode, I share my thoughts about remote learning and question whether these decisions are being made for the best interest of our students or out of convenience for the decision makers. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
16:25
December 17, 2021
Episode 81: The 2020 Holiday Special
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- This episode was originally supposed to be an interview with my friend and colleague, Lee Hole, an international educator currently stationed in Cambodia. Unfortunately, during the last few minutes of the episode, my computer glitched and I lost everything. So instead of that delightful conversation, I will be sharing with you a rerun of last year's holiday special as we prepare for this year's episode.  Here's the intro for that episode... This is a special episode for a special day. See, I don’t know when you’re actually listening to this episode but I can tell you that today, well the original air date, is December 25th, Christmas Day. And for that reason, I wanted to do a little something different. Now, and I feel that I need to say this before someone attempts to get politically correct, my original intention was to showcase various holidays and their respective traditions. However, when called upon for support, these individuals graciously stepped forward and offered to lend their voices to this special episode. It just so happened that each of them celebrated Christmas. This episode features some of my friends as we reflect on what Christmas means to us, recall some our fondest Christmas memories, and share how we carry on traditions today. I can honestly say that I had a great time recording this session as we laughed, and cried while not only growing closer together but realizing those innate connections that exist within all of humankind. Whether it was the receiving of deodorant, the baking of cookies, the creation of new experiences, or simply spending time with loved ones, Christmas, whether you celebrate it or not transcends its religious foundation and instead embraces a single concept - love. Well, you’re not here to listen to the intro. No … you came for the episode. Before I transition you over, I would like to wish all of my listeners a very Merry Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukah, or whatever holiday you celebrate. May you all find yourselves in the comfort of your loved ones, whether in person or virtually. I look forward to connecting with all of you in the new year. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
59:44
December 10, 2021
Episode 80: Pause to Ponder - Drunk Shakespeare
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- Have you ever heard of Drunk Shakespeare? It's a hilarious show in which a group of trained actors attempt to recreate a classic Shakespearean play while attempting to keep up with one actor who is intentionally drunk. The spontaneous shifts in direction, altered by inebriated decision-making, forces the actors to not only alter their approach but to cleverly come up with ways of getting the story back on track so that it can progress as intended. My wife treated me to a show a few weeks ago for my birthday and, as a huge fan of the theater, I was delighted, amused, and inspired by what I was witnessing. Making such shifts mid scene is no easy feat and yet these actors were traversing an ever changing landscape with relative ease (or maybe it just appeared that way to the possibly drunken audience).  As an educator, I of course reflected on the experience and thought about any potential lessons that could be used within my own school. While I momentarily considered the possibility of somehow incorporating alcohol into lesson (for the teachers obviously), the reality of such a scandal quickly sobered me back up. Another thought, however, remained. What if we challenged our students to interact with material that they have mastered in new and meaningful ways? The only way these actors were able to shift so easily was because they had perfected the basic skills and thus could challenge themselves by intentionally creating obstacles for which they must adjust. Imagine the possibility if students had to rewrite a scene (or entire story) from the perspective of someone else. What would happen if there was an element missing from a story problem and students had to develop a way to figure that out before moving forward? How might students respond if they were asked to re-imagine a world in which a world power no longer existed? -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
16:02
December 03, 2021
Episode 79: Interview with Katie Kinder (part 2)
.Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- Have you heard the news? Inside the Principal’s Office has released a book! A best selling new release on Amazon! This book is perfect for any current or aspiring educational leader. Broken down into 40 weeks, this book is filled with reflections and practical advice from three educational administrators and provides space for reflection to facilitate growth. Join other leaders from around the world who have already ordered theirs to join in on upcoming book studies and workshops. Order your copy on Amazon today! -- In this episode, I chat with Katie Kinder who has been an educator since 2006. She believes that life is fun, and learning should most definitely be fun. As a teacher of the year, top five district finalist, OKC Rotary Teacher of the Month, a guest on the Oklahoma State Department's EdTalk series, and a top 100 educator in Oklahoma on Twitter, Katie has learned a trick or two in the classroom. In fact, she has curated her experience into developing a brand new version of her role as a professional development specialist and has recently released her first book, “Untold Teaching Truths” now available on Amazon. During our conversation, Katie and I took the time to reconnect since our last conversation back in February. In that discussion, she mentioned how she would like to transform her role as a PD specialist into something different as she wanted teachers to see strategies in action. She realized that things aren’t always pretty and that educators should see the process and not just the product. Well, someone must have been listening because that is exactly what she is now doing. Extending on this idea, Katie also released her first book that she hopes will help teachers navigate the struggles that we all face. In fact, she talks about avoiding burnout by steering clear of all the small battles but really honing in on three key areas - engagement, safety, and kindness. We even threw some other ideas out into the ether to see if those too would come true. Want to hear more? Let’s go. Connect with Katie Twitter - @KatieKinder1 -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
45:38
November 26, 2021
Episode 78: Principal Voices from the IPA Conference (part 2)
.Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- Typically, these Pause to Ponder segments feature my own thoughts and reflections regarding all things education. This time, however, I thought I would do something different. During the final week of October, I was fortunate enough to spend time with fellow leaders at the Illinois Principal Association (IPA) Conference. It was there that I collected responses around a simple question. What did you learn during the pandemic and how have you used this to become a better leader? What follows is part 2 of a two-part series featuring the voices of educators from around the state of Illinois. Enjoy. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
10:35
November 19, 2021
Episode 77: Interview with Sandra Donague
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- In this episode, I chat with Sandra Donaghue, who has served in education for over 30 years. She has been a teacher for 16 years, a principal for 15 years, and has served as an Instructor for the Principal Qualifications Course for 10 years. In addition to education, Sandra loves music and musical theatre. She has taught dance for years and even performed in musicals while in high school. Sandra is a Code Breaker Ambassador and works closely with Matthew Joseph on a number of projects and is currently co-authoring a book on leadership. During our conversation Sandra brought up a powerful sentiment - everyone with whom we interact should walk away better because of the experience. While this may sound a bit conceited, the truth is that we should strive to improve those around us at every opportunity. We discussed how this could look with the students in our building by adopting a lens of possibility and allowing them the opportunities to become empowered participants within their schools. Sandra encourages educators to step out of their comfort zones, the real reason why we continue to practice antiquated approaches, and to engage in some reflection activities to identify areas of improvement. Yes, it requires relationships. Yes, it requires vulnerability. Yes, it may be challenging. But it is so well worth it. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
47:15
November 12, 2021
Episode 76: Principal Voices from the IPA Conference (part 1)
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- Typically, these Pause to Ponder segments feature my own thoughts and reflections regarding all things education. This time, however, I thought I would do something different. During the final week of October, I was fortunate enough to spend time with fellow leaders at the Illinois Principal Association (IPA) Conference. It was there that I collected responses around a simple question. What did you learn during the pandemic and how have you used this to become a better leader? What follows is part 1 of a two-part series featuring the voices of educators from around the state of Illinois.  Enjoy. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
09:17
November 05, 2021
Episode 75: Interview with Trelane Clark
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- Have you heard the news? Inside the Principal’s Office has released a book! A best selling new release on Amazon! This book is perfect for any current or aspiring educational leader. Broken down into 40 weeks, this book is filled with reflections and practical advice from three educational administrators and provides space for reflection to facilitate growth. Join other leaders from around the world who have already ordered theirs to join in on upcoming book studies and workshops. Order your copy on Amazon today! -- In this episode, I chat with Trelane Clark, the principal at Hooks Elementary School in Chelsea, Massachusetts, a city adjacent to Boston. She has been serving in education for 25 years in public, private, urban, and suburban schools. She believes that building relationships is central to the work that educators must do. Her personal mission is to stay grounded in faith while learning through life's experiences that empower her to empower others. Trelane’s professional mission is to inspire educators to Teach from the Heart, model Resiliency, lead with Integrity, Value relationships, and ensure Equity for all. She serves as the Vice President of Black Women Education Leaders, Inc. and was a contributing author to Women Who Lead Featuring School Principals Vol. 2. During our conversation we discussed the importance of shifting away from deficit thinking not only for our students but for ourselves as well. When we begin to focus on our abilities and begin operating within our purpose, anything is possible. The same is true for our students. While we can focus on their gaps in learning, we can also identify the strengths that they are bringing into our classrooms. If self-doubt prevents success, then we not only need to shift our thinking but that of our students. Trelane also talks about the need to look for the silver linings and to have joy in the work that we are doing. Yes there is much that is wrong but there is also plenty that is right. We close out the conversation by discussing the need to know students’ names, strengths, and stories. Do you know all of your students? Can you identify them by name? Can you identify something about each one? Let’s jump in to hear more about this challenge and how Trelane is countering the narrative. Connect with Trelane Twitter: @treclarkleads Website: www.treclarkleads.com -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
36:25
October 29, 2021
Episode 74: Pause to Ponder - Care & Candor
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- I decided to go in a different direction this week and record a pure episode meaning no script ... no planning ... no ... well ... anything. I sat down and recorded this episode the night before it was due to air. And to be honest, as uncomfortable as the experience was, I feel that my thoughts were not filtered through my writing voice but instead reflected my speaking voice. But I guess you will be the judge of that. This episode focused on a concept that I recently heard while listening to John C. Maxwell about engaging in challenging conversations. He talked about the need to have both care and candor and that the absence of either will not lead to positive outcomes. This hit home as I have found myself questioning why those within my organization are seemingly avoiding difficult conversations and what we can do to shift those practices.  -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
13:45
October 22, 2021
Episode 73: Interview with Jillian DuBois
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- Have you heard the news? Inside the Principal’s Office has released a book! A best selling new release on Amazon! This book is perfect for any current or aspiring educational leader. Broken down into 40 weeks, this book is filled with reflections and practical advice from three educational administrators and provides space for reflection to facilitate growth. Join other leaders from around the world who have already ordered theirs to join in on upcoming book studies and workshops. Order your copy on Amazon today! -- In this episode, I chat with Jillian DuBois, a 2nd-grade elementary educator in Clearwater, FL who has been in the field of education for over two decades. She is the published author and illustrator of Liv’s Seashells, Road to Awesome:A Journey for Kids, and Look at YOU, Piper Lou!, and is the Optimistic Originator of Imparted Joy, LLC. Jill’s passion is to initiate and infuse joy to those in education by focusing efforts on listening, serving, and growing alongside colleagues and friends. She uses her voice to foster hope for student equity and empathy. Jillian believes each day is a FRESH opportunity to listen, be slow to criticize, and be quick to empathize. Keep dancing and dreaming with JOY. During our conversation, she shares that she is just an ordinary teacher who gets to do extraordinary things with extraordinary people. She began the conversation by sharing a personal story of educating her own child at home when his school was not providing him with the approach he needed to be successful. The experiential learning opportunities she curated for him fostered a different approach to teaching that she has fully embraced and implements within her own classroom. Jill talked about letting go of our own fears when it comes to student autonomy and shares her solution for eliminating boredom from classrooms. Ready to hear an extraordinary conversation between two ordinary educators? Let’s go. Connect with Jillian Twitter: @JillDuBois22 Insta: jilliande FB: jilliandee www.linkedin.com/in/jill-dubois Web: www.impartedjoy.com -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
44:09
October 15, 2021
Episode 72: Pause to Ponder - Principal Appreciation Month
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- Have you heard the news? Inside the Principal’s Office has released a book! A best selling new release on Amazon! This book is perfect for any current or aspiring educational leader. Broken down into 40 weeks, this book is filled with reflections and practical advice from three educational administrators and provides space for reflection to facilitate growth. Join other leaders from around the world who have already ordered theirs to join in on upcoming book studies and workshops. Order your copy on Amazon today! -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- During this reflection, I share my recent experience of truly connecting with my staff during a moment of absolute transparency and vulnerability. Through this, I realized that we all, even educational leaders, need to be able to communicate what need from others and how they can support us when we are struggling. We are so accustomed being the supporter, that we often forget how to be supported. So while you are out there looking for the best way to show your appreciation for your principal, consider asking what they need and honoring that request. I guarantee you that it be much more appreciated than another mug.  -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
11:13
October 08, 2021
Episode 71: Interview with Chuck Moss
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- Have you heard the news? Inside the Principal’s Office has released a book! A best selling new release on Amazon! This book is perfect for any current or aspiring educational leader. Broken down into 40 weeks, this book is filled with reflections and practical advice from three educational administrators and provides space for reflection to facilitate growth. Join other leaders from around the world who have already ordered theirs to join in on upcoming book studies and workshops. Order your copy here today! -- In this episode, I chat with Chuck Moss. He has over 25 years in education having served as a teacher and administrator at the elementary middle, and high school levels. Chuck currently serves as the Director of innovation and development for Dinwiddie County Schools where he works with staff to bring new ideas to the classroom and create meaningful learning experiences for students of all ages. His why is simple: “Bring out the best in people so they can bring out the best in others.” During our conversation, Chuck talks about leading from a place of experience. In fact, he returned to the classroom so that he could learn about the technology that he now directs in his district. We also dive into a pivotal question for educators, am I creating learning. Are we developing the systems, processes, and approaches, regardless of the environment (meaning remote or in-person), that fosters learning? Or are we making excuses for operating in uncomfortable situations? Challenging questions for challenging times. Connect with Chuck: Twitter - @dcpsmoss -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
37:37
October 01, 2021
Episode 70: Interview with Darrin Peppard
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. Let’s get started. -- In this episode, I chat with Darrin Peppard an author, publisher, speaker, and consultant focused on what matters most in leadership and education. Darrin is an expert in school culture and climate as well as coaching and growing emerging leaders. He is the author of the best selling book Road to Awesome: Empower, Lead, Change the Game. Darrin was named the 2015 Jostens Renaissance Educator of the Year, as was the 2016 Wyoming Secondary School Principal of the Year. Darrin was inducted into the Jostens Renaissance Hall of Fame in 2019. As a ‘recovering’ high school principal, Darrin shares lessons learned and effective strategies from over 25 years in public education to help leaders (both adults and students) to become more effective and positively impact the world around them. During our conversation, we talked about … well … everything. We discussed the teacher shortage that seems to have been exacerbated by the pandemic and the realization of a different generation that maybe we do not need to push ourselves to utter exhaustion in order to be effective at our jobs, something our current system has not yet caught up with and is becoming less and less attractive to younger educators. We explored the need to shift our focus from catching and punishing the wrong to recognizing and celebrating the achievements. Darrin urges leaders to ask themselves to determine if they are investing their time in energy in actions aligned with their mission and vision or simply putting out fires. Ready to hear two administrators have a candid conversation about education? Let’s go. Connect with Darrin Socials - @DarrinMPeppard Website - https://roadtoawesome.net/ -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
47:56
September 17, 2021
Episode 68: Interview with Cristobal Saldana
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. Let’s get started. -- In this episode, I chat with Dr. Cristóbal T. Saldaña who serves as an assistant principal at Los Fresnos High School in deep south Texas. This is his twentieth year in education. He is passionate about student success and mentoring budding leaders. He recently launched the Building Leaders Podcast and is the author of One Step Edu, his blog. During our conversation, we talked about encouraging students to notice the voices that are missing, to explore the reason behind the silence, and how those practices can, and do, impact them today. Cris pointed out that many educators are afraid to teach these other perspectives because they do not want to get in trouble or get it wrong but suggests that developing a safe space not only for your students but with your administrator will foster these conversations. He also reminds us that we should continue to harvest the power of connections that we have built through technology and allow our students to connect with others from around the world. Want to know more? Let’s go. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
31:21
September 03, 2021
Episode 67: Interview with Jennifer Haston-Maciejewski
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. Let’s get started. -- Hey listener, are you a principal in Illinois? If so, I hope that you’re planning to be in attendance at this year’s Illinois Principal Association Conference in Peoria from October 24th through the 26th. With keynotes by Gerry Brooks and Luis Cruz and tons of informational sessions from educators all over the state, including yours truly, it is a can’t miss event. And you know what, I will be recording a series of Principal Ponderings live from the event. So, if you’re going to be there and you want to connect, just let me know. Okay, let’s get into today’s episode. -- In this episode, I reconnect with Jennifer Haston-Maciejewski, who works at Greenfield Central High School as an alternative placement teacher and behavior specialist/coach. She is also a trained yoga, mindfulness, and meditation instructor; and is a contributing author in several books. Jennifer sits as the vice president on the board of directors for the Coalition of Schools Educating Mindfully. She is a nature therapy practitioner and is currently converting an old school bus into a tiny home on wheels for herself and her family of 6 to travel in during the summer. During our conversation, Jennifer reflected on her past as one of “those students.” You know the ones. The ones who are never absent and always question the rules. She pointed out that we, as adults, need to know the why behind rules and so do our students because it needs to make sense. We continued by exploring some of the current trends in education and cautioned about developing learned helplessness. Yes, we need to love on our students, and we need to trauma informed. But we also need to ensure that all of their needs are being met. Jennifer pushes educators a little further when she challenges that many of us reflect on the easy questions. That we post and share the good in our professions but are we spending time reflecting on the tough questions … the ones that will really push us outside of our comfort zones. Ready to be challenged by one of those students? Then let’s go. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care. -- Connect with Jennifer Twitter: @mrs_haston Instagram: wanderinggypsy6
45:03
August 20, 2021
Episode 65: Interview with Santiago Meza
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- In this episode, I chat with Santiago Meza, an elementary school principal in California who has served the educational community for more than 15 years. He and his wife have been married for 22 years and have two children - one in middle school and one who will be starting high school this year. Meza is known for leading and living with patience and grace, something that he attributes to being a brain surgery survivor. When he isn’t leading his school, he enjoys drawing, listening to music, and reading his bible. During our conversation, we explored his uncommon approach to leading which stems from a simple question - why don’t we do for adults what we do for students? He points out that administrators often urge their staff to demonstrate love and caring to their students yet fail to extend those same courtesies to their staff. How can we expect people to do what we want when we fail to lead by example? Join us as he shares some practical tips for shifting our conceptions and approaches to leadership. Enjoy. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. -- Santiago's Contact Information: Twitter - @santiagoAM115 Instagram - @santiagoAM115 Linked In - Santiago Meza
38:22
August 06, 2021
Episode 64: The Dallas Event
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. Let’s get started. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- Stop chasing success. What does that even mean? Why would we stop pursuing the very thing that results from working towards our goals? Confused? So was I. Listen as I reflect on the multitude of emails that I received citing this very same mantra and the revelations that I have had along the way including one during the recording of this very episode.  -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
11:55
July 30, 2021
Episode 63: Interview with Alfonso Mendoza
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. Let’s get started. -- In this episode, I chat with Alfonso Mendoza, an Instructional Technologist & Google Innovator from South Texas with 15 years of experience in education. He has a Masters degree in Educational Technology along with a graduate certificate in E-Learning and a graduate certificate in Technology Leadership in Education. Alonso is a servant leader and am always looking for ways to help my learning community use the power of technology which he facilitates through his show, My Ed Tech Life. Be sure to check it out when you get a chance. During our conversation, we talked about one Alfonso’s passions, technology. In addition to sharing his top 3 tools that we should all be using when we return to our school, we discussed the need to take risks and to step outside of our comfort zones. Technology, for many, can be intimidating and but that our vulnerability helps to build community especially when we learn and grow from one another. A fellow Code Breaker, Alfonso and I also had the opportunity to get to know one another a little better and realized that we had much in common. And don’t miss his clever acronym for memorizing the elements plants need for survival. Why would you need to know that? Think million dollar question on a game show. Ready to learn something new? Let’s go. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
55:10
July 23, 2021
Episode 61: Interview with Traci Nicole Smith
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- In this episode, I chat with Dr. Traci Nicole Smith, a current college instructor, former public-school teacher, instructional coach, and Director of Special Education who has transformed the lives of countless families for over two decades through her educational expertise and intuitive wisdom.  In 2020, she created The Institute For Conscious-Driven Living to assist individuals in helping/healing professions learn how to identify triggers, heal core wounds, balance energies, and elevate their vibrations. Rather than react, Traci teaches others how to use external triggers as an avenue for deep inner healing to live a more liberated and authentic life. She resides in New Orleans, Louisiana, which is a nationally recognized city known for its school reforms in public education yet is still struggling with its own issues. During our episode, Traci dropped plenty of truth bombs and did not hold back. In fact, if you’re listening to this in your car, I want to warn you that much of what she says may result in you wanting to stand up and applaud. For obvious reasons, I ask that you refrain from doing so. If you, however, are listening to this in a public place, feel free to do so and then direct those who are staring at you to this episode. I’m sure they’ll thank you later. Our focus for this episode was the toxic positivity that infiltrates teacher spaces and does much more harm than good. Traci wastes no time attacking those ideologies and behaviors that we have come to accept as normal but then question why we are tired, unhappy, and struggling. Take a listen and then find a way to make your own joy. Contact Traci: Twitter: @theedepistolary IG: tracinicolesmith FB: Traci Nicole Smith LinkedIn:  Traci Nicole Smith, Ph.D Website: www.tracinicolesmith.com   -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
01:02:40
July 13, 2021
Episode 60: Pause to Ponder - America's Independence Day
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. Let’s get started. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- We are embarking on the 244th anniversary of America's independence. While this is a time of celebration for many across the country, it is also a time of difficulty for many others. This celebration of freedom is a reminder that not all were granted freedom and that we are still struggling with the reality that freedoms often evade a great portion of the population today. In this episode, I reflect on my own struggles and coming to terms with this holiday. I also share an abridged version of Douglass' speech "What to a Slave is the 4th of July?"  -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
25:01
July 02, 2021
Episode 59: Interview with Melinda Arnost
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- In this episode, I chat with Melinda Arnost, a witty K-12 Intervention Specialist that is always thinking outside of the box. This curly-haired educator loves everything about teaching minus the paperwork and standardized tests. Melinda has her master’s degree in education, is a personal trainer for students with unique abilities, and is an autism guru. She has a passion for building relationships with her students and colleagues and can embrace inclusion in any type of setting. Melinda started an adaptive nonprofit ice skating program for individuals with unique abilities and runs marathons while pushing her pal, Annie, in a HOYT running chair. She believes people, regardless of their lack of ability, should feel included, supported and loved. Melinda lives in the woods with her husband who is an automotive enthusiast in Ohio. When she is not writing or teaching, she is busy running extreme distances, painting murals or trying to build her own secret garden During our conversation we talked about relationships. Yes, relationships. But not just between students and teachers but between teachers and interventionists. Melinda shared how many of the disconnects that we see with our diverse learners are due to the lack of communication and being on the same page. We also talked about the power of inclusion and what happens when ALL students are able to receive the tools needed to learn in the same spaces. Melinda talked about how educators fear the labels that students carry and judge them before they even enter the class and how connecting with other staff and students can help to dispel those misconceptions. And maybe … just maybe … we redefined what PD should look like. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. -- Connect with Melinda Instagram: Empoweringinclusiontoolbox Facebook: Empowering inclusion Check out her book here
40:09
June 25, 2021
Episode 58: Interview with Matthew Joseph
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- Before we jump into today’s episode I wanted to tell you about a super exciting event that I have coming up and I would love for you to be in attendance. As I mentioned in the intro to the show, I am the co-host of Inside the Principal’s Office, a web series that runs live on the first and third Saturday of each month. During the show my co-host, Michael McWilliams, and I bring on other educational leaders and discuss the most pressing issues and topics facing us today. We also have a facebook group where educators can connect and learn from each other. Well this summer, we are planning to host an event where we can get together in person. That’s right. Not another zoom. Not another google meet. But live. Even better? Its only $35! So join us in Dallas for a networking reception on Friday, July 30th followed by a day of activities on Saturday, July 31st. Stop by our twitter page, join us on facebook, or check out an upcoming episode for more information. I look forward to finally meeting you. -- In this episode, I chat with Matthew Joseph, who currently serves as the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment in Leicester Public Schools. He has been a school and district leader in many capacities in public education over his 27 years in the field such as the Director of Digital Learning and Innovation, elementary school principal, classroom teacher, and district professional development specialist. During our conversation, we talked about conflicting parallels that exist with educational leadership. We, as administrators, encourage teachers to adopt a growth mindset and to take risks in their classrooms and yet we utilize punitive evaluation systems that often discourage the very behavior we would like to see. Matthew insisted that we need to develop a system that balances both accountability and innovation so that teachers can move from lessons to experiences and would be more willing to celebrate the attempts of their students as opposed to being focused solely on results. We also discussed the power of reflection … to know oneself so that we can walk in our purpose. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
39:21
June 12, 2021
Episode 57 - Deconstructing Curriculum
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- Before we jump into today’s episode I wanted to tell you about a super exciting event that I have coming up and I would love for you to be in attendance. As I mentioned in the intro to the show, I am the co-host of Inside the Principal’s Office, a web series that runs live on the first and third Saturday of each month. During the show my co-host, Michael McWilliams, and I bring on other educational leaders and discuss the most pressing issues and topics facing us today. We also have a facebook group where educators can connect and learn from each other. Well this summer, we are planning to host an event where we can get together in person. That’s right. Not another zoom. Not another google meet. But live. Even better? Its only $35! So join us in Dallas for a networking reception on Friday, July 30th followed by a day of activities on Saturday, July 31st. Click here to register -- I am a true believer in constructing our own curriculums. I do not believe that we should be tied to a textbook published by a company backed by lobbyists pushing their own agenda. These biased approaches limit the amount of information that our students can access and produce skewed perceptions and understanding of the world around them. I spent years designing and building my own curricular materials so that it not only addressed the standards students were expected to master but also connected with my students' interests and experiences. Although it was a challenge, it was well worth seeing them excel in school. What would happen if we deconstructed our current curriculums and built something new? Join me as I explore this very concept. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
18:07
June 04, 2021
Episode 56: Interview with Christine Ravesi-Weinstein
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- Before we jump into today’s episode I wanted to tell you about a super exciting event that I have coming up and I would love for you to be in attendance. As I mentioned in the intro to the show, I am the co-host of Inside the Principal’s Office, a web series that runs live on the first and third Saturday of each month. During the show my co-host, Michael McWilliams, and I bring on other educational leaders and discuss the most pressing issues and topics facing us today. We also have a facebook group where educators can connect and learn from each other. Well this summer, we are planning to host an event where we can get together in person. That’s right. Not another zoom. Not another google meet. But live. Even better? Its only $35! So join us in Dallas for a networking reception on Friday, July 30th followed by a day of activities on Saturday, July 31st. Stop by our twitter page, join us on facebook, or check out an upcoming episode for more information. -- In this episode, I chat with fellow Code Breaker, Christine Ravesi-Weinstein who currently serves as a high school Assistant Principal in Massachusetts and previously worked as a high school science department chair for four years and classroom teacher for 15. Diagnosed with anxiety and depression at 23, Christine began her journey towards mental wellness. She began a non-profit organization in June of 2017 aimed at removing the stigma of mental illness and promoting physical activity as a means to cope with anxiety. During our conversation, we took a deep dive into anxiety and explored ways in which educators can both support students experiencing an anxiety attack as well as proactive measures to reduce the possibility of triggering them. Christine took the time to explain the difference between being diagnosed with anxiety and being anxious, a common misunderstanding that leads to misinformation. We also spent some time exploring how social media not only impacts our students but can, and has, impacted us as educators as we strive to emulate that which we see in our virtual spaces. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. -- Connect with Christine Twitter YouTube Website
55:44
May 28, 2021
Episode 55: Pause to Ponder - School to Prison Pipelines
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. Let’s get started. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- The school-to-prison pipeline has been a conversation that has reverberated through our educational system for some time. This episode captures some of my thoughts and reflections about this shameful reality and how I played an active role in perpetuating the very systems of intolerance and injustice that I have dedicated myself to dismantling. Join me as I share some of the practices that existed in my schools, some of which may exist in yours, that ultimately contributed to some of my students finding themselves involved in the judicial system.  -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
17:17
May 23, 2021
Episode 54: Mental Health Awareness Month with Cait O'Connor
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. Let’s get started. -- In this episode, I welcome back Cait O’Connor, a 9th & 12th grade English teacher in upstate New York. Cait is a mental health peer and fierce advocate who is heavily passionate about social justice, antiracism, and anti-ableism. She also believes in combating weight bias and promoting size diversity and representation in the classroom and beyond. We wanted to honor National Mental Health Awareness Month by diving a little deeper into some of the concepts that we discussed previously while also examining some new perspectives around mental health. We begin by discussing the concepts of experts and comparing lived experiences with earned certifications. Cait also points out that, despite the old adage that sticks and stones may break my bones … you know the one … that words actually do carry plenty of power and thus we need to be cognizant of how we utilize terms. The casual misuse of medical diagnoses to commodify everyday behavior contributes to the misinterpretation and misunderstanding of real problems facing many people. This conversation touches on a lot of topics but, as always, ends with some ideas and suggestions for moving forward and doing the work. I hope that you enjoy this episode and remember that its okay not to be okay. And if you’re struggling, find someone to talk to. There are a few resources in the show notes if you need them. Enjoy. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
48:13
May 14, 2021
Episode 53: Pause to Ponder - The Anniversary Episode
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- Before we jump into today’s episode I wanted to tell you about a super exciting event that I have coming up and I would love for you to be in attendance. As I mentioned in the intro to the show, I am the co-host of Inside the Principal’s Office, a web series that runs live on the first and third Saturday of each month. During the show my co-host, Michael McWilliams, and I bring on other educational leaders and discuss the most pressing issues and topics facing us today. We also have a facebook group where educators can connect and learn from each other. Well this summer, we are planning to host an event where we can get together in person. That’s right. Not another zoom. Not another google meet. But live. Even better? Its only $35! So join us in Dallas for a networking reception on Friday, July 30th followed by a day of activities on Saturday, July 31st. Stop by our twitter page, join us on facebook, or check out an upcoming episode for more information. I look forward to finally meeting you. -- Celebrating the one year anniversary of the show, this episode reflects on three positives that have resulted from the creation of the podcast - the documentation of my evolution as an educator, the finding of my true voice, and the desire to expand my understanding of others. I spend some time thanking those that have helped to me to launch this journey including Mike and Josh from the Punk Rock Classroom Podcast as well as Chey and Pav from the Staffroom Podcast.  -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
10:41
May 07, 2021
Episode 52: Interview with Hedreich Nichols
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. -- Before we jump into today’s episode I wanted to tell you about a super exciting event that I have coming up and I would love for you to be in attendance. In addition to this show, I am the co-host of Inside the Principal’s Office, a web series that runs live on the first and third Saturday of each month. During the show my co-host, Michael McWilliams, and I bring on other educational leaders and discuss the most pressing issues and topics facing us today. We also have a facebook group where educators can connect and learn from each other. Well this summer, we are planning to host an event where we can get together in person. That’s right. Not another zoom. Not another google meet. But live. Even better? Its free! So join us in Dallas for a networking reception on Friday, July 30th followed by a day of activities on Saturday, July 31st. Stop by our twitter page, join us on facebook, or check out an upcoming episode for more information. -- In this episode, I chat with Hedreich Nichols, an author, educator and consultant helping educators and districts amplify the voices of all students. Hedreich’s YouTube series and podcast, SmallBites, further helps campuses amplify student voices by focusing on equity in education. Between SmallBites and her work as a writer, Hedreich works to help educators create more culturally responsive classrooms and campuses. Her Cherry Lake trade titles "What is Antiracism?" and "What is the Black Lives Matter Movement?" provide teachers with materials to help students understand systemic inequities; and her upcoming Solution Tree Title provides educators with guiding principles to help them become more culturally responsible. As a speaker at conferences like VASCD, MASCD, CUE, ISTE, etc. Hedreich provides educators with inspiration to move beyond conversations around race; giving them hands-on, research-based strategies that can be immediately implemented. Hedreich received her Master of Education in educational technology at Texas A&M University. During our chat, we discuss “The Work” … you know … ensuring equitable spaces, disrupting systems, countering the narrative … that work. We took a hard look at some of the painful and uncomfortable truths about the role of systemic racism in education and discussed meaningful and practical approaches to begin unraveling engrained practices and developing long-term solutions. Hedreich’s use of a football analogy helps to clarify why these conversations are so hard for so many and her tips and strategies may cause us to reflect on long-held approached to doing this work. So, if you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get some work done, this is the episode for you. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care. -- Connect with Hedreich Twitter
37:43
April 30, 2021
Episode 49: Interview with Michael Weingarth
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. -- Hey listeners! Before we jump into the show I wanted to tell you about The EQuip to Achieve EQ and Remote Learning Summit, which will be held from April 8th through the 11th. This is a can’t-miss opportunity for those seeking strategies, information, and inspiration on everything from parenting and teaching in the digital age, to addressing social isolation through the lenses of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)—and you don’t have to leave your house to attend. We weren’t prepared for the impacts of COVID-19 on our education system, but this virtual event promises to bridge the gaps and equip and empower attendees with the knowledge and skills to do better in 2021 and beyond. Now here’s the best part. Registration for this four-day event will normally cost you over $200. But if you use the link found below, you can get full access to this entire conference for only $100. That’s over 50% off! So be sure to register today by using the link in the show notes or on any of my other sites. -- In this episode, I chat with Michael Weingarth, a biological parent, a foster parent, and an educator who founded the first neuropsychological tutoring and test prep company in 2009. Most of Michael's research and work is about addressing learning challenges faced by bright students, specifically in math, writing, reading, science, and test prep with or without diagnosed learning disabilities.  You can find more of his work at pillarsoflearning.com or read him tweeting into the void at @LearningPillars on twitter. Now, I’m going to warn you before we get started. This episode is heavy. Essential … but heavy. During our conversation, Michael talks about his journey with Twice Exceptional Learners and how he quickly realized that since all of our students are unique they present unique challenges and that we should avoid the prescriptive approaches so often presented as we attempt to incorporate SEL, Mindfulness, and other holistic educational initiatives into our curriculum. Instead, he argues, that context should drive content and we must be wary about teaching students to simply acknowledge and accept the situations in which they are in. Michael takes a deep dive into brain’s processing and points out that this information should be streamlined but due to various reasons, it is overly complicated and thus not readily accessible by all educators. Be sure to check out the show notes to link with all of the resources he shares throughout the discussion. Ready? Let’s go.. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care. -- Links & Resources Follow Michael on Twitter Check out his website denasimmons.com Behave by Robert Sapolsky Executive Function & Child Development by Marcie Yeager
01:00:24
April 02, 2021
Episode 48: Pause to Ponder - Equal Expectations
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. -- Hey listeners! Before we jump into the show I wanted to tell you about The EQuip to Achieve EQ and Remote Learning Summit, which will be held from April 8th through the 11th. This is a can’t-miss opportunity for those seeking strategies, information, and inspiration on everything from parenting and teaching in the digital age, to addressing social isolation through the lenses of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)—and you don’t have to leave your house to attend. We weren’t prepared for the impacts of COVID-19 on our education system, but this virtual event promises to bridge the gaps and equip and empower attendees with the knowledge and skills to do better in 2021 and beyond. Now here’s the best part. Registration for this four-day event will normally cost you over $200. But if you use the link found below, you can get full access to this entire conference for only $100. That’s over 50% off! So be sure to register today by using the link in the show notes or on any of my other sites. Click here to register for the EQuip to Achieve Virtual Summit Registration. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
12:34
March 26, 2021
Episode 47: Interview with Livia Chan
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. -- Livia Chan is an educator who is 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 and ringette 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. Previously, she 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.” Let’s get better. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care. -- Find Livia here Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/liviachanl/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/LiviaChanL Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/liviachanl/ Linked In - https://www.linkedin.com/in/liviachanl/ Voxer - https://web.voxer.com/u/liviachanl Other - https://livchan.com/
43:24
March 19, 2021
Episode 46: Pause to Ponder - Women's History Month
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- Hey listeners! Before we jump into the show I wanted to tell you about The EQuip to Achieve EQ and Remote Learning Summit, which will be held from April 8th through the 11th. This is a can’t-miss opportunity for those seeking strategies, information, and inspiration on everything from parenting and teaching in the digital age, to addressing social isolation through the lenses of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)—and you don’t have to leave your house to attend. We weren’t prepared for the impacts of COVID-19 on our education system, but this virtual event promises to bridge the gaps and equip and empower attendees with the knowledge and skills to do better in 2021 and beyond. Now here’s the best part. Registration for this four-day event will normally cost you over $200. But if you use this link you can get full access to this entire conference for only $100. That’s over 50% off! So be sure to register today by using the link in the show notes or on any of my other sites. -- Welcome to the Women's History Month episode. Instead of trying to mansplain women's history month, I wanted to instead dedicate this episode to the amazing women in my family. Join me as I highlight the achievements and lessons that I have learned from my grandmother, mother, wife, and five daughters.  I would also encourage you take some time to recognize and appreciate the women in your life and, if you happen to be a woman, yourself as well. You deserve it.  -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
15:39
March 12, 2021
Episode 45: Interview with Clement Townsend
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. -- Hey listeners! Before we jump into the show I wanted to tell you about The EQuip to Achieve EQ and Remote Learning Summit, which will be held from April 8th through the 11th. This is a can’t-miss opportunity for those seeking strategies, information, and inspiration on everything from parenting and teaching in the digital age, to addressing social isolation through the lenses of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)—and you don’t have to leave your house to attend. We weren’t prepared for the impacts of COVID-19 on our education system, but this virtual event promises to bridge the gaps and equip and empower attendees with the knowledge and skills to do better in 2021 and beyond. Now here’s the best part. Registration for this four-day event will normally cost you over $200. But if you use this link, you can get full access to this entire conference for only $100. That’s over 50% off! So be sure to register today by using the link in the show notes or on any of my other sites. -- In this episode, I chat with Clement Townsend, a Sports Journalist who has spent close to two decades in front of the camera on local news, cable, and the internet.  His career took him to several markets including San Angelo, Texas; Mobile, Alabama; Lynchburg, Virginia; and Chicago, Illinois.  Clement has covered numerous big events throughout his career such as the Super Bowl, NBA All-Star Game, and multiple college football National Championships.  Clement is the author of “How to Become a Broadcasting Star” and the founder of Broadcasting Career Mentor (BCM).  BCM provides media training for youth across the country and offers in person training and virtual media training through the Video Journalism Pro Online Course. During our conversation, we discussed ways to use media as a platform in which students can blend various academic skills and apply them in a real world setting. He challenges that such programs should not be considered as extras but instead should be essential. As we push our students to higher order thinking skills, he urges educators to transform students into not just consumers of information but creators. Clement recognizes that teachers may be hesitant to incorporate multimedia into their lessons citing that some lack the skills while others lack the support necessary to take such risks. Despite this, he insists that educators start small and allow students to flourish. As educators, it is not our job to know everything but instead we need to facilitate our students’ learning and sometimes that means growing together. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
33:11
March 05, 2021
Episode 44: Pause to Ponder - Do We Need Black History Month?
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. Hey listeners! Before we jump into the show I wanted to tell you about The EQuip to Achieve EQ and Remote Learning Summit, which will be held from April 8th through the 11th. This is a can’t-miss opportunity for those seeking strategies, information, and inspiration on everything from parenting and teaching in the digital age, to addressing social isolation through the lenses of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)—and you don’t have to leave your house to attend. We weren’t prepared for the impacts of COVID-19 on our education system, but this virtual event promises to bridge the gaps and equip and empower attendees with the knowledge and skills to do better in 2021 and beyond. Now here’s the best part. Registration for this four-day event will normally cost you over $200. But if you use the link found in the show notes, you can get full access to this entire conference for only $100. That’s over 50% off! So be sure to register today by using this link. This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. Black History Month may seem like a decades old celebration that is deeply rooted in our past but the reality is that it has only existed formally for less than 40 years. That may be surprising considering the extensive struggles that African-Americans have had in this country. As we become more aware of that troubling history, however, more and more people are beginning to question whether or not we need a Black History Month or if its presence does little more that contribute the marginalization of black history.  During this episode, I explore the history behind Black History Month and question its role in our educational system today. I acknowledge the pushback by those who stress the need to move beyond a singular month and offer a suggestion for expanding our teaching of black history throughout the year. And I conclude with my hopes for how Black History Month may in fact evolve into something greater.  I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
14:08
February 26, 2021
Episode 43: Interview with Katie Kinder
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. In this episode, I chat with Katie Kinder who has been an educator since 2006. She believes that life is fun, and learning should most definitely be fun. As a teacher of the year, top five district finalist, OKC Rotary Teacher of the Month, a guest on the Oklahoma State Department's EdTalk series, and a top 100 educator in Oklahoma on Twitter, Katie has learned a trick or two in the classroom, so be sure to check her out, have some fun, and hook your students from day one! During our conversation, we discussed the importance of allowing students to see themselves in their work. While Katie is a huge fan of Edgar Allen Poe, she also knew that her students should be exposed to poets such as Maya Angelou especially when so many of her students didn’t even recognize this prolific author. Like so many others, she pushes back on the idea of doing things the same way simply because and even challenges those using the current pandemic as an excuse for not making needed change. Katie puts actions behinds her words of “don’t expect your kids to do what you aren’t willing to do yourself” by trying to develop a new district-wide approach to PD - one that would turn her classroom into a living workshop where teachers could witness the implementation of strategies in real-time. I guarantee this episode will have you hooked. Enjoy! I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Click here to register for the EQuip to Achieve Virtual Summit Registration
39:48
February 19, 2021
Episode 42: Pause to Ponder - What's In A Name?
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. In this episode, I explore the meaning behind names and the perceptions some apply to them. Some names like Amari, Jabari, Latrice, and Malek are founded in ancient African languages yet conjure negative and stereotypical images of the people to whom they refer. I share a story in which I pushed back against parents stamping their children with names that would almost undoubtedly make them a target for racial profiling and the colleague who gave me something to think about. The conversation turns towards cultural assimilation and the practice of conforming to a dominant culture, one often rooted in eurocentric beliefs and customs, in order to be accepted. We end with a proclamation to claim and to love our names and either their rich, ancient histories or the uniquely crafted names that give the opportunity to develop their own meanings and legacies.  I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
12:19
February 12, 2021
Episode 41: Interview with Cait O'Connor
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. - In this episode, I chat with Cait O’Connor, a 9th & 12th grade English teacher in upstate New York. Cait is also a mental health peer and fierce advocate who is heavily passionate about social justice, antiracism, and anti-ableism. She also believes in combating weight bias and promoting size diversity and representation in the classroom and beyond. She can also identify all 50 capitals. During our conversation, we dive into the very uncomfortable topic of mental wellness but Cait is quick to remind us that our discomfort is someone else’s life. She points out that medical conditions have been commodified and that we are quick to use, or should I say misuse, commonly accepted labels but actively avoid addressing these very real situations. In fact, Cait pushes back on widely accepted practices because they focus on the wellness aspect but do not consider the illness behind the behaviors. Most of us approach wellness with a limited set of tools despite there existing a myriad of truths and experiences. Why don’t we, she asks, embrace the same idea of differentiation for addressing wellness as we do with instruction. Cait insists that we need an overhaul and to really examine the educational settings and instructional practices that do not promote a safe environment for all students. We have done a lot of listening around this topic, when will we start acting on it? - I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
32:16
February 05, 2021
Episode 40: Podcast Collaboration with Dr. Sam Fecich of EduMagic
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. This is a special crossover episode with Dr. Sam Fecich, host of the EduMagic Podcast, and will be airing simultaneously on both of our shows. If you don’t know Sam, she is a professor of education at Grove City College where she teaches preservice teachers about educational technology or special education. During our conversation, we each shared 2 takeaways from the first half of a very interesting school year. Sam explored the very real fact that online teaching and traditional teaching are vastly different and that we need to be mindful of the unique needs of each as we launch into instruction. She also pointed out the need for ensuring accessibility, for both forms of teaching, if we expect students to succeed. Sam continued by challenging so called norms by encouraging teachers to set boundaries and focus on self-care. In fact, a potential 30-day challenge emerged from this idea on how we can commit to pushing back against toxic positivity. Of course I too shared my two ideas by reminding educators that they are not alone in the challenges they are facing as we are all navigating uncharted waters. And I continued to anchor my belief in the potentially cliched, but no less important, concept of Maslow over Bloom. We must take the time to build strong foundations, especially in a time of remoteness and often disconnectedness. We dropped so many names in this show including Chey and Pav of the Staffroom Podcast, Traci Browder of the Intelligogy Podcast, LaKeisha Carroll of the Kickin it With Kee Podcast, Michael McWilliams and Hamish Brewer, two amazing principals. Be sure to check out Edu Magic and all of the other amazing shows that we referenced and of course, if you have done so already, be sure to subscribe and rate this show on whatever platform you are using. I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
41:59
January 29, 2021
Episode 39: Interview with Dawn Harris
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. In this episode, I chat with Dawn Harris, a passionate and energetic educator who lives by the motto, “Relationships First.” In her roles as a secondary English Language Arts Educator, Gifted and Talented Teacher, and Associate Professor of Teacher Education, Dawn continually strives to bring authentic and engaging learning experiences to students of all ages. Throughout her career as an educator, Dawn has taught in urban, rural, and suburban districts meeting the needs of children from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures. In addition to general ELA coursework, Dawn’s classroom teaching experience also includes teaching English as a second language, creative writing, film studies, and response to intervention instruction. Dawn’s professional teaching experiences have been showcased in scholarly journals and at local, regional, national, and international conferences. Dawn’s first book, Plan Like a Pirate, is set to release in 2021. During our conversation, we discussed the power of creating equity committees as we attempt to give students a full educational experience. To do this, however, we must question how racism affects those around us by attempting to understand their perspectives. It’s important to note that this takes work and that mistakes will happen along the way. Dawn recommends several ways to move forward including hosting watch parties to discuss the plethora of virtual professional development now readily available. I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. The show can also be found on CodeBreakerEdu.com, a site dedicated to disrupting the status, challenging social norms, and having critical conversations.  Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
32:57
January 22, 2021
Episode 38: Pause to Ponder - MLK
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, this episode examines some of his quotes in the context of America today. Join me as I reflect on recent events and what they revealed about the truth of our current society and what this means for us as educators. What can we do to ensure that Dr. King's dream moves closer to reality? How do we remain encouraged during these challenging times?  I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
09:46
January 15, 2021
Episode 37: Interview with Dustin Pearson
Welcome to the Counter Narra