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Angela Watson's Truth for Teachers

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Truth for Teachers is designed to speak life, encouragement, and truth into the minds and hearts of educators and get you energized for the week ahead.

Truth for Teachers is designed to speak life, encouragement, and truth into the minds and hearts of educators and get you energized for the week ahead.
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Truth for Teachers is designed to speak life, encouragement, and truth into the minds and hearts of educators and get you energized for the week ahead.




EP179 Out the door by 4: Streamlining Friday afternoon planning (Rebecca’s coaching call)

In this coaching call, a 25-year veteran teacher explores why it’s taking her so long to get out the door on Friday afternoons when she’s trying to plan for the following week. Rebecca shares, “I’m a really good teacher, but with as long as I take to plan lessons, I should be one of the best in the world!” Together, we explore ways to streamline her planning process so she’s spending less time fitting the pieces together and hunting for good activities. We also examine her Friday afternoon...


EP178 How to act (rather than react) and stop wasting class time when kids are off-task

Are you constantly losing instructional time to minor disruptions and off-task behavior? What if you shifted your focus from eliminating misbehavior and interruptions to maximizing learning time? When the goal is to eliminate interruptions, you feel like you have to address every single one so it never happens again. When the goal is to maximize learning time, you can choose a more constructive response that keeps the majority of the class on-task. This approach will reduce the wasted...


EP177 Rage Becomes Her: Supporting students — and ourselves — in expressing our full range of emotions (with Soraya Chemaly)

“Men and women are far more alike than they are different. And yet in our society, all of the emphasis is put on the difference. Everybody feels anger, everybody feels sadness, and it makes no sense to be gendering these feelings. As a matter of fact, not only does it not make sense, it is definitively harmful to people and to society.” “As girls, we are not taught to acknowledge or manage our anger so much as fear, ignore, hide, and transform it. Boys learn early on about anger, but far...


EP176 Radical acceptance: How to deal with teaching frustrations you cannot change

How much energy are you wasting complaining about or resisting reality? Radical acceptance can help you deal realistically with the facts of the situation (rather than the story you’re telling yourself about the facts) and sitting with the discomfort of the present moment instead of insisting it shouldn’t be happening. Radical acceptance doesn’t mean you approve of the problems you’re facing or deem other people’s inappropriate behavior as okay. You don’t have to ignore your own needs, let...


EP175 Four myths about great teaching debunked (with Jennifer Gonzalez of Cult of Pedagogy)

Jennifer Gonzalez of Cult of Pedagogy and I are breaking down misconceptions about what effective instruction really looks like. Listen in as we discuss the truths that often get buried among these myths: MYTH #1: Traditional teaching methods should be replaced with more innovative, student-centered approaches. MYTH #2: Lessons should be as creative and fun as possible to increase engagement. MYTH #3: Including elements of students' cultures in your lessons is the best way to teach a...


EP174 Eight ways to move out of overwhelm when everything feels exhausting

What happens when even looking at your to-do list makes you want to shut down? How do you get yourself re-energized when basic adulting feels like too much? I’ve found it empowering to have a menu of choices — or a toolbox — I can go to when I experience those feelings. It’s a collection of strategies I can pick from which have worked in the past, so I can choose whichever one feels easiest to me at the time. In this episode, I’m sharing 8 approaches that work for me: Join us in October...


EP173 Breathe for Change: Tools for teacher well-being and mindfulness

The best way to help students be more empathetic and self-aware is for us to first develop these qualities in ourselves. Dr. Ilana Nankin has created wellness, yoga, and mindfulness resources specifically for teachers through her organization called Breathe for Change. Ilana is spearheading a movement of educators who want to embody principles of wellness and healthy socio-emotional development in order to teach those things to students authentically. Listen in as she shares how teachers...


EP172 Some things a teacher shouldn't be "neutral" about...

Your worldview shapes your classroom management and curriculum choices, whether consciously or not. Let’s examine and question the belief that “neutral” is the only ethical position for us to take, and interrogate whether being neutral is even possible in certain contexts. To be true advocates for our students and have strong, authentic relationships with them, we have to fully embrace and support their identities, and be willing to take a stand when they are discriminated against, bullied,...


EP171 Teach Like Yourself: Why YOU are the person your students need most (with Dr. Gravity Goldberg)

What if being your best in the classroom didn’t mean changing yourself or “fixing” things that are wrong with you? What if you didn’t need gimmicks to hook students into your lessons, and the key to engagement was more about being interested rather than interesting? Join educational consultant and author Dr. Gravity Goldberg as she shares what it means to “teach like yourself.” We’ll explore how to go from predicting failure to building on success, and tap into your personal power in the...


EP170 Five ridiculously unhelpful things I’ve said to students

Our automatic reactions — the things we say to kids without even realizing the words are coming out of our mouths — are usually things we’ve heard from other adults. Often our parents or our teachers said those things to us. We can make a conscious choice to change the script by examining the ineffective and unhelpful things we say to kids. In this episode, I'm sharing 5 of the phrases I'm most embarrassed about using in my classroom, and what was more effective for me to say...


EP169 The workshop model: beyond the basics (with Jen Bengel)

Workshop-style teaching generally has four basic parts: an opening, mini-lesson, work time, and debriefing. You can use the workshop model with ANY age of students and ANY subject area. My guest today is going to do a deep dive into an ELA or reading workshop model. This is most commonly used in grades 1-5 but kindergarten can also follow the model, and it works well at the secondary level. A lot of what we discuss should be helpful no matter what subject you’re using it for: Listen for...


EP168 Tell yourself a better story this school year

The new school year is a fresh start, and the perfect time to let go of old stories and thought patterns that aren't serving you well. You can examine the stories you're telling yourself to see if they're really true, and decide if the stories you’re choosing are making your work feel more or less stressful. In this episode, you'll learn how to train yourself to differentiate between the facts and the story you’re telling yourself about the facts. When you get locked into one story,...


Summer Series Pt 4: Purpose

In the last episode of our self-development summer podcast series, we’re talking about living with PURPOSE. This is not just about the things you want to do or accomplish. Living with purpose is also about recognizing and appreciating what you’ve already done, and making time for just being, rather than always rushing forward to accomplish the Next Big Thing. If you missed our special summer series emails, it’s not too late to get them. I’ll send you one written message to go with each of...


Summer Series Pt 3: Authenticity

We’re taking a break from school-related topics as we continue our special summer series. These 4 episodes in June and July are designed to be a short time together for us to reflect, think deeply, and go big picture. In this episode, we’re talking about AUTHENTICITY. Is it time to get real with yourself that there are certain things you’re just not going to pressure yourself to do? Are you conforming to outside expectations about what’s most important, or determining those things for...


Summer Series Pt 2: Alignment

"There can't be any large-scale revolution until there's a personal revolution, on an individual level. It's got to happen inside first." --Jim Morrison Take a break this summer from thinking about work, and let’s do some big picture reflection on life together. In part two of this summer series, we’re talking about ALIGNMENT, and what it means to live in alignment with what you really believe and who you really are. We'll talk about doing our part (imperfectly) to make the world the place...


Summer Series Pt 1: Presence

In this special 4 part summer series, we're focused on self-development instead of professional development. Every other week in June and July, I’ll bring you a short episode to help you focus on what matters most. I’ll also share some things that have been on my heart that might be otherwise off-topic for a teaching podcast. If you normally listen to the podcast on 1.25 or 1.5 speed, I encourage you to go down to 1.0 for these 4 summer episodes. This series is not about consuming as much...


EP167 Five summer traps to avoid so you can slow down and rejuvenate

This is the last episode of Season 9! I want to leave you with a short and sweet message to help you get more enjoyment out of your summer break. The summer seems to stretch ahead of us endlessly now, but we all know how quickly it will actually fly by. So, I’ll share a bit about my summer plans, and then tell you about 5 traps I’ll be working to avoid — and that I hope you’ll be aware of, too — in order to slow down, be present, and rejuvenate before fall. There will also be a summer 4...


EP166 How Kim Lepre trimmed 15 hours off her workweek

Kim Lepre is a 7th grade English teacher and the founder of the Teachers Need Teachers podcast. She’s also a Beginning Teacher Mentor and Ed Tech Specialist in her district, and a Level 2 Google Certified Educator. How has Kim managed to make time for all of that? She made a significant reduction in her workload during her 13th year of teaching. That’s when she joined The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. I’ve invited Kim on the podcast to tell you exactly what she changed in her mindset and...


EP165 Overcoming mom guilt / dad guilt

What happens when you spend more time with other people’s kids than your own? Parenting guilt is real, and there’s no easy solution when it seems like family gets short-changed when you focus on students, but students get shortchanged when you focus on family. In this episode, we’ll explore what creates mom guilt and dad guilt, and how those two things can manifest differently. We’ll also talk about how the unrealistic standards placed on parents can make it feel like you’re never doing...


EP164 How do you know when it's time to quit teaching?

I think there comes a time for many educators to re-evaluate whether the work they’re doing is something they’d like to continue. You might wonder: These are incredibly tough questions to answer, particularly when you see teaching as your “calling” and life’s purpose as many of us do. You don’t quit a calling, right? To even consider doing so can feel like a personal failure, as if you don’t care enough about your students and couldn’t hack it anymore in the classroom. If that’s how you’re...