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Leading from the Classroom

Author: NWEA & CCSSO

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A brand new season of Leading From the Classroom is here—a podcast series about the heart, hopes, struggles, and strengths teachers see in their classrooms every day. Each week, you’ll hear the 2018 Teachers of the Year share their personal stories about what helped shape them as educators, and how they’re working to make a difference in the lives of their students.
93 Episodes
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In this episode of Leading from the Classroom, 2018 Idaho Teacher of the Year Becky Mitchell tells us why she thinks asking kids what they want to be when they grow up is the wrong question.
In this episode of Leading from the Classroom, 2018 Wyoming Teacher of the Year Sara Reed shares why she believes that sometimes, the teachers who make the biggest difference are the ones who go against education norms.
In this episode of Leading from the Classroom, 2018 Maine Teacher of the Year Kaitlin Young talks about the experience of inviting Senator Susan Collins to her school—and how her students took the opportunity to ask the tough questions they cared about most.
In this episode of Leading from the Classroom, 2018 New Mexico Teacher of the Year Ivonne Orozco tells us about heritage language learners, and what students in her Spanish class taught her about the link between identity, culture, and language.
In this episode of Leading from the Classroom, 2018 Montana Teacher of the Year Melissa Romano shares the story of Owen, a student who showed her what’s possible when teachers collaborate.
In this episode of Leading from the Classroom, 2018 Utah Teacher of the Year Aaryn Birchell shares why she believes that before teachers can take care of our kids, they need to take care of each other.
In this episode of Leading from the Classroom, 2018 American Samoa Teacher of the Year Rosalee Tela-Shoulders tells us the story of Mark, a student struggling to be accepted—and how the former troublemaker taught her a lesson about empathy. 
In this episode of Leading from the Classroom, 2018 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Cara Pekarcik tells us why she believes that when her students act out, they’re really telling her about their struggles. Here’s Cara.
In this episode of Leading from the Classroom, 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year Pilar Biller tells us about Jenna, a quiet student who reached out with an appreciation, and ended up teaching her a lesson about giving ourselves permission to be learners.
In this episode of Leading from the Classroom, 2018 Missouri Teacher of the Year Beth Davey shares how she used music to support her students in the aftermath of the 2014 shooting of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson.
In this episode of Leading from the Classroom, 2018 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year Kristin Hayes-Leite shares the story of how she went from thinking about “I and me” to instead thinking about “us and we.”
In this episode of Leading from the Classroom, 2018 Alaska Teacher of the Year Ben Walker talks about why he believes both parents and educators need to take action instead of waiting to be asked to get involved.
In this episode of Leading from the Classroom, 2018 Colorado Teacher of the Year Christina Randle tells us about one of the most important things a teacher needs to make change happen: optimism.
In this episode of Leading from the Classroom, 2018 Delaware Teacher of the Year Jinni Forcucci talks to us about her students who learned to use their voices to speak up about school shootings—and the challenging consequences they faced for taking a stand.
In this episode of Leading from the Classroom, 2018 Washington, DC Teacher of the Year Paul Howard talks about the myth of the “perfect teacher,” and why it’s critical for teachers to give themselves room to be “not okay.”
In this episode of Leading from the Classroom, 2018 Arizona Teacher of the Year Josh Meibos tells us about his mission to bring recess back—and why he believes recess is a critical component of social development.
In this episode of Leading from the Classroom, 2018 Hawaii Teacher of the Year Vanessa Ching discusses compassion—and how one student turned a painful event into an inspiring school-wide and award-winning movement.
In this episode of Leading from the Classroom, 2018 New York Teacher of the Year Christopher Albrecht tells us about how he found a new way to engage his students with history: by building bridges with other cultures. 
In this episode of Leading from the Classroom, 2018 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year Heidi Crumrine tells us why it’s so important for teachers to believe in their students—and how one student taught her a lesson about the power of language.
In this episode of Leading from the Classroom, 2018 CNMI Teacher of the Year Antenille Santos tells us what happened when she chose to ignore one class’s reputation and focused on believing in them instead. 
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