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The Independent Teacher

Author: Susan Pallister

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'The Independent Teacher' is one of the UK's leading educational podcasts hosted by Susan Pallister who has over 20 years of leadership experience in educational settings. Now working as a writer and coach, in 'The Independent Teacher' podcast Susan has in depth conversations with leading educationalists from schools and universities, as well as with writers, journalists, musicians, business entrepreneurs, sporting professionals and young people.
91 Episodes
Andy Cope has been described as a ‘wellbeing revolutionary’. His mission is to change the narrative and re-focus psychology away from what’s wrong with people to what’s right. His messages act as a gentle nudge towards people taking charge of their own mental health. Andy’s books are frequently on the best-sellers list. ‘The Art of Being Brilliant’, ‘Shine’, and ‘Zest’ have all topped the personal development charts. ‘The Little Book of Emotional Intelligence’ and Leadership: Multiplier Effect’ are riding high in the business charts and ‘Happiness Route Map’ was nominated as The Independent’s best self-help book of the year. Andy also moonlights as a children’s author. His ‘Spy Dog’ series has sold in excess of a million copies worldwide. In this episode, Andy shares his insights on various topics that impact our daily lives,  so tune in to this inspiring conversation to discover the keys to a more brilliant, balanced, and positive life. Whether you're a teacher seeking work-life balance, looking to brighten your mornings, or dealing with 'mood hoovers,' this episode has something for everyone.
In this episode, we talk to Andrew Rogers the Australian Teacher of the Year (Secondary Non-Gov) in 2021 and a regular contributor to radio programmes and philosophy conferences.  In our show, Andrew talks about his love of Philosophy, its role in the school curriculum, and the important skills it nurtures in young people. We find out about teaching in Australia, as well as Andrew's hopes for the future of education in the next 20 years.
After an early career as a professional singer with international contracts,  Dr Michael Bonshor developed a diverse portfolio of work as a performer, teacher, conductor, choral arranger, director, and workshop leader.  He has run his own professional theatre company, opera group, and jazz ensemble, alongside maintaining a well-established private teaching practice. Michael has also taught extensively in primary and secondary schools, Further Education colleges, and Higher Education institutions.In this episode, we learn more about Michael's book, The Confident Choir, and delve into the fascinating world of music psychology. We learn about Michael's research on overcoming stage fright and performance anxiety, as well as the best ways to cultivate confidence in musicians or anyone who has struggled with their own public speaking or presentational skills. In our conversation,  Michael addresses another curious phenomenon: why is it so challenging for performers to bid farewell to the stage? Through engaging insights and anecdotes, he unravels the complexities related to retirement.  So whether you're a musician seeking to conquer your stage fright or a leader looking to cultivate confidence and creativity in your team, this episode promises a treasure trove of knowledge and inspiration.
In this episode, we catch up with the  Azmat sisters. Throughout this episode, we'll unravel the stories of each sister's academic journey, exploring the turning points that led them to change their minds about their initial chosen degree courses.But that's not all – we'll also delve into the dynamics of sibling rivalry. The Azmat sisters will candidly share how they supported and sometimes competed with each other, ultimately fostering an environment of growth and mutual empowerment.So, tune in as we embark on this heartwarming journey with the Azmat sisters, celebrating the power of education and the bonds of sisterhood. Get ready to be moved and motivated by their compelling stories on 'Degrees of Change'.
Dr Lucy Kelly is an Associate Professor in Education at the University of Bristol, primarily working with PGCE English trainee teachers. She advocates that trainee teachers see themselves as their own biggest resource in the classroom, and that they prioritise their wellbeing from the outset. Her main research interest is reflective practice as a positive tool for educator wellbeing, and she is Principal Investigator for the 'Reimagining the Diary' project, which uses a multimodal Diary Toolkit and ongoing wellbeing CPD to support educators across the country. The team have now launched a student Diary Toolkit, which is currently being tested by 250 Year 12 pupils. Lucy has written numerous articles on educator wellbeing and reflective practice, and presented her work on podcasts, at conferences and on the radio. 'Reimagining the Diary: reflective practice as a positive tool for educator wellbeing' is Lucy's first book.
In this moving episode, we talk to author Fiona Buckland, who is also a life coach, facilitator and public speaker. Fiona has worked with thousands of individuals both one-on-one and at workshops and events to influence positive change. She was previously Head of Learning at The School of Life, a global organisation helping people to lead more fulfilled lives, where she is still a faculty member, leading workshops with world-leading brands and organisations. She has also led several Guardian Masterclasses including 'How to Change Your Life' and 'How to be the Leader of your Life.' She has written articles for the Guardian, the Independent, and Psychologies. Her first book, Thoughtful Leadership, was published in March 2021. In this episode, we talk to Fiona about her latest book, Find Your Path-how to create the life you really want.
The End Sexism in Schools movement is a grassroots organisation made up of individuals in the UK, and even as far afield as New Zealand, who all are united by a shared vision of ending sexism in UK schools. In this episode, I am joined by the founder of the movement Debbie Brazil along with Rachel Fenn, who has carried out extensive research into the secondary school English curriculum. We talk about the limitations of the school curriculum and how it promotes misogyny and inequality. Rachel talks about the movement's research into the English curriculum. We also consider the role of exam boards as well as OFSTED in terms of bringing about much-needed change in schools throughout the country. 
Nikki Shure is Associate Professor in Economics at the UCL Social Research Institute at University College London and a Research Fellow at the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA). She completed her PhD in Economics as a Weidenfeld Scholar at the University of Oxford with a focus on labour economics and education economics. Her research interests include non-cognitive skills and educational outcomes, gender and ambition, international comparisons of education systems, and inequalities in access to higher education and the labour market. Nikki’s research has been funded by the ESRC, British Academy, and Nuffield Foundation and featured in The Guardian, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, and The Economist. In this fascinating episode, Nikki discusses her research on the impact of male overconfidence in relation to the gender gap in top jobs. 
In this episode of our podcast, we catch up with Management Consultant & Social Value Lead for Capgemini UK, Joy Shepheard-Walwyn. Joy talks about her decision to accept an apprenticeship with PwC rather than study a degree in Russian and Philosophy at university. We also talk about diversity and inclusion in the workplace and Joy's current role at Capgemini UK.
Talia Filippelli, is the founder of Starr Therapy in Hoboken, New Jersey. She is known for her solution-focused approach, practical strategies, and fearless mission to make seeing a therapist something people brag about! Talia is a contributing mental health expert for numerous media outlets including CNN and CBS, an 8-time winner of NJ Family Magazine's Top Docs Awards, and a certified holistic health coach and personal trainer. Talia is also an ambassador for The Genius of Play - a national movement spearheaded by The Toy Association to raise awareness about play’s critical role in child development and encourage more play in children’s lives.  Check out The Emotional Wellness Playbook, which can be found on The Genius of Play website along with other expert advice, and more play-inspired resources for families and educators.
In this episode, Dr Nilu Ahmed, from the University of Bristol, talks about the importance of having a sense of purpose, the problems of loneliness, and we also talk  about 'quiet quitting' and its potential role in creating happier employees.  Nilu has degree in Psychology, an MSc in Applied Psychology, as well as a PhD in Human Geography.  She is a Chartered Psychologist and also works as an Intersectional Psychotherapist in private practice. Nilu has worked in numerous community organisations and has held various research and teaching positions in universities across England and Wales, as well as holding positions at a number of charities across the UK.
 Joshua Fullard is an Assistant Professor at the Warwick Business School and a Research Associate at the Research Centre on Micro-Social Change. He received his PhD in Economics from the Institute for Social and Economic Research. He has previously worked as a Lecturer at the Department of Economics at the University of Essex , a Senior Researcher at The Education Policy Institute as well as holding a visiting position at the ifo Institute. Joshua's research fits into three categories: Teachers and Teacher Labour Markets, Education Inequalities and Survey Methods.
Professor Andy Phippen is a Professor of Digital Rights at Bournemouth University and is a Visiting Professor at the University of Suffolk. He has specialised in the use of ICT in social contexts, carrying out a large amount of grassroots research on issues such as attitudes toward privacy and data protection, internet safety, and contemporary issues such as sexting, peer abuse, and the impact of digital technology on wellbeing. He has presented written and oral evidence to parliamentary inquiries related to the use of ICT in society, is widely published in the area, and is a frequent media commentator on these issues.In this episode, we discuss the disconnect between what young people and adults worry about online, and why young people sometimes find it so difficult to talk to adults about the concerns they may have. 
In this episode, we talk to Drew Vernon. Drew is the marketing director for tonies, where he leads Tonies for Teachers, partnering with schools, museums, and libraries to promote screen-free education for children. His work contributed to tonies being named as one of Fast Company’s 2021 Most Innovative Companies in the Education category. Prior to tonies, Drew led the U.S. preschool business for LEGO. Here he created Prescription for Play, building a network of 2,500 pediatricians to promote daily play between parents and children. This program has become one of LEGO’s key global social responsibility initiatives. Drew is also an entrepreneur and started Connecticut’s first state-licensed, pay-by-the-hour daycare center. Before transitioning into early childhood education, Drew spent five years in beauty consumer packaged goods, where he worked for P&G and Jergens. Drew has an MBA in Brand and Product Management from the University of Wisconsin, where he was recently recognised as one of  “8 to Watch Under 40”.
In this episode, Director of Music and author, Dr Martin Leigh talks about his new book, Becoming an Outstanding Music Teacher.  We discuss how Martin's love of music developed, what attracted him to the teaching profession, the role of music in schools, developing independent thinkers, allowing students to fail, and why sharing best practice is so important in the teaching profession. 
In the first part of our episode, Project Manager Hannah Macarthur, who is based at the University of Liverpool, discusses ways in which to implement change successfully either within a small team or across a large organisation.  Then, in the second part of the programme, we discuss Hannah's fantastic work as a mentor with The Girls' Network. Hannah also takes the time to reflect on her own education in the UK.
 Dr Jan Eichhorn,  Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Edinburgh and a Research Director for the Germany-based think tank d|part discusses his research on the outcome of extending the vote to 16-year-olds. He also explains the importance of political and civic education in the curriculum and in local youth organisations.  In addition, Jan talks about the different approaches to youth political engagement in the UK, Germany, Austria, North America, and Norway.
Paul Hopkins is a lecturer in education at the University of Hull and has worked in the secondary, primary and higher education sectors for nearly 30 years. His research areas are in pedagogy, philosophy of education, primary science and technology enhanced learning. In this episode, we have a very interesting and thought-provoking conversation about the role of homework in the primary school sector.  
In this episode, we are joined by Stuart Lancaster who has worked at the highest level of international sport and has studied leadership extensively throughout his career, working with teams at all levels. Stuart was appointed to the role of England Head Coach in 2011 and led the team through four Six Nations campaigns and a Rugby World Cup in 2015. In September 2016, he joined  Leinster Rugby as Senior Coach. In our conversation we talk about his leadership philosophy and, of course, his brilliant course 'Authentic Leadership'.
In this episode, we focus on how we can best support the mental health of young people with well-being advocate and trainee health psychologist, Lydia Brown. Lydia is currently undertaking a  doctorate in Health Psychology at GCU.  We also talk about Lydia's work as an 'Active Listening Volunteer' with the Samaritans as well as her role as a 'Peer Wellbeing Supporter' at The University of Glasgow. During the show, Lydia reflects on the people who have had the most influence on her own life and what they have taught her. 
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