Saturday, January 20, 2018


For several years, I have enjoyed listening to podcasts. I actually began by listening to the Serial podcast, from the creators of This American Life. I was drawn in by the voices, the engaging storyline, and the humanity in the voices that would play through my earbuds. I then briefly dabbled in Mortified, based on the recommendation of my friend, Kate Wood. This podcast introduces you to someone new each show who recounts a most embarrassing moment, usually from their teens or twenties. Isn't that when the very most mortifying things seem to happen to us?! Again, what makes this podcast intriguing is not just the storytelling, but also getting to hear the stories from real voices, with laughter, groans, hesitant pauses and the humanity that is presented throughout the show.

It seems like everyone is jumping on the podcast trend, and as much as I like words and stories, it seemed natural to want to try something like that myself. I'm working on a book, but that can seem so daunting and overwhelming. The episode structure of a podcast lends itself to succinct storytelling and can be a welcome friend on a drive to work, a walk around the neighborhood, or just background as one gets ready for work.

After several Google Hangouts and Twitter DMs, my friends Jason Bretzmann and Kenny Bosch of #personalizedPD fame encouraged Josh Gauthier and I to give it a try. They take care of the technical stuff and I get to jump in on conversations with the most fascinating educators and hear their stories.  It's not particularly glossy or famous, these educators are from rural and urban districts, work with elementary, middle, and high school students, coach teachers toward technology integration and the pursuit of personalized goals, and are one of the reasons that I wake up motivated each day. The #StoriesinEdu podcast gives me the beautiful opportunity to turn up the volume on the voices in education that we should be listening to, the voices of the people with feet on the ground doing the work.

As an instructional coach, my role has changed and that shift hasn't always been easy. In the classroom, I always knew my impact, and even when I felt under-celebrated, I had kids that would validate the importance of the work I was doing. I had love notes, trinkets and treasures, missing-teeth smiles, and lots and lots of hugs. As my role has changed, so to has my mission; I want teachers to feel empowered and celebrated, to be reflective and flexible, and to own the importance of their own impact. The #StoriesinEdu podcast has given me the opportunity to broaden that mission, to expand it outside of the work I do in my own district, and to amplify the stories in education.

If you have a story to tell, reach out to Josh or myself. We'd love to hear from you!

Some other podcasts to check out:
Always a Lesson podcast with Gretchen Bridgers
Cult of Pedagogy podcast with Jennifer Gonzales


Kali Sosa said...

You are such an awesome writer Mandy!!!