Episode 59: Amanda Miliner, 2015 Georgia Teacher of the Year

June 17, 2015
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Amanda is an elementary teacher in Houston County, Georgia who was recognized as the 2015 Georgia Teacher of the Year. In 2006 she was Miss Georgia and competed for the title of Miss America.

This last year she spent time in schools model teaching, presenting, co-teaching and talking with various organizations across the state. She also traveled to Washington, DC where she met the President, twice.

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She sees herself as a self-made person. She knows how important education is. She likes to explain to kids that she came from a single parent home but that she has not let that interfere with her life journey. She is a first generation college graduate in her family and now she is working on her doctorate.  She emphasizes to kids that she wanted something better for herself.

Amanda has a no excuses mentality in the classroom. She expects the kids to work hard and not ask for handouts.

She comments that she didn’t start out wanting to be a teacher, but explains how the desire to teach rose to the top.

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Listen closely as she talks about the teacher who hooked her into wanting to be a teacher because she had a classroom that was like an educational theme park!

We talk about what her ideal classroom would look like as well as what her favorite resources are.

She describes herself as being orange not blue and how that impacts her teaching and her interactions with the kids.

She will challenge you to think about how you see and work with the kids.

Catch up with Amanda on Twitter @gatoty2015

Amanda mentioned these resources:

Kidblog

iMovie

Length: 30:36

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Episode 54: The 50 States Album and Engaging Kids with Dr. Lodge McCammon

May 7, 2015

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Dr. Lodge McCammon is focused on improving teacher quality and helping teachers create learning environments that are highly collaborative, differentiated, and engaging. 

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Lodge is a professional musician who plays numerous instruments and creates educational songs for each of the academic core areas. Recently, he has been working on his 50 States Album as well as teaching teachers and kids how to use paper slide videos. He is an expert at flipping the classroom, a concept that he sees as making the teacher more efficient at using time. Lodge shows teachers how to flip so that more classroom time can be spent on learning instead of listening. (Check out Lodge’s original talk with me on Episode 10 and Episode 11)

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If anyone has ever visited with Lodge they would probably talk about his creativity, his sense of humor, and his ability to make learning fun and engaging! You will hear all of this loud and clear throughout the interview…

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By the way…my favorite state songs are Illinois and Colorado… Find out which ones you like the best…

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He is a former public high school teacher (Civics and AP Economics) who earned his PhD at NC State and has worked with that same university to emphasize efficiency and engagement in the classroom with new and veteran teachers.

Lodge is an amazing keynote speaker, consultant, musician, and educator. In today’s interview I get him to talk about everything from what music he likes to his latest on using time more efficiently…Flip the Phone Meetings… and Walk and Talks.

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Episode 51: Rigor Made Easy with Dr. Barbara Blackburn

April 17, 2015

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My guest today is Dr. Barbara Blackburn. She is an educational consultant who has made Rigor in the classroom one of her signature topics. She is the author of 15 books and numerous articles on educational topics to name just a few there is Rigor in the Classroom, Rigor is Not a Four-Letter Word, Rigor for Special Needs Students, and, our focus today, Rigor Made Easy.

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She has taught early childhood, elementary, middle, high school and college students. She is a national speaker who can often be found presenting to workshops for school personnel. 

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Rigor is a word that sends shivers through many typically because it has been misinterpreted or introduced in a manner which connects it to thoughts of more of everything. In Rigor Made Easy, Barbara addresses Myths about rigor…such as Myth#1… Lots of Homework Is a Sign of Rigor and Myth#2…Rigor Means Doing More. 

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During our talk we discuss a few of the myths as well as several key elements of Rigor Made Easy. The book is divided into seven chapters, the first one is called Understanding Rigor and the other six are:

2. Raise the level of Content

3. Increase Complexity

4. Give appropriate Support and Guidance

5. Open Your Focus

6. Raise Expectations

7. Challenges and Adventures

Barbara’s writing style is easy to read and understand. You will find yourself ready to reassess your lesson plans so that you can address her thoughts about Rigor in your classroom and school, tomorrow.

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This is an awesome discussion that lends itself to helping kids get to greater understanding of content and learning processes.

Check out the links below to find out more about Barbara and to connect with her:

Website-    http://www.barbarablackburnonline.com/

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraRBlackburn

Pinterest-  https://www.pinterest.com/barbblackburn/

Blog-           http://rigorineducation.blogspot.com/

Twitter-      https://twitter.com/BarbBlackburn

YouTube-   https://youtu.be/4LZ6na9V1Wc

Or simply call… (609) 474-4677

Enjoy!

Length: 60 minutes

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Episode 47: Talking Education With Ron Walker

February 25, 2015

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Ron has been an educator for over39 years. He has been a teacher, administrator, and consultant. He is the president of Walker Educational Consulting and is also the director/operator of the SAGE Academy in Gainesville, GA (A school that targets the needs of at risk children).

I’ll never forget the first time I met Ron…I was the new principal of a high poverty, high risk high school. He had been hired as an educational consultant. He told the faculty what they needed to hear not what they wanted to hear. He is always like that, but not just with teachers and administrators. With the political arena he pulls no punches, as well.

He has a heart for working with the most challenging kids and schools. He is a master of connecting the dots and helping teachers be successful. He pushes all to do their best and to do what is right.

Listen to him talk about what he sees as the real power of change that educators can make.

He is a wealth of information and he will make you think about why you do what you do.

His small private school, The SAGE Academy, is funded completely through his ventures.

Contact Ron on Facebook at SAGE-Academy

or 

contact him through his email address

ronwalker62@aol.com

 

Enjoy!

Length: 48:31

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Episode 46: Building Relationships with Hugh Kight

February 10, 2015

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Hugh Kight is the principal of East Laurens Elementary School in Laurens County, Georgia.

Laurens is Hugh’s home. He grew up here, attended school, and eventually became a teacher and principal here.

Hugh is actually retired but “Un-retired” to be the principal of East Laurens.

Between his amazing energy and contagious smile he is someone who everyone should get to know. Just spend a few minutes with him and whatever troubles you will wilt away as you will see the silver linings, feel the sunshine, and want to smile…because you know that all will be good.

Mr. Kight is always looking for methods to recognize success. He connects with kids and, staff, and the community. He wants to find unique ways of saying … “Good Work! Keep it Up!”

Hence the Falcon Fun Zone!

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A place where the teachers and staff can schedule to send kids who have demonstrated hard work, success, and achievement! A place where the kids earn time to play…(check out the pics of the many games and activities)! What an amazing idea!!!

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By the way, the teachers have also been able to find time to initiate the room! (And the paintings of characters on the walls were created by a staff member!)

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Hugh also has his Coca-Cola Diner…It's not sponsored by the corporation…but it grew out of an idea for having a room to celebrate and connect with others. Hugh is known for his cooking skills…just ask anyone about the chicken dinners!

In this room he often feeds staff, students, families, and community members. The walls have the school’s test scores and other data to show their gains and successes. Feels like you are visiting family…

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Hugh likes to visit garage sales and flea markets…this is what led to his decorations for the room…Check out some of the really cool Coke artifacts!!!

I challenge you to think about the ways that Hugh has created to celebrate, connect, and build relationships and develop your own. It will inspire your kids to do well. It will help your staff feel valued and it will help you connect with the parents and community.

Enjoy!

Length: 37:26

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