Episode 60: Vicki Davis-The Cool Cat Teacher

July 1, 2015


Vicki is a teacher and an IT Director in a small school system in Camilla, Georgia, but she is connected through her writing, speaking, podcast, and social media content throughout the world! 

This is her 13th year teaching.

She writes regularly for the website Edutopia and Vicki can frequently be found as a national keynote speaker presenting on a multitude of topics.


She is a published author and has her own podcast on the BAM Radio Network called Every Classroom Matters

I subscribe to her podcast on iTunes and look forward to every episode.

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Her books are Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds: Move to Global Collaboration One Step At A Time and Reinventing Writing: The 9 Tools that are Changing Writing, Teaching, and Learning Forever


She has an amazing blog, http://www.coolcatteacher.com/, where she expresses her thoughts about many different areas associated with teaching from technology to classroom management and many topics in between. She also connects the readers to many resources for helping with better teaching and school leading.


She also is very active on social media, especially Twitter, where her handle is @coolcatteacher





Vicki is engaging and overflowing with incredible ideas for making the classroom experience unforgettable.

After talking with Vicki, I couldn't stop talking to my team members about her inspiring words! 

I think that you will get just as energized.





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

May 7, 2015


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




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)




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…


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


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.


Episode 51: Rigor Made Easy with Dr. Barbara Blackburn

April 17, 2015


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.


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. 


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. 


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


Length: 60 minutes


Episode 47: Talking Education With Ron Walker

February 25, 2015


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


contact him through his email address




Length: 48:31


Episode 43: Learning in the Fast Lane with Suzy Pepper Rollins

January 15, 2015


Suzy is a math and literacy consultant.

She is mostly known by math teachers for her awesome course called Math in the Fast Lane.  


She also was my first guest to be interviewed so check out Episode 2: Math in the Fast Lane with Suzy Pepper Rollins.

Suzy is now a published author and wow did she do it right!

Her book, Learning in the Fast Lane: 8 Ways to Put All Students on the Road to Academic Success is an ASCD hit!

Her 8 ways are …

1.     Acceleration: Jump Starting Students Who Are Behind

2.     Standards Walls: Transforming Standards into Clear Learning Goals

3.     Success Starters: Sparking Student Success Right Away

4.     Formative Assessment and Feedback: Checking Student Understanding Minute by Minute

5.     Vocabulary Development: Implementing a Strategic Plan

6.     Student Work Sessions: Giving Students Greater Responsibility With Valuable Work

7.     Student Motivation: Creating Engaging Tasks and a Positive Learning Environment

8.     Scaffolding: Providing What’s Missing Just in Time

Her last chapter … 9 is titled Why Are Some Students Still Failing, and What Can We Do About It?

We talk about her path to being a published author and then get into some of the specific details of the book.


Her book is right on the money for being a treasure chest of tools that can be put to use immediately in a classroom. It doesn't require a lengthy book study, on-line course or 1000's of dollars. She cuts through the education jargon and makes it easy to understand what the research says that we should be doing!


There is so much to learn from Suzy and her book!

One caution… If you read this book you will be excited about seeing the change in your students’ success!

You can contact Suzy at





Additional Links:

Chapter 1: Acceleration

A blog summation of What the Writer Learned Listening to a Webinar with Suzy about Learning in the Fast Lane

Length 53:05