I’m so excited to announce the creation of the #OklaEd Podcast Network. The #OklaEd Podcast Network was created through a collaboration with Michelle Waters with reThinkELA and Scott Haselwood and Erin Barnes with OklaSaid. The #OklaEd Podcast Network was created to link together great #OklaEd podcasts and bloggers to help educators find resources and information. Check it out at www.oklaed.wordpress.com and let us know what you think!
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Amy Curran is the Oklahoma executive director of Generation Citizen. She works across the state to bring the programming of Generation Citizen to school districts and to also advocate for strong civics education in our state. You can find Amy on Twitter @amycurranokc.
Generation Citizen is a national organization that works to empower young people to become engaged and effective citizens. In Oklahoma, Generation Citizen partners with local school districts to provide curriculum and training for teachers that actively involves students in civic engagement. You can find Generation Citizen on their website or on Twitter @gencitizen or @GCFeelingOK.
Below are the questions that I prepared to ask Amy Curran for this episode:
- Introduce yourself and your organization.
- What does Generation Citizen do? What ages/grades does the organization work with? What districts/schools does the organization currently work with?
- What are some of the projects the organization has been involved in within the state?
- Why is Civics Education important?
- Where do teachers start?
- What are some good examples of implementing strong Civics Education practices in the classroom?
- What classroom strategies/content is available? What classroom strategies/content should teachers focus on?
- How do teachers engage in promoting civics engagement/practices in their classroom if they don’t have a strong understanding of the process?
- What positive outcomes occur from civically engaging classroom practices?
- What role does having knowledge of history and current government practices play in being civically engaged?
- What resources/supports are available to teachers?
This episode was recorded at Design Tunnel Studios.
For the fourth Legislative Update of Passing Notes, Todd Gragg, @MrGragg, of Mid-Del joins the podcast again. In this episode we focus on school entry dates, four-day school weeks, and the potential $1,200 teacher pay raise.
I found out last month that Passing Notes was selected as a Top 25 Teacher Podcast by Feedspot. So excited to be on a list of many great podcasts that are focused on educating, inspiring, and empowering teachers!
For this episode of Passing Notes, I met with Casey Gwinn and Dr. Rick Cobb. Casey Gwinn is an attorney who led the nation in the creating the concept for Family Justice Centers. He is the current president of the Alliance of Hope, developed the model for Camp HOPE, and is the recent co-author of the book Hope Rising. Dr. Rick Cobb is the superintendent of Mid-Del Public Schools and is working to shift they dynamics within the school district and the larger community to support families through a trauma-informed lens.
On January 7, 2019, Dr. Cobb and his leadership team brought Casey Gwinn to speak to the entire district in the morning and community members in the afternoon. Dr. Cobb invited me to join the afternoon session and I wasn’t prepared for such an incredible afternoon of learning. Very thankful that both took them time to visit with me afterwards for this interview!
Below are the questions I prepared for the interview:
- Introduce yourself
- What work do you and the Alliance for Hope International do?
- Why is being trauma-informed an important community-wide endeavor?
- What role does hope play in trauma-informed care?
- What resources exist for teachers, principals? Communities?
- What is happening today in your district?
- What do you hope to accomplish with this work?
- Where did the idea start? What preparation took place? What data was collected?
- Why do you believe that this work is important for your district?
- How has trauma impacted your district? Individual schools?
- What strategies have you put in place throughout the district to ensure that trauma-informed care is taking place in individual classrooms?
- In what other ways do you plan to include the community on your work focused around trauma?
- What would happen to the overall mission of our work if ACEs were radically reduced in the population as a whole? What does a low-ACEs culture look like?
- Resources that have impacted the work that you are doing in the Mid-Del District?
While most of us might agree that the current climate of education politics is improving, there is still a ways to go and Superintendent Hofmeister has been leading that charge. She recently requested a budget of $3.35 billion for the 2019-2020 school year, which was the largest budget ever requested for common education, aimed on reducing classroom sizes, decreasing the student to counselor ratio statewide, increasing funds to alternative education, a focus on professional development, and more.
Superintendent Hofmeister is Oklahoma’s 14th State Superintendent. She completed her Bachelor’s of Science in Education from Texas Christian University, receiving a certificates in English and elementary education. She served as a public school teacher, then as the CEO of Kumon Math & Reading Centers of South Tulsa. She served on the Oklahoma State Board of Education from January 2012 to April 2013 before running for State Superintendent. She was sworn in on January 12, 2015. In November of 2018, Superintendent Hofmeister was re-elected to a second term and will be sworn in on January 14, 2019.
Below are the questions I prepared to ask Superintendent Hofmeister:
- Introduce yourself
- Describe your background in education.
- What motivated/encouraged you to run for public office?
- Describe what your typical day looks like as Superintendent.
- What has surprised you about the position of Superintendent?
- What of your first term accomplishments are you most proud of?
- What do you hope to accomplish moving forward into your next term? What do you hope to accomplish for teachers? Students?
- What do you hope to accomplish in regards to the budget?
- Over the years education has had to cut a number of programs (Oklahoma Parents as Teachers, teacher mentorship programs), are there any past programs that you are hoping to bring back?
- With a new freshman class of legislatures, what are your plans to educate them on public schools and higher education?
- What goals do you have surrounding decreasing the teacher shortage in Oklahoma? How will Oklahoma compete with surrounding states that are willing to pay teachers more?
- You have brought in a focus on trauma in our state, how do you hope to prepare educators and schools to mitigate the impact of trauma on students?
- The State Department of Education has received a large number of grants in the last year, how do you think this change education in our state?
- What do you hope education in Oklahoma looks like in the next four years? Ten years?
- What is favorite part of being the State Superintendent of Oklahoma?
2019 is going to bring a few changes to the Passing Notes Podcast. After (almost) a year of episodes I’ve learned a few things and had received great feedback from listeners. Next year look for episodes to be released on Thursday afternoons instead of Friday mornings. Further, every other Thursday during the legislative session (and maybe as needed after that) there will be an episode focused on what is going on at 23rd & Lincoln.
Let me know if you would like to be a guest by filling out your information here or leave me a comment here if you know of someone who needs to interviewed on the podcast.
Thanks for listening.