Episode 013: Interview with Kristy Cooper

Education Podcast, Relationships

For this episode of Passing Notes, I interviewed Kristy Cooper. Kristy is a 13-year veteran, teaching math and leadership at Del City High School in the Mid-Del School District. I have followed Kristy on twitter for years and have always been inspired by her deep relationships with the students she serves and her ability to empower her high school students in leadership capacities! Kristy is an amazing person and her personal life journey is inspiring to her students and other educators! You can find Kristy on twitter @kriscoop80

Below are the questions I prepared to ask Kristy (there were some follow up questions in the podcast that are not included below):

  1. Tell me about your background and experience as an educator.
  2. Explain the work you do with your high school students.
  3. Leadership has played an important role in your classroom and how you design lessons, what are the important steps teachers can take to setting up leadership opportunities for students?
  4. I would imagine that the leadership looks different for every student, what do you advise teachers to do to help draw out students who are more hesitant or don’t see themselves as a leader?
  5. What role has building relationships with students has had on building leaders in your classroom?
  6. How do you tap into your students’ culture and background when empowering them to be leaders?
  7. What role does team building and relationship building between students play in your classroom?
  8. How do you teach leadership?
  9. How do you tie the community into your leadership class?
  10. How do you empower your students to take the lessons they learn in the classroom with them into their communities and throughout your school?
  11. In all things we scaffold for students, how do you provide scaffolds for students growing and developing in their leadership skills?
  12. You have been an incredibly inspirational person to many educators, how has your personal struggle with health impacted your students?
  13. How has your daily dedication to your students effected/changed how you view your health/healing?
  14. What advice do you have for teachers who are looking for ways to adapt their classroom to provide more leadership roles?
  15. What go to resources inspire you?

This episode was recorded at and mastered by Design Tunnel in downtown OKC!

Episode 012: Interview with Kethzia Njikam

Education Podcast, Relationships

Kethzia is a parent educator with Oklahoma City Public Schools’ Parents as Teachers program. Kethzia meets with families regularly to support parents and guardians as they raise their children during the important development years before school entry.

Parents as Teachers is a home visiting program. Parent Educators meet with families, the OKCPS program particularly focuses on families with children between the ages of prenatal and school-aged, with the focus of strengthening families and building protective factors while connecting families to necessary resources.

Many school districts have a parent educating programs used to bridge the gap between home to school. Through this interview I wanted to engage educators in understanding a program that they may not be aware of in their school district and further glean lessons from home visiting that could be translated into school and classroom practices.

So, what is home visiting? I had to figure that out when I started working for OKCPS. Parent Educators meet with families, our program particularly focuses on families with children between the ages of prenatal to school-aged, with the focus of strengthening families and building protective factors. Kethzia is an excellent parent educator! If you are interested in knowing more about Parents as Teachers, click the link.

Below are the questions I prepared to ask Kethzia (there were some follow up questions in the podcast that are not included below):

  1. Background/educational experience.
  2. What is home visiting?
  3. Tell us about the particular model that you use?
  4. What does the model you follow offer the parents you serve?
  5. Is there a benefit for parents participating in a home visiting program?
  6. Are there results beyond participating in the program for families?
  7. What could classroom teachers take away from the home visiting model?
  8. Do you see a benefit to teachers using home visiting to connect parents to the classroom?
  9. What recommendations would you have for classroom educators considering using home visiting their students’ parents?
  10. What are the obstacles classroom educators should consider before home visiting?
  11. How might using home visiting support classroom practices?
  12. What resources have inspired/guided you as a home visitor?
  13. What advice do you have for teachers considering implementing home visiting in their classroom?

This episode was recorded at Design Tunnel in downtown OKC!

Episode 011: Interview with Melissa Meek

Education Podcast, Relationships

Melissa Meek is a 18-year veteran teacher. During that time she has served Tulakes Elementary in Putnam City Schools as a fourth and fifth grade teacher. She has helped implement a sports program for students, ran the after school program, was Teacher of the Year, and has served as mentor teacher to many new educators.

Melissa is great at so many things but she is the best at building relationships with her students and their families. She uses every opportunity of her day to build up and encourage her students. She works side-by-side with her parents to increase student success. Melissa is an incredible teacher!

Below are the questions I prepared to ask Melissa (there were some follow up questions in the podcast that are not included below):

  1. Tell me about your background in education.
  2. Why do you believe it is important to build relationships with students? Parents?
  3. What steps do you take to build a relationship with a new student or family?
  4. What are the most important things to remember about building relationships with the families you serve?
  5. Have you ever had a difficult time building a relationship with a student or parent? What did you do?
  6. How has building a relationship with a student or parent changed the way you interacted with that student or parent?
  7. How has building relationships with your students transformed you classroom? How has building relationships with your students’ parents transformed your classroom?
  8. What tips do you have for building relationships with students? with parents?
  9. What books (resources) have inspired you as you have built relationships with students and parents?
  10. What advice do you have for new teachers who are struggling to develop relationships with the families that they serve?

Episode 006: OklaSaid Collaboration

Education Podcast, Relationships

This week’s episode has a bit of a different format. OklaSaid is a weekly podcast that reviews and discusses the #oklaed twitter chat. Each week the hosts, Erin Barnes @ebarnes73 and Scott Haselwood @TeachFromHere, interview the moderators of the #oklaed chat and then break down the conversation surrounding each question. You can find out more information about OklaSaid at their website or on Twitter @OklaSaid.

April 15, Kristin Atchley and I moderated the #oklaed chat and so today we are combining our podcasts which will include an interview with me and Kristin about our topic for the #oklaed chat.

Kristin is the executive director of counseling at the Oklahoma State Department of Education. I have followed her on twitter for some time now and we recently met when we figured out we were at the same conference. The Raising Resilient Oklahomans conference was put on by Ok 25 by 25 and discussed the capacity of building resilience to counteract the impact childhood trauma.

Below are the questions Kristin and I prepared for the #oklaed chat on April 15, 2018:

  1. What is your professional experience with ACEs?
  2. What behaviors do you see from children who have high ACE scores? How can you tell a students is in “fight, flight, or freeze” and is unable to process new concepts/learn?
  3. What classroom/school practices do you have in place to develop your students’ prefrontal cortex?
  4. What classroom school practices do you have in place to build connection with and between your students?
  5. What strategies are you using that involve the whole family? Does your school provide any wrap-around services to families?
  6. What would happen to the overall mission of your work if ACEs were radically reduced in the population as a whole? What does a low-ACEs culture look like?
  7. What makes you a resilient person? How can that help your students?
  8. What classroom/school practices are you using or would like to use to build student resilience?
  9. What training/PD do you need in your teaching practice to effectively respond to students in a trauma sensitive manner?
  10. Retweet a post from this chat to share a trauma-informed practice you would like to implement in your classroom/school?