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What We’re Listening To: Staff Edition

In preparation for the long road trips and airport delays as we return home from holiday travels, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite things to listen to and learn. Cue up the podcasts, friends. We’ve got some recommendations from TLI staff and friends.

Education Updates

Listen to the researchers and leaders behind major education innovation and discoveries on the Harvard EdCast. Each short, informative podcast episode features a world-class guest. 

If you’re ready to delve into reading research, check out The Science of Reading, a podcast by Amplify Education. For a more general list of education topics, TLI summer intern and PhD student Jennifer Burris likes Cult of Pedagogy. Episodes range from technology integration to graphic novel use. If you want a taste, check out Burris’ favorite episode Think Twice Before Doing Another Historical Simulation

Go local, OK! 

Fortunately, Oklahoma has plenty of homegrown talent on the podcast scene. Executive Director Jo Lein recommends listening in on the Oklahoma Public School Resource Center’s new podcast, School Zoned. Each Friday, host Brent Bushey interviews influential #oklaEd educators from the 2019 Teacher of the Year to State Superintendent of Instruction, Joy Hofmeister

OU doctoral student and reading research fanatic Tiffany Peltier turned us on to Education Trust’s ExtraOrdinary Districts podcast. Check out this episode featuring two rural Oklahoma districts: Lane Public Schools and Cottonwood Public Schools. 

The OklaEd Podcast Network offers a plethora of other local podcast talent. We’re partial to Passing Notes including this interview with TLI’s own Dr. Jo Lein,  and the ReThink ELA podcast with Michelle Waters. 

School leaders should also check out the Principal Matters podcast with Cooperative Council of School Administrator’s Will Parker for a wide range of interviews on school issues. 

Audio Documentaries and Books

Audio means more than just podcasts, of course. Improved public library audio book lending and paid subscriptions to streaming services like Audible mean you have thousands of listening options at your fingertips. You can listen to everything from Fostering Resilient Learners to Paul Tough’s latest book, The Years that Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us. Look for books read by the author!  

Tiffany Peltier recommends listening to audio documentaries too. Her top choice? At a Loss for Words: What’s Wrong with How Schools Teach Reading

What’s queued up on your phone or podcast app? Drop us a comment below or send us a message. We’d love to hear from you! 

Staff Bookshelf: Winter Edition

Winter break is the perfect time to cozy up on the couch with a warm quilt and a new book. To kick off our own winter reading, we peeked into our staff bookshelf to reminisce on inspiring education reads and general lit picks. 

Jo Lein, Executive Director

Jo can’t stop talking about Hollowing Out the Middle, a great pick for those interested in the future of rural education. Written by sociologists, the book follows the young people in small Iowa towns as they struggle with what the beauty and limitations of small town life might mean for their futures. If you’re ready for a break from school reading, Jo recommends David and Goliath by heady perennial favorite Malcolm Gladwell.

Angie Cline, Teacher Development Manager

Tera Westover’s Educated is captivating enough that you’ll want to read it in one, long irresponsible session. For a quirky, relatable, and road-trip ready read, grab The Overdue Life of Amy Byler. It’ll have you snickering to yourself in no time. 

If you’re already amping up for a New Year’s Resolution or just need to get organized, check out The Together Teacher or the Together Leader. Both offer practical advice you’ll want to implement right away.   

Nina Fitzerman-Blue, Director of Leadership Programs 

Need to have some hard conversations or just want to improve your relationships? Nina recommends Radical Candor by Kim Scotts. For a reference text on child development and social-emotional stages, Nina loves Yardsticks. Although you might not charge through the text in one setting, it may turn into a bookshelf favorite in your life as an educator, parent, or keen observer of children. 

Marissa King, Chief of Staff

Run to your local bookstore to grab Richard Powers’ The Overstory. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, this intricately-connected plot will have you noticing all of nature’s little glories and ready to plant a few trees of your own. For another nature-inspired read, check out Braiding Sweetgrass by botanist and Potawatomi Nation citizen Robin Wall Kimmerer. The book offers an inspiring glimpse into hands-on science education and a window into a world connected deeply to nature. 

Jennifer Burris, Professional Development Specialist

Ibram X. Kendi’s newest book How to Be an Antiracist, is a current favorite on Jennifer’s bookshelf. The book is thought-provoking and challenging- exactly the kind of read to end the year and shape your newest resolutions. 

What’s on your bookshelf or winter reading list? Drop us a comment below or send us a message. We’d love to hear from you! 

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