Time for Teachership

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88. Season 3 Premiere—Curriculum That Challenges, Affirms, + Inspires

by Lindsay Lyons
October 4th 2022
In this episode to premiere season 3, we are discussing what you can expect from season 3, in addition to how to creat... More
educational justice coach lindsey Lyons and here on the time for Teacher ship podcast, we learn how to inspire educational innovation for racial and gender justice design curricula grounded in student voice and build capacity for shared leadership. I'm a former teacher leader turned instructional coach. I'm striving to live a life full of learning, running, baking, traveling and parenting because we can be rockstar educators and be full human beings if you're a principal assistant superintendent, curriculum director instructional coach or teacher who enjoys nursing out about co creating curriculum students, I made this show for you. Here we go. In this episode. We are kicking off season three of the time for Teacher Ship podcast. We're going to talk about all the things that are new and exciting this season. Welcome everyone to episode 88. It is nuts that we are nearing the 100 episode mark. That's going to be a really fun one for today. I want to talk to you about all of the new and exciting things that are happening in season three.

We're going to continue with so many great things we've been doing in the first two seasons and have a renewed focus and Some exciting new things that are happening in season three. So let me tell you about those first. We are now part of the teach better podcast network. I've been blogging with, teach better for a year or so now. Really excited to dive deeper into this family and there are benefits for you as listeners to being part of this network. For example, next weekend. By the time this airs, I will be going to the teach better conference. So I've avoided in person conferences since the pandemic started being pregnant and then having a small child. It makes me a little nervous to be around lots of p However I may equip myself with my mask and go to this one because the 2020 to teach better conference. This October 14-15, which is next weekend as of this recording, if you're listening when this airs is in akron Ohio and I am very excited for it.

So the benefit that you get by this time for teacher ship podcast becoming part of the teach better podcast network is if you want to attend, you get $50 off your ticket when you register. So head over to www that teach better conference dot com slash register. That's teach better conference dot com slash register. And you can use our special code just for this podcast listeners. That is teacher ship 22. Teacher ship starts with a T. All the rest are lowercase teacher ship 22 save $50 off your two day registration fingers crossed, you can snag a seat before they sell out. I know they sold out quickly the last time they had an in person conference and I hope to see you there. You can actually look for me on podcasters row and maybe you'll get a seat on the podcast cause I'll be interviewing people for the podcast as I am. They're super excited for that. The other new thing for season three is really a renewed and even more focused attention on curriculum and instruction.

There was this moment in my PhD studies where one of our professors said when you figure out what your dissertation study is, this is going to basically lead you down this course of research and work and all the things for the rest of your life and so you need to know you need to envision this was the exercise he took us through. I need to envision behind you as you are being called to speak. You're in this podium in the stadium or whatever and behind you on the slide is a phrase and that phrase is going to summarize kind of your focus area for the rest of your career. And I mean that's a lot to put on someone who's like just trying to get through this really challenging program, right? But for me it always came down to student voice or student leadership that is still true. Everything that we have been doing here has been about student voice and student leadership and teaching and leading for justice. That is all still very, very true. The thing I want to focus on this season is curriculum in a way that integrates and leverages that student voice that student leadership and also from an instructional lens and from a leader lens, how do we really come together in teacher ship?

Right. The so tangent here. But if you go back to the very, very beginning of not even the podcast of the blog of time for teacher ship which eventually turned into a podcast. So years back I thought of this term teacher ship out of the blue and then I was like I wonder if this already exists and wouldn't you know like a year before I thought of it. It did come to fruition in academic literature and these researchers kind of named it, defined it, they have a little graph about it that's kind of like showing basically the intersection between leadership and what happens in the classroom, the instructional level. So they're basically saying like teachers can be leaders and leaders have to still be intimately connected to the classroom in and out familiar with the pedagogy coaching on the pedagogy, right? And there is this connection and kind of um integration and an ongoing kind of almost like a blurring of the lines between leadership and what goes on in the classroom or instruction.

I also love um Sophia and Dugan's book street data. They talk about pedagogy of student voice and a lot of the leaders and researchers I work with are talking about um student leadership and student voice in this sense of kind of school stuff right? School wide policy making which is how I've always kind of codified it and I have my leading for justice program about this. But then even in that program as I facilitate these conversations, right? We're talking about often curriculum and what happens at the class level and what our students, you know, learning and how are they learning because you can't really separate that out right. The pedagogy of student voices, how we teach curriculum, how we amplify student voice and that's intimately connected to how we amplify student voice and value student voice at the policy level. Right? So there's all this integration and so I really want to narrow my focus for this season on curriculum instruction. I'll be talking a lot more about my curriculum, boot camp and my different free resources that help people develop curriculum. Um I want to really define what quality curriculum and instruction is.

There are probably pages and pages or for hours and hours of conversation that I could share about. You know what I think quality instruction is, there's a ton of literature, scholarly and practical books already out there but that can feel very overwhelming so super succinctly because the sink is good and memorable. I actually thought of the Assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction role and I thought of C. A. I often abbreviated A C A. I I don't think Ci okay, curriculum instruction, I like acronyms. So what else could see I stand for that truly is a reflection of what I believe curriculum and instruction and quality curriculum and instruction is and I came up with challenging affirming and inspiring. So really good curriculum, challenges students affirm students and inspire students. So what I mean is that each student is appropriately challenged in their zone of proximal development.

There's E. P. D. Right? It's not too hard for them. That is just give up worthy, right? It's not too easy that they're just coasting and they're never challenged. The challenge is gonna look different for each student and that is teacher ship in action, right? That's leaders and teachers coming together and teachers coming together and teacher teams to figure out how well can I get to know my students, how well can I work in partnership with students and families to figure out what is appropriately challenging and how to appropriately challenge students. Great that stuff work. It's not just a simple thing we can solve in a two minute strategy, right? But that is what amazing curriculum looks like next affirming. So what and how students learn, so not just the content of what they learn, although that is incredibly important. Including stories, histories or histories, right? Um pedagogy of how they learn voices from the community. All of the pieces, right?

That reflect, celebrate a firm student identities, all of their identities because we're not single identities, right? I believe it's Audrey Lorde who says we do not live single issue lives, right? And so all of our stuff, all of our identities, the issues that we care about, they're all wrapped up together intertwined with one another. Impacting one another. And so we can't just say, well we chose a couple of aipAC authors and we included them. And now we have a diverse and affirming curriculum, nope, nope. So we need to get to know our students, we need to get to know all of their identities. We need to think about the identities that are not present in the room. Right? So if we have a very monolithic group of students and again, we all hold different identities. So I would argue that no one is completely monolithic, but maybe in a particular way religiously, everyone in the class is of the same religion racially. Everyone in the class is identifying or identified and racialized as the same race.

Maybe you teach at all girls school or something. Right? And so everyone is identifying as female in that school. Hey, everyone, just a quick reminder that you're free resource for this episode is your quiz, which will help you figure out which stage of curriculum development you're in, grab it at lindsey Beth Lyons dot com slash blog slash 88. Now, back to the episode, as you think about kind of these monolithic group or monolithic appearing groups. When you look at just one identity, you need to also think about the windows right. Windows, mirror sliding glass doors Dr Ian Simms Bishop. Where can we have more Windows right, Africa emails, I'm hoping to have back on the podcast. She was on the podcast earlier uh season one, I think. Check out the episode for sure. But I hope to have her on to talk about her newest book Open windows. Open minds that is specifically talking about white students who need the windows into stories, experiences, voices, identities that are racialized as black and brown.

Right? So affirming of all identities, right? Students should feel affirmed they should have a perception of safety. Again, only students can determine that they are safe in their classes. We can't determine that for them or declare that a safe space is safe, but they should perceive we should do everything we can to perceive have them perceiving that they are safe and that their identities are affirmed. There's nothing wrong with them for who they are. In fact, they are celebrated and differences are valued and explored and examples of people with those identities and experiences that relate to those identities are held up and discussed and explored within the curriculum, not just a poster on the wall or a diversity statement on a website. Again, super challenging. Not something we can fix in two minutes, but that is what it means to be affirming and then it's so engaging. Students are inspired. This is the last piece inspiring to create something new and here's the kicker for a real audience beyond the teacher and beyond the purpose of a grade.

They are inspired. So yes, they're engaged. Yes, they're participating in class discussions. They're doing all the things completing assignments, but they are inspired. They are pumped to create something that is innovative. That is new that serves a purpose in the community. It solves or addresses an issue, right? Something really, really cool that only they could do write their creative juices are flowing. So again, curriculum and instruction that is absolutely just amazing. The ideal to me challenges affirms and inspire students and so on. A very basic level we can kind of ask ourselves, is that what my curriculum looks like? Is that what my district, where my school's curriculum look like and if not, what can I do about it? And I'm getting there, I'm gonna help you out with that the next season that's kind of new or kind of a new, newer focus for this season specifically is I want to learn for and from district curriculum.

Leaders of course, school level leaders is gonna be valuable for you. Individual teachers and department leads definitely valuable for you as well. But I want to really focus on the district systems and structures because when we have those in place, the individual schools and then the individual departments and teams and teachers are going to be better supported when we can learn and grow in community when we can make a change to the way we grade for example or we're transitioning to, um, you know, standards based assessments or project based learning. We haven't done that before. Way easier to do when everyone's doing it. There's a ton of support for it. Our leaders are acting as the buffers for the parents who are potentially upset about it or have questions about it, right. And teachers don't have to be inundated with all of that when we have a culture of learning together and visiting someone else's classroom who's really got it down right and excitedly talking about and and creating space for creating this new curriculum or developing this new thing and checking in and seeing how it's going within our PLC groups.

That is going to make life so much easier than one teacher trying to go it alone and change what they do possible. Yes, absolutely. I've been that teacher, but I've also been part of a community, a school where everything was in place or many of the things were in place to allow me to do that work better and it was so much less of a struggle. It was so much more fulfilling and still challenging. Yes. But it didn't feel like I was banging my head against the wall every guy. Right? And so that's really critical and why we want to really focus on district leaders. So I'll be interviewing a lot of district leaders. I'll also be doing more how to solo shows. I'm gonna bring more of those back. We've had a lot of guest episodes in the past season while I was out on parental leave and then also want to do some case study episode. So bringing in teachers or departments who have created challenging, affirming inspiring units, some of whom who have been in my curriculum boot camp and can speak to that process of design um what they did afterwards, the pre work that might have been nice to do before they did do before, all the pieces, all the things you might be wondering.

And finally I told you I'd come back to this, you know, how do you determine where you are in this curriculum development journey, as a school, as a district, even as an individual teacher. But what stage of this process am I in, what should I do right now? Because that's gonna look super different depending on what you're currently doing and ultimately we're going to the same place, but what you're currently doing and what you've currently been struggling with, your next step is going to look different. And I often ask for guests, you know, what is the next step you would recommend to people? And it's hard to ask that question when you're in different places. So I have a new, completely new freebie for you. I developed this for leaders. It can also be helpful for teachers as well, so you can just take it through the lens of individually, where do you fit? Because it asks, you know, where are the majority of your teachers for all the questions, seven questions. It will tell you which of the four stages, most of your teachers are in and then when you get the results you don't only get the stage, you will get the stage but it also gives you based on this stage that you're in right now are the majority of your teachers are in right now.

Here are several next steps that you can take that you can support teachers to take and here are several resources, the vast majority of them free for you as leaders to consume and some that are directly shareable with teachers that are going to help them immediately. You can grab this in the show notes. You can also go to bit dot lee, that's b I T dot l y slash curriculum quiz. All lowercase bit dot li slash curriculum quiz. I am so excited to hear how your experience of this quiz is to hear if the resources are valuable, I'm taking all the feedback on it. Brand new resource for you. Super pumped to hopefully help you out and really move the needle on your curriculum development this year. We are all in this together. So again, feedback, Welcome, share this with other folks who might find this valuable if you have a another Assistant Superintendent of curriculum Assessment and instruction right down the road. Feel feel free to share with them right share with your principles, share with an individual teacher who is pumped about curriculum design and wants to not feel like they're on this island alone, right there is a community here for them.

We're going to challenge each other and grow together this season and I cannot wait to see what you produce and if you take some of these ideas and put them into practice and you create this amazing stuff, let me know. Not only do I want to celebrate you, You can come on the podcast and talk about the amazing units be built. That's it for today. I am so excited for this journey tune in next week and I'll talk to you then if you're leaving this episode, wanting more, you're going to love my live coaching intensive curriculum bootcamp. I help one department or grade team create feminist anti racist curricula that challenges affirms and inspires all students. We leave current events into course content and amplify student voices, which skyrockets engagement and academic achievement. It energizes educators feeling burns out and it's just two days plus you can reuse the same process any time you create a new unit which saves time and money. If you can't wait to bring this to your staff, I'm inviting you to sign up for a 20 minute call with me, grab a spot on my calendar at www dot lindsey Beth Lyons dot com slash contact until next time.

Leaders continue to think Big act brave and be your best self. This podcast is a proud member of the teach Better podcast network, Better Today, Better Tomorrow and the podcast. To get you there, explore more podcasts at teach Better dot com slash podcasts and we'll see you at the next episode.

88. Season 3 Premiere—Curriculum That Challenges, Affirms, + Inspires
88. Season 3 Premiere—Curriculum That Challenges, Affirms, + Inspires
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