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91. What is a Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum? with Dr. TJ Vari

by Lindsay Lyons
October 25th 2022
Today on the podcast, I'm here with guest Dr. TJ Vari to discuss what it means to have a guranteed and viable curricul... More
This conversation with DR T. J. Berry is awesome. It really expands my view of what a guaranteed and viable curriculum can mean. So let me tell you a little bit about dr Berry, He's the Assistant Superintendent of secondary schools and district operations in the academic school district. In Delaware, he is a former middle school assistant principal and principal and former high school english teacher and department chair. His master's degrees in school leadership and his doctor is an innovation in leadership where he accepted an award for academic excellence given to one doctoral student per graduating class. He holds several honors and distinctions, including his past appointment as president of the Delaware Association for School Administrators. His work with the Delaware Association for School Principals and the honor and accepting the paul Carlson administrator of the year award. His efforts span beyond the K 12 arena into higher education, where he holds adjunct appointments, teaching courses at the masters and doctoral level. He is a national presenter on topics of school leadership and the co founder of the schoolhouse, throw to a leadership development institute. Along with joseph jones, he co authored candid and compassionate feedback, transforming everyday practice in schools and with salome thomas, El and joseph jones, he co authored passionate leadership, creating a culture of success in every school, building a winning team, the power of a magnetic reputation and the need to recruit top talent in every school and retention for a change, motivate, inspire and energize your school culture.

Get excited to learn with me from Dr T. J, very 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 with students. I made this show for you. Here we go dr T J. Very welcome to the time for his teacher ship podcast. Super excited to be here Lindsay. So let's dive right in and I just want to know I read your professional bio, but what's important for listeners to know about you or keep in mind as they listen to our conversation today.

Yeah, I think it's important um that I that listeners kinda Know that I see things through a couple of different lenses. Right? So I'm an assistant superintendent in a very fast growing school district with 12,000 plus kids in it. Um, also an instructor and adjunct professor and a few universities. So I like to dive into that work from a theory standpoint and then um I coach principles through my company, the schoolhouse 302. So as a practitioner, I like to also see things from a practical standpoint. So again, taking like what what does the literature say, what does the research say, what does the evidence say that works and putting in the hands of people who can and make that happen. So I'm constantly trying to go from research and evidence to implementation and so hopefully that helps guide the conversation today, those three hats that that I wear, I'll probably try to put on each of them at some point, plus my dad hat and my social justice hat um for school reform, so you'll hear that in, in my tone, probably two.

Excellent, I love all of those hats and I also think what that speaks to you is that you're very busy, you do a lot of things. Yeah, super busy, but busy is good, right? Like if you're busy, um it also probably means that you're healthy and that you're into a number of things too busy is not good, but uh that's something that you can control. Um So yeah, good clarification, busy in a good way. Yeah, so one of the things that I love thinking about is dr Bettina loves description of freedom dreaming and she says their dreams grounded in the critique of injustice. I always like to use that to anchor kind of the vision or the dream that we have for education and specifically this season on the podcast, I'm talking about curriculum and instruction and so when we think about that um from your different hats, kind of, what is that dream that you have for the field of education generally. But then even specifically, you know, curricula and instruction. So there's a number, I'll probably meander here a little bit. Um, there's a number of things that I like to say about curriculum instruction.

I mean some of it is not shiny and neat to talk about and that's the part that I think is hard for educators, but really big. I think that we say a lot of things about kids experiencing school to prepare them for the real world and I really wish that school was the real world. And um, we're a ways away from that. I think some schools do it better than others and some school systems do it better than others. And I'm talking about the american public school system for the most part. But generally speaking, kids find a way to get to school maybe on a bus, they're there for a finite period of time. They go through a schedule of predetermined courses and then they go home at the end of the day and learning that's not learning.

So learning doesn't work like that. Um, and so I think we missed the mark big time, just the way that we've built the institution um Seth Godin calls it the educational industrial complex and I don't like it. So I am an advocate for school reform. And uh, that doesn't mean that it needs to be a revolution. It could be an evolution revolution is fine, but we're gonna meet a lot of resistance. I always say that the definition of leadership is influence the challenge of leadership is conflict and the result of leadership change and if you want change you're going to experience conflict. Um, but school's got a long way to go if we care about learning. Um, and not just what do you do with all these kids during the day when their parents are working? I think we saw that during the pandemic to people said I just need my kids to be someplace during the day because I got to go to work or I'm working from home and I can't have them in the background and people didn't say my kid needs to know math and I think that's, we missed the mark and so we can take that little segment there and go as far down that rabbit hole as you want Lindsay because it'll, it'll take us to a place of what is a guaranteed and viable curriculum.

What does that mean in school? Um, how, what, how does learning work from behavioral psychology and neuroscience standpoint? So there's a big question mark there that I don't think we know enough about and what, what is known in the research is not used enough. Um there's a concept of work based learning and work based experiences and practical type stuff that especially in high schools should be at the forefront. Um there's all this stuff about social and emotional learning that we put in a bucket sometimes in a sliver of time that we do, and then it's not everywhere else we go. And so there's all these, these avenues that you, when you start talking about the institutions that we have and and learning and what that means for the future of how we can do this better for young people, and I think it's, it's gonna take some people who want to challenge what we currently do.

Um so I'll pause there and see which direction you want to take that in. Yeah, Oh my gosh, so many directions. So I think, I mean, I'm super curious about first, can you repeat what you said about the definition of leadership is influence? And then I wanted to hear the next two pieces as well. So I I I'm a big john Maxwell follower, maybe I'll drop a bunch of names and a bunch of books for your listeners because I know that's the kind of person who's gonna listen to this show is they want to learn, they want to know where to go next, john Maxwell huge john Maxwell fan, I'm in terms of leadership, I think he's he's probably my, the purest form of leadership and his definition of leadership is influence. It's that simple. So I take that and I said, okay, the definition of leadership is influenced the challenge of leadership is conflict and the result of leadership is change because typically leaders are moving in a direction past the status quo and the number one thing that people don't like is change, and the number two thing that people don't like is the way things are.

So it's really hard to make people happy, but leaders want to change things improve things, make things better, add value is definitely something that you hear a lot of leaders say they want to do is to add value. Um the system doesn't always appreciate that, right? Because when you get down to it, that means minus comfort and lots of people seek comfort and I follow Seth Godin as well. And he also has been known to say that leaders are people who have to know that their job is to inflict pain on the people they seek to serve and that's hard, right? And so that's a little bit of an exaggeration I think. But you the pain part is making people uncomfortable and education educators are naturally altruistic and we naturally, I think want people to be comfortable and that's not how learning works either.

So the more comfort we have, the less likely it is that we're going to grow and um yeah, so yeah, that okay, so that actually is a perfect intersection of several things. So the idea of leadership as influence and and really leading that change and the coming up against conflict right to be able to get the result of change I think is powerful. I think that idea of kind of justice that we're working towards and thinking about the discomfort that comes along the way towards working towards justice in schools and school reform like you said, as well as this idea of a guaranteed and viable curriculum, I feel like sometimes those things are hard to kind of hold all at the same time and so what I'm so curious to know what you think about what is a guaranteed and viable curriculum that also is, you know, responsive that also gets at the heart of justice that, you know, advances, anti racism, like all the things and then I guess it's a two part question.

So what does that guarantee the bible curriculum? One and then two, how do you lead change in that direction? If we've taught this old traditional curriculum map, the whole, you know, last couple decades, how do we get to that new place? It's a great question. I think first off to the old curriculum map, like I think we're lucky if we have that, right? So I'm already like, I'm gonna say like that, even that is something more than what you typically find across school systems and the biggest problem that we have in schools and in education is variance and that variance is the, is in opposition of a guaranteed and viable curriculum and that's what we have to wrap our brains around and when I say variants, what I mean is the variance for kids from one teacher to the next, from one school to the next, from one school system to the next, from one state to the next.

So guaranteed and viable, let's break that down guaranteed means that every kid gets it and viable means that we have trained staff who can deliver it And I don't think you, I would challenge anybody listening to say, do we have that? Right? So if you have eight graders in your system and they're all taking mathematics or do they all get algebra 1? Do only some of them get Algebra one. Which ones are those? Do some of them get a lesser curriculum I've heard from special education teachers who say I only get interventions. So the only stuff that they send my kids in this place over here, that's not how we should do. Special education is not a place service and, but it happens to be in a lot of systems and then instead of the regular curriculum, here's a group of kids who only get interventions and so that's the problem And it's huge because we can go to a school in America that's phenomenal and all the courses are at a high level and all of the teachers are highly trained and they're treated like professionals and they have certificates, certificates and 70% of them have master's degrees And some of them are in year five and some of them are in near 10 and some of them are in near 20 and then we can go to another school in America where there's no resources and the teachers are all brand new and none of them are certified to do that.

And that's the biggest problem. So guaranteed in Bible puts us in a place to say, what are we saying that eighth graders in our system get in the math classroom, all of them. And then, so that's the first, that's step number one. It's the, it's like, we're not even at the hard part yet, we're just saying that now we're just saying we want this to be guaranteed and viable. That's we're way off. But that's a starting point. And then we need to say, okay, what do we mean when we say guaranteed and viable, what are we guaranteeing, What do we want to guarantee? And then you start to build it, you say what these five things and every kid's gonna get it. And then now you're talking about challenging the system because then you do have to say, all right, here's the map, here's the scope and sequence. I mean if you want to get really technical, here's the curriculum here is what we bought, here's how we train the teachers, here's the unit one and here's the bigger one.

Now, all the assessments are the same and we know after Unit one who got it and who didn't now we can have a real professional learning community, which most schools can't because not all the teachers are teaching the same thing and you start to see how that causes conflict in a system where maybe your math teachers don't even agree on the order and sequence of the units. Maybe your math teachers don't even have a curriculum. You want to offend people. Maybe you've been teaching math for 17 years. And somebody shows up and says, well now we're gonna do it this way and everybody's gonna do it. So what about all this stuff I made and bought with my own money and it's not fair, but it's what's right and that's where the conflict comes in. And then again, we go back to what is guaranteed and what is viable and how do we get to a place where we can actually look at assessment data and say whether or not kids know what they should know.

That's not on what's, what would be a lagging indicator. We constantly look at lagging indicators in schools, stuff like standardized test scores that we don't get until the kids are gone versus what happened after unit one write. It starts to get really technical lindsey and I don't know if that's the direction you want to go in for your audience, but it's the part that's hard for school systems and anybody who's a curriculum director or at that level of making these decisions, um, we have a real responsibility and uh, I think we're a long way off and if you're listening to this, you're like, my school system is not a long way off, great, good for you and go around giving everybody a high five because they deserve it. But I don't know that everybody listening is gonna feel that same way. Yeah. Oh my gosh, So many things to unpack here. So I love that you, the way you define guaranteed and viable made me open up to the idea of guaranteed and viable. At first, I was like, I don't know about a guaranteed viable, like, you know, it sounds nice, but it also sounds very rigid.

And so I love the definition of just like 100% of students, like 100% of students get it. That is that is something we can all agree on. I feel like from a change perspective, right? Like you were talking about, it's hard because we've invested our own money, our own practices, we've built all these things, right? And it's hard to break from tradition in that way, but it's right. And so I feel like that ultimately, you know, is a great way to get people into this vision of change and if it's going to get to the 100% that we all agreed was why we're here great. And so the guaranteed part makes sense to me, the viable. The idea of like a trained staff makes sense to me. And then I was thinking as you're going through, right, you say it, you have like the definition of what is it for us. And then you said, you know, maybe it's these five things. And so for me that part stuck out because I was like, okay, so maybe it is, you know, the alignment of priority standards and this is what excellence looks like in in analysis or something. And that's the same across the board for maybe even any subject area in 10th grade for example. Right. And there's kind of that, that alignment piece and that agreement of the standard.

And I wonder because you were saying, you know, how technical do we get, do we have the same assessments? Do we have the same um that kind of thing. And I'm wondering if we have an agreed upon standard that we assess, you know, every day or we assess. So we don't have those lagging indicators. We have the regular assessments, but is there a potential to pull in because I'm a big fan of pulling in like current events and so like really tapping into what is interesting to students and to get that engagement up to then practice the thing. Right. Whatever the standard is, um is that do you think that's doable and still have a guaranteed viable curriculum or does it need to be rigid and to have the exact same assessments or is there flex there? So this is a big question, right? And I don't think that there's a, there's a, you know, one very black and white answer to it. I think it's gray and I think there's a lot of gray parts and we ought to recognize the parts that are gray because we want answers.

Educators love answers. Right? We, we didn't do this. If we didn't like answers, we want to know the answer. And lots of most educators are also rule followers. So we want to answer and we want to implement it and it's a lot messier than that. And so I don't know that what I'm gonna say is gonna fully, um, Is gonna fully answer your question or, or even make people feel like, Okay, now I know what to do next. I think you make a good point though, which is, we have to start with priority standards and there are too many of them. So part of viable is I can get through it. I know how to get through it and I can get through it and I have 180 days with young people in a finite amount of time and I can accomplish this. And so there's a lot of stuff baked into curriculum that's unnecessary and there's probably stuff in school that nobody needs to know and we teach it anyway.

There's also stuff in school and I don't mean this to offend anybody, but there's also stuff in school that teachers teach because they like to teach it because it's their favorite unit and maybe the kids even like it, they really like this, but it might not be aligned with a skill um or even knowledge that somebody needs and we need to think about those who think this is why there's rabbit holes. We need to think about those two things. Two separate skills and knowledge. Knowledge matters. We've gone the pendulum has swung way too far. Knowledge matters, right? So do skills and that's those are the balance that we need to have in our conversation about this, is to say, okay, what are the skills we want kids to have and what are the seminal texts that we want them to read? I think you said something earlier. That's really important too, is their thematic learning. Like something that we want all ninth graders to explore.

Something that we want. All 10th graders to explore. Um A big question about themselves or a big question about humans and human existence um that we want them to answer this grade level that every teacher is going to work on in one way or another. Um So those are questions back to the question about rigid rigidity and flexibility. That's the hard part. Um I'm gonna answer in a really weird way and you see if you uh it resonates with you, I think we get the art and the science wrong, so there's an art and science of teaching and I think we're mostly wrong about the art and science. So I think a lot of teachers when they get a rigid curriculum, they think I can't be an artist and I think that's wrong. Um So uh what do I mean by the art and science, I can give you four things that are mostly science and not art.

Um And one thing that's art and so um content, knowledge, that's not art, that's science, you gotta know your content, you should know it inside and out, you should know the standards that you're teaching, you should know the text from beginning to end. Um Pedagogy, the way in which students interact with the content is not art. Uh There is an appropriate activity to do. Students need to talk. Um There's a beginning a middle and an end to a lesson and john Hattie and bob Marzano have a ton of effect sizes on what works and what doesn't, and we do a lot of stuff that doesn't work and we need to spend more time on what does. Um That's number two. number 3 is dispositions the way that we interact in a classroom with young people, you can't call a kid out from across the room that doesn't work to mitigate behavior, you have to use proximity and a billion other things that is a science and not an art.

Um And you can read books about classroom management and do stuff that works versus Stuff that doesn't the 4th one and people listening aren't gonna like it, but grading is not an art the way in which we grade as a science, it's been studied um Rick Wormley and thomas, gus key and Star Saxton and joe Feldman, they all have things to say about this that matter. And there's books up to our armpits that we should be reading to make sure that we know. And the fifth thing is the art part and it's not something that we spend enough time on, which is your creative flair as a teacher. Nobody can take that away from you. And I wish Ed ed leadership programs, but also teacher prep programs would do more with this to say to teachers who are you as a teacher, define yourself? What do you want kids to think about you when they interact with? Are you funny?

Are you serious? Are you sometimes funny and sometimes serious and can you work on that part as the art? So that when we hand you a somewhat rigid curriculum, you don't think about that is taking away from your artistic ability to deliver that curriculum in an appropriate manner that connects with young people in a classroom. And so I think if we if we think less about a rigid curriculum and more about what is art in education and part of the art is knowing what's art and what's not and getting all the books that we talked about and reading them and saying, here's what I think I can do with this to make it work. That's the part that we need to think about. And then back to your flexibility part. Yes, there's flexibility and what you do with the flexibility to say, okay, back to our eighth grade math, We get all the eighth grade math teachers in a room and we say, here are the standards, here's the scope and sequence.

What are we missing? And they need to discuss that and say, well the assessment didn't do this and we should make it do that. So then let's all make it do that. And that's the guaranteed part. You can't have individuals deviating without at least a conversation because then all of a sudden you've destroyed the guaranteed part and one kid's gonna get a better experience than another. Um, and we need to talk about that so that we aren't in in silos and that's our biggest problem is that most people, most schools, most teachers, they work in isolation and not enough people come by to take a look and to support and say, what do you mean? You had to buy that with your own money? So I'll stop there. I could go on and on. This is really great. I think I'm wondering now if we could take, it sounds like you've done a lot of this work and you recognize all the things that kind of pop up as potential hurdles or kind of ways of thinking about a guaranteed a bible curriculum is there like an example that you could share or maybe not even a concrete example, but just generally like what was a challenge for people in the work that you've done in the area of curriculum instruction that really required a mindset shift and then what were the things that you did to help move the work forward and get everyone to a place where they're, you know excited and implementing in the way that is right for kids.

Well, first of all I should say, I don't know that I'm 100% successful in any uh, these endeavors, I mean it's, it's hard, right? And so um, here's something though that I think is a soap box of mine, which is kids should experience the most rigorous coursework that we can find and that's all kids and when they can't meet, when, when they can't meet what we think is the high rigor standard or whatever we're talking about in terms of um in terms of cognitive growth targets or whatever it is that we're working on, we should support the kid and meet the kid where the kid is and not the other way around, which is to make it less rigorous. So that's number one and number two is, there are nationally recognized curriculum at a really high level that are aligned to standards and that are aligned to college and career readiness that have been studied. Um one example of that is um ap coursework through college Board, big fan of that, and I think we ought to think here's the mindset shift is we ought to think of that as a curriculum and not just as a place where the super smart kids go.

And so um something to try is to have all kids take ap courses and there's a lot of to be, there's a lot of rabbit holes, we can go down with that too about the admissions process and college readiness and access to college and what highly selective colleges looking at and what typically marginalized students have on their transcript um versus uh privileged kids and how you get access to an ap class. And so we could do a whole show on that part, but if we change the mindset to think of things like, okay, this is a really high level curriculum. Um you know, I think about something like human geography, all kids should take that class, why not take an ap class, Why not support all kids in that ap class, then we've done something for their transcript. How do you do that without, you know, without causing too much conflict that you can't move something forward because that happens too.

I think you start small with a group of like minded people. Um I would point your listeners to leadership lessons from a shirtless dancing guy, don't google shirtless dancing guy, googled leadership lessons from a shirtless dancing guy and you'll see this concept of a movement and it starts small and it starts with one or two people and that's how you get everybody off the hill and you'll know what I'm referencing when you watch the video, it's short and fun. Um, but you need some like minded people and you need a coalition. I've been, I've failed at this uh number of times where I think the system is ready for a change, it's not ready for in education or even in my classroom and um were steeped in traditions that doesn't mean that they're working and certainly doesn't mean that they're working for all kids. And so, um you gotta get a couple of people to try.

I always say this, we we like to say that people need to know the why, and I think that's true, but I think people need to give it a try. So instead of just working on a culture of why I think we need to work on a culture of try and if we can get a few people to try something and they come up and they emerge and they say that it worked, it didn't work without problems, but it worked. Um yeah, I love this, oh my gosh, so there's so many things as a listener that I think, you know, they're just ideas are bouncing around in their heads. And so as we kind of wrap up the episode, I'm thinking what is one step that someone could take as they're thinking about, guaranteed the bible curriculum. They're thinking about school reform. They're thinking about the culture of try there, thinking about all these things. We talked about what's like one momentum builder, one next step that as they're done with the episode, they could go immediately put into action to kind of help them build the foundation for all the stuff we're talking about.

So I think there, I'm gonna, I'm gonna give you to action steps. I think anybody listening to, especially teachers, teachers have a lot of influence in their schools. I always, I never fully valued or understood my influence at any level that I've ever worked in and you don't realize your influence until you're at the next, you know, career ladder for me that is, And then I'm like, wow, I had a lot of influence before, uh, maybe, uh more than I have now, even though I have title or whatever. So I would say recognizing the influence that a teacher has, just get in a room with other teachers and say, let's start small with this guaranteed and viable thing. And let's just talk about the order of these units, what's important here and your experience, what's important here, what do we want kids to know and be able to do at the end of these units, what are they called?

Let's name them so that we're in this named unit. Um, And let's talk about it because if we have four Math teachers in the 6th grade are in the you know, we have five teachers in the second grade and then put them all in a room and say, you know, I'm a teacher here. And so are you, what can we agree on? You're not gonna agree on everything. You know, sometimes it does take the system to say, here's the order that you have to teach it in. There's way more to still talk about that doesn't take autonomy away from anybody. Um, but even if you don't have that, it's worth a conversation with your colleagues to say, what are we doing here? What what matters for kids? And let's try and agree on an order so that while we're doing this, we can support each other because if we're doing in the same order and we agreed on what the kids need to know and be able to do, then we can help one another and I can build today's lesson and you can work on tomorrow's lesson versus we both have to build today's lesson and tomorrow's lesson, right?

So we go further together. And um, I think that's the first part. That's number one. Number two and anybody can do that, anybody listening has the power to do that. And um, I'll give lindsey my phone number, she can put it in the show notes and you can call me and say, I didn't know what this meant when you said this and I'm struggling here and you can call me on the phone. I mean that um and the second thing is if you want, because I know you're, you're a big social justice advocate and you want to see justice in schools. If you want justice in schools, then we have to work on grading and every teacher has the power to do something about this too. Which is how do you assess your students and how do you provide them with feedback? And is it punitive? Because if it's mostly punitive meaning, if you don't turn it in, you can't get the points. And if you turn in late to take the thing off and it's 100 point scale and an average and if you missed it this time, you'll never make it up and you have to have a number.

If it's all that stuff then kids are gonna feel like crap mostly and they're gonna feel like they are just here to produce something to get a grade and not learn as a human and explore themselves. And I think that we need to really think hard about grading in schools and for as much has been said about restorative justice in schools, I don't think enough is being said about grading because I think one hinges on the other, Hey, everyone just a reminder that you have free resources available to you for this episode. Our guest dr very is sharing a bunch of stuff on his website. You can get that link at lindsey Beth Lyons dot com slash blog slash 91. Now, let's get back to the episode. Yeah, that's such a good point, right? If we're into the idea of sort of practices like we have to, like, it's all about repairing the harm and so it's like we have to repair the harm of this really inequitable grading system that kids have been pushed through their whole lives. So absolutely, I love that.

I don't know if I've ever heard anyone connect those two things before, thank you for sharing that. And those are two really great action steps, right? Like get together align your stuff, pick your priority standards, figure out your grading like that is foundational to just a ton of equitable practices that you're gonna, you're gonna build on from there. Um so I'm, I'm curious to know what is something that you have personally or professionally been learning about lately or if I know you're doing a lot of things in the coaching world as well. There's something you've been creating to help other people learn about something, feel free to share that as well, but I love this idea of like everybody's always learning. So um a colleague of mine, two colleagues of mine joseph jones and Connie Hambleton and I just recently finished a Corwin book um called seven mind shifts for school leaders. Thank you. And the subtitle is finding new ways to think about old problems. And here's what I'm learning.

That thinking is often a byproduct of a model that we know about and use um we're not, they're not always explicit in our mind, but we typically use a model or we have a model for the way we think about things. So the book offers seven new models to think about old problems and we talk about mind set a lot and shifting our mind and changing our mind. And I think to changing your mind is hard, really hard, especially if you believe something like the 100 point scale um by the way math lesson on that uh as a measure of central tendency, there's no reason why we even use the average versus the median or the mode of a student's great, like nobody can even explain that part. So um hopefully your math teachers will connect to that and go wait a second.

That's weird. Maybe we should use the mode. Um but anyway, the point is, the point of the book and the point that I'm trying to make is that I think we need models. Um the one that I think people could will no, if I if I point to is like a swat when you use a swat analysis, things emerge that wouldn't have if you didn't use a swat analysis and that's why we use that as a model of thinking and analyzing and if educators are gonna change what we're doing to improve things, especially big problems that we've had for a really long time, then I think we need new models and so we offered seven and hopefully there's an eighth and the ninth coming sometime from either us or somebody else. But um, I encourage people to look for new models when we're trying to tackle old problems versus just coming to the table and saying, let's talk about this because then we end up talking about it in the same way that we've always talked about it.

Yeah, that is a brilliant, brilliant shift and it connects to I, I love adaptive leadership and the idea of like the underlying cause of like a problem that has not been able to be changed for so long is like a deeply held belief or a loyalty or something. And so yeah, that that makes so much sense that we just need that new model to look at it that way. That's such a great idea. And and is that book out or do you know when it's coming out? Yeah, you can, you can link to it. It's in pre order right now. Should be coming out in october but anybody can go to amazon and and order the book and um get it set up for pre order and again I can send you that, that link. Um, and uh, that's a selfish plug. I'm not trying to sell books here. Um we we have uh five books and the reason I bring that one up is not just because it's new book because of the question Lindsay is what's something that people need to work on? What something I'm working on is helping people to change their minds about things.

Uh and that's hard, it's hard work. Absolutely. And for the record, I am trying to sell your book. I think that sounds great. I'm gonna get myself a copy. I will definitely link to it in the show notes and actually I think it'll be perfect because I believe this episode will air in october so that'll be great. And so the last question and you started I think with this, with, with where we can find your book, but where can listeners learn more about? You connect with, you learn from you. Yeah, thanks for asking that. Um the schoolhouse 302 dot com. All one word. The schoolhouse 302 dot com um is where you can find me and connect with me contact at the schoolhouse 32 dot com is my email come straight to me um and joe my my partner at the schoolhouse 32 dot com and what you get there, you don't have to use it this way, but we have a monthly curriculum on a given topic and we write a blog post with a bunch of link, a ble stuff. We have a podcast with an expert. We um have a show called three or two thoughts where joe and I talked about that one topic and we recommend two books on that topic.

And that happens every month. Lots of people don't follow it that way. They just like the podcast or they just read the blog. But if you're a person who likes to go deep into one concept each month, that's how that is set up. Um and so it's easy to go to the schoolhouse 32.com and just subscribe and you'll get the, our weekly content right in your inbox and it's free. There's no cost. Perfect. That sounds amazing. T. J. Thank you so much for being on the podcast. I so appreciate you. Absolutely. Thanks for having me. It was fun. 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.

91. What is a Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum? with Dr. TJ Vari
91. What is a Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum? with Dr. TJ Vari
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