Scott Seider is an applied developmental psychologist whose research focuses on the role of schools in supporting adolescents’ civic development. He has reported on this work in more than 70 academic publications including Schooling for Critical Consciousness: Engaging Black and Latinx Youth in Analyzing, Navigating, and Challenging Racial Injustice (Harvard Education Press, 2020). Findings from this five-year study of youth critical consciousness development have also been published in academic journals such as Child Development, Developmental Psychology, and the Journal of Research on Adolescence.

As a core faculty member in the Counseling, Developmental and Educational Psychology department at the Lynch School, Dr. Seider teaches undergraduate and graduate courses focused on adolescent development. He also serves on advisory boards for a number of different youth-serving organizations including EL (Expeditionary Learning) Education, the Journal of Adolescent Research, and the Center for Parent & Teen Communication.

How to Identify, Navigate, and Challenge Oppression

by Scott Seider & Daren Graves

Prior to joining the Boston College faculty, Dr. Seider worked as a teacher-educator at Boston University and as an English teacher in the Boston Public Schools and Westwood Public Schools.

Daren Graves is currently the director of the Urban Master’s Program at Simmons College. As a teacher educator, he is committed to preparing teachers who see urban youth as assets in the teaching and learning process. His research interest involves the interplay of school culture and racial identity on the academic performance of Black adolescents. Graves’ research has given him an understanding of the issues that Boston-area youth face inside and outside of their school environments. Graves previously served as assistant director at Simmons College Upward Bound in Boston, where he helped coordinate the academic and college preparation components of this federally funded after-school and summer program.

Show Highlights

  • Recognize systems of oppression in your school
  • Stop controlling bodies in your building and form partnerships 
  • Identifies uplifting practices for engaging young people 
  • Links between critical consciousness and academic achievement
  • Create project based learning that transforms the entire community
  • Tips on redefining good teaching

We need people to be critically conscious in order to go out and reduce oppression within their communities and to transform society.

Scott Seider

Full Transcript Available Here

Welcome (00:00):

Welcome to the Better Leaders, Better Schools Podcast. This is your friendly neighborhood podcast host Daniel Bauer.

Daniel (00:08):

Better leaders, better schools is a weekly show for Ruckus Makers and what is a Ruckus Maker? A leader who has found freedom from the status quo, a leader who makes change happen, a leader who never ever gives up. Imagine for just a second that your mission was to help young people identify, navigate, and then challenge oppression. You’d agree that this is important work, right? The problem though is when you introduce this aspect, you think students will take this and apply it to systems of oppression outside the school, but what you might find is that they look in the mirror and they look at the school and they see oppression that they need to address today while they’re at your building. Today’s guests are: Scott Seider & Daren Graves They’re the authors of a wonderful new book about schooling for critical consciousness and they tell a few stories of schools that have dropped the ball, introducing critical consciousness to their faculty and students and helping kids identify, navigate and challenge oppression, but also share stories that are uplifting of school communities that really took this idea and ran with it across-organizational lines and in a very systematic approach.

Daniel (01:41):

They were wonderful to have on the show and I’m so glad to be bringing this topic to you today. So Ruckus Maker, thanks for being here. And before we jump into today’s episode, I’d like to take some time to thank our show sponsors for the better leaders. Better schools podcast is brought to you by organized binder, a program designed to develop your students executive function and noncognitive skills. Learn [email protected]. Today’s podcast is brought to you by TEACHFXSchool leaders know that productive student talk drives student learning, but the average teacher talks 75% of class time! Teachfx is changing that with a “Fitbit for teachers” that automatically measures student engagement and gives teachers feedback about what they could do differently. Learn more about the TeachFX app and get a special 20% discount for your school or district by visiting teachfx.com/blbs

Daniel (02:35):

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Daniel (03:15):

Hello, Ruckus Maker. I’m joined by a dynamic duo today, Scott Seider & Daren Graves. Scott is an associate professor of education at Boston College where his research focuses on the civic development of adolescents. He’s a former high school English teacher in the Boston Public Schools. Darin Graves is an associate professor of education at Simmons University where his research lies at the intersection of racial identity, critical race theory in teacher education. He’s the co-chair, the American Educational Research Association. Special Interest Group on hip hop in education. Guys, welcome to the show.

Scott (03:56):

Thank you for having us. Thanks so much for having us.

Daniel (03:58):

So Scott, let’s start with you. You worked with the school that reacted poorly to your idea of critical consciousness. Bring us to that moment.

Scott (04:10):

Sure. So Darren and I spent the last five or six years thinking about the ways in which schools can engage young people in learning to recognize and resist oppression. Really what we did is sort of identified a bunch of schools that we felt like we’re really promising in their ability to do this work. We just spent a lot of time in those schools learning from what they were doing. There was one school that started in our project, and eventually we decided to move away from that school because of an incident where we felt like they weren’t supporting young people’s ability to recognize and resist oppression. Let me tell you what happened. This was a school that had been doing some things curricularly and programmatically to engage young people in learning to recognize oppression, to engage in resisting oppression.

Scott (04:54):

For instance, they had engaged the young people in their school and the opportunity to protest at the state legislature for additional educational funding for education in the state. The young people had developed some activist skills as a result of opportunities like that. And then what happened, and I think this is in many ways a really exciting thing is that the young people in the school realized that they wanted to apply those activist skills they were developing towards issues and concerns they have within the school community itself. And specifically the young people in the school, poor, primarily African American and Latin X, felt concerned about the lack of racial diversity among the teaching faculty. It was a largely white teaching faculty and after sort of a series of steps, the young people in the school decided to stage a walkout to protest the lack of racial diversity amongst their teaching faculty.

Scott (05:42):

The young people did a lot of planning and engaged in this, in this walkout. I recognize that this is a challenging moment for school leaders and that there’s a lot of stress and there’s a lot of issues to contend with in that moment. I also think it’s crucial for school leaders to remember that civic development is part of our mission as educators and to recognize that yes, safety concerns have to come first, learning concerns and so on and so forth. But there also is a teachable moment happening here and I think that we need to respect young people and engage with them about this really in many ways, a very admirable activist effort in which they were engaged. This school that we were studying sort of did the opposite. They knew they started threatening the students to come in.

Scott (06:26):

They start saying like, you’re going to get zeros in your classes. You won’t be able to play on the sports teams that you play on. They wouldn’t let the young people come in to use the bathrooms during the course of the school day. And they started saying, if you’re not officially here and in school, you won’t be able to take the buses home at the end of the day. And I just think that again, like I have an enormous amount of empathy for the many responsibilities that a school leader has on their plates but I also think it’s important to kind of recognize that this is a teachable moment here and to respect the young people enough to take their concerns seriously, to engage with them as, as citizens within the school community. The bottom line was that the school that we were looking at really, really dropped the ball in this moment. We ultimately made the decision that maybe that wasn’t a school that was going to exemplify the critical consciousness work that we were interested in writing.

Daniel (07:16):

Daren, you have an interesting story about a teacher who felt his school wasn’t doing enough, so maybe they were dropping some balls but not all of them. I remember you saying that he created a space right for his class to dive in. The reason I want you to tell this story is because the listener of this shows a Ruckus Maker, somebody who breaks free from the status quo, never ever gives up, makes change happen. What I want to illustrate, or have you illustrate is that even when you feel like the system may be working against you or betraying you, you can still have a voice. You still have power. So I will zip my lip here and Daren, if you’ll continue with the story,

Daren (07:58):

I appreciate that Dan. I think the story that Scott just told reflects attention for folks working in schools trying to do critical consciousness work the tension that educators are going to face. This team, this particular teacher that I’m about to talk about remaining very implicitly and was trying to think about how to navigate it. Right? And so the tension is as follows, right?

Daren (08:25):

If we are teaching students to recognize and resist oppressive forces. Right. Two things are going to happen. One, a lot of the ways in which the places in which they’re going perceive that happening is often their own schools, their own context, right. I think a lot of educators come into this thinking about what we were thinking about goals, about how we are going to get young folks actively, civically, actively engaged out in the big problems that we have to tangle with. Right. I think a lot of educators think about the product of the skills and the dispositions we’re trying to teach the students happening outside of school, right? But really most often it’s going to happen in their schools, right? Because these systems of oppression are so pervasive, they’re going to be happening within schools. Right? And so I think one of the things that that educators and leaders are going to have to get their heads around and sort of come to grips with is that when you do this work as Scott’s story illustrated, they’re going to step in and start to make the focus of their skill development, the school and the context that they’re in. The second part is going to be, and this is what I’m going to, I’m going to come into this story, trust me.

Daren (09:46):

I was talking to this teacher who ran basically sort of like a co-curricular extracurricular sort of eighth period. You know, there might be like seven periods a day and they had this sort of eighth period model where they would let students kind of carve out the particular intellectual, the spaces that they were interested in constructing and have teachers co-facilitate that. This teacher that I was talking to was co facilitating a debate club. Actually, they were debating really cool topics around issues like black death and black silence and a whole lot of great consciousness that the students themselves are really interested in. But what it really surfaced for him, right, was that they were in a school by the way, that had relatively stricter behavioral dispositional kinds of norms that they were enforcing right in the schools.

Daren (10:38):

In other words, it was very much a school that had control over the body. Right. And you know, for good reasons I think, but still control over bodies and what this teacher was realizing was that in order for them to embody the things that they were learning about in these classes around, you know, recognizing racism, trying to fight against racism, they would have to be able to display dispositions and behaviors within the school, within this classroom space. Even just to learn these issues we’re going to be in conflict with the behavioral norm that we might find in our everyday class. Right? And then he was thinking, well wait, to the extent that this is going to not just exist in some extracurricular space, right, or co curricular space, how do we, you know, the classroom dynamic, the student teacher dynamic, he’s going to have to change if we’re going to authentically allow students to embody, principals of questioning authority, civil disobedience, these things that are all part of the process of challenging, oppressive systems.

Daren (11:47):

He felt like there was not a space in school besides the little eighth period cocoon that he had created for them, which, felt very subversive because he basically had to carve out a space that would be very different from the rest of the school, It really speaks to one notion that students are going to practice these dispositions in schools. The other notion is that then we have to think about what is our relationship with students, right? We’re going to have positional authority, hierarchical authority relationships. Yes, I understand. We’re going to have accountability. We have roles and responsibilities and we always have to see ourselves as controlling the bodies and controlling the students as opposed to learning with them and meeting them where they’re at and having more of a reciprocal model, we’re not going to be able to help them do this work.

Daniel (12:37):

Yeah. It’s an interesting juxtaposition there. Like a classic school thinking more about controlling versus a modern school, responsive to the kids in front of them. Partnering with those students on the journey.

Daren (12:50):

And what I liked, if I could just add one more thing, but I really liked about this school and adjusting position to the school that Scott was talking about is this school began to recognize this and they made way for leadership, right? The leader of the school, in particular, the principal made a space and the culture made its time. Right. And articulated that there were possibilities for movement in how we do things and when we were really struck by this particular school, which I think would have probably been one of the more stricter, you know, no excuses type schools. I like it. Definitely we saw a dynamic shift in the school from when we started there in the beginning of that, you know, that we were watching the students in ninth grade. So when they got to 12th grade it was probably the only school where we actually saw an honest to goodness shift in an attempt to respond with Let me make a course correction based on what they were learning from their students.

Daniel (13:46):

I can only imagine how rewarding that is for you. Then engaging in this work.

Daren (13:51):

It was nice to see just from an educator and someone who wants this work to happen. It was also just as a researcher, also really cool to see. It’d be privileged to be able to step back and see the shift as well too. It gives me hope both as a researcher and then as an educator that you can make changes in schools and the cultures right. Often you think of school coaches as so intractable, but I, that was a real positive thing for me to say.

Daniel (14:16):

Yeah. So let’s talk a bit about changing school culture and Scott, you have an uplifting example of a civics class that asked a scary question. They said, find a policy that exists here in our school that’s out of date. And what happened there, Scott?

Scott (14:33):

That’s right. And I would actually say really like our books Going for Critical Conscious really looks at the schools we studied and sort of identifies those uplifting practices and those promising practices for engaging young people and learning to analyze, navigate and challenge oppression. One example, as you kind of mentioned, one of the schools that we were studying, the school we call Spirit 2 high school in 11th grade, all students took a civics class. A unit within the civics class was for the students, as a class, to look through the school handbook and identify a policy they perceive to be unfair or unjust. And then they had to engage in the work to, to change that policy. And so what did that look like? What does it look like? The young people that we were studying, they chose the school’s technology policy.

Scott (15:14):

They felt the school had pretty no technology in the classroom policy and the students felt like that was outdated and didn’t sort of support their learning in the kind of ways that were appropriate. The first thing they did is they did research. They actually sort of went into databases and Google scholar and library and looked for research on the role that technology can play in, in supporting and inhibiting learning. And they took that research and they as a class work to put together an alternative proposal like a new way that the school might consider treating technology. This particular group of young people proposed that students should be issued a technology pass and that there should be certain times of the day where technology is appropriate and encouraged and that there are ways that you could lose your technology pass by virtue of sort of not using the technology and sort of school appropriate ways.

Scott (16:07):

They really worked hard to kind of put together a proposal that they felt like would suit their learning needs better and kind of take advantage of the opportunities that technology can play in the learning process and then the young people put together a presentation. They had to work to put together and practice the presentation that after substantial practice and revision, they ultimately sort of went to a faculty meeting and of the full faculty and presented their research and their proposal and took the questions and sort of made this pitch for a new way of thinking about the use of technology in the school. And really cool the faculty sort of thank them for the presentation, met sort of as a faculty and ultimately sort of sent them a letter saying, Hey, we really, really like the points you’re making.

Scott (16:54):

We have these additional questions about what it would mean to switch to this policy and the students who had to go back into the research and formulate answers to those questions. And then ultimately, and I think this kind of reflects what I would describe as sort of a really wise response on the part of faculty and leadership within the school. What the faculty ultimately voted to do is they said, Hey, let’s vote to adopt this new technology policy for the remainder of the school year let’s try it out. Let’s see how it goes. And if it works, great, then then we’re going to make this change a permanent one in our school handbook and our school policies. And if it doesn’t work, then we’ll sort of automatically revert back to what we had before and it’ll be up to another and other sort of set of stakeholders to work on reform lane again.

Scott (17:39):

I think that that decision felt incredibly empowering to the young people that we spoke to in this school. They felt like they had worked very hard to think through what a better policy would be. I think they felt really respected by their teachers for listening to them and then sort of responding to them very earnestly and then choosing to respect their students’ perceptions and sort of perspectives enough to try on the policy that the students had adopted. I would describe that as an example of a school that was sort of using it’s civic community, the school civic community to foster students’ political agency, like their belief that they can actually affect change within a community. There’s sort of clear research by Albert Bandura and others that those sort of opportunities within school to strengthen kids’ sense of political agency have real implications for the other communities that they live in and sort of will live in as adults.

Daniel (18:33):

Well, back to what Daren shared with us as a school as a controller versus as a partner here, you see them really engaging in the dialogue with students and it seems like really enjoying the process. I love that they adopted what the kids ended up proposing. I’m really curious about the letter. Do you have any more details about why they chose to use that format to respond to the kids?

Scott (19:03):

So it was a really good question. I think it was because they wanted the young people to do some more work, you know. So for instance, one of the sorts of questions in the letter was, Hey, you presented all this research about the benefits of technology and learning, but you didn’t really present some of those studies that might show that listening to music while you’re doing your work reduces your attention. I remember there was a phrase, did you do selective research? And they really, they really pushed the students to respond to that question. Another question even sort of more specific students had found some research about the positive role of music and sort of listening to music while you’re doing your work.

Scott (19:41):

And, and the teachers wrote back like, you know, we haven’t looked at the research, but we wonder if a lot of those studies are focused on classical music. Where there’s no lyrics like instrumental music. Is it different if you’re sort of trying to do work and you’re listening to music with lyrics. I think the letter was intended to be sort of like we are, we are treating this process in a serious and formal way and so here’s sort of an official response to the important work you’ve done. We’re asking for some more work and I think these students experienced as a show of respect. Again, the faculty sort of took the time to co-author this response and give them a chance to dig back into the research and come back to them again.

Daniel (20:23):

Great. Well appreciate you digging in there a little bit deeper. We’re going to pause here just for a moment for a message from our sponsors, but when we get back, Daren has a story about senior year long projects that you do not want to miss.

Sponsor (20:38):

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Daniel (21:40):

All right. And we’re back Ruckus Maker with Scott and Daren, authors of Schooling for Critical Consciousness. And Darren is going to talk about how some schools have embraced critical consciousness through year-long senior projects with an action component.

Daren (21:58):

Yeah, this was really, I think, inspiring to see. When I was talking before, I was talking a lot about the ways in which students are going to practice these skills and dispositions within the walls of their school because that’s going to be a safe place for them to do it. It’s going to be a relevant place for them to do it. But the example that I’m about to talk about is a really about projects that definitely did have effects within the school but wasn’t really geared towards having students bring their work, bring this critical consciousness outside the walls of school, which I thought was very powerful.

Daren (22:35):

This particular school Freedom Prep, was one of our schools in the book. Seniors would engage in this in these year long, basically action projects where they would choose a topic, an issue. Usually you have social significance or definitely a social significance, usually quite significant to their own lives for a variety of ways. And basically we engage on like a year long. Yeah. Two. Yeah, both do you know the research, right about the issue and the background research and things like that. But also then more, even more importantly to then plan and action part of the project in which they would then at the very least know, disseminate information to a larger audience about what they might’ve learned if nodding directly, engaging the community in the work. And so the one example that I just found really exciting, there’s many of them, right?

Daren (23:32):

There were students who were doing fundraisers for um, different types of, mainly for asthma, diabetes. There were just a lot of different things going on. But the one that was really exciting to me was, you know, the, you know, this particular school Freedom Prep was in a community, there’s a lot of history and as it also is a community that it is going through some very severe forms of gentrification. Right? And so some real questions about the identity of the community resources in the community who lives in the community. I loved it because often schools happen as if the community just doesn’t exist around them. It’s almost like the school creates a community vacuum and it creates weird situations for students who are like navigating these issues on a daily basis.

Daren (24:17):

Then coming to school and then all that stuff’s supposed to go away. This particular project, the student did a whole research project about gentrification in general gentrification in their neighborhood in particular and then organized a panel like a weeknight or I think it was a weeknight, it was an afterschool week weeknight or weekend event in which the audience was community members from their neighborhood and in which this student invited, I believe a few community activists, I think one of them might even have been all involved in the government and the city government to have this panel presentation about gentrification in their neighborhood, It was student led, I mean it was amazing and it was just for the community. It wasn’t just like a bunch of our fellow students and teachers, it was very much something that this student made happen in her community for her community.

Daren (25:13):

You know, had elders there contributing to the conversation, had community members and elders in the audience brainstorming together. So to me it was an amazing thing to see. No, I think all of them were amazing. It just felt so relevant and so particular to that community and really embody the notion of the school, recognizing the ways in which it’s embedded within community and then to empower students to then start to do the, behaviors and dispositions to disrupt, the oppressive assistance in their community while they’re still in school. But outside of the school, it was like, it was seeing, it was almost like seeing the result we were looking that we would want to see two or three years after they were getting the audits, critical touches in schooling, but seeing it like right then and there in the moment, it was this really exciting to see.

Daren (26:07):

And I think the last thing I’ll say about this,too, that we also thought was really great about the senior year long projects was that oftentimes the students who were first year, second years and third year students often were very much involved or if not aware of these projects. And so these senior projects actually became part of the lives of students preceding that one way or another. Either because they were somehow participating or helping, fellow students getting this work done one way or another or because they were like, Oh, giving them models for what they could or should be doing moving forward. It had a bigger effect on the senior year. It had an effect of becoming part of the culture of the whole school.

Daniel (26:51):

Well, what I’m hearing is a thread through all these stories is the meaningfulness of the work. It’s work that matters. And then the ownership of the students making change happen. Schools sure. The staff as well. But it’s mostly what’s happening in those students’ lives. To see what you thought would happen two or three years after getting all this training. Isn’t it a wonderful thing when young people surprise us and they start doing the stuff we thought they’d do in the future right now. I appreciate you guys coming into the podcast and then sharing these stories with the Ruckus Maker listening. Last thing on critical consciousness, I want to really point out this is so much more than just a feel good program and you guys have identified some neat links between critical consciousness and student achievement. So Scott, do you want to refine that real quick before we round up the end of our show here?

Scott (27:49):

Sure, sure, sure. I’ll just say that the original idea of critical consciousness from Paula Freire, was really just about societal transformation. We need people to be critically conscious in order to go out and reduce oppression within their communities and to transform society. And that I think remains sort of an overarching goal. And frankly a goal for schools to have a civic development and civic education function. We have also found like we and other scholars that young people who are critically conscious also correlates with a number of positive outcomes for the youth themselves. So other researchers have found, for instance, that young people who are critically conscious are more resilient, have better mental health and are politically engaged. They’re more academically engaged. And then our research is part of this project and we found that the young people in our study demonstrated the biggest gains, incredible consciousness from the beginning of high school to the end of high school.

Scott (28:42):

Those were also the students who concluded high school with the highest grade point average. And so, you could say that growth and critical consciousness over four years of high school is predictive of, of academic achievements. I think that relates to the point you were making Dan, about the work being really meaningful that young people who are critically conscious are much more likely to see the work they’re doing in school as equipping them to go out into the world and work to transform the world. And they see the skills and the content that they’re engaging with in school as important and preparatory work for the important work for them that lies ahead in their communities in the wider world.

Daren (29:20):

If I could add to that please. I think that’s very important because I wanted to speak to educators and leaders in particular because I know teacher leaders and teachers feel very, they’re very overworked. They’re very stretched and there’s a lot of pressure to meet standards of all kinds, academic and otherwise. I know that when you can pick up the book or folks like Scott and I come to your school and we say, Hey, you got to focus on critical consciousness. Right? That sounds like an extra thing I got to do. Right. We want to make it clear that it’s not an extra thing. It’s not just people who feel good about themselves. It’s not just, it’s not about political correctness. The research that Scott’s talking about is this is a means to the ends that we’re looking for as educated, right? Overall, we’re not really producing the outcomes we’re looking for, right? Either within schools or across the board. And so we need to think about different ways to try and get to those goals. And this is, and this is a way, a means, that’s research proven on a many, many levels to get to those outcomes.

Daniel (30:22):

All right, well we asked all our guests the same last two questions and looked forward to hearing how you guys respond. Daren, I’ll ask you to respond first. What message would you put on all school marquees across the globe. If you could do so for just a day.

Daren (30:39):

Yeah, It would be racial identity development, good teaching. I can explain that for a minute. Oftentimes we, especially the further we move away from education, early education, you sort of tie good teaching to the ability to deliver content and less and less around helping students, social, emotional lead. So I want us to redefine good teaching as being able to help students navigate identity development, particularly racial identity development.

Scott (31:13):

Scott, same question to you. I taught in a terrific high school, Fenway High School in the Boston Public Schools and Fenway’s motto, it sort of was on the marquee was work hard yourself, do the right thing. I think over the last, six or seven years of doing this work with Darren, I think if I were sort of leading a school, I think my marquee would be similar. It would say something like work hard, take care of each other. Either change, we have to work hard, we have sort of like perseverance and sort of processes is absolutely part of learning to be an excellent, excellent student. Take care of each other. Like I like the idea of sort of focusing on community and then and then be the change. That critical message about sort of take the learning that you’re doing and go out and transform society because we need it. We’re depending on the young people to do that work.

Daniel (32:04):

So you build in the school from the ground up. You’re not limited by any resources, your only limitation is your imagination. Since there’s two of you, usually I asked for three priorities. We’re going to do one each in addition to schooling for critical consciousness. What would be your one priority building this imaginary school? Darren, let’s start with you.

Daren (32:27):

My main priority would it be authentic community, family, really a partnership. A relationship.Our communities and our parents are there for other first and probably usually hopefully best teachers. We need to partner with them better to better teach our students.

Scott (32:43):

And Scott, what would be your priority? So well, and I certainly agree with Darren maybe just for the sake of sort of offering us a second perspective, I was a high school English teacher and so I would start with really deep and meaningful essential questions to guide the work that the students are doing curricularly. I think that there’s questions that really sort of engage students in thinking about their own identity development and, and the role they’re going to play in the role they do play in the world. The role they’re going to play in the world. So I think, I just think that when you start with first questions like that you’re very likely to end up in a good place.

Daniel (33:20):

Scott, Darren, thank you so much for being a part of the better leaders, better schools podcast of everything we talked about today. What’s the one thing you want a Ruckus Maker to remember? Darren, what’s that one thing. I want to remember to think of your students as reciprocal teachers and learners and Scott. I would say that you know they’re there for young people and in particular young people from marginalized groups like this type of work to connect students academic learning to operative needs to recognize and resist depression is as Darren said, not just sort of a nice to have but is a crucial sort of opportunity to make the work going on at school. Feel meaningful, important and you know, and consequently for students to come.

Daniel (34:09):

Thanks for listening to the better leaders, better schools, podcast, Ruckus Maker. If you have a question or would like to connect my email, Daniel F better leaders, better schools.com or hit me up on Twitter at alien earbud. If the better leaders, better schools podcast is helping you grow as a school leader, then please help us serve more Ruckus Makers like you. You can subscribe, leave an honest rating and review or share on social media with your biggest takeaway from the episode. Extra credit for tagging me on Twitter @alien earbud and using the hashtag #blbs level up your leadership at better leaders, better schools.com and talk to you next time until then, class dismissed.



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  • Focuses on improving executive functioning and noncognitive skills
  • Is in direct alignment with the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework
  • Is an integral component for ensuring Least Restrictive Environments (LRE)

You can learn more and improve your student’s success at https://organizedbinder.com/



School leaders know that productive student talk drives student learning, but the average teacher talks 75% of class time! TeachFX is changing that with a “Fitbit for teachers” that automatically measures student engagement and gives teachers feedback about what they could do differently. 

Learn more about the TeachFX app and get a special 20% discount for your school or district by visiting teachfx.com/blbs.


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