Dr. Glover is a servant leader committed to equity and inclusion. She is a former educator, administrator, Human Resource manager, and Diversity, equity and inclusion professional. In 2017, Dr. Glover earned her doctorate degree in Urban Education, from Cleveland State University. With an emphasis on policy and planning, Dr. Glover has transferred her learning into reimagining the ways in which we socialize scholars, future teachers, and current educators. More recently, Dr. Glover self-published her first book: Centering Student Voice: A Guide for Cultivating Emotionally Intelligent Educators and Culturally Responsive Classrooms. She is the daughter of Joseph and Sheryl Glover. She has one brother, one sister, and is the mother of Kylan Richburg. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with family.
The wake up call to challenge the learning systems for young educators.
Re-imagining the ways we socialize scholars, future teachers, and current educators.
Disrupt University provides intercultural experiences in a space of ongoing learning to develop authentic relationships.
The 3 D’s to create an environment to make quality connections.
Honor ancestors to “disrupt” the future.
Know the difference between a golden rule and a platinum rule. S
Create conversations around the difference between allyship, advocacy and activism.
Erica’s Resources & Contact Info:
- book: centering student voice
- Instagram: @drericaglover
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Read the Transcript here.
Centering Student Voice
My guest today had a major wake up call as a novice teacher. She’s there with her students and there’s a moment of insight and she asks the class really like, where else are people told when to eat, when they can, leave the room when they can go to the bathroom and all that kind of stuff. A kid without even hesitating tells the teacher prison. And it was at that moment, Dr. Glover realized, how am I aiding this prison? The pipeline system? Or am I. Something she had to investigate. And it was very interesting for her and it changed the trajectory of what she did in education. And so now she does some really cool stuff that I think Ruckus Makers will love because she calls herself a disruptor. And her work has to do with centering student voice. And you’re gonna love what we talk about today. Hey, it’s Danny, chief Ruckus Maker over at Better Leaders, better Schools. And this shows for you a Ruckus Maker, which means you invest in your continuous growth, you challenge the status quo, and you design the future of school now. And we’ll be right back after some short messages from our show sponsors.
Take the next step in your professional development with a Harvard Certificate in School Management and Leadership. Learn from Harvard Business and Education School faculty while you collaborate with a global network of fellow school leaders. Get started at BetterLeadersbetterschools.com/harvard. With Teach FX, teachers are creating classrooms that are alive with conversation. Their app gives teachers insights into high level practices like how much student talk happened, which questions got students talking. It’s eye-opening for teachers and scales, the impact of coaches and principals and Ruckus Makers. Start your free pilot email@example.com/BlBs.
Why do students struggle? I’d argue that they lack access to quality instruction, but think about it. That’s totally out of their control. What if there was something we could teach kids, then what if there was something within their control that would help them be successful in every class? And it’s not a magic pill or a figment of your imagination. When students internalize executive functioning skills, they succeed. Check out the new self-paced online course brought to you by our friends at Organized Binder that shows teachers how to equip their students with executive functioning skills. You can learn firstname.lastname@example.org/go. Well, hello, Ruckus Maker. Today I am joined by Dr. Glover,
A servant leader committed to equity and inclusion. She’s a former educator, administrator, human resource manager, and diversity, equity and inclusion professional. In 2017, Dr. Glover earned her doctorate degree in urban education from Cleveland State University. With an emphasis on policy and planning. Dr. Glover has transferred her learning into re-imagining the ways in which we socialize scholars, future teachers, and current educators. More recently, Dr. Glover Self-published her first book, centering Student Voice, the Guide for Cultivating Emotionally Intelligent Educators and Culturally Responsive Classrooms. She’s the daughter of Joseph and Cheryl Glover. She has one brother, one sister, and is the mother of Kylen Richburg. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with Dr. Glover. Welcome to this show.
Dr Erica Glover (03:52):
Oh, thank you Danny. It’s a pleasure to be here today.
I wanna get to your equity story in a second, but I have to ask because we’re streaming this live, it’s January and the book is now out. Centering Student Voice. This’ll come out as a podcast, months in the future, so it’s still available and Ruckus Makers should pick up centering student voice. But how does it feel? That’s your first book. It’s out there in the world on an important topic, I just wanna check in with you, how does it feel?
Dr Erica Glover (04:20):
That’s a really good question because I remember receiving the author proofs and Opening it and I almost cried. I was emotional because I remember growing up wanting to be a professional basketball player. I used to design my own shoes on paper and try to autograph everything. I never thought about being an author. For that to happen in a way that was for me unplanned, then also in a way that connected back to my ongoing experiences was surprising, uplifting and very much close to making space to honor my ancestors. When you have a book, there’s something that lives beyond even your own years. I’m really excited about the opportunity to even have it and to be able to self-publish in itself was pretty cool as well.
I don’t know if you noticed my wife, she’s from Zimbabwe and I’ll often ask her like, what’s the recipe? Like, how do you cook? She says, I don’t use recipes, Danny. She goes, I channel my ancestors. I’m gonna try to do that too, but can you gimme the steps? Talk to me a little bit about that though. You said like honoring the ancestors. What does that mean to you? Why is that important?
Dr Erica Glover (05:38):
It really goes back to the why I’m here and the why. Without my ancestors, I wouldn’t be here today. That’s number one. Number two, it is also connected to the stories and the experiences, the lived experience that I’ve learned about my ancestors that leads me to this idea and notion of disrupting what I am doing today. And so there are some ancestors that have made their mark on this world in very various ways, and this is an opportunity for me to not really just leave my mark, but share something with my ancestors in the future to share a story and experience that is different from what they are reading now. And I believe that we owe that to each other. I believe that we are connected to each other outside of the space of true, familial relationships. When I say honor my ancestors, I’m speaking to all of those who have dwell in the space of disrupting, abolitionists. Anything that really speaks to, supporting the experiences, providing opportunity and access of marginalized groups of people. I understand that is why I’m on purpose to be here today.
Great. We’re gonna dig into this whole idea of disruption university, I think that’s very much in line with the Ruckus Maker brand and vibe that we have as well. So I can’t wait to talk more about that. Let’s go back, I would just love to hear, what is your equity Story?
Dr Erica Glover (07:02):
I’ve been in education over 20 years and when I began, I started out as a long-term substitute teacher. I graduated from college with my degree in education, and hadn’t taken the test to get a certification. I’ll never forget, I entered the classroom with the teacher. I’m not sure exactly what the ending was, but it ended in the middle of the school week. And if you’re in a space that when something ends in the middle of the school year, there’s something interesting. I walked into a classroom and it wasn’t the ideal, what a lot of people might define as the ideal classroom. My scholars were self-contained, so they were categorized as having an emotional disability. They were high school students and they were all reading and learning at, I mean, from third grade level, all the way to 10th grade level.
Dr Erica Glover (07:51):
I’ll never forget the coordinator that supported me through the process of me being boarded into the position right before she walked out of the classroom, she looked at me and said, Erica, don’t worry about anything else but just build relationships. I’m fresh, out of college, just really, passionate about the opportunity, not really understanding what that meant. I did that though. I always had really good relationships with my scholars, and there’s one particular, every morning we read a quote, we applied the quote to what was happening in the real world to their lives. And I was really intentional about that. So there’s one part we read the quote unplanned not really even understanding why it happened at the moment that it did, but in my mind and outta my mouth popped out the words,what y’all like, where else do you see people spending time in one place all day where folks are telling them when to go to the restroom when they can eat?
Dr Erica Glover (08:48):
When they can have recess. And one of my scholars, and I’m getting goosebumps thinking about sounded when he said prison. Yeah. So it was at that moment that I believed my critical reflection and my current position was actually in my opinion supporting them in towards the process of school to prison pipeline. Like I felt like I was helping them to practice being prepared for prison by being complacent and allowing them to be okay and sitting in this space all day, being told when to go to the restroom, being told, all of those things. And then it was at that moment that I started to even look at their IEPs differently, I’m like digging. Why is this young person in self, what could he have, he or she or they have possibly done right to be self-contained?
Dr Erica Glover (09:42):
I started to realize, in my personal opinion, it just seemed to be a consistent lack of sustainable relationships that ended up influencing academics over time. And so it was at that moment that I realized that I can no longer be complicit, that I needed to push back against the systems I’m replacing. And he would say what? You’re going to be in a self-contained unit, even the systems that are a place that allows my colleagues to say no, they can’t come into my classroom. My scholars and I saw ourselves as us against the world in the building to some extent because we were trying to prove everyone else wrong. And that was the beginning of me realizing not just the fight in the name of equity, but the live experiences that many folks don’t understand because it isn’t them?
Right. It’s an interesting leadership lesson too for the Ruckus Maker in a note, because the idea of us versus diamond is very motivating, for people. So it is interesting that you mentioned that. So I can imagine, what that young student saying in the prison experience was a wake up call for you. And you mentioned through that story, you started to challenge the system. What did that look like? Can you give us maybe something practical or bring us to some moment of what it looked like to challenge?
Dr Erica Glover (10:59):
Absolutely. So very complex. When you talk about change management, then you realize that complexity was complicated or two different things. And so when you talk about what is complex, then you begin to understand that there’s no true genuine solution. I really tackled that from the space of, I wouldn’t even say, low hanging fruit. I thought about the networks that I did have. And so the administrator at the time when I was in the classroom was very supportive and at the same time was like, Hey, you’re gonna have a problem bringing that solution. It made me kind of think about and think through what this looked like. So I spent some time connecting to colleagues who I did have a relationship with and I had to be very intentional about that. I needed to understand, I needed to know which colleagues were also very empathetic in nature, which colleagues kinda went out of their way or many of the scholars in the building.
Dr Erica Glover (11:53):
Because I also understood that my scholars were coming from a place, and I hate to even use this word word, but it was, it rings true to me right now of needing to be deinstitutionalized. So, they were going into classrooms expecting to have the Erica experience as an educator, and I was trying to prepare them at the same time, how to navigate different types of classrooms. There were distant meetings of the mind between myself and my colleagues by the time that folks became or began to get on board through the way that we were celebrating the success. And through the different ways that my scholars would actually appear and participate, then we were able to talk about, why don’t you come into my classroom and we can coach?
Dr Erica Glover (12:37):
So it went from a place of just kind of planning out conversations and ideas of, this is what they need and this, these are the ways that they will engage and let’s have conversations when they don’t. Let’s have a plan when they have an issue. And we put that in place and we followed that. But I think it was more, even more meaningful was to have a co-teaching experience and scholars didn’t know who was the edu, who was the special ed teacher or who was the general ed teaching, and she had to put that title paper so that it was concrete. And so that it was something that we could go back to and adjust. The administrator at the time wanted us to put something in place that was sustainable. So I wasn’t the only self-contained teacher initially I was, but when the other person came, now we had a system that was disrupting another system that was perpetuating in equities that were already in place.
That’s yeah. Concrete example too, sort of like the ambiguity of which teachers general ed, which ones special ed, we’re all just teaching you and we have high expectations, that kind of thing. Well, I’ll never forget, I taught many co-taught classes and it is the, of an institution. Often my colleagues just wanted me to teach. They wanted to help like quote unquote their kids sort of operate from the background. I had a lovely relationship with this guy Eric c Illinois. We also taught a very big fib to our students. Like we got along so well. We told him that we were brothers, like even the faculty started to believe it too. And we were like, oh yeah, we kind of were like, oh, the boy that card wolf, maybe we shouldn’t tell that lie, but he stepped up and he would teach, he would grade the whole class and stuff. Like we took turns with that. I think it elevated the whole experience for everybody involved and just so importantly, so thank you for highlighting that to do so. Yeah. That’s one way you challenge the system back then. Now you have Disrupt University. So what’s Disrupt University all about?
Dr Erica Glover (14:33):
Disrupt University, actually comes from my research. So back when I went into, when I was aspiring to learn more, at the point in time I went, I didn’t know it was about myself, but I was trying to I had a nonprofit and I was really looking at research aligned to the nonprofit, ended up taking some twists and turns into the space of black teacher identity. What I was trying to understand for black teachers who view themselves as being successful and their peers view themselves as being successful in urban settings, what are things that they are doing to support scholars in ways that are specific to the needs of the scholar? And so out of that, you do a frequency cap, and that’s like the very minimum level of understanding data.
Dr Erica Glover (15:19):
Disruptor was the word that came up over and over and over. So when we talk about disruptor data, aver is really about how do we disrupt the socialization of process, socialization process of dollars, who are gonna become educators who are gonna become the next whatever profession you want to fill in a blank with in ways that allows them to see the commonalities and differences in others as a way to sustain and leverage relation. When you think about what it means to be a 21st century learner, or a 25th century 21st century century educator in a, a global learner, all of those things really encompass how we are able to work across differences. And so understanding the lived experiences of the individual educators as a result of things that have happened. And here’s an example. I interviewed an educator who experienced going to school before desegregation and after.
Dr Erica Glover (16:14):
And so to hear, their experiences in their homes, their previous school to the new school was just mind blowing. And then to hear how they were able to take those experiences and support scholars who are considered, as living in the margin was even more, quite honestly useful for even my own understanding. You talk about Ruckus Making, but it gave me a different perspective of looking at what that really means because I haven’t experienced segregation to the extent that this person has. Disrupt the university is really all about, well, how do we provide those intercultural experiences that are continuous in the space of ongoing learning so that we’re looking across commonalities and differences of ways to develop authentic relationships.
Brilliant. It sounds really wonderful and I’m enjoying our conversation, Erica. We’re gonna get some messages in from our sponsors and when we get back, I’m gonna ask about a success story. I disrupt the university and let’s talk about shuttering student voices.
Dr Erica Glover (17:16):Absolutely.
The Better Leaders, Better Schools podcast is proudly sponsored by Harvard’s Certificate in School Management and Leadership. I know many mastermind members and many Ruckus Makers who listen to this show that have gone through the program and have loved the experience. But don’t just take it from me. Let’s hear how some of the Harvard faculty describe the impact and their heart for this program. Leadership is joyful work, empowering others to do their best work. Principals do that with teachers and teachers do that with students. And empowering others to educate themselves or to be educated is just one of the most important things we can do in this world building. We’re building people, we’re building the next generation leaders and educators
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And we are back with Dr. Erica Glover. We’re talking about her Disrupt University. She has a new book, which she should definitely pick up a copy of. It’s called Centering Student Voice. She could get email@example.com. And we’re gonna talk about the book in a second. But before we get there, do you have a case study, mini case study or a success story about Disrupt University or the PD that you offer schools,
Dr Erica Glover (20:37):
One of the things I truly think is important too, there’s a couple things. Via as educators, as spouses oftentimes to be lifelong learners. One of the things really pushed forward in the PD is how do you engage in your lifelong learning throughout the course of not just your career. This is personal and professional. As long as we’re alive. And with that being said, I was working with a group of educators and we were unpacking this notion of being seen, valued, and heard. And so from the space of what’s happening to me as a result of systems and policies that are in place, and how am I being discounted or dismissed? And so we spent some time really impacting, when someone says they feel like they’re being seen, valued, and heard, what does that look like?
Dr Erica Glover (21:23):
What are you seeing? What do you see when you feel, what are you experiencing? We also spend time unpacking. When you don’t feel seen or valued, what does that look like? What are you experiencing? And then what supports do you need that aren’t there? What supports and ways of continuing your learning would you like to have that you don’t believe that aren’t in place, that are in place for you? We spent about an hour really unpacking that. And for me as a facilitator, the goal was really for them to be able to not just connect with self, but now open themselves up for the space of understanding others within their lived experiences. We pivoted to now how are you collecting that same data for yourself? And it was really, really interesting to see how many people hadn’t.
Dr Erica Glover (22:15):
Or to see how many people were able to collect some form of data from their scholars but not actualize it. So here in my seat, as an educator, this is what I need you to do to support me and I need you to listen. But how are we doing that the way, the same way for scholars and families, how are we being, how are we being intentional with what we want for someone to do for us in the same ways that we will want them to do, that we will want ’em to be done for our scholars and our family. And so we some, I read some research at one point in time and talk about perspective is that I think his name is Warm Chavez. I may be saying it incorrectly, but perspective taking is the anchor of I really enjoy spending time with folks in that space.
Dr Erica Glover (23:00):
But I think it’s also important to understand the need to not dismiss, which I’ll talk about later, because when you’re not dismissing, your lived experience is different. I had a lot of feedback from folks who were able to spend time and we did some other things prior to those questions, really thinking about self and reflecting on, on, their own personal experiences and thinking about how they felt when their needs were met to Oh wow. So yeah, this is happening differently to different types of people. They need to know how they feel, they wanna be supported. Oftentimes folks talk about the difference between a golden rule and a platinum rule. How are we, the way that they wanna be treated was really how we were centering our conversation.
Idea of the need to not dismiss. What’s that all about?
Dr Erica Glover (23:48):
I know we have a question around what I’m gonna put on my marquee, so you want me to go head into that now?
You can do whatever you want
Dr Erica Glover (24:00):
I’ve shared a story with my colleague, and the response back to the story of my lived experience was, oh, this happens to everybody, this happens to a lot. And so, and this is when I was in hr, and so I was like, that was very influential in terms of me, participating in my ongoing learning differently. And so what I will say is, listen, and I wanna be sl here or, or intentional, I listen without dismissing. And I think that oftentimes we’ll listen to fix, especially as administrators as supervisors, sometimes we’ll listen to fix instead of listening to first understand and then to not dismiss a person’s experience because we haven’t. And so I think it’s important in a space of diversity, equity occlusion, sense of belonging that you are listening to not dismiss, especially when you haven’t had the experiences of
Others. Yeah, it’s easy to discount my man. So in validating Yeah. You really, oh yeah, you really, as, as a leader, I did a training on Charles Charles’s boiled down to really solid relationships, good judgment and consistency, doing what you say you’ll build. And if you’re gonna be dismissing people’s experiences, you might as well just say, I don’t, I want a poor culture. I don’t want people to trust me, like, this is not gonna be a fun place to work. So thank you for sharing that. Student Voice. Again, pick it firstname.lastname@example.org and congratulations on publishing that one. You talked earlier about this idea of understanding yourself. Talk about this in the book, but how does understanding who I am as an individual help me set the environment right to make quality connections with my students?
Dr Erica Glover (25:42):
I actually wanna begin with answering that question by thinking about what as a former administrator pains, I’ve worked with teachers in understanding or trying to decrease and I call ’em a three Ds distraction that leads to disengagement. That leads to dis . And so oftentimes people want the quick remedy and at the center of that are those authentic relationships. And I don’t mean relationships that occur as a default of you having a classroom because you’re a teacher. I mean, relationships that allow you to help scholars to be able to navigate the spaces that they’re in, in ways that help them understand how to navigate for themselves. Now going back to your question, in order to do that work, you have to understand how your experiences are different from your scholar. I’m just using the word scholars.
Dr Erica Glover (26:31):
Your experiences are different from your colleagues. Your experiences are different from your administrators. And so in the book, I’m really talking and exploring, this idea, this notion of, well, who am I? How did I come to be when I teach and how I teach? Where did that come from? Where did I get that and how did it support me in the way that I learned? But then at the same time, how might it be different and not support the scholar the same. Even when it comes to having conversations when I’m frustrated, and this is why that notion of emotional intelligence is important. How am I reflecting on my triggers? What am I? Yeah. When you think about the ladder of difference and how I draw conclusions, what has happened that I’m selecting certain data to make a decision upon, and how do I go back and unpack that in ways that allows me to think differently, but also be willing to learn differently?Oftentimes if we are working to adjust practices in a classroom, both as an educator or as a leader, we skipped the importance of transforming that mindset. I spent a lot of time using my own personal experiences, being vulnerable to help folks understand exactly what I was thinking and how I was trying to pivot out of that moment.
Thank you. Anything else you wanna say about the book? The question I would ask is what result do you anticipate the reader getting after going through your book? Their mindset’s been shifted, given some practical resources and that kind of thing. But what result do they get?
Dr Erica Glover (27:58):
So there’s conversations around the difference between allyship advocacy and activism. I believe that an educator who has read this book and would deem himself as being successful in understanding the implication of things that I share, is moving into the space of advocacy or activism. You are reading and learning and understanding, but you’re also doing something. You are disrupting systems in ways that are marginalized groups of people. You’re committed to ongoing learning and differently and you’re becoming more culturally aware, you’re moving from this idea of being monocultural or looking at things from a monocultural perspective in terms of just what you’ve experienced to understanding folks see the world differently and learn differently. And as a result, I’m adjusting my practices in ways that are personalizing learning versus based upon what might be convenient for me or what I’m really used to.
Students from everywhere, a diverse student body, which is the reality of most schools, this will help you be yeah. A much more responsive leader and create more results for your community. Awesome. Thanks for doing the hard work. Getting, I don’t know how you unplanned a book. Like you get, it takes a lot of work, but I’m glad it’s out in the world. You mentioned, you kind of riffed on the marquee question, so I’ll, I’ll ask about your dream school. So if Dr. Erica Glover was building her dream school and you weren’t constrained by any resources, your only limitation was your imagination, how would you build this school? What would be the three guiding Principles?
Dr Erica Glover (29:26):
First guide, guiding principle would be personalized learning. That is Actionized Scholar at various ages would be able to choose their pathway for learning, not choose their career pathway. But choose their pathway for learning. Is it online? Is it hybrid? Is it PBL? Is it based upon inquiry-based learning? Like what is it? And they’ll be introduced so they’ll be able to make, parents as well, decisions based upon what they’re learning, but you’re not set to it. If you wanna shift and make a move in the next quarter or whatever you have, then that is an option. I would also focus on global learning, especially because scholars have access to technology that we didn’t, and they are learning for folks across the country. Cultural awareness in different spaces would be another. And then I will recruit non-traditional educators. And I’m not saying just in a space of wrap raw programs where you’re being social workers or board certified behavior analysts.
Dr Erica Glover (30:22):
I’m talking about folks who have lived experiences but can make connections back to the content. I think oftentimes because we, the way we professionalize education, we miss out on a lot of folks who are actually coaches and teachers already in the, in the, in the ways that they’re existing. And then I will really dive into an amplifying voice to action. The adjustments and practices that we have in place are based upon what we are hearing our scholars and our families saying that policy would change based upon who we are serving, not based upon those who are developing the systems and the structures in place. And so those would be the principles of my dream school. And then obviously if we have all the resources that we want, the compensation package and the amount of educators that we have in those spaces with
Hey, we covered a lot of that ground today, Erica. Solve everything we discussed. What’s the one thing you want Ruckus Maker to remember?
Dr Erica Glover (31:16):
Disrupting takes courage, but it also, it also is aligned to who you are and the unique difference that you bring to the world. Be committed to your uniqueness. Be committed to who you’re supposed to be, who you are called to be because you are solving a problem that no one else in this world has solved.
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@betterleadersbetterschools.com or hit me up on Twitter at @Alienearbud. 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 at @alienearbud, and using the hashtag #BLBS. Level up your leadership at BetterLeadersbetterschools.com and talk to you next time. Until then, “class dismissed.”
Transform how you lead to become a resilient and empowered change agent with Harvard’s online Certificate in School Management and Leadership. Grow your professional network with a global cohort of fellow school leaders as you collaborate in case studies bridging the fields of education and business. Apply today at http://hgse.me/leader.
With TeachFX, teachers are creating classrooms that are alive with conversation. Our app gives teachers insights into high-leverage practices like: How much student talk happened? Which questions got students talking? It’s eye-opening for teachers, and scales the impact of coaches and principals. Start your free pilot at teachfx.com/blbs .
Why do students struggle? I’d argue that they lack access to quality instruction, but think about it. That’s totally out of their control. What if there was something we could teach kids there was something within their control that would help them be successful in every class? It’s not a magic pill or a figment of your imagination.
When students internalize Executive Functioning Skills they succeed.
Check out the new self-paced online course brought to you by OB that shows teachers how to equip their students with executive functioning skills.
Learn more at organizedbinder.com/go
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