James Sturtevant public
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Most people I meet have a story/voice that compels me - sometimes for a few minutes - sometimes for a lifetime. I'm drawn to the little/big voices who wish to speak - wish to be heard - wish to matter. These stories help me understand myself and my place in the world. Maybe they will light your path and keep you company on your journey as well. - Mark.
 
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This episode is about Constructivist Learning. Here’s a definition from the University of Buffalo: Constructivism is the theory that says learners construct knowledge rather than just passively take in information. As people experience the world and reflect upon those experiences, they build their own representations and incorporate new information…
 
Summer vacation is getting long in the tooth. A number of years ago, I would’ve been staring down the calendar because football practice starts next week in Ohio. It’s sad to see summer wane, but it is what we do for a living. And, even though it’s hard to go back, as soon as you step in front of those students—it just feels right. Today, I’m going…
 
Liz Jorgensen is an all star high school English teacher from Wisconsin. Her brand new book Hacking Student Learning Habits just hit Amazon’s virtual shelves. I’m confident that you’ll be inspired to check out this book after listening to this interview. Liz articulates how she utilizes empathy to inspire learning. We also talk a lot about assessme…
 
It’s sad to hear reports of so many educators becoming discouraged. Some are considering leaving the profession. If that’s you, or you have a friend or colleague who's struggling, you selected the right podcast. In the last episode I interviewed Jim Mahoney and we addressed this theme of the teacher exodus. I feel so passionately about this topic t…
 
It’s heartbreaking to hear about all of the talented educators who are strongly considering cashing in their chips and exiting the classroom. This is not a good thing. Their students need them and quitting may not be the right move for discouraged educators. I can say this with confidence because I vamoosed from education after my 7th year. I was f…
 
It’s been a while since I published an episode. There’s a reason for that. I’ve been busy developing a new podcast. The Retired Teacher Coach Podcast debuted in the last week of 2021. It’s based on my coaching practice. My elevator pitch for my coaching goes as follows: I help retired educators make awesome health and lifestyle choices. While my ni…
 
One of my passions since the semi-return to normal instruction in hopefully the receding wake of COVID, is to retain successful aspects of virtual instruction and then to include them in-person instruction. I’ve heard a lot of students and instructors say, “I never want to be on another Zoom call again.” Well, that’s not realistic. There were aspec…
 
My guest today is Don Hale. He was a West-Texas boy who headed to college on a music scholarship, majored in theatre, and later studied for his masters in inter-disciplinary technology. After graduation, Don worked as a movie actor and launched several theatre companies in Los Angeles. He eventually moved back to Texas where he wrote, produced, and…
 
Today, my guest is Mathew Sturtevant, author, professional photographer, lecturer, and life adventurer. His photographs have graced the pages of the NY Times, Rolling Stone, Fortune magazine, and the Men’s Journal. He is the author of two books. The first, The Sound of Austin, portraits and essays of the most intriguing and influential musicians wh…
 
Today, my guest is James Elizondo, a former Division 1 NCAA football player who shares his personal meaning-of-life stories of growing up inside the helmet. James will be with us for several episodes sharing his experiences of playing football, suffering from body dysmorphia, being a stay-at-home-Dad, and also a hunter who avoids eating most meat. …
 
Imagine a high school girl from Texas deciding to venture to Denmark as an exchange student. Talk about a culture and a climate shock. I’m describing the young Jennifer Burke-Hansen. What’s interesting about Jennifer is that she became enchanted with this tiny nation of 6 million on the scenic Jutland Peninsula. So much so that she’s resided there …
 
I’m going to describe a student. I’ll bet you can picture one similar. This kid seems unenthused by many of the prompts and activities that are issued or done in class. It isn’t that they are incapable, in fact just the opposite. They master directives quickly and effortlessly. Unfortunately, they complete their efforts without much enthusiasm. The…
 
I think that every educator has heard the following, “I didn’t do well on this assessment because I have test anxiety.” The fact that every teacher has heard this should be a red flag. Certainly, a bit of test anxiety is healthy—I mean you have to be motivated enough to study. The problem is when test anxiety results in diminished performance. Not …
 
I went to grade school in a small town. Our school was right on Main Street in the town center. A few of my most vivid memories were the brief class excursions into town. On various days, we visited the post office, the dairy, the glass blower, and the bakery. I had no aspirations to be a postman, a dairy farmer, a glass blower, or baker. Regardles…
 
The bubblefication of the United States is much written about and much talked about. We tend to live around, interact with, watch media outlets populated, and are entertained by...people who think like we do and probably look like we do. That’s too bad, because while bubbles can feel safe, they are also limiting. The scary part of our bubbles is th…
 
This seems like a totally incongruent title. How in the world can you use assessment to forge strong relationships with students? And yet in this episode. My guest and I will attempt to answer this question. The key is student revision based on teacher feedback. Two tech tools that are instrumental in this process are the Google extension Mote and …
 
The attack on the capitol should be a wakeup call for educators. We have a moral obligation to help students evaluate online sources. Perhaps through our efforts, kids will develop a healthy skepticism about all sources. Unfortunately, many contemporary adults have trained their young to reserve their skepticism only for those sources that emanate …
 
I’ve always been fascinated as to how calamities, such as war, lead to innovations that benefit humankind long after the conflict abates. WWII, for example, sponsored all of the following: Antibiotics Radar Jet Aircraft Computers Satellites The old adage Necessity is the mother of invention could be applied to each of these quantum technological le…
 
The best thing about social media is that it keeps you connected with significant people. It’s kept me connected to many former students. I’m going to talk to one today. Ty DeLong was a student in my Economics class almost 2 decades ago. Ty lives in Nashville. He’s a software engineer. He’s a devoted husband and father. I’m really proud of him. A f…
 
Last week was exhilarating. My wife and I had become determined to install a subway tile backsplash in our kitchen. I thought to myself, There’s no way I’m going to pay someone to do that. I’ll learn how and do it. Of course, I went to the greatest educator in the world–YouTube. I watched a number of how-to videos, gathered my courage, and then ins…
 
Covid has forced educators to take portions of their instruction, or all of their instruction, online. It’s quite an adjustment for all concerned. But imagine, and perhaps you’ve faced this, that a significant portion of your student’s home technology setup is inadequate, or non-existent. What do you? In this episode, we’ll ask Jalen Wells this que…
 
The first time I was a participant in a Zoom call, I was so impressed. It felt so futuristic. I thought highly of it and was excited to do another. Covid however, like with many things we treasure, wiped out this euphoria. Zoom calls sprouted up everywhere. I grew to dread the dreaded Zoom call invitation. Here are some reasons why: They’re too man…
 
In the fall of 1979, I was a freshman in a college dorm trying to adjust to my new surroundings. One thing that I’ve always done to ground myself has been to play the music that I love. I grew up in a small town in Southeastern Ohio that was not diverse. And yet, my musical taste was totally urban. I loved the Isley Brothers and the Brothers Johnso…
 
Formative assessment is not done enough. I believe that part of the problem is that teachers simply don’t know enough about it, or how to do it. I was unclear on both of these counts a decade ago. It makes me sad to think of all the students who matriculated through my class before I became aware of this powerful tactic. Hopefully, this episode wil…
 
Dr. Dorothy VanderJact and I have recently become friends. Dorothy is veteran educator from the great state of Michigan. She’s been a middle school teacher, an elementary principal, a central office administrator, and a college professor. That’s, a lot of perspective. Two months ago, her brand new book Permission to Pause was released. Her timing w…
 
Path 9 in my new book Teaching in Magenta is about Venerating a Veteran. I’m going to read Path 9: One negative aspect of aging is the feeling that you’re losing relevance. I’m fortunate in that younger teachers sometimes reach out to me for guidance. When they do, it makes me feel awesome. I try to give them solid advice, and many are grateful. Wh…
 
Well–ready or not, school will be starting soon, For some of us, it's already started. My first day is next Wednesday. Many colleges, like mine, are in session for 3 months, they then adjourn at Thanksgiving, and then don't resume till January. It'll be the longest winter break that I've ever experienced. That actually sounds pretty awesome. If you…
 
For the next five weeks, I'm going to try an experiment. My new book Teaching in Magenta was inspired by Niki's gift. My book is divided into 5 sections based on qualities of magenta: Compassion Optimism Balance Adaptability Contentment I'm going to read 1 path from a different section each week. Today, I'll focus on Path 57, which can be found in …
 
Imagine that you and I step into an elevator together. Secured under my arm is a copy of my new book Teaching in Magenta. You notice the book and ask me about it. Your question instantly makes me realize a couple of things: This is a classic scenario for an elevator pitch. I better make these next few seconds count before the doors open and you dis…
 
I was a Poli-Sci and History major in college. My senior year, I made the decision to obtain a teaching certificate. I wasn’t certain what I was going to do, so I decided that I could teach a few years while I sorted it out. One of my first Education classes was Audio Visual Resources. We learned such mystical skills as using a laminator, threading…
 
I enjoy conducting professional development, particularly when I’m commissioned to present on teacher wellbeing. I take the audience on a journey of various challenges a teacher faces during different stages of a 30 year career. Because I logged 34 years in a public school classroom, I have plenty of material. I enjoy describing my struggles at var…
 
When I retired from teaching high school last year, I worried about losing all of the social interaction that I got from teaching 150 students daily. So, I secured an adjunct position teaching aspiring educators at Muskingum University. I also teach refugees how to speak English. These teaching gigs have been a joy, but it’s a different life becaus…
 
I just checked the human toll of Coronavirus before I wrote this sentence. The US is on the verge of 20,000 deaths and the world has surpassed 100,000. It’s been awful to watch these numbers climb. And I, like hopefully you, remain isolated in my home reading way too many news stories about what’s going on in largely isolated cities and towns and o…
 
Well, for at least the next 2 weeks, I’m forced to teach my class in a virtual fashion. All teachers in the great state of Ohio are in the same boat. A few years back, Columbus State Community College commissioned me to create an online version of one of their history classes. It was a tremendous learning experience. When I embarked on that journey…
 
When I was in my early 30's, I got the 7-year-itch. NO, NO, NO...not to split from the lovely Mrs. Sturtevant, far from it. I was questioning my commitment to education. I was an ambitious competitive young guy. My college peers were climbing corporate ladders. They were wearing suits to work and bringing in some serious bank. They seemed so much m…
 
I once had a veteran colleague lament about the state of teaching. He meditated, WIth all the that they're making us do, if I was in college today, there's no way I'd major in Education. Apparently, he's not alone in this sentiment. If one searches "Decline in Education Majors", one will find plenty of evidence that many undergrads feel exactly as …
 
2 years ago, I was teaching high school and our building principal setup the Remind App for our staff. I must confess that at first I found the app annoying. The flurry of messages I was receiving from our fearless leader was invasive. Granted, many of the messages were germain to being a teacher at our school and some of them were essential such a…
 
Last year, I was teaching high school and our administration assigned a book study to the staff. We read and collaborated on 15 Fixes for Broken Grades by Ken O'Connor. This iconic book is an interesting and provocative read. It challenges standard operating procedure in terms of the way students are assessed. The fix that stirred the pot the most …
 
I wanted to produce an episode before school started and I wasn’t sure if it was going to materialize. Starting next week, I’ll be teaching all new classes, at a new school, and at the college level. It’s been a busy summer, but I’m excited to embark on my next teaching journey. This episode is short and simple, but it has tremendous potential to p…
 
There's a significant potential that 2 things may happen when you return to school in a couple of weeks: 1. Your classroom may be more diverse 2. Donald Trump's Send her back tweet may just come up in class discussion In terms of diversity, the demographic trends towards a browner America are indisputable. Sadly, many American schools both urban, s…
 
Even though it's only June, start thinking about specific ways to create an outstanding school year next fall. That's what I've done throughout my career. Summer gives you breathing room. It allows you to reflect, adjust, and then speculate and plan. One thing that I'm passionate about is teacher well-being. Aside from job satisfaction being a wond…
 
In the late summer of 1985, I experienced my first day of teaching at Mount Vernon High School in North Central Ohio. That steamy summer day was the inaugural faculty meeting. You know...the one where all the veteran teachers stare at the newbies as they're introduced. Before my principal, Mr. George Perry began the unveiling process, he paid homag…
 
I remember late April of my rookie year as a teacher. I was toast! All my great teaching strategies were worn out. I was scrambling trying to find innovative and engaging ways to present lessons. It was a loooooong 6-weeks till summer vacation. In early June when I did my post-mortem on the year, I vowed to always keep some ideas in the vault for t…
 
I remember my first teacher evaluation. I was nervous! I tried to put on a great show. I felt I did okay. Then, a few days later, I remember walking toward the principal's office to hear the verdict. I wasn't sure how this meeting would go. I thought my lesson went well, but I couldn't tell how my principal felt because he always played them close …
 
I stopped coaching football in the fall of 2000. That’s a long time ago. In the spring of 2018, Eric Myers, who’s the Track and Field Coach at our school, surprised me with an unexpected proposition, Jim…you need to get back into coaching. I need an assistant. Coach with me. We’ll have a blast! I was totally unprepared for this solicitation. I resp…
 
It's so gratifying when you had a student with whom you were close, they graduate, and then years later you learn that they've achieved much. Mo Ross is a marvelous example of this phenomenon. In college, Mo was an integral member of Otterbein University's 2002 National Division Three Championship Basketball Team. I was still keeping tabs on Mo in …
 
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