Opening the door
In the Opening the Door podcast, I offer real talk about children, learning, classrooms, and leading from the heart. As teachers, we hear so much shade and shame for the things we are not. I founded Joyful Classrooms in an effort to dismantle shame in all its forms. When I interview education’s experts, I always seek to find the balance between what we know to be teaching best-practices and the realities related to how implementing them is almost easier said than done. I want to unpack that disconnect. Our students deserve the best, but we deserve ample and adequate support. How do we bridge that gap in a way that feels ethical and sustainable? As you listen to these podcasts, think about that, please. And, I welcome your comments! I am a teacher. I know what’s up and I keep it real. I also always say the struggle is real. I want teachers to listen to these episodes and share back their impact, how can we bring these practices to the students we serve, and what are the real barriers between what we wish we could do and what we can feasibly do? What support do we need? What do folks outside the classroom need to know about the realities of our work? This is what I want to talk about and I want to hear your voice! Join me for Opening the Door!
OPENING WITH DOOR WITH BRITTANY ANN CUFAUDE, SEASON 1:
I recorded season one of Opening the Door right as we entered shelter in place. At that time my business, as I knew it and like so many other businesses, came to a screeching halt. While that was devastating, it also provided me some vital time to slow down, reflect, and determine what I would do with the rest of my life. I have spent my entire professional life devoted to improving outcomes for under served schools and children as well as teachers. So, each of these podcast episodes represent one aspect of my practice that changed my life as a teacher. Thus, I share them with you in the hope that you will be affected in a similar way. And, I also hope to open a dialogue with you. What do you learn from these conversations? How do they make you feel? What more do you need to know? What more do I need to know? Join the conversation!
In this episode, I had the great honor to speak with Dr. Timothy Odegard regarding the subject of his work in the field of cognitive neuroscience and we took a specific look at the characteristics of dyslexia. Dr. Odegard holds a Chair of Excellence in the field of dyslexia, he is a faculty member at Middle Tennessee State University and researcher at the Tennessee Center for Study & Treatment of Dyslexia.
For this episode I had the great honor to speak with Dr. Mike Schmoker. Dr. Schmoker is a former administrator, English teacher and football coach. He has written several bestselling books and dozens of articles for educational journals, newspapers and for TIME magazine. His most recent bestseller is the expanded 2018 edition of FOCUS: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning (ASCD, 2018). His previous bestsellers include: Leading with FOCUS and Results NOW.
While I was initially intimidated to converse with an expert in effective communication, Dr. Kight reminded me of the importance of grace and self-compassion as we all work to become better in all aspects of our humanity including our teaching, leadership, and parenting practices. In this episode, we dive into the issue of human motivation, effective feedback, teacher autonomy, effective coaching practices, and how we truly effectuate change but within ourselves and within organizational systems.
Years ago, Tim’s work and leadership transformed the way I taught reading, text analysis, and radically disrupted my notions about how to work with students who struggle to read, write, and engage in authentic literacies. On a personal level, it is because of his wisdom that I did far better for my students and he helped me foster vast reading and writing gains. More importantly, I saw a drastic increase in my students’ eagerness to work hard. I watched their levels of self-efficacy shoot up. And, they reported a sense that what they did each day felt valuable and just made sense. I try to avoid gushing during these interviews, but he truly made a difference in my life and in the lives of groups of young people who will navigate this world with far greater agency.
In this episode, I was blessed to converse with the wonderful and life-changing, Kikanza Nuri-Robins. Kikanza has been an advocate for justice, equity, and inclusion her entire career, serving mission-driven organizations across the country. She focuses on sustaining healthy organizational cultures by improving communication, developing effective leaders, and nurturing corporate values for cultural proficiency.
Brittany Cufaude, founder of Joyful Classrooms, interviews Dr. Anthony Muhammad. Dr. Muhammad is an educational leader with over 30 years of experience. He spent 19 of those years serving in schools in the Detroit area. His tenure earned him a number of awards both as a teacher and a principal. Dr. Muhammad is both a wonderful author and a highly sought-after educational consultant. He is the CEO of New Frontier 21 Consulting, a company dedicated to supporting cutting-edge professional development for teachers and leaders around the world.
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