News flash! Kids make mistakes. So how do we adequately address the behavior while creating space for learning and growing? Phyllis and Joe are joined by Jen Cort, author of Help Us Begin: HUB strategies and mindsets for meaningful conversations with kids, especially when you are challenged by the topic. Jen offers some practical tips on how to effectively communicate with adolescents in ways that lead to more productive outcomes. She also shares advice on how to make the most of middle school advisory time.
How is empathy related to kids’ likelihood to engage in cyberbullying? How can we teach kids resiliency when they face mean behaviors online and in real life? What skills can we teach kids to help them have more positive online experiences? Phyllis and Joe talk with celebrated author and cyberbullying expert Dr. Sameer Hinduja about how to equip kids with an action plan for their online lives.
Phyllis and Joe use spring break to catch up on current events. They talk about kids’ reactions to recent incidents of gun violence in schools and how the proliferation of hate speech online is impacting student mental health. The co-hosts discuss how to help kids build resiliency and learn to deal with the challenges of adolescent social life. On a lighter note, a karaoke machine makes an appearance and the duo preview some exciting upcoming episodes.
Teacher wellness has become the latest buzz word as schools continue to struggle to recruit and retain enough educators to meet community needs. It turns out, encouraging the adoption of yoga classes isn’t quite enough. But there are meaningful things schools and districts can do to support their staff – and their students – both physically and emotionally. Rick Wormeli joined Joe Mazza and Phyllis Fagell to talk about some of these strategies and figuring out, at our core, what do we truly believe as educators.
Who is school for? When we talk about redesigning school...what are we really talking about? Phyllis and Joe chat with Cornelius Minor and Kass Minor, New York City educators and authors, whose work focuses on how to create fully inclusive learning experiences for kids.
What would happen if we treated students...like real human beings? Phyllis and Joe and joined by Nathan Maynard, co-author of Hacking School Discipline, and Dr. Belinda George, who gained international notoriety for her "tucked in Tuesdays," who both share how their own experiences as youths shaped their thinking around positive discipline and the use of restorative practices in schools.
We want to teach our middle schoolers important social skills, including how to be kind. But what does that really look like in practice? Houston Kraft joins Phyllis and Joe talk about practical ways to infuse compassion into the schools we serve and our daily personal routines.
In this episode, Phyllis and Joe are joined by Todd Brist, principal of Watertown Middle School in South Dakota and author of AMLE's forthcoming book Successful Middle School Advisory to talk all things advisory. Why should schools have them? What should they accomplish? And how do you convince reluctant teachers its worth the time?
This episode was recorded LIVE at the AMLE22 Annual Conference.
Recording LIVE from the #AMLE22 Annual Conference, Phyllis and Joe are back! In this first episode of the season, they talk with the middle schoolers and educator sponsors whose project on saving the bee population won the grand prize in the 2022 Solve Together Digital Career Exploration Challenge. The team talks about the importance of student choice and exploration in the middle grades, and some of the skills kids will naturally develop when you integrate these key concepts.
Thank you to students Michael Snono Thomas Esposito and from Franklin Avenue Middle School in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey for representing Team Passion Project, as well as their teacher Alyssa McAloney and instructional coach Gina Aiello. To learn more about the Solve Together contest visit https://asasolvetogether.org/
Middle schoolers are undergoing an incredibly important and significant developmental phase meaning...they're going to make mistakes from time to time. Phyllis and Joe talk about helping kids come back from mistakes and creating school structures that support students learning from them. They also talk about staff burnout and what administrators and teachers can do to boost morale as the school year ends and recharge over the summer. Finally, they talk about proactive strategies to cultivate a collaborative school community as we think about the year to come. Phyllis and Joe close out this season of Middle School Walk and Talk by invited listeners to join them in Orlando or San Diego for AMLE's Institute for Middle Level Leadership. Learn more: amle.org/leadership
Phyllis and Joe are joined by Jae Lee, a principal in Maryland. Jae shares his own experience as an English learning middle school student whose family had recently immigrant to the United States, and how that informs his approach now as an administrator to creating capacity for empathy within his school community. Jae works from the assumption that all students want to be liked and want to learn and shares practical approaches he’s found successful in meeting students where they’re at and with what they need.
Phyllis and Joe are joined by educational psychologist and best-selling author Michele Borba to talk building agency and resiliency with middle schoolers. They share a wealth of simple, easy-to-implement strategies to support students struggling socially and emotionally amid another challenging school year. Michele also offers insights on how educators can partner with parents to amplify the results for kids.
Special guest Brooklyn Raney joins Joe and Phyllis for this episode to talk about One Trusted Adult, a movement to ensure that every young person has an accessible, boundaried, and caring trusted adult. They discuss why this concept is so important in the middle grades and share resources and strategies to help educators and parents build strong connections and healthy boundaries with middle schoolers.
Omicron…finding joy at school despite disrupted learning…social media challenges…Phyllis and Joe asked students about some of the challenges schools face right now. As usual, middle school students had a lot of insightful things to say about how educators can best support them, and vise versa.
Joe and Phyllis are joined by special guest Ned Johnson as they discuss how to use our understanding of young adolescents' development to help drive intrinsic motivation, develop executive functioning skills, and promote positive behavior.
Ned Johnson is the founder of PrepMatters, a tutoring and educational advising company in Washington, DC, and the co-author with Dr. William Stixrud of What Do You Say? How To Talk With Kids To Build Motivation, Stress Tolerance, and a Happy Home, The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives, and of Conquering the SAT: How Parents Can Help Teens Overcome the Pressure and Succeed.
Delta Variant...devious licks...quarantines, mask policies, and more school closings...a school year that we thought might bring a return to normalcy has instead presented new challenges for school communities. In this episode, Joe and Phyllis set out to normalize the feelings of stress and burnout being felt by educators around the world and talk about strategies they're using to address it in their own lives.
What do students have to say about how good they're feeling about school - and overall? How can we foster a sense of belonging for all students in our schools? Phillis and Joe chat with Phillip Marcus, Director of Equity, Inclusion, and Wellness at Chappaqua Central School District. The results of their student voice survey showed some surprising trends that have informed their culture building moving forward.
As we head back to school, Phyllis and Joe are back! Joined by special guest Annie Murphy Paul, they discuss how to empower students to employ their bodies, spaces, and relationships in the service of intelligent thought and learning. Annie offers a few lessons we all can learn to take better advantage of the world outside our brains to improve the way we think and help our brains reach their full potential. Annie is the author of The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain.
In the last episode of the season, Phyllis and Joe celebrate the end of an unprecedented school year. They talk about how they're wrapping up at their respective schools, reflections on the past nine months, and plans to recharge for the coming school year.
Phyllis and Joe enjoy the nice weather as they talk about a range of topics, including:
Special guest Katie Hurley, author of No More Mean Girls, joins Phyllis and Joe as they talk about how to support students who are struggling socially during this year of constant change.
For students still learning fully virtually, and those with anxiety about returning to the classroom, how can we ease the transition back to in-person school? Phyllis and Joe walk while they talk strategies to help these students effectively return to the classroom.
Middle school students are hungry to know what's happening in the world around them. Amid the recent violence targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S., educators continue to grapple with how to talk about race with students and families. In this episode, Phyllis and Joe discuss the imperative nature of addressing these issues with students and provide strategies educators can employ to have effective conversations centered around empathy.
Jessica Lahey, best-selling author of The Gift of Failure, joins Joe and Phyllis as they talk strategies to connect with and engage middle grades students to promote their healthy development. Jessica shares insights from her newest book, The Addiction Inoculation, to help educators understand the roots of substance abuse, identify who is most at risk for addiction, and be empowered with practical steps for prevention.
Teachers are being vaccinated around the country! This exciting development hopefully points to the return of some pre-COVID normalcy. But we know that the challenges still loom large as we tackle the emotional, physical, and psychological toll the pandemic has taken on ourselves, our students, and our school communities. In this episode, Joe and Phyllis talk about their own vaccine experiences and how to support our colleagues and our own wellness as we approach the one year mark since school buildings first closed.