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.
This was not a normal school week. Educators face the immense challenge of supporting your students as they grapple with yesterday’s riots, even as we collectively continue to endure a school year filled with stress and trauma. We know this will not be easy, as you attempt to process an event with students that many of us are still trying to make sense of ourselves. Phyllis and Joe discuss the events of this past week and share their approaches for supporting students and their school communities.
Students are facing incredible uncertainty and social disruption this school year. Some may be missing friends and experiencing the fear of missing out while learning remotely. Others who were still adjusting back into in-person learning are returning to virtual setting in the midst of rising cases. Students’ sense of loneliness or lack of control can have serious deleterious effects on their social and emotional wellbeing and mental health. Joe and Phyllis talk about these challenges and strategies they’ve employed to help students and faculty identify and manage these emotions.
During a divisive election, it can be challenging to approach this and other political topics with students. Hosts Joe Mazza and Phyllis Fagell discuss strategies to help students process this event, digest information effectively, and develop media literacy skills.