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4 Podcasts Episodes Every Middle School Teacher Needs to Hear

Working with middle school kids, you face challenges that other teachers just don't. And we all know that in-service days and staff meetings can only help you so much. But leading figures in education can provide valuable insight into effective learning. So here are four podcasts episodes to help you navigate middle school education. 

1. Leading Equity: Episode #222

"What Students Are Saying About Teacher Bias" With Darlene Reyes

"I think it's about unlearning that it's not just about us and it's not just about how it affects us, but also how it affects the people around us and the community as a whole… That will allow students to feel more seen and valued in the spaces that they are a part of and the spaces that they take up.” - Darlene Reyes

This episode of the “Leading Equity” podcast, hosted by Sheldon L. Eakins, Ph.D., focuses on teachers’ and administrators’ implicit bias in classrooms and schools. Dr. Eakins talks with Darlene Reyes about the different ways students notice bias from their teachers and how educators can shift their thinking to create more impartial school environments.

2. Leading Equity: Episode #172

"How to Remove Labels Placed on Students" with Dr. Dominique Smith

"If we have teachers that are starting to understand that they place labels on students we're in a win right there because they're ready to take that ownership.” - Dominique Smith

In another episode of the Leading Equity podcast, Sheldon L. Eakins, Ph.D., interviews Dominique Smith, co-author of Better Than Carrots or Sticks: Restorative Practices for Positive Classroom Management and Building Equity: Policies and Practices to Empower All Learners.

Together, they tackle the labels educators place on students and why we need to remove them. They dive into topics such as owning our personal preconceptions about students and being aware of labels placed on students by other teachers and administrators.

3. House of #EdTech: Episode #187

"How to Increase Student Engagement" With Chris Nesi

"Student engagement can take on a different meaning or focus depending on the context of your goals. For some, the goal may be to understand early on what fundamentally motivates students, whether intrinsically or extrinsically, to acquire new knowledge and skills. For others, the focus may be relative to a specific lesson or activity during which capturing and retaining student attention 'in the moment' is the most immediate concern.” - Chris Nesi

In this episode of the House of #EdTech podcast, host Chris Nesi explores ways to increase student engagement in the classroom as we pull away from Covid-19 protocols. This is a great pick if your school recently transitioned back to full-time in-person learning and you want to help your kids through the transition. 

And as a bonus, this episode’s “#EdTech Recommendation” shares 50 SEL prompts for middle and high school.

4. School Psyched Podcast: Episode #125

"The Power of Pronouns (and Names) on Identity, Acceptance, and Inclusion" With Dr. Rachel, Ph.D. and Dr. Eric, Ph.D.

“Teminology changes, but we can never go wrong with just asking and responding to how a person wishes to be addressed.” - Anna (she/her)

In this special video episode of the live School Psyched Podcast, Dr. Rachel and Dr. Eric, both school psychologists, receive a presentation from Anna.

Anna is a school psychologist in upstate New York who discusses the importance of creating an inclusive and accepting school environment for students of all genders.  

Honorable Mentions

Which episode will you listen to first?


Written by Taynne Wallace
Education World Contributor
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