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Teacher Retention

Keeping Good Teachers Teaching
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Teacher Retention

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We all learned during the pandemic just how complex the job of an educator is. Our educators are willing to put themselves on the front lines of shaping young minds, but what are new teachers really facing in classrooms today? How can veteran teachers both adapt to the post-pandemic reality AND share their gained wisdom to help newer teachers be successful?


Guests:

Michael Lewis

Veteran PE Teacher and Coach

Ashley Jaron

First Year History Teacher


Episode Transcript

Lori Woodley-Langendorff:

Welcome to the Building Trusted Spaces Educator Series. A podcast for educators brought to you by all it takes in partnership with Cal Hope Schools. Cal Hope Schools provides no cost evidence-based resources to provide healing and hope to students and school personnel across California.

Hello and welcome to the Building Trusted Spaces Educator Series. I'm your host, Lori Woodley Langendorff. On today's episode we have a tale of two teachers, one just beginning her career and the other a veteran teacher who's been in the classroom for over 14 years. We know that during the pandemic everyone saw a different side of teaching. If we were home with our kids, we saw really, truly how much work our teachers did and how many things they juggled to meet all of our kids' needs. And as educators willing to put themselves on the front lines every day of shaping our young human minds, there's also a price and there's a cost that we don't always pay attention to. And today we're gonna talk with Ashley, who is a new teacher and what her very first year in her own classroom has been like. And with Michael who's been teaching for over 14 years and how the pandemic affected him as a veteran teacher. And then also how new teachers and veteran teachers can use and work with one another to collaborate to make staying in teaching a rewarding opportunity for everyone who chooses, probably except being a parent, the most important job in the world. Before we dive in further, I'll introduce you to our two guests today, Michael Lewis and Ashley Jaren. Hi guys. It's great to see you.


Ashley Jaron:

Hi <laugh>.


Michael Lewis:

Thank you for having me.


Lori Woodley-Langendorff:

Michael Lewis began his educational career in Florida and has been working in the West Side Union School District for almost a decade, which is where we first met. So I've known you probably almost as long as you've been in the district. Michael Michael's been a youth sports coach for most of his adult life, as well as volunteering as a supervisor for the Center for Drug-Free Living Midnight Basketball Program for 16 years now. That's a mouthful, Michael. And wow, 16 years supporting our kids in a drug-free environment. That's really amazing. You've served on a board of a local YMCA for five years and has most recently been the teen director for the Santa Clarita Boys and Girls Club for the last two years. When do you sleep? That's what I wanna know. Michael's a husband, father of three, and an overall amazing human being.

Michael, thank you so much for being here with us, Ashley, I know her too for a while, which is really fun to have you here. Ashley is a first year high school teacher teaching US history and ethnic studies. Graduated from my alma mater, California University Northridge and has a BA in Anthropology and a minor in African studies. Amazing. Ashley. Ashley worked with us at all it takes for five years before moving into teaching. Welcome, Ashley. It's so great to have you back with us at all it takes and in your new role as a teacher for this important and I think really needed conversation, thank you both for being here today and let's get started. Have a first question for you, Ashley. 20 to 30% fewer people are entering education right now. Just today I was speaking with a colleague in a school district and we read that 17% of new teachers don't remain in teaching. And that is expected when new results, when new statistics come out to grow. What enticed you to be a teacher despite maybe knowing and maybe not knowing that a lot of people are not choosing education anymore?


Ashley Jaron:

I definitely knew because I'm, I think that statistic gets thrown around a lot and I was hyper aware of that statistic. I think I probably texted every single person that knows me well as I was trying to make that decision being like, is this the dumbest thing I could be doing or am I supposed to be doing this? Like, I don't know. And to be honest, the pandemic kind of pushed me into it a little bit. I think I would've always ended up here, but I didn't always think it was gonna be this early on in my like adult life. I had planned to like go off and do my master's degree. I was gonna work in like a different fields and then I graduated college in May of 2020, which was not an ideal <laugh> time to be graduating and going into the workforce when the workforce I was going into was like museums and they all closed.

So I was just kind of sitting around going, okay, well we have to flip the script a little bit. Maybe I do teaching first and then at least I'll have a salary happening and benefits when I'm getting my master's so I might not have to live at home until I'm 40. And so <laugh>, I, I kind of played around with two. I was either gonna go back and get the social work masters or I was gonna become a teacher. Like those were the, the options I kind of had narrowed it down to. And I don't know, I think I just always in the back of my head knew it was gonna be teaching from like when I was little, everyone around me always said I had to be a teacher. Every teacher I've had has told me I should be a teacher. So it, I think it in a way kind of picked me. I know it, which is the cheesiest thing in the world, but I think it just happened. I don't know when I actually made the decision, but I applied to the credential program and I got in and it was just happening <laugh>, it was all online cuz it was Covid. And here we are <laugh>, so


Lori Woodley-Langendorff:

And now it's not.


Ashley Jaron:

Had some really lovely, yeah, I had really lovely teachers that I wanted to be like that were cool and I just thought I was not a good student and the teachers I had that were solid also weren't good students. And they told us about it and they were very frank about it. I had a teacher my senior year of high school who was like, I graduated high school with a 1.9 and now I have a master's degree and I'm your teacher. And I was like, I have a 1.8. I have, I have one up due dude, I I'm barely graduating high school <laugh>. And so I, I don't know, I just, I tell the kids that I failed the class I teach, I failed u US history in high school. Now I teach US history and they're usually really shocked by that, but I think it also helps that I'm like, I'm straight up not judging you because I did the exact same thing. I didn't do my homework, I didn't do this or that. I, you know, whatever it is. And so I think that helps connect with the kids and they kind of see like a human side. And so, I don't know, I just wanted to be that person for them.


Lori Woodley-Langendorff:

Lucky students to have a, you know, an honest and vulnerable and passionate and committed teacher. And, and Michael, you, you've spent 20 years prior to education in corporate America. So what inspired you to be a teacher? And does anything about what Ashley says resonate with you?


Michael Lewis:

Well, it certainly does and having a really strong educator was a big part of my upcoming my second grade teacher Dr. Mary mc started one of the first African-American college in the state of Florida at university. And it just that her great great was my second grade teacher. So early on she instilled in us just the importance of being a good student and just the importance of having education for you, although absolute can. So much so that when I graduated from high school I took a little different approach. I you don't mind me saying, I was actually voted most likely to succeed out of my class.


Ashley Jaron:

Oh I was not, so you're good!


Michael Lewis:

I took that on in regards to having that title, that meant I needed to be economically sound for the rest of life. That's what most likely to succeed meant to me. So my college career started night class, bunch of GE engineers who were in their mid 50s and I'm this 18 year old kid. And on Wednesday nights for 3 hours in a lab and I started thinking I dont know if this education thing is really gonna for me. But at the same time I knew that indeed I wanted be something that relates to the business. In fact, my major was business administration. So I spent the next 20 years working for different companies, mainly with a focus on sales and marketing and really enjoyed what I was doing. What was happening at the same time when I was having a, you know, fairly decent level of success was the younger portion, the younger people in my family, my youngest son in fact, my wife and I were both prospering in our careers. And he was becoming a latchkey kid. So we had a very, very heartfelt conversation. One evening we decided, you know what, there needs to be a change in order for us as a family to maintain the type of quality life like he needed to have needed to do something different. So I somewhat reluctantly volunteered and I said, well, it's truly gonna work. I need to be on the same schedule that he's on. So he's in school, I need to be in school. So that's kinda how I, we made again, we, the decision pursue education.


I remember sitting down with one of those career gurus to say, you know, what are your strengths and talents are and what have you? And he says, what, what inspires you? And I remember, just like it was yesterday, I said, what inspires me is seeing a child go from here to here. He said, what does that mean? I said, I really can't put words, I just like to see children progress and me be a part of that progression and whatever that entails, I I can buy into it. And so I started out subbing and immediately, immediately fell in love and I went back home and said, you know, this is something that I up every morning with without an alarm clock. Cause I feel that strongly about it. Now look back you years later. And I still feel that way. It's just, it's education and they feel drained. Rejuvenated opportunity, I've bad day, doesn't matter. The next day is a brand new day and a brand new start. So I'm very fortunate to be a part of the education process.


Lori Woodley-Langendorff:

Wow. It, it's so, I, I'm so moved and also inspired to share a story about me in my education journey because the contrast of U2 is so significant, right? So we have a veteran teacher 14, 15 years who was voted most likely to succeed went, you know, kind of like, I know I'm gonna be professional from the beginning, like I'm just gonna go professional thought you would be more corporate professional and you were for a long time and made a different change. So how you got into education was different. Ashley, how you got in was not the way you graduated high school, right? Like so you graduated, wait, you graduated high school thinking, I don't know exactly what you're thinking but maybe sure where you were gonna go. I was there but I wasn't in your brain. Right. I knew where your heart was. I really feel like I could say that. But I didn't know where your brain was right. And what was going on for you and what you were thinking about your future. Or if I do know, I won't share that publicly <laugh>. So


Ashley Jaron:

I don't think I knew so it's okay. <Laugh>,


Lori Woodley-Langendorff:

Right? Well that's what I'm thinking. Like you didn't know, right? And, and, and so the two of you I was, I felt like right smack in the middle. So the contrast of the three of us is interesting because I was the student who hung out with all of those students. Probably might like you Michael, most likely to succeed all in the honors classes, all the straight A kids. And I was the kid who got good grades, but really good grades, but really not in the honors classes, not in the ivy classes, not in the, you know, AP classes.

But I was getting good grades. But also I wasn't, I was that student who really wasn't enough to be paid attention to by a counselor who's like, what's next? Because I sort of fell, I wasn't the one who was like the shiny star and I wasn't the one who needed all the support. And so to land in education myself, for me and my journey was thinking about how every kid, all kids including me, cuz it took me a long time to really realize that gap that nobody really said, Hey, I believe in you and when you're kind of right. So the contrast of the three of us is interesting to me. And I appreciate the sharing of stories because our stories are like all the kids we serve, everyone's different. We have our own background, we have our own pain points, we have our own unique talents, we have our own personal opportunity in front of us and our own potential.

And yet all of us find our potential differently. And we all have a story behind it. So I think one of the things that brings us together here is the knowledge that we've chosen education, we've chosen to make a difference for kids for our own reasons. And we're in a situation now post pandemic where educators are leaving the industry, they're not going into the industry. And then some of us are veterans who are still excited about the industry. It would be great to explore that a little bit. And Michael, has education changed over your 15 years, 16 years? Like what are unexpected crossroads that have happened outside of the pandemic?


Michael Lewis:

Well, I would say the way that, and again somewhat obvious, the way that education has changed to very large degree is technology. When I was in school, a word processor was something that would allow us to do papers really quickly. Now you have AI, artificial intelligence, write paper for you. So factional industry as part of education that everyone thrives to be a part of at some point, I think with technology, students for one have found out that fact that they're seeing individuals based on social media and the world we live in education is not necessary a part of the order to achieve particular professions. So now they look at, well is school a benefit or is it a hindrance for what I wanna do? For instance, let's say like a YouTuber. And they look at those industries and they say, well maybe education isn't the biggest thing for me. Whereas before the generation that I came up and I was a part of, whereas that was, that technology was not in existence at the time. The things that were popularity in regards to being a professional were more traditional roles that particular standpoint for what they did years ago, simply based on the opportunities that exist as a result or not result of being an being a person who's been educated.


Ashley Jaron:

See, that's interesting cuz I have a similar like thing but less with the technology. But my kids similarly like, don't think they need like further education but for a very different reason. Whereas I'm at a title one school, the area I work in is, it's just there's a lot of struggles happening for my students and a lot of them, college is not on the brain in any way and not in a way that they don't think they're smart enough, but in a, well no, I'm gonna go work for my dad or I'm gonna go do this or I I need to make money as soon as I get outta school. Like as soon as I'm not legally obligated to sit in this chair in Miss Jarron's classroom, I need to go be making money. And so it's been a struggle to try to convince them why trade school or college or something else is a better option. Like, you know, prolonging that just a little bit because it isn't a better option for some of my kids because some of them straight up need to survive and it, so the better option is the Burger King across the street because that's gonna pay them, you know, however much money, minimum wages now. And so we're seeing, you know, it's interesting cause we're seeing this, we're both trying to convince them education matters, but for very different reasons.


Lori Woodley-Langendorff:

And Ashley, what, what kinda challenges does that pose for you as a new teacher? Like what, maybe even in your idealism of what you were going to be able to do to serve kids, what has that been like for you?


Ashley Jaron:

It's been a challenge. I, I'm a very understanding person, especially given the fact that I was not the best student in the world. But I still am struggling a lot with just the like, apathetic attitudes that are happening. And I think we can blame the pandemic or we can blame this or we can blame that. But for some, I don't know what the reason is. I wasn't in the school system before Covid, so I just know that I'm seeing like kids truly just not doing it, doing anything. And I, I don't assign homework, it's all classwork. So it's just the 80 minutes I have them every day and it's simply a refusal to do the work. Whether it's a fun game I plan or it's a worksheet or it's an essay or what, it doesn't matter <laugh> like what it is. And it's like, well there's TikTok instead.


And TikTok is arguably way more interesting than whatever I'm having them do. And so I've been trying to find creative ways to engage them and occasionally I'm successful, but I'd say it's much more frequent that I'm not I typically, if I'm like teaching, like actively teaching, it's more like I'm talking to the wall and they're, they <laugh> there's children in the room, <laugh> for sure, but I don't, it's hard to tell how many people are getting it. And so that can be very challenging and a bit of a bruise to your ego. I don't know. I've talked to other teachers, it seems like a lot of us at my school are feeling this way. Veteran teachers and new teachers. So that does make me feel a little better. Like I know it's not a personal thing. That's a big all it takes thing, don't take it personally, but <laugh>.

But it's hard not to take it personally when you're, you know, giving your best show up there and it doesn't matter. But I don't know, I I'm still trying to figure out the balance I guess, of how much do I care, like how much, how often do I tell them to put their phones away because this, the answer is no. The answer is just no, I will not put my phone away. It's not, oh, I'm so sorry. It's just straight up eye contact and no <laugh>. And I go, oh, the first time it happened, I went, I did not, no, that was an option, but okay bye <laugh>, I'll move on to the next kid. So I dunno, it's just, it's it's been a journey to figure it out.


Lori Woodley-Langendorff:

Yeah. And so how, how do you actually, Michael, do you have a response to Ashley? Like when you, in your professional years as an educator, deal with apathetic children or a disinterest? Like do you have anything that either relates to what Ashley's saying or you have a, a tip or you know, a virtual hug for her.


Michael Lewis:

<Laugh>? Absolutely. I definitely have a virtual heart, actually. I'll tell you that again. Dealing with student in high school, obviously that's was reminiscent somewhat my life. If you'll, when I was growing up there was influences and I think I really can't experiences without perspective, I'm gonna prove you wrong. Cause it was a typical expectation as an African-American male that I was not gonna see educationally and not so motivation. Sports, sports and athletics. I didn't want that label of being a dumb. So that's why it was really a, a calling for me just to make sure that I achieved at very, very highest level. Now having that also mentioned to read, sit down, speak with a counselor, help them for them to give direction, what have you. I went the entire 12 years of, you know, grade school and what have never like a spoke with counselors.


And part of that was simply I did not what questions to ask and you would think that, that would've probably drove them to come and ask me a few questions but that never happened. And because I was the first person in my family to graduate from college, i didn't know who to go to to ask questions about my future.

But I will say is the fact that having a situation where there were people that were mentors in my life and obviously role that you play as an educator. And having those little small conversations and motivations always went a lot further than any lesson that was ever taught to me. Those little conversations about I believe in you, I would love to see you do this - and those were always great drivers for me evermore so than having to write an essay or a theme paper or anything like that, just having those small talks to let me know you see me, because if you see me then I'm not gonna let you down you believe in me. And so that's what I would encourage you to, as much as you can and I know this is a role that is so so demanding. But as much as you can to have an opportnity to have those little conversations in the absence of the large conversations. I think you'll find that you'll be able to reach a lot more people than you probably thought you could initially. Cause again, sometimes it's just those little directives to let you know, I see you, it can make a huge difference.


Ashley Jaron:

Yeah, I definitely make an effort. I think especially my like background working for Lori and all it takes makes me... I don't know, it gives me a little bit of an advantage on an average like new teacher. Cuz I've had, you know, yes. All these years of SEL training. Whereas most people are getting like one PD after school every semester or something. And I'll sit and I'm sitting in those PDs like this is very beginner. I can, you know, what are they doing <laugh>? Like


Lori Woodley-Langendorff:

You could teach it. You could teach it.


Ashley Jaron:

I literally could <laugh> I did, right? But and so that is an area that I've always felt very confident in. It's definitely, and like I went into the school that I'm at knowing that it was gonna take some time to gain trust being you know, being a white person walking into a school that's 92% Hispanic, 80% English language learners. I don't speak Spanish. Which I was very transparent about when I interviewed and they hired me anyways cuz there's a teacher shortage. And I knew that I was gonna have to like, try really hard to like gain the trust and I feel like I've gained their trust. I just think there's a lot. One I'm competing with the internet, which is just, it's, that's hard. You know, TikTok, I think TikTok is more interesting than whatever we're gonna be doing. <Laugh>, it's a lovely app. It's terrifying but it's wonderful. And we, we don't have a whole lot of consistency on discipline and general like policies both at my school and in the district that I'm in, it seems like. And so like there is no phone policy for the school. So I don't have anywhere I'm going with when I say, well we'll put, if you don't put your phone away, it doesn't matter cuz they know it doesn't matter.


And like I, for example, on the discipline, I had a fight breakout in my classroom two days ago. Two students got hurt that weren't in the fight. Two teachers got hurt, a campus aid got hurt and then of course the two boys in the fight got hurt. And I still don't know what the actual penalty will be for either one of them. I don't know if they're gonna be allowed back in my classroom. I don't know. And that one of the students in question has been in multiple fights on campus involving students and teachers and hasn't been escorted away. And so there is just a lot of like uncertainty around discipline and the kids kind of know that I don't have a leg to stand on when it comes to enforcing any rules. And so I'm a very laid back and very chill and have those, you know, those really important personal conversations with them and building those relationships.


So when I get stern I do think it travels a little bit lot further because I'm not stern often. But, but still, despite that I do, there's a lot of behavior issues and and I think we can definitely look at Covid as part of that. But I also think this pullback from consequences, natural consequences has been, is doing a disservice to the kids because those natural consequences exist in real life outside of the high school. And so it's like instead of learning these lessons now and like the safe space, we're gonna learn them out in the real world where there's like police officers walking around and that's just such a worse way to learn these lessons, <laugh>. So I don't know, it's been sad to watch but I, I care so much about these kids and so that makes it worse cuz then I, it bums me out even harder. But I keep coming back. So


Michael Lewis:

And that's the important piece, you hit the nail on the head. You say you keep coming back cause you're always gonna have extremes in any field where there're gonna be extreme situations fighting and things like that. And the one thing I can tell you haven't been a, an educator for quite some time's residual, those things will start coming back to the point where they come back so often the extremes won't stand out so much. Right now being new, the extremes seem like they're taking up such a large part of what you're trying to accomplish. But as you go through this journey, once you start getting those residual levels of students who've really done some positive things in those extreme cases will seem so much less impactful.


Ashley Jaron:

I agree. I think that will help when I've been in it for a few years and I can have them come back and go, I graduated or I look, I'm taking my first college class or like, whatever it is. I think that will be really cool to see. And I'm seeing it with my, the kids I student taught for, cuz they're graduating this year. I student taught junior, so they're seniors now and this, so, you know, I'm not their teacher anymore. So some of them added me on Instagram and they're like, are you coming to our graduation? And and that's really exciting and fun to see. So I do, I can see that that's definitely something in the future that will be fun to see. But yeah, we're in the thick of it at moment.


Lori Woodley-Langendorff:

Yeah. And, and something Michael said earlier is like, I come to school every day and I'm glad to be coming to school and, and even when there's the hard day, so Ashley, the fact that you get up and go back to school and that you keep believing in these kids is so powerful for them. I, I would venture to say that in the population that you're serving, they don't always have that. No. And so it's taxing for you, but for them, the little seed that you are, the fact that you know their name when you pass them in the hallway, the fact that maybe, you know, a, a child from first semester you pass by and you remember some concept of, or some story about their life and you ask them about it. Hey, how's your dad? How's that soccer, you know, team that you were doing so well ongoing?

Did you, you know, the little pieces that your relational skills can build for these kids because you're brand new as you were sharing, you have a few coming back to you, but that's the reward, right? And the little, the seed that you are planting is you're not just planting it, you're watering it every day that you come back to school, you're watering that seed. And it took me a long time in education cuz I've been in education for 30 years. Counseling. I did very, I didn't do a lot of teaching but in the counseling office and I used to wanna see the results. It took me a long time to really embrace that. The win is when they become an adult. The win is when they walk away from something later and they think back to what it was that you said or they stepped into a schooling situation or they stepped into something differently than they would've if they didn't have you. Michael, and you, Ashley say, I believe in you.

If you'd like to have any, you know, last comments around teacher retention, keeping good teachers, great teachers like you teaching, what are your life's final comments?


Ashley Jaron:

I think that even though I think I said a lot of things that make it seem like this is not the best job in the world, I'm very grateful to have this job. I think Lori, last time you and I spoke, I told you that I, it hits me once a week that this is my job and I get really excited. I'll just be sitting in my classroom or on my way to work or whatever it is. But something will occur to me and I'll just go, whoa, I'm a teacher. That's the coolest job in the world. Cause when I was a kid, I thought that was the coolest job in the world. And so I'm really, really grateful to have this job. I worked really hard to get this job and I think as much as I love it, that love for it might not always be enough.


And to keep teachers in it, the respect from our districts is really, really important. And making a livable wage and getting the support that we need in the classroom and having class sizes that aren't over 40 kids to one teacher and making the job that I really truly believe is the best job in the world and one of the most important jobs in the world. Making it sustainable so that people can do it for 30, 40 years like they used to. Because there's teachers in my school that are reaching year 40 and when I sit here and think about, you know, I get to retire at 62, that's 35 years from now. I was just doing the math on it this morning <laugh>. And that number seems impossible just because of how tired you feel and all this stuff. And it has nothing to do with how much I love the job.


I love it. I love the kids. I love talking about history all day. I love doing the drama program that I do after school with the kids. Like all of it is so much fun, but at the end of the day, I do need to feed myself and pay rent and, you know, and be able to be awake for my job. And so I think that mutual respect between teachers and their support staff and then the district that's employing them is really important. And getting, you know, what we deserve for the, you know, crazy amount of work that this job is so that we can stay and stay happy and stay healthy and take care of ourselves and our families if we have families. And, you know, just making it so that it is possible to stay in this profession until retirement would be incredible.


Michael Lewis:

Absolutely. Ashley, I love your passion. I I would definitely would say right off the bat surround yourself with other individuals or as, as passionate about your education as you are. Because when the times are really rough, those will be the drivers that's gonna help keep you going. And also those individuals are ones you want to collaborate with because of the fact that as educators, we're all given this gift of creativity. And sometimes just having an opportunity just to find out a different way that things are being done is all you need in order to strike or initiate that next fire that's gonna feed you into something else. But one thing that you do have that I absolutely love is the fact that you love the fact that you come back every day and try to make a difference. And that's what educators do.

It's it's, it's like a calling. That's what, that's what we do. And looking for ways to constantly fuel that drive is also gonna challenge. It's, it'll be a challenge for all of us, but it's a challenge that's so worth it, whether it's just taking a mental health day, whether it's going for a drive, whatever you need that's gonna rekindle that fire each and every day, go through the processes trying to find out what that is. But I tell you, at the end of the day, it's all worth it cause of rewards. And I, and I, and I understand the, it's not the most lucrative career. I don't think any educators get into this job thinking we're gonna retire and be wealthy and what have you. But the wealth that we get, it's just simply seeing those individuals turn into young positive people and impact society in a very positive way. And when you get a chance to see that over a period of time for a long time it's, it's honestly, it's just nothing better than that for me.


Lori Woodley-Langendorff:

Well that's why we do it. That's, you know, that's why we come to work every day. And Ashley, to your point I think that educators in general are such givers that we can deplete ourselves to a point that we're not healthy. And so a ecosystem, an education ecosystem that means every part of it, right? It is our cafeteria workers, it is our district office people, it is our county office people, it's our classroom people, it's our you know, one-to-one aides and our pla playground aids. And together the ecosystem must thrive and we are being challenged right now to make sure our children thrive socially, emotionally, mentally, and academically. And I think I can step into that powerful conversation and agreement, Ashley, that says we need to be looking at our educators and providing an environment and an atmosphere for them to do the same as they're asking us to do for the students.


So thank you for voicing that, Ashley. It's a powerful naming and Michael, your passion, your commitment to keep coming back every day you teach kindergartners to eighth graders and that is no small feet. And it's also like what do you do with a kindergartner who needs to blow their nose all day and hug on your leg? And what do you do with an eighth grader wants to turn their back and walk away from you like, you know, you are managing the big juggle. So thank you for that and thank you both for being the positive influence and Nate and the game changer for the kids that you serve.

We could go on and on and on about this and how your teacher support staff really need to be involved in all of your winning. And that's a different topic for another time and I hope we get to come back and


Ashley Jaron:

It's a big topic for my district right now, <laugh>.


Lori Woodley-Langendorff:

Yeah. Because a lot of times our kids are being represented by people who are asking them to not fight, but then the staff ne isn't necessarily coming together as a collaborative force to model what it looks like to have differences and be a collaborative force. And so there's many pieces in education right now to tackle and both of your stories. And I think the biggest thing, your inspiring passion to keep on keeping on staying and teaching, relying on each other and believing in these kids is what's gonna serve our kids the most. And at the same time, Ashley, I care about your safety. Michael cares about your safety. We care about his safety, right? Like as educators, we would need to be taking care of ourselves also. So I know our audience has lots of questions and probably many of them going. Me too. Me too. Especially with your stories, Ashley. You know, our veteran teachers, Michael, you know, they're like, yeah, this is what it's been like, this why I come back. But our new teachers, Ashley, thank you for being a voice for them, for saying out loud the things that our newer teachers are maybe nervous to say out loud. Yeah. and then also saying it out loud and saying, I'm going back on Monday. Oh and thank goodness it's Friday.


Ashley Jaron:

Although sidebar, we are not going back on Tuesday cuz we are going on strike. But but I'll be back Monday, Tuesday through Thursday. I'll not be there. We'll be outside with our little signs, but we'll be back Friday <laugh>.


Lori Woodley-Langendorff:

Okay. Well our listeners thank you for being with us and we know that you have questions and comments and, and probably some really great support mentoring for Ashley. And you know, some Yeah, I'm with you Michael, that you know, I wanna support new teachers too. And the offering to support one another is so powerful. So on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook, please join us in the conversation, put out your questions, let us know what you're thinking what you need more of what your hope is both for educators and for the students they serve. What's your hope? Where do we wanna be and let's go get there together. I wanna say thank you to Cal Hope Schools initiative for making this podcast possible. Thank you to Ashley and Michael for giving up your evening and, and actually maybe not giving it up for choosing our audience, choosing the ultimate client who we're all serving our kids to have a, a brilliant possible expansive future. Thank you for being with us and I look forward to seeing you again.


Thank you for joining us today. You can find more resources for educators, including free classroom curriculum and support, as well as more about our sponsor, Cal Hope Schools at our website. Allittakes.Org. Remember to follow Building Trusted Spaces on your favorite podcast app and share this episode with a fellow educator. Thank you for being an educator.


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