In this episode, they focused on my origin story, how I engage students, and my advice for educators. These are always things I am willing to share it.
That change of plans was enough to throw off my concentration for the recording, and I feel like I didn't present my best, but still, it was an immensely enjoyable experience, and I loved being able to speak to some things for which I have passion. I do wish I had communicated more clearly though.
When I was asked if the pandemic had effected the maturity and achievement of students, I mentioned that this past year was a challenge. The intention in saying so was to tell how much progress students made in the class, but in bringing it up, I don't think I made that point. Later, I did mention that they had exceeded expectations when we presented Hoggatt Cave to the third graders, but I don't feel my previous response was a complete one.
When I said that after years of promoting a possible school transformation, we finally made it happen, this year, it may have sounded as if I was taking credit for the whole thing. Again, that was not the intention at all. In actuality, the principal made it finally happen and pushed it out to the faculty. He and I talked many times about making our school a model for others to visit, and this was his last big effort in the year that both of us were leaving the school. Too, the faculty members and volunteers who made the transformation happen bought in to the event and made it a huge success. I hope they are able and willing to keep doing transformations in the future.
When I told interviewers how I built myself up to students on the first day of school, I knew it could sound like I was pridefully bragging to the class and making everything about me. I hope that's not how it came off, but I also know that it's something that works. If I want students to admire and look up to me, I know I have to give them something to look up to. Students really get to know me on that first day through lots of funny and adventurous stories, and they feel closer to me when I let them into my world. I should have mentioned that it was all intended to foster stronger relationships, but I'm afraid I never made it to that point. They certainly also figure out that I have strict expectations.
Perhaps I should have taken my own advice and slowed down. There were so many things coming to mind that I fell into the trap of scrambling to get it all out. Still, the interview went on for about an hour, and I had plenty more that I could have told. We talked about a lot in that hour, from the Oklahoma City bombing to the Joplin tornado, from this website to authoring books, and from student engagement to lion wrestling. FABIAN, JAMIE and SCOTT were welcoming and appeared to be genuine in their interest in a guy that doesn't traditionally perform well in small groups and one-on-one. Their podcast is enjoyable to listen to, and I hope to return as a guest in the future if they are willing to have me.