Hopkins County's Pride Avenue 4th Grade Teacher Steven Bauer has initiated a series of podcasts devoted to the teaching profession with a focus on topics that he wished had been covered in class before experiencing them firsthand while teaching. He speaks with Kate Lochte on Sounds Good about these topics, including how to build relationships with parents, cultural differences when interacting with students and who a first-year teacher should make friends with right away.
Steven Bauer says he learned a lot about pedagogy while in college, but there were many things he'd encountered that in retrospect he didn't learn about. The idea for "The Edvice Podcast" began after he'd received a letter from a parent of a student he felt he really advocated for. The parent wrote a nasty letter about not bringing their homework home, he says. The letter had a rude tone and questioned his teaching practices. His first reaction was to call that person right away and tell them why they were wrong, but after he calmed down he wished he'd learned how to solve that scenario in college.
With the support of his school, Bauer sent out a survey to teachers, which returned feedback ranging from building relationships to how to handle gossip in the teachers lounge to recognizing the cultural divide between white teachers and black students. He uses this feedback as a framework for his podcast topics.
In one episode, he says it makes sense to call each parent monthly with positive news about the student to foster a relationship with the parent so having that open line of communication can go a long way in getting their support should there be a problem in the future. So many parents are used to answering the phone to bad news or ignore the phone call all-together. "If you can build on a foundation of positive experiences, relationships, then that just goes so far," he says.
Bauer recommends first-year teachers get to know the janitorial staff, cafeteria workers and school secretaries right away because when you really need something in the classroom they can really make things easier.
Other topics include conversations about what it means to be a leader, how to be a great principal and understanding cultural divides. Episodes in the works include issues outside of the classroom that teachers need to be aware of and creativity in the classroom. He encourages new teachers, college students and aspiring teachers to submit topic ideas through the podcast website.