NAIS New View EDU Podcast

NAIS New View EDU PodcastIn recent years, school leaders have faced a constant need to innovate and respond to rapidly changing conditions in their communities, our nation, and our world. Now we're all seeking ways to bring healing and strength to our school communities as we move forward. But what else can we learn from these challenging times, and what inspiration can we draw for the future of schools?  

The NAIS New View EDU podcast supports school leaders in finding those new possibilities and understanding that evolving challenges require compassionate and dynamic solutions.

In the first four seasons of New View EDU, we discovered that student agency is critical to creating thriving school communities. In Season 5, we'll explore how two more essential ingredients—creativity and innovation—support agency-rich environments and make independent schools schools places where students and educators want to be. NAIS Chief Innovation Officer Tim Fish will be joined by innovative leaders and thinkers to tackle arts-based education, achievement pressures, blended learning, the concept of "creative hustle," and more as we continue to ponder the question: What is the purpose of school in our rapidly changing world?
Find New View EDU on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and many other podcast apps.

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Season 5 Episodes: Fall 2023

Episode 50: Learning from Sabbatical Journeys

Briel SchmitzIf you had the opportunity to step away from your day-to-day life for six weeks, what would you do with that time? Where would you go? And what lessons would you bring back with you, when the time came to return to your daily routine? In the Season 5 finale, school leader Briel Schmitz reflects on her sabbatical journey along the Camino de Santiago in Europe, and how taking that time away from work has influenced her whole school community.

Briel talks with host Tim Fish about the unique experience they share: Each of them embarked upon a sabbatical to walk the 500-mile Camino de Santiago in the fall of 2023. Although they didn’t take the journey together, they definitely walked the same path, as Tim says. Both returned with new thoughts on lifelong learning, productive struggle, and leadership that will inform their outlook on education going forward. Understanding what it’s like to take the risks we ask of students each day, growing and learning along the path, and enduring discomfort to eventually achieve the desired result all resonated with both Briel and Tim during their Camino journeys. They also share reflections on the lessons of simplicity and community gained on the 500-mile walk, and how those ideas can both inform and transform the way we plan for the future of our schools.

Episode 49: The View From the Classroom

Stacey Roshan and Howard LevinIn an age of educator burnout and high turnover rates, what keeps veteran teachers motivated to stay in the classroom? This episode explores how rapidly changing technologies have provided a constant source of inspiration and innovation for two educators. Howard Levin and Stacey Roshan have transformed their practice through exploring the opportunities technology provides to teachers and learners.

Howard and Stacey join host Tim Fish to talk about how, after beginning as classroom teachers in the fields of social studies and mathematics, each found a new path forward in educational technology. Levin is the director of technology at San Francisco University High School (CA). Roshan is an educator, speaker, edtech consultant, and author of Tech with Heart: Leveraging Technology to Empower Student Voice, Ease Anxiety, & Create Compassionate Classrooms.

Both Howard and Stacey emphasize that their embrace of technology has come through the realization that the entire dynamic of teaching and learning is changing rapidly. And despite their continued enthusiasm for the opportunities technology presents to educators, both Howard and Stacey speak to the challenges that are holding schools back from fully embracing what tech has to offer.

Episode 48: What We Can Learn From Anxiety

Tracy Dennis-TiwaryWe’re accustomed to thinking of anxiety as something undesirable. But what if anxiety could actually be an effective tool, teaching us how to take appropriate risks, manage setbacks, and build resilience? That’s the premise of Tracy Dennis-Tiwary’s book Future Tense: Why Anxiety is Good for You Even Though it Feels Bad.

Tracy joins host Tim Fish to discuss her research on the benefits of anxiety and the lessons it can teach us. Tracy begins by clarifying that anxiety as a feeling is separate from anxiety disorders, which are health issues and should be treated seriously. But, she cautions, in our desire to exercise caution around diagnosable mental health issues, we often go too far in trying to help students avoid any feeling of anxiety.

Reframing non-clinical anxiety as an emotion that helps us to forecast the future, Tracy explains that the uncertainty that underlies anxiety can be a powerful tool. It pushes us to envision potential scenarios, plan for different outcomes, and stay mentally and physically alert going into important events. In short, anxiety reminds us of what we care about, where we want our effort to go, and what we need to do to work toward the best possible outcomes.

Episode 47: Designing Schools for Future-Ready Minds

Shimi KangIn an unpredictable and fast-changing world, does designing school for future-ready minds mean embracing every technological innovation and new idea that comes our way? Or are there lessons from the past that may still be relevant? Doctor, researcher, and author Shimi Kang has the neuroscientific evidence to help educators decide.

Kang returns to New View EDU to talk with host Tim Fish about her latest areas of focus, and how understanding the wisdom contained in our bodies can help us navigate technology in the classroom. To begin with, Shimi points out that while we may believe we have one brain, our neurocognitive processes occur throughout our bodies. She introduces the concept of educating for three brains: the gut, heart, and head.

Understanding the needs of each of these unique “brains” can lead to powerful changes in the way we design schools for learning and social-emotional well-being. But, Shimi says, those changes don’t necessarily have to follow the path of the latest and greatest innovations. While she encourages educators to use technology in robust and exciting ways to advance student learning, she discourages schools from allowing technology use outside of dedicated learning time. Instead, she argues, we should be returning to practices that allow us to tune into the human experience without digital enhancements.

Episode 46: Educating for a Globally Networked Society

Michael NachbarWe have more opportunities to learn and grow as part of a global network than ever before. But in a sea of technological solutions, what stands out most as the core of building those networks? Humanity. That’s what our guest leans into every day with his work as executive director of Global Online Academy.

Michael Nachbar joins host Tim Fish for an episode about creating teams, networks, and learning environments that leverage human connections in a tech-enhanced world. Beginning with his origins in Teach for America, Michael tells the story of finding a passion and then teaming up with other passionate people whose purpose is to help others shine.

Building on the idea that the key to creating a successful team is hiring for “good people,” Michael shares his thoughts on trends in education and how returning to humanity as a core concept can strengthen educators’ work. He talks about the push for “more” in education, and how building strong networks that honor the collective can help reduce stress and strengthen student connections. Michael also digs into the topic of teacher hiring and training, envisioning practices that transform the idea of competency-based learning for students into competency-based training for teachers. Hiring the “good people” you want on your team, then helping them grow in the skills and competencies that define education in your school environment, is one possible avenue toward attracting and retaining passionate, dedicated educators.

Episode 45: Designing Schools for Blended Learning

Catlin R. TuckerWhen you think of the term “blended learning,” do you think of a hybrid or remote learning plan, perhaps in a format that became familiar during the COVID-19 pandemic? That’s the impression many educators and school leaders have of blended learning, but as our guest’s work demonstrates, blended learning is so much more than just splitting education into “onscreen” and “in person.” It may, in fact, be the solution we need to prepare our classrooms for the future.

Catlin R. Tucker joins host Tim Fish for a deep discussion of what blended learning truly is (and is not), what opportunities it provides to shift the balance of responsibility in our schools, and how to enact it in a thoughtful, nuanced, and even joyful way. From the beginning of the conversation, Catlin defines blended learning as “active, engaged learning online, combined with active, engaged learning offline, with the goal of giving students more control over the time, the place, the pace, and the path of their learning.” Within that definition, she says, there are many possible paths but all of them must involve student agency. Catlin argues that blended learning can actually improve the workload for teachers and make teaching a more enjoyable and sustainable profession.

Episode 44: Bringing Creative Hustle into Schools

Sam Seidel and Olatunde Sobomehin“Hustle culture” has become synonymous with trying to cram more into a day, emphasizing productivity over humanity and valuing achievement over well-being. But what if there were a kind of hustle that upended all of those values, and instead, focused on becoming the most centered and fulfilled version of yourself? A kind of hustle that prioritizes inner work, understanding who you are as a person and a community member, and asks how you can bring your greatest gifts to the world? That, according to this episode’s guests, is creative hustle.

Co-authors sam seidel and Olatunde Sobomehin join Tim Fish for a discussion of their book Creative Hustle: Blaze Your Own Path and Make Work That Matters. From the outset, sam and Olatunde are clear that this is not a how-to or self-help book in the traditional sense. Instead, they say, they’re delving into how everyone, at any age, can be intentional about “crafting a life that is guided by purpose.” That work is a journey of self-discovery and continual re-evaluation, and it requires examining—and perhaps breaking free from—the paths that society has already drawn for us.

Episode 43: Building School 2.0

Chris LehmannChris Lehmann worked in a school that matched his vision of education by about 75%—and that other 25%, he says, was what gave him “license to dream.” What would you dream of if you had the opportunity to design a school from scratch? In this episode, the founder of Educon, the Science Leadership Academy, and Inquiry Schools talks with host Tim Fish about his quest to create a fully inquiry-driven, human-centered learning model where citizenship and science shape the direction of the school. 

Describing economic independence as “important, but not the whole thing,” Chris shares his view that education should create a populace of informed and engaged citizens rather than aiming solely for financial success. Who you are as a worker, consumer, and member of society, he argues, is directly related to the kind of economic contributor you’ll become—and he seeks for his students to become thoughtful, wise, passionate, and kind. Those habits of character, Chris says, are what lead to adults who will contribute positively to their communities and to the world, regardless of their career paths.

Episode 42: Seven Lessons for School Leadership

Jason PateraHuman relationships first. Academic study and arts training are co-curricular. Environment matters. Relentlessly make space for the things that matter most. Compliance is not the same thing as magic. Process matters and so does product. These are just a few of the ideas Jason Patera brings daily to his work as the head of The Chicago Academy for the Arts.

In this episode, Jason joins host Tim Fish to talk about his journey from an aimless 16-year-old to the influential head of one of the nation’s most prestigious arts-based high schools. Sharing the story of how a chance encounter at The Chicago Academy for the Arts started a lifelong association with the school, Jason delves into the key lessons he has learned that have helped him develop the “Academy Method” for school leadership. He begins by tracing the influence of mentors on his life, and how he learned early on that “all you need to do to change someone’s life is decide to do it.”

Episode 41: Welcoming New Leadership to NAIS

Debra P. WilsonSeason 5 kicks off with a conversation with new NAIS President Debra P. Wilson. In this first school year of Debra’s tenure, she sits down with Tim Fish to introduce herself to the NAIS community and share her personal journey with independent schools.

Beginning with a family background that prioritized education, and moving through both public and independent schools, Debra grew to seek personal growth and challenges that would take her far from her small-town New England roots. Her career in law first brought her to NAIS as general counsel; from there, she moved on to lead the Southern Association of Independent Schools, before returning to NAIS as the new president. As she begins her tenure, Debra says that the evolving purpose of school is one of the things that most excites her about stepping into the president’s role. “Education now really is about educating and helping grow the whole child, more so than it’s ever been.”

Delving into what growing “whole people” might look like in schools, Debra and Tim discuss centering well-being and helping students prioritize human connection. Ultimately, Debra says, what she looks for in school communities is a culture that helps prioritize connectivity and a sense of belonging, or “mattering.”  

Archives: Episodes and Resources from Past Seasons