Changing the Game - Recapturing lost talent and revolutionizing student outcomes with Theresa Morris

Episode 7 August 03, 2023 00:59:06
Changing the Game - Recapturing lost talent and revolutionizing student outcomes with Theresa Morris
Love, Sweat, & Tears: Ingredients for Transformative Campus Leadership
Changing the Game - Recapturing lost talent and revolutionizing student outcomes with Theresa Morris

Aug 03 2023 | 00:59:06


Hosted By

Beth Hernandez

Show Notes

Today, I talked with Theresa Morris. Her work really is transformative. Theresa is a name that you might not be familiar with yet, but you will be soon. She has been in education for over 30 years between classroom teaching, district administration... she's even worked with Smarter Balanced and the College Board. She worked with Stanford for a while and now has MPass Education. You can find all of the links to everything that she mentions in the show notes below.

MPASS Education

Student Authored & Illustrated books published by MPASS -



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Episode Transcript

0:06 Hey, y'all. Welcome back to love, sweat and tears ingredients for transformative campus leadership. Speaking of transformative, y'all today, I talked with Teresa Morris. Her work really is transformative. And I cannot wait for you guys to hear what she's got going on and what she's accomplished. Oh my gosh. Teresa is a name that you might not be familiar with yet, but you will be soon. She has been an education for over 30 years between classroom teaching district administration, she's worked with Smarter Balanced and the College Board. She worked with Stanford for a while and now has Mpass education. You can find all of the links to everything that she mentions in the show notes below. And I cannot wait for you guys to hear what she's doing, and how we can begin to implement it in our classrooms and really change the landscape for student success. Let's dive in. All right, well, today I'm here with Teresa Morris to talk all lots of different things math, literacy, performance assessments, some of the really cool work that she's doing with students and just equipping them and showing them their capability and how that's I don't know, maybe different from what a lot of schools are doing and why we should move more in that way. Theresa, thank you so much for being here. 1:28 Thank you for having me, here. I'm so 1:31 so before we kind of dig into the work that you're doing, I want to know a little bit more about you, where you come from, and what you were like as a student what school was like for you as? 1:44 Well, thanks for asking. I always think of myself as a simple person with humble beginnings. My father is 100% disabled, and he's blind. And he's a veteran. And so I had a unique childhood and that both parents were always home, my mom, my mother, as a caregiver, have three brothers, one older to younger. And I bring that up for this reason, because you're asking about how was school for like, for me, as the only daughter, we were very gender based. So it was always do everything in the house and be a homemaker and all of those things. But when I got into school, it was very simple for me, school came easily, I quickly recognize what you do to get a good grade, and how you move forward. But then I noticed how all three of my brothers, even though they're brilliant, struggled, and they were channeled in one direction where I was channeled in another direction. And it was obvious that I was intended to get straight A's and that was just expected. And then when I get into high school, I realize everyone similar to my brothers was pushed one direction. And no one ever try and do something better for them. And even though I was in all the college readiness courses and those things. The summer before my senior year, when I was picking up my senior classes, my guidance counselor who was a very close personal friend of the family knew that how to take care of a house and run a household decided it probably not be good for me to take AP calculus and AP Language Arts and physics because I hadn't taken any home at classes yet. That devastated me that for 12 years I had been groomed to go to college. And then cut that last step. Someone who I really trust says maybe you ought to be ready to be a homemaker. I thought that's crazy. So that impacted me a lot in the fact that we need to break down a lot of different stereotypes. Not only gender, but race and ethnicity and socioeconomic backgrounds. To my brother that, you know, you're never going to be better than this or a mechanic or do something because he was Lexia. And the man is brilliant. So I look out at our education system, I said, we should really change the focus and saying, how do we make you achieve your happiness in whatever course that takes whatever skill you want to incorporate, and whatever job you want. Because we should value our electricians, plumbers and carpenters as much as we value our doctors, lawyers and policemen. All of us can be productive citizens and be part of our country and make it a better place and part of our world to make it a better place. And we shouldn't just say colleges here that's a first choice and technical school as a plan B. No. To be honored and respected. So that's my take from my high school years and college years is that I've really been passionate about that because of those experiences in high school. What 4:50 What was that kind of you know, you have this conversation with your counselor, you're kind of discouraged. Did you follow her advice? Did you take the home at classes or did you go I want to know 5:02 what's funny is he was an elder at my church. And he and my dad were really close friends. And I just kind of listened to him. And I was like, there was that moment of, do I give in? And I think if I had known him, so Well, I would have, but I felt comfortable enough saying, you know, I know how to cook, you know that I know how to take care of a household. When would I take home economics? When those are things my mother can teach me? My mother, AP Calculus, physics or advanced English. And that conversation he kind of took for a moment he goes, Wait a second. Oh, that's a good point. And he kind of was mature at that point, and very good point. So if you want to take AP Calculus, I don't say it's gonna be useful for you. So we still had to get that dig in there of it's not going to be useful for you as well. But I was like, No, I said, my future is in academia, and that's what I need to do. And he goes, Well, that's good. He goes, but if it's anybody else, other than you, I wouldn't allow it. And I was like, you wouldn't? I said, you're this gatekeeper. I am completely qualified for these courses. And you're going to not allow me to do it. So roll forward to August of my senior year, the all my classes, the calculus, the physics and the language arts are half male, half female. So it was a singling me out, or was it singling all females out? And did all females have to overcome that? will know the answer that I've never asked? They were encouraged to do homework because I was but we grew up in a rural community with, you know, at that time, two family, you know, two parent families and everything else, was still very gender specific. So almost all the women knew how to do those things. 6:54 Where were you from originally? rural Indiana. Okay. Okay. Interesting. So, okay, so you finish high school? What was kind of that quickly, just that jump from high school to college? How did you find your major? What influences did you have there? Like, how did you kind of decide what you wanted to study? 7:16 I think I always knew I always wanted to go into education. So the transition from high school to college, there wasn't one, it was just more of the same. No big aha moment. I love the fact that in college, I was able to explore a lot of different degrees and get several minors. So even though I knew I was going to math, education, I didn't do the education, math, I did pure mathematics. So I was be very, very strong in math. And I did education, that I had physics, philosophy, history, and coaching of all things. And I think the coaching major may have helped me the most, because at that time, I kind of wanted to be a high school math teacher. And it wasn't until after college that I got involved in a program called Project seed. That's a national nonprofit organization that teaches fourth grade students advanced math concepts to change their view of what they're capable of, and to change the paradigm of what students are capable of. And I think in that the 20 years I was with Project seed change was as a person who gave me the strength to step out and say, I know what I'm doing. I am an expert in this field. Students are capable of if we stop with the paradigms of what students can do based on their home life based on their geography, what have you. Every one, every student has talent, every human being has talent, shouldn't education be about bringing that talent out, and boxing it and promoting it and showing the student where they have a pathway to their success? And to get their success is defined by them? 8:51 Before we get to how we do that? Because I think that's really important. Can you kind of quickly tell me like, What was it like when you were in the classroom? What did you observe? And how did you make the transition from teaching in the classroom to what you're doing now? 9:09 Sure, sure. So when I was with the program called Project seed, we were a supplemental math program. So we would go into classrooms and teach for like 45 minutes a day and then go to another classroom. So I would see six different classrooms in a day. What prompted me very quickly, was that I had the ability to engage students in very deep, meaningful conversations about pure mathematics at an early age. And they were incredibly successful. And the teachers would tell me that, you know, these students don't act this way when you're not here. And they would have strong classroom involvement. There'd be very little classroom management issues, no disruptions 100% engagement 100% of the time, and again, that deep conversation without me as the teacher needing to tell anyone who was correct or who was incorrect, and it was all through a seminar, kind of a approach. And what stuck out most is even strong quality teachers that I met during that time, still had set expectations of students based on what they saw during the day. And I got to break those paradigms. And I was like, I liked doing this, and I want to do this. What made me realize is, students who are off tasks are off task, not because they don't know the material, but because they don't feel engaged, they don't feel it's important, or they already know the material. So engaging those students in productive means, and through aging ideas and things that they see relevant to me, I found during that time that that was a key. And teachers need to be trained in how to do that. And why it's important to write content to pull all students in. 10:52 Well, that's something we went through Project seed, or just through your college courses, like, how did you learn those skills? 11:01 I would say it was boots on the ground. Honestly, most of my I would say most of my career. Yes, college laid the groundwork for it, but in project seemed it was a lot of curriculum development, teacher development, training for district administrators, and so forth. Very much like a second of my master's program. In fact, the Council of Graduate Schools, provided us and awarded all members of project seat as a master's degree, because it was training, so you would teach during, and then we'd have two hours of workshops, as employees by PhD mathematicians, and psychologists, and educators. So we were a unique hub. And it really put me out there as a learning environment. But also you were learning about students while you were teaching, the psychology and the brain development of students. It was all in that moment. And it was almost like we were our own university, if you will, it's a very unique experience to gain that. That self awareness and what you are good at, but also in where the boundaries are within schools. So oh, the boundaries are those things in which certain principles want teachers to act and produce in a certain way, they expect certain students to act and produce in a certain way up the chain. A superintendent has expectations of certain members. So what's interesting is if you look at the classroom as a microcosm, and the expectations teachers have of their students, based on whatever background based on whatever they're observing those exist, they're up the chain all the way up through the superintendents. And you see in school systems, this hierarchy that happens that, oh, well, this teacher is not really a good teacher, and we're going to not let this teacher be a bad influence on students anymore. So what are we going to do about that teacher to this level, both paper pushers and they're really good at paper pushing and trust me, they're doing the job they're asked to do, but they're so good at it, they get promoted again. All of a sudden, they wind up in a position to tell teachers how to teach. We're never teachers. And it just drives me nuts. Yeah, the whole system needs to be rethought. In the future, it can be until then, I know, there's my there's pockets where that's actually working, and people are doing great jobs. People are not getting promoted just for the sake of promotions. happens, it's a cancer within the environment. And because I feel so ingrained, it's it's pervasive. And it is It's stifling our future. 13:55 So you are with this organization, how did you kind of branch off and start doing your own thing? Like, what was that process? Like? When did you decide to leave? Tell me more about that. 14:10 So the superintendent of the school district, I was working with our very district, he called me in for a meeting, it was our annual get to, you know, overview of what we're doing kind of a meeting, I did all my meeting, gave all the presentation, started to close up my stuff. He goes now my meetings beginning. And I said, Okay, he says, well, for years, I've been trying to change the educational system. He says in your influence in that he says, but you can't change it from the outside. And so sitting right there, he offered me a job as the director of mathematics for the district and he said you'd give me carte blanche make changes, I would be the only person answering for mathematics. And if I said it happened, it would happen. So I took on the role straighter for about six, seven years. I had full control over everything K 12 in mathematics We revised curriculum, we revise teaching practices. And we saw a phenomenal change. And I'm very, very proud of that moment. But that gave me that insight of what is it like to be an administrator McGraw Hill, the testing organization saw all the work I was doing, because I didn't like their testing system. Because they were all multiple choice, no thought processes. So including thoughtful questions and thoughtful test questions. And so they, they hired me, they stole me from the district and hired me. Wait, Smarter Balanced, came out. And they asked me to help write the Smarter Balanced assessments, and the smarter balanced performance tasks. In particular, I became the leading expert in the country on the Smarter Balanced math performance tasks, authored the original set, I authored over 90% of them. Yeah, it was all the combination of what I did in Project seed, what I did it as administrator, so you put in those 10,000 hours, a moment that that was coming together, we'll go and behold, Stanford University was the ones overseeing that. Well, they hired me. Well, and the first thing I needed to do at Stanford University was called Building educator assessment literacy. And so that took me all over the country, identifying what our performance tasks why they are important, how do they actually test students skills, but more importantly, the application of skills? First time in a national assessment, we started thinking about, what does it mean for students to be able to use math as a tool, rather than just regurgitate facts. Performance Task is the first time that has happened, that led for curriculum development, one thing led to another. And then I decided it was time for me to start my own my own business. So that's where it led to. So all these nice stepping stones, I have all these nice connections. I've had these experiences to work with and gain tremendous colleagues that have influenced me. But I have found that unique level of what we call curriculum embedded assessments, which is largely based learning. But I think I've discovered working with my own company, and creating that year long curriculum, the curriculum that actually holds true and what's intended to do. So journey was an interesting journey. Not personally, but professionally as well. And I know, I needed every one of those steps along the way to make me the person I am today, to have this to say, Yes, I own my own business. Eyes on me, and my employees are relying on me to do the right things. 17:57 So tell me quickly a little bit about what you're doing right now what your business looks like. And then I want to talk about some of the things that you've shared, and specifically how candles leaders can equip their teachers to teach math Well, or teach other things as well. So what are you doing right now tell me more about your business. 18:16 So impasse education is focused on creating real world applications for the use and application of content skills. So we're about supporting schools in to stop this mindless teaching one unit after another that doesn't relate to the real world in any way. So we partner with school districts to create that curriculum predominantly. However, we're already branching out in social studies, which think about art history. You're like, why am I learning about all these dead people? You need to know that connection in my life today. Relates today. So I have an expert in social studies here as well. And she's creating those performance assessments. Our end result is this. We want students and teachers to no longer see any content area as a barrier to their success. And predominantly, and historically, mathematics has always been that gatekeeper. And we're accomplishing it. We've been working with this curriculum out in Antelope Valley now for four years, our first year that's graduating in next week. And we've seen it in them they no longer seen as a barrier. And when I give the teacher one of the teachers who was our cohort, first cohort teacher, and she followed her students all four years. So she has a senior group of math literacy students, your group of AP Calculus. Clearly your AP calculus students know more math, because yeah, I submit when this group think about both groups and they go to take and try to purchase a car or make a large purchase sometime in their life, which group is going to use math to help inform their decisions? Without hesitation she said, The math literacy students, she goes on to do it, the calculus students, they might rationalize, but they may not be prompted to use math to make that decision. That's what our goal was. That's what we call it math literacy is that we are producing students who will use math as a tool, good decisions in their life, at least to make decisions in their life. 20:23 I studied math education for my first few years in college. And that was such a thing for me of seeing math as a tool for your life for so many situations in life, rather than like, yeah, like a barrier like this one hurdle in school that you have to get over to get through school. I love it so much. I want to talk some, this podcast is for campus leaders. So I want to talk some about how we can help campus leaders can manage making some of these changes with their teachers, how can they coach teachers, through project based learning? How can how can they apply these things in a way that's effective and manageable? 21:06 That is a that's a $10,000 question. It really is? And the answer is, we need to be honest with ourselves, there's not one correct path. But there is one necessity, you have to be dedicated to it, and you have to make the time for it. And when I see those two things dedicated to it and make the time for it, it means you need to take other things off the plate, stop grabbing the next shiny thing that may or may not work or that replicate something you're already doing. And it's not working either. Cut out the things that aren't working. If you're going to be dedicated to project based learning. Your teachers need five years to get to get to that point out five years, any change now change now doesn't happen. Can we accept? There is no silver bullet, there's no immediate flip a switch and things happen. If there was good, I'll be doing it correct. Okay, well, it's not. So start with small steps must start with a cohort of teachers who want to do this, if you're starting a group of teachers that don't want to do this, or that you're trying to get rid of, you're just wasting your time and whoever is helping you do that. So start with a cohort of teachers who want to do it, then start showing the evidence of how their students performance is changing. And then you keep adding a cohort of teachers all the time. And as a supervisor, as an administrator, you have to be willing to say, classrooms will no longer look the way they have. Because let's be logical about it. The way teachers look right now, single file, sit and get big. It's quiet and as orderly. I can go in and look at and say yes, you wrote the objective of today on the board. Yes, we talked about standards. Yes, you. I do you do we do we what none of that's truly working. It's going to look chaotic, you're gonna have in a math class building up in yada, and you're like, Wait, I didn't walk into an art classroom? No, you didn't. Because we're applying math to a real world situation that real world needs to show up in the classroom. So the way you expect teachers to move about, and the interaction between teacher and student needs to be transformed. And that the teacher becomes a facilitator. And that just in time instruction, rather than just the sit and get known for years, the sit and get does not work. It doesn't work, you can't ask the students to pair it as an act like they care about it, you're gonna get that top 10% They care about it, everybody else is just waiting through it. So if we can shift as an administrator say, Wait a second, if the teacher is talking 80% of the time, students aren't paying attention 80% of the time, we get the students doing and talking 80% of that. And then that teacher just providing that just in time instruction. Because here's the point, a teacher in a project based learning, they try to think of this, why need to teach the students how to do the math that's in the project before we do that. Okay, then for normal thought. So you teach you start the project. And guess what, the students still run into the same struggles? Like what can you teach us and the teachers frustrated? Because I already taught you that? Students get the sense of oh, I'm stupid, because I didn't get it. Something's wrong. I didn't get it. Well, you didn't get it because it wasn't connected to anything. Different teacher launches, the project does the project, the students still run into the same struggle, but now they're running into it for the first time. There's no previous failure experience. Moment. Now I give that just in time instruction that students want to hear it because they want to continue on with the project. It's more efficient. Even though you feel like you're setting your students up for failure. You're not you're setting them up for success, because I point out to administrators yours and teachers both. There was a study that's not been well recognized, or talked about. Students who have had three experiences of failure, begin to see it as a personal attack on their identity. So the fourth time that comes up, they're already withdrawn. And they're putting up barriers to not let this impact that. Three, three. That's all it takes. By the second one, they're already starting to pull away and not listen, but by the third one is shut down. So every administrator when they're trying to support a teacher, they're looking for how do you build success, while avoiding failure experiences? Now, we need still need productive failure, we still need to bring that in. But where do you bring it in where the students feels encouraged to to overcome it? To that point in our math literacy classes, we interviewed students and to hear the senior saying, I know understand what it means to have failure. And it's not failure, it just means it didn't work that time. And it's the next step to learning the next process. And that's that moment of you're like, oh, my gosh, I created the environment for that student to gain that understanding for a student who was in this class, because they were designated as not being good at math. And so to see that come around, and say, Yes, I understand there are times we're not going to get something right. It doesn't mean I have to quit, it means a step closer to trying to finding the real solution. 26:38 And I like the idea of introducing the problem and the potential for failure. And then saying here is the tool, because then you understand immediately the relevance of that tool. Like it's just I wish we could teach. I wish I could snap my fingers. And we've just begun teaching this way. What? So what was the process like of designing the math literacy project curriculum? 27:13 So I got a phone call in December from the district administrator I worked with for several years. And he says he hears this crazy idea, I want to do something for students who are three to five years below grade level. Okay, so that's fun entering ninth grade, which in normal cases, if you're entering ninth grade, that far below, again, you get on that certain track that nobody really wants to deal with you and all they want you to get as he for diploma. That's what they want. He says, so he gave me this crazy plan. And I said, Okay, he says, Well, I'm gonna give you a year and a half to get ready for it. Okay. He called me back probably two months later, he goes, Well, actually, you get three months to get ready for it. Okay, so we know, we needed to create a project based curriculum, one that avoided many of the other project based curriculums around which you know, the context of the story or of the project overtakes the math. So the whole time? How do you create a curriculum that balances the math skills, so they're not, but still engages the students in a real context. And so my co founder, Katie, might, who also happens to be my daughter, she has a master's degree in sociology. So the two of us and she's also brilliantly academic. And thinking wise, the good thing about the two of us is that we think on opposite sides. And so thinking of she can pull apart and we go back and forth, between the two of us, you get something really strong. So we started out with six teachers. And when we started the year, we probably had five projects. And that was it. And so we kept telling the teachers, we are building this plane while we're flying it. But new is what we wanted to do is the first couple of projects had to demystify and change the outlook of how students saw math. One of the first projects they did was this classic aquarium. And you're like, wait a second, a classical, yeah, all we're wanting to do is take fish tank in the classroom. So the students research about aquariums, they learned about y equals mx kind of cost and writing those kinds of equations and you add to the tank, whole time mathematically, we're building up to y equals mx plus b. Students don't know that they're just doing it. And then they present on what fish tank they want, and what fish they want and the total cost and is it in budget and so forth. And then the magical moment happened, the fish tank appears in their classroom. And the students didn't believe that the fish tank would actually make it there. Because like people talk about things all the time is theoretically hypothetical. And, but now it's tangible. You've got an actual fish tank. And what I've seen happen is now as a tangible success, Every time that a student walks in the room, they're like I did that I was part of. Then the next project is another element of again, you're breaking down those failure experiences, you're breaking years of failure experiences for them to start saying, I can do this I can problem. By problem solving, I'm learning to do math. That first year was Rocky. We were trying to figure out what works. So you had skills practice, you had just basic problem practice, you had the actual project overall, you had the elements of the project, you had the pieces, every project ends with a summative assessment, which is the exact same format as a smarter balanced performance task. And I did that on purpose. I knew eventually, someone would be like, Oh, this is feel good math, but nobody really knows math. This Is Hardcore, the same as Smarter Balanced if I handed the philosophical part of their their elements. So I knew we wanted to impact the math skills as well. So you're thinking on multiple levels, the social aspect, the emotional aspect, the physical aspect, and of course, the mental capabilities as well. And that's what's fascinating to see how the teachers have grown. And students have grown to be able to watch the students because at the end of that first year, the end of the pilot year COVID hit. We didn't hear it COVID Hit students went home. How do I go the last two months like everybody else in the country, project based learning a brand new program at that, how do we make this happen? My thought was, was with COVID, they're going to cancel it. They didn't, we did the next year, completely online. We had more. Gosh, we really changed that trying to create and maintain that social aspect. At a time when most of the classrooms were having like under 50% participation, or math literacy classes were at 85% participation. Because they had that social interaction element. We still had group projects, we still had students talking to each other, and it helped build that social element. students weren't attending any other class, but they would come to the school Miss 32:11 was still with kids that had been three years behind. I feel like these kinds of programs are often for the kids that are advanced. And I love the fact that you guys, you know, that was specifically with kids that were already behind, showcasing like this is for everyone, this breaks down those barriers. Awesome. He tells me absolutely more about, you know, now that these kids are older, where they are now. 32:43 So they're seniors, and they're getting ready to graduate, I interviewed all of the seniors, and over 60% of them have accepted and are planning to go to a four year college. Wow. And again, these were students who weren't expected to graduate, that gives me goosebumps, so my heart melts. And I'm like, Okay, we accomplished something that most people would only dream of. And so it's that moment of, and they're telling me, you know, what they're majoring in and where they're going, and who got scholarships and who didn't. And other 40%, and many of them are going directly into the workforce. One student, George, he got a huge promotion at work. And mostly because his, he attributed to this, this course, this class, he said, I learned how in this class, how to collaborate and problem solve. And there was an incident at his work, that there was an issue, and he stepped as a collaborator and trying to build consensus, and his boss witnessed it and he goes, we need to be a leader. He goes, Why would I go to college, if now I'm, I'm going to be earning so much money a year. Because and it's in a career field that I want. I said, you've got your career, you go with it. And so the success rate is very high. Students are going to community college as well. So again, these are students who potentially would not have graduated, had it not been for this course. So that's really our we want to stay with them. We want to follow up with them to see how they do in those first college. Our goal was that not only would math not be a hindrance in high school, but that wouldn't be a hindrance in college, either that they could get first required math course, and not have to retake it or so forth. Because if you fail that required math course your likelihood of graduating from college declines. So we'll find out next year how well they do in that course. 34:33 Have you continued this with other cohorts? Or have you just kind of looked at this one cohort. 34:39 Actually, every year there was a new cohort. So it's been nice. We've added more teachers, we've added more students. So every year it's been growing. And we're now in all of the schools in that district, and it's working incredibly well. Each district or each school within that district has its own struggles. own culture and so forth. And what they're finding out is the schools that are doing it the way I'm asking them to. And it's the teacher follows the students, and it's scheduled together, and all of these wonderful things are getting these fantastic results. And if you're not teachers out every year, the results aren't quite as good. They're still good. They're not quite as good. So there's getting some internal competition now of the school that normally doesn't test as well. They're testing better. And they're saying what the difference is, is that our program, I'm not about the test scores, but you have to play that game in school. principals know their test scores is what matters. So we will make sure that that happens. But our students outperform and outgrow, using the NWA score. So the whole district everyone in the District uses in weta scores. For the first year, our students have more growth than their counterparts by just a little bit. But the next two years, it becomes exponential. And that growth by the third year is significantly different. This has been so productive that the alternative education sites at that school district 100% of the students use the math literacy program. In all math classes, there's no other choice, they win a percent math credits to over 65% math credits, in just one year. So it's quite. So it's, it's working with students who are below grade level at their site. But it's also working for students who are in this alternative situation for whatever reason. But they see this as a bright spot. In fact, you had some students at the alternative site, say, can I just keep taking more math? You're like, Wait, can you say that again? Not Yeah, I just want to keep taking more math, I have to get a PE credit. And our credit goes, but I'd rather just take math. So we devised and we selected some of the courses from our geometry course that's more art. Says you do these three projects, you get your art, your art. And so he stayed in to do the math project that was art infused and he got art. 37:20 Man, that's, that's crazy. I just feel like I'm just blown away. Like this just feels like the gem that we've all been wanting for math. 37:35 Beth, I feel that probably two years ago, I said, we were joking. I said I feel like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, who says you know, in the opening scenes, solve world hunger? Tell No. solve the math problem. Tell No. Because I now have a rapist shown is a good friend of mine. And he was my boss at Stanford University and his friend Stuart call, the two of them have been doing internal review and evaluation of the math literacy program to powerhouse evaluators. And they've told me over and over again, they've never seen anything this powerful. So I need to be ready as a company to respond to the questions and the demands that are going to come out after they submit their final findings, which next year. And I get that it is unique. But here's the thing. You asked what administrators could do the first thing you need to know. Not every solution is transferable without some sort of specialization or personalization. So pick up the math literacy project from Antelope Valley and move it to in Diego or Indiana or what have you. There's going to need to be some tweaks here, isn't it no one bullet proof solution. And I'm saying that even about my own program, just packaged it up, put a rubber ribbon on it and say, Here you go world ticket, it will work. It's the combination. I have trained the teachers based on my observations of the teachers. And each of the teachers I've worked with over the four years as slightly been changed. I've had individual meetings, teachers, where it's been customized, it's been to the pool of certain projects were in there because students in the project asked for them. Well, that entertaining, engage those students and not entertain or engage another group of students has to be some flexibility to it. But the core of it is what needs to stay the same. I feel that creation of the curriculum and the design of the curriculum is set. topics might change, but what will most likely change is the training for the teachers. 39:52 What what did that look for when you're doing that when you're customizing the way that you train teachers? What is it what Are some of the markers that you look forward to let you know what teachers need help with? 40:07 It's actually while I'm observing them, how are they interacting with the students? What math do they know? And let's all admit this. There's a lot of high school math teachers that know, math education. But they can't even answer the question, Where am I ever going to use this? Because they don't know. So when you start now, embedding math within a project based learning, sometimes that first year, the teachers are like, I didn't see the math. What math were we doing, and I was like, I listed it out. So then I started creating other avenues for them to start to see the math. And to understand it's more than just the context that's there. I always look for classroom management, you're gonna do project based learning, and students are gonna be using box cutters to cut apart cardboard, you need to know that the teacher can handle that classroom. We watched one of our teachers go from that very first year of taking 45 minutes to literally have students organize their notebook by cutting out things and gluing it on two pages. And I said is like you knew I was coming today, this is what you opted to do is you took 45 minutes. And by the way out of your class of 28, you glued 24 of them in the right place. The other four were like I'm done, what am I doing? To now she is our most advanced teacher, because she's like, I'm not going to be embarrassed by that, again, she does the most projects in a year, her students stay on task, stay on target, yes, they're still crazy, they're still talking and everything else. But they were to the point of we're not going to get through enough projects in their senior year, and they wanted to get through them all. They started doing two, they'd started layering two projects at a time. So you repurpose the same group of students, same group of students, same teacher, where the students were so off task, trying to just milk it for all it was worth and take 45 minutes to glue pieces of paper, the paper at that end to something to now. Now we can plan the class party project and be doing insurance at the same time. Wow. Because they now saw the value of Yeah. 42:13 And I see that the mirroring that's happening between what the teachers learning and what the kids are learning and how they're both learning through failure, and sharing that experience and the community that that has to be creating and the culture in the classroom. And wow, 42:34 and Beth, you brought up a great point, we actually are working with those the pilot teachers who have gone with their students for four years, this graduation is emotional. They have like, I know my students better than I know any other group of students. And these students, these teachers are avid teachers. So they're used to following students for years in a row. Projects break down that barrier between teacher and student. You're talking about buying a house buying a car, taking a vacation, the understanding insurance, understanding loans. Now you start talking about personal elements. And the teachers are like, I have to prepare myself that I'm letting go a family. And the students come on how much this becomes a family and they hold each other accountable. You had students whose two other students, hey, we we needed you here this morning, and you were 10 minutes late. So we couldn't get started on this because you have this information. So you have that built in accountability as well. So as part of the curriculum, curriculum, what we have our career readiness lessons because in the curriculum, your your students are going to reach out to external individuals. So you want them to know what professionalism is you want them to know how to build and make connections. So that element takes them from early on what is professionalism? What is etiquette? How do you greet people to they're completing a resume and a job interview or, or a college interview. Then we also have what we're calling self awareness lessons built in. Because of the fact that you need to build in that responsibility. You need to build accountability, you need to build in understanding of where am I growing? And how am I growing, make the curriculum with the career ready with the self awareness lessons. All of these things are wrapped in together. It's a full one place all curriculum. So I went administrators are like, Oh, social emotional learning. That's important. Everyone stopped on Wednesday, and we're doing social learning. Again, now it's just disjoint. It's having the impact you want 44:38 and disconnected and not relevant to anything else. 44:42 So you're just adding on a layer to add on a layer. All of those things need to be built in together. And I feel like our curriculum has done that. And I can see by the students. So I'm really proud of what they've accomplished in the four years and what we We've built a platform because I always tell people, as the curriculum writer, it's words on paper, teachers have to bring it to life. And that's where that professional development for teachers is so important. And that's why principals and administrators, like I said earlier, they need to commit to the five years that teacher change didn't happen overnight. It took time, and some teachers are going to grow faster than others. And we have to give them that room for their productive failure and for them to grow with their students. 45:34 And some of that baked into the curriculum that you have how administrators can do that. 45:43 Not necessarily, we've been focused so much on the teacher and the grassroots of it, that next year, we're going to start bringing in that administrator and the mentoring teacher element. Because we need, I need administrators not to derail it. Rents is one administrator kept saying no, you can't get a fish tank ever, like you're breaking the process. That's a fatal flaw in a system only can get. So administrators need to look back. And yes, they need to do their job and be discerning of what's trivial, and what's real. But know the difference. Know that students who have experienced many years of failure experiences need a tangible physical element to say that's my success. And sometimes I think sometimes it's a field trip. But embrace both of those embrace the path that works. And it might mean you need art supplies and math because you know what art and math are related. 46:51 Um, so, you know, as these kids are graduating, you told me some stories about impasse publishing. I would love if you could tell our listeners a little bit about what that is. What's happening with that what your kids are doing? 47:08 Absolutely, thanks for bringing that up. So with a project based learning, the outcome is always some sort of exhibition of demonstrating student knowledge. Sometimes it's a video sometimes it's a presentation, what have you. Well, last year, there was a really unique situation where Daylight Savings Time started. And they were doing the shadows project well, son didn't come up in time to videotape how to use shadows to find the height of a tree. So the teacher improvise, she said, You know what, demonstrate your knowledge in any other way. You can think of one student kala Maples authored a Student Book. And the Teach I was there visiting like the next day or something, and the teacher showed it. And when I read this student authored book, truly, that was just intended as a class assignment to demonstrate her understanding, I was like this is worthy of being published. So I met with the student. And from there, I was like, We're determined to figure out a way to publish this book. Because we authentic outcomes to all of our projects, what's more than publishing a book took me a year, just a just almost a year to figure out how to publish. And so I decided that the best approach was that impasse education would publish, student authored and student illustrated books. And I want to bring in that element of student illustrated as well, because partnership between the author and illustrator has nothing to do with math, but everything to do with learning how to be a professional in a field, in any field. So we figured out how to publish a book through Amazon that's called. So if you go to Amazon and just search for how tall is Lulu that was our first published book, written authored by a student. And again, it's a cute story about how to use shadows and similar triangles to find the height of something. So you read the book to the students in the back, it's got some suggested class discussions and suggestion, class activities. And I put an age range on there, the story is more for younger students, but I'd say a fifth grader would get into it, even a high schooler. This was written by another high schooler that opened the door to okay let's talk about this and share that with other students. Just last Saturday, we celebrated eight student authored and student illustrated books at the AV cultural fair, the students were able to be the student authors and illustrators got to be up on stage they were interviewed by local TV stations and, or and so forth. My promise to the students and to everybody else is impasse education will not take any profit from the students. 100% of the profits is shared between the student author and the student illustrator. And I just love To See, I've had that privilege of handing the student, their first copy. And it goes back to that fish tank and the fish tank being real. And they hold them. They're like this is this is real. And they see their picture on the back. And it's a good looking book. So here's one, it's called the the monsters of math. And so it's just a real book. And I mean, you look at the illustrations and so forth. This does not look like a student pilot. That's the characters 50:36 in the book are doing a project. Yes, fantastic. Wow. 50:46 So in the next week, what we're going to do is on our impasse Education website, we're going to add a page that lists all the student authored and student illustrated books. And we read those aren't we just hadn't, we've been so busy, we haven't had time to do that. On the back of every book and encourages anyone who wants to be part of this to reach out to us, because we're willing to work with anyone. We want to break down the barriers of students seeing their own success. All of the authors, let's be honest, they may not come go grow up and become professional authors as full time. But they can say at this moment, and this moment in time, I authored a book, and it's available for life on Amazon. And also talk to students, I said, you make money from this for the rest of your life for a month and a half. But now you make money off of it for the rest of your life. And many of the students, I have two students in particular that come from the alternative education site. And they just when I sat down with them, because they told their teacher that yeah, they would like to write a book. I said, Okay, so I brought my computer met with him. And I said, Tell me about your book, tell me what you want to write, they would not touch my computer, they wouldn't put their hands on my computer. And I was like, Okay, I turned my computer back around and talk to me. And I said, I'll type for you. Both gentlemen, in two very different ways, outlined six or seven books. And I was like, You are so creative, you are so and they're divergent from each other, and so forth. And I said, Okay, I said, Let's stop. Let's now let's pick one topic and develop that topic. And to listen to them create their story, and they could verbally create their story. And they still refuse to touch my computer. And so I wrote their wrote up what they had smoothed it out, send it back to them via email, had them read it, then they edit it, it's funny, the teacher printed it, and they like old school edited it back to me, and the process just went on. And Saturday, and at the event they had, both of them had half their church there to support them and their extended family was there. And it was just that moment of students who are so removed from the potential of success. Now standing front and center and saying, I'm a published author, their pride, the way they look, the way they stand, all changes. And it's that moment of for me, because I have several career goals. But one big career goal was to really recapture the Lost talent in the United States. And what I mean by that loss talent is the students that are getting pushed to the side, they get marginalized, that their skills don't get recognized in school. And I look at Jimmy and Jay Sean, who authored these books, they are lost talent, they are so incredibly gifted. And for me to capture that at this moment, and now that I'll be able to like stay in touch with them, and propel them into different avenues that they may not have been open to in the past. That's that moment of, yeah, that's what we need to be doing. And I we did that at this point. Now, you know, the last talent, I know that, but this was that moment of realizing we've got some, and let's keep going after more. And I think if we can break down those barriers, and more students, more teachers, more administrators realize, Oh, I do have a lot of talent pushed to the edges pushed to the periphery of edge. If I turn a spotlight on them, a true spotlight looking for their true gifts and their true skills. What would we recapture? As when you think about it, today's problems exist from today's thinking, who does today's thinking? All the students who are pushed to the boundaries? So our solutions lie within that group of students. Yet we're not doing anything to harness that or to foster promote it as educators as a administrators, I beg you, turn your spotlight there. What can we accomplished? What are what are those students capable of that we're totally minimizing or overlooking? So that's my challenge to administrators. 55:14 Ah, it's so good. Yeah, right, come on out up on our time here. Is there anything else that you would like to say to our audience to our principals or campus leaders across the country? 55:32 What I would want to say is, they have enormous amount of talent within any school district across the country. You need to leverage that talent, not frustrate them, not overwhelm them. Find each of their individual talents, and maximize them. Not thinking that every single person can be everything to everybody. And hardest what's their wanting to go project based curriculum, do not, I can't say this enough. Do not expect your teachers to be the ones to create the curriculum. It's too overwhelming, they have too many other things to do. And also, they're not trained to do so. Hire a group that can do that, or that can do it in conjunction with your teachers. Your teachers need to be a vital role in any curriculum you create in any process you create your students, teachers and families should be part of that. Change doesn't happen overnight. And be willing to put in the work and the long term time commitment to making it work five years before you see change. So that's my ending. My final thoughts is hold out for the correct change, not the flashy. Next moment thing. 56:45 Where can our listeners go to find these books to find more info about math literacy project about other work that you're doing? 56:55 Yeah, just visit my webpage at impasse Follow the tabs to get on any one of those topics. And like I said, we'll be adding the student authored student illustrated books in the coming weeks 57:07 to be clear and passes MPa, S S. 57:11 That is correct. And I would invite everyone to register we have a upcoming conference at UCLA June 11. And our conference focuses on fostering math literacy, so you can sign up for the conference through our website as well. 57:28 Teresa, that was so wonderful. Thank you so much. Thanks. Thank you bet. Thanks for having me. Okay. Bye. What a doozy. Man, I was getting teary. You will find that that is something that comes quite naturally to me. But hearing her vision and her success, what she's accomplished and her heart for bringing this to other classrooms to other teachers. It's a tall order, it's going to take commitment and investment. And I know that's hard. That can be a big ask, but it's worth it. It's so worth it. As always, you can find links to all of the resources that she mentioned, um, all of the websites, I'll make sure to link the Amazon shop so you can find all of the books that her students have published. As always, our editing and our production for this podcast is done by Erwin soul back and our logo and design work is from Alana Conroy. And this whole thing is just a labor of the deepest love for our campus leaders and our principals or district admin from responsive learning. Thank you guys so much for what you do. I hope you have a great rest of your day. Transcribed by

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