24. History Through Literature with Dr. Scott Petri – My Best Lesson: Social Studies
If you listen to any educational podcasts there is a good chance you’ve already come across my guest from this episode–AJ Bianco. Before anything else, AJ is a father of 3 and the husband of another educator. Professionally, AJ is a middle school assistant principal in New Jersey and a host on three different podcasts: Podcast PD (with Stacey Lindes & Chris Nesi), the ReflectEd Podcast & a podcast about his beloved New York Yankees called The Chase for 28 (with Chris Nesi). I’m very excited for you to hear this episode–it’s been a long time coming and I think it’s worth the wait!
- This Year Will be Challenging: As I spoke with AJ and listened to what he did this summer and his concerns for the upcoming year, I couldn’t help but think about just how difficult this upcoming school year might be. I know that this is nothing new to anyone listening, but I think it’s important to hear it again (especially from an administrator). I’m planning on trying to implement more routine in my classes (like Megan Ferne & Adam Moler suggested) and implementing a daily reflection practice into my work week in hopes of helping to combat some of the stress this year will bring.
- Communication Will be Key: One of the reasons I wanted to get AJ on the show is to hear his take on things like Critical Race Theory and COVID prevention practices. As a former social studies teacher & current administrator, I think that AJ offers a unique and valuable perspective on both topics. One of my biggest takeaways from our discussion is the need for an open classroom, now more than ever. Here’s a link to the podcast I recorded (and will record again) for the parents/guardians of my students to help keep everyone on the same page.
- We Need to Listen: For me, this is the most important thing I took from this interview–we need to be intentional in helping our students to develop the skill of listening. So many problems and issues arise from misunderstandings because people simply don’t, or can’t, listen to each other effectively.