Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Very Special Busted Pencils

I find it extraordinary difficult to find time to take in podcasts. I'm a text guy; I want to consume information through words that I see (I say very Awful Things when a news site tries to make me watch a video).

But there are two education podcasts that I try to listen to regularly. Have You Heard I've plugged before, but I am also a fan of BustED Pencils, a podcast that has been around for a few years and which brings a decidedly rock and roll sensibility to its work. Host Tim Slekar started out as a classroom teacher and now holds down a college gig (and he has the added virtue of being familiar with my little corner of the world.

The podcast features some fun and quirky features, including a regular What Would Matt Damon's Mom Say feature, and they land some great interviews, including semi-regular appearances by Alfie Kohn. Working your way through the episodes gives you the chance to hear some of your favorite public ed advocates in their own voices (and yes, I was on the show once). The podcast is timely, peppy, and always on the current edge of what's going on.

But I want to draw extra attention to the most recent episode, which retains the usual sharp, energetic quality of BustED Pencils, but it looks at a deeper topic than usual-- mental health in schools. Dr. Slekar kicks the episode off with an honest an open discussion of his own struggles as a student, and then the episode goes on to deal with issues of suicide and fostering caring students.

The episode-- What Aren't We Talking About and Why-- is worth your time and attention. These are issues that are hugely important, albeit not always discussed. Slekar puts the issues in perspective right off the bat by questioning how we can possibly take a kid who's struggling with mental health issues and hit her with exercises to make her "de-stress" for the Big Standardized Test.

So if you're a podcast kind of person, this is my recommendation to you-- click on over and listen to this episode of BustED Pencils. It is worth your while.

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