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The National Black Student Alliance #28
Guest Producer and Stone Ridge School Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Michelle Black interviews high school senior Lourdes Russell about the beginning of the National Black Student Alliance and her role as one of several charter organizers.
High School Seniors vs. Coronavirus #27
Graduating high school seniors Kendall Wienecke and Carrie Goeke-Morie return for their fifth visit to Lunch Duty Podcast to offer students’ perspectives on the strange end of this school year with its abrupt transition from normal class meetings to remote learning and the unprecedented challenges of society-wide social distancing. Listen in for what students were really doing during online classes and how they maintained connections with their families and each other.
School Principal vs. Coronavirus #26
Liddy Coyle, friend of the podcast and principal of Northeast Elementary School in the Ithaca City School District in upstate New York, returns to discuss her school’s response to the unprecedented challenges posed by the spread of Covid 19. The stakeholders in any school community--students, parents, teachers, staff, and the broader community--all have various priorities and concerns when something this serious threatens the predictability and order of established rhythms and routines. Listen to this for remarkable perspective on how all the parts of a public school fit together to face a microscopic threat capable of dealing terrible damage.
Dreaming of Sleep #25
Our first episode since the nationwide shutdown of schools in the face of the novel Coronavirus, this will be a reminder of prior normal times when typical American high schools students thought a lot about sleep and how much they wished they were getting more of it. Carrie Goeke-Morey and Kendall Wienecke talk about how they handled the pressures of life including commutes to school, extra- curriculars, lots of homework, and some semblance of a social life while struggling to squeeze in enough sleep to remain functional.
Robotics Competition #24
Lunch Duty Podcast covers the Bull Run Middle School upper and middle school robotics competition. Organizer and host David Oppenheimer, Woodbridge High School Coach Carlos Castro, Prince Williams school board member Jen Wall, and Woodbridge squad captain Will Calli. Between these four interviews, the story of how robotics works resolves with all the drama, humor, and educational excitement intrinsic in something as engaging as the construction of the future, a future mediated by brilliant young roboticists.
Snowday? Check MoCoSnow! #23
Montgomery County public school teacher Alex Tsironis turned his interest in weather and talent for communication into a multi-media empire followed avidly by thousands of D.C. Metro teachers and students who hang on his remarkably accurate predictions of how weather will influence school openings. Alex talked to Lunch Duty and explained everything about how, on top of a demanding teaching job, he keeps track of the weather and gives students and teachers hope (or not) for unplanned downtime.
Thomas Paine’s Common Sense #22
First in what will be a series of interpretive readings of primary documents from United States history, this episode offers a three-voice arrangement of a few of Paine’s most dramatic paragraphs from his historically influential polemic against the King of England in 1776. Directed by Stone Ridge Head of Upper School Dramatics, Sandra Blakeslee, students Michelle Saunders, Caroline Friedrichs, and Grace Towern give dramatic voice to one of our nation’s formative documents in this three minute reading.
TikTok Break from the Grind #21
Second in a series of conversations with students about what they’re doing instead of your homework, returning Lunch Duty guests Kendall Wienecke and Carrie Goeke-Morey update listeners on the latest in the James Charles beauty influencer drama that broke out in June. With professorial authority, they explain the rise of TikTok and its grip on today’s young cell phone users. Sure, TikTok may not be your thing, but many, if not most, of your students are into this. (
For the Love Of Teaching #20
Dr. Katharina Matro explains her decision to pursue a career in secondary school education as a history teacher after finishing her PhD. in Eastern European History at Stanford University. Her article in the American Historical Association periodical Perspectives on History about this path and her reflections on her satisfaction with her career course generated some interest and resulted in an all-expenses-paid trip back to Stanford to talk to humanities graduate students about professional life at an independent high school.
Oasis: Summer for Teachers #19
Producers Giovanna Basney and Tom Doyle talk about the significance of summer to teachers. Parenting, catching up, exercise, reading, chores, sleeping, getting outside, and saying goodbye to beloved colleagues who are retiring or moving on to other opportunities are among the many things that they consider in this fast moving consideration of this sacred time for teaching professionals.
YouTube Break From the Grind #18
Another day, another drama: Juniors Carrie Goeke-Morey and Kendall Wienecke return (E14: As You Like It: Goat Scream) to “spill the tea” on the latest social media influencer scandal--the rise and fall (and rise) of beauty guru James Charles. Teachers! This is what you should know and why you should care about students’ daily interactions with digital media.
Attack the Test! #17
Stone Ridge seniors Alayna Kinkead and Madeleine Sateri explain their strategies for getting ready for the Advanced Placement United States History exam their junior year. They describe some idiosyncratic strategies and some really effective habits. This will be of interest to students facing similar challenges or teachers curious about how some students deal with the complexities of junior year.
Principal: All In #16
Lunch Duty Producer Sharon Kenny interviews Ithaca City, New York public school principal Liddy Coyle about what Liddy does and does not control and what she thinks about first when she makes important decisions, helps her students, councils teachers, and keeps Northeast Elementary School on even keel, even in these turbulent times.
Gratitude Cascade #15
Producers Giovanna Basney and Tom Doyle talk about the dilemmas teachers face with presents: thank you note or no thank you note? Is verbal acknowledgement enough? Are emails sufficient? Or is a handwritten note correct? Should the note go to the student’s home address, or should the student receive the note by hand? All this and more in this fast moving back-and-forth between two hard working teachers.
As You Like It: Goat Scream #14
Students, the whole point of teaching, are the stars of this episode in which juniors Kendall Wienecke and Carrie Goeke-Morey offer a stage-setting explanation of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. As for the goat scream, it has to be experienced to be appreciated.
Finding Hope in Genocide Studies: Lauren Brownlee #13
As educators know, teaching is about much more than information and skills. Center for Spiritual and Ethical Education Visiting Scholar Lauren Brownlee touches on teaching’s power to inspire in a conversation with Executive Producer Ken Woodard about her journey to her role as the CSEE’s first visiting scholar, her article in the recent issue of the CSEE’s publication Connections Quarterly, and her high school elective history course Genocide Studies.
Figure It Out and Make It Happen: The American Yawp #12
The Internet is changing almost everything including textbooks. This conversation with the editors of the free online United States History textbook The American Yawp sheds light on it origin and process. Editors Joe Locke and Ben Wright talk about the challenges and rewards of their remarkable contribution to the digital humanities.
SET Lab 2018 Cometh #11
An extension of the conversation started in episode 10, executive producer Ken Woodard checks in with Urvi Morrison to talk about the lead-up to the SET Lab conference on June 1 and the particulars of where his investigation into student perspectives on in-class group learning is. Urvi and Ken talk about their collaboration to bring this survey-based study to a useful conclusion in the midst of other pressing job and life demands. This is for teachers who see themselves as lifelong scholars with interest in finding ways to squeeze real research into hectic lives.
Crosspost: A Conversation with SET Founder Urvi Morrison #10
In our first crosspost, Strategic EdTech's founder and owner Urvi Morrison interviews Lunch Duty Podcast Executive Producer Ken Woodard about his participation in SET Lab, a program that coordinates and guides working teachers to conduct original research.
Through the Hoop: Interviewing for Teaching Jobs Part 2 #9
In this episode the Lunch Duty team continues with the topic of interviewing for teaching jobs, but shifts emphasis from anecdotal accounts of job interviews to practical commentary. Producer Giovanna Basney interviews Montgomery County Public Schools Research Teacher Specialist Anna Gomez and Producer Abby Wineck aggregates and reads distilled wisdom from a panel of her former supervisors from across her storied career.
Through the Hoop: Interviewing for Teaching Jobs Part I #8
Almost all teachers have had at least one job interview. Exhausting in any circumstances and exhilarating when they go well, job interviews are small epics with a questing central character and interesting challenges. In this episode producer Giovanna Basney describes an interview of Homeric proportions and producer Abby Winek talks to one of her former teachers, George Shea, about how he navigated the interview that marked his transition from publishing to teaching.
Museum of Contemporary American Teenagers #7
The Lunch Duty team, including its superb interns Julia Burns and Maya Young, covered the pop-up art museum with the catchy acronym MoCAT. A conversation between art teacher and Lunch Duty producer Tom Doyle starts an episode that includes interviews of artists Sophie Cobb and Jay Zimmer. Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Montgomery County, Maryland staged this three week art show at the end of 2017 and presented richly varied and socially oriented art by teenagers about the intensity of their lives in our rapidly changing world. If you missed the show in Bethesda, check out Lunch Duty’s first on-the-sport coverage of an event.
Market Revolution Rap #6
Stone Ridge School Advanced Placement United States History students, challenged to master some statistics and facts related to the American Market Revolution of the first half of the 19th century, came up a variety of mnemonic devices. Sofia wrote her facts into a rap, recruited some background vocal talent, and in Studio 390 recorded this indelible piece of a capella brilliance. Try to listen to this without smiling….
Graceful Endgame: Retiring Well From Teaching #5
Grading, meetings, the relentless schedule, and anticipation of holidays and long weekends are some of the seemingly endless milestones of any teacher’s career, but for all us these will come to an end when the Google Calendar’s red line of advancing time sweeps through our last day on the job. In this episode three teachers, Don Barron, Nancy Hayden, and Tom Hayden, talk about how they made the transition from the intensity of full time teaching to the adventure of retirement.
Teacher Anecdote Jam: Stories From the Classroom #4
Most teachers tell stories to their students, but all teachers tell stories to each other. What are faculty rooms but forums for stories about students, parents, colleagues, administrators, or anything else that teachers encounter in the course of doing their diverse jobs? This episode includes brief stories about, among other things, eyebrow-eating robots and self-administered discipline.
Career Changers: Three Teachers From Different Professional Backgrounds #3
Three teachers--a former Coast Guard officer, a real estate agent and lawyer, and a software designer and project manager--talk about the challenges and benefits of their big career changes to teaching. Kent Chappelka, Marlen McKinny, and Mig Oppenheimer describe their paths to the rewarding opportunities to make differences in their students’ lives. In the Exit Ticket Science department chair Kelly Tomon describes her successful application of Word Unscramble, the topic of Toolbox episode 1, to physics instruction.
The Power and Peril of Graded Group Projects #2
The Lunch Duty team considers the advantages and problems with commonly assigned graded group projects. Experienced teacher and pedagogy leader Glenn Whitman, head of The Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School represents the voice of experience with a balanced consideration of advantages and pitfalls of this approach. Catonsville High School senior Ely Morton offers a student’s perspective and Virginia Tech. senior Brian Kucik reflects on his encounters with high-stakes collaborative assessments in his high school days and in his current college milieu.
Miraculous Energy: Creative Teaching and Passion for Education #1
In this episode master teachers Patrick Looby of the Summit Academy in Virginia, Paula LaVere of several dance studios from Metro DC to Baltimore, and Claudia Sorenson of the Norwood School in Maryland describe how they exceed the limits of standard contractual obligations to promote the enduring power of classical education, the transformative potential of dance, and the irreducibly experimental nature of real science. Tapping well-springs of commitment that run deeper than desire for a paycheck, these teachers make a case for importance of creativity to reaching students and enlivening schools.
From Gig to Vocation: A Snapshot of Teaching Becoming a Career #0
Some people are born teachers who know that teaching is their career destiny, but many arrive in the classroom via circuitous routes through discarded career ideas or changing life plans. Producers Ken Woodard and Urvi Shah discuss the moment when they committed to work lives of teaching and Barbara Beachler describes her journey to her passion for teaching English at Stone Ridge.
Meet the Team
We're a quirky group of teachers!
Host and Executive Producer
A 26-year veteran of secondary school history teaching, Ken Woodard is chair of the Stone Ridge Upper School History department wherein he serves on the World History II team, a class for sophomores, and teaches United States History to juniors. He combines love for history with enthusiasm for the new possibilities presented by rapidly evolving production software. The US History oral history project combines these interests and the Lunch Duty Podcast is his latest attempt to bring sophisticated audio production to his job while participating in the explosion of Internet distributed radio. When not immersed in school related projects, he rides his bicycle and takes time during summers to head north to Vermont for work at Keewaydin, an outdoor adventure camp near Middlebury at which he leads backpacking trips and teaches canoeing. His most recent adventure and point of post-50-year-old pride was hiking the entirety of the 273 mile Long Trail in Vermont with his son and daughter.
Giovanna is in her 2nd year at Stone Ridge School and ninth year of teaching high school and middles school Math at independent private and public schools in three countries. In addition to teaching, Giovanna enjoys coaching the middle school girls in cross country and softball. She combines love for learning math with the same enthusiasm and grit it takes to run a cross country meet and transverse the Panamanian Canal in a Cayuco (similar to a 4 seater canoe). In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading, yoga, cooking, traveling and most importantly spending time with her two daughters; Alanna and Alyssa. As a result of growing up in an international environment through travel and a world education, she is passionate about diversity topics and global perspectives and brings this into her daily life.
Tom spent his childhood in Pittsburgh, PA, building everything from tree houses to strange vehicles made from skateboards and scooters, held together with jump rope. He and his siblings used simple tools and materials to turn any old day into a magical one. Mostly these projects crashed or burned (just one time though!), however, a joy of working as a group to make something spectacular was born. Tom tries to make the same happen while teaching ceramics and art making of all kinds with his students. When not teaching, Tom can be found running on the trails of Rock Creek, biking to the nearest donut shop, or planning what next to build!
Sharon comes to the Lunch Duty project from a long career teaching History in the United States as well as in Rome, Kuwait and Moscow. Currently she is a History teacher in the Upper School at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart where she is a member of the World History I and II teams. Sharon has 10 years experience supervising student oral history projects and has a deep respect for those who work to create excellent quality audio with compelling content. An avid consumer of podcasts, this is her first foray into the world of creating podcasts. When she is not in school, Sharon can be found riding her beach coaster bicycle in Oxford, MD, swimming at the Y, gardening (listening to a podcast!) and enjoying time with her husband and two sons.
Urvi Shah is an experienced educator and lifelong learner. She is the CEO and founder of Strategic EdTech LLC as well as Director of Educational Technology and Innovation at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. Her company, Strategic EdTech, provides services, guidance, and leadership for educational institutions and districts to develop educational technology and innovation within best practices of teaching and learning.
She has worked previously as a Technology Teaching and Learning Coordinator and middle school teacher. She is passionate about edtech, robotics, andragogy, and learning through constructionism. She's a yoga teacher, avid reader, and loves to kayak!