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Transformative Principal is 

May 11, 2014


Sponsor: Sanebox

Web Site

Transformative Principal on Stitcher

Refer A Principal

Doug Robertson (Twitter) teaches 3rd grade in Southern Oregon.

Here’s his blog or media empire homepage.

Youtube Channel

Facebook Fan page

He is the author of “He’s the Weird Teacher” (paperback) (Kindle edition).

I interviewed Doug because I read his book and was really fascinated by it. I have learned that not everyone teaches the same way (DUH!). But, also, our own life experiences have taught us and shaped us into the people we are today. To be a great teacher, you don’t need to be like [Enter Great Teacher’s Name]. Doug and every excellent “popular” or famous or movie teacher have two things in common:

  1. A strong desire to be your own person, regardless of the status quo or anybody else’s judgments.
  2. A passion to help kids learn.

As part of this podcast, I want to start interviewing master teachers who are really great at what they do. I am especially interested in teachers that are great at making their kids enjoy class and learn life lessons, not just making sure they are acing the tests. ;)

Notes from my conversation with Doug:

  • He used to teach in Hawaii, so we talked a little about that before the official interview started, but it was fascinating, so I included it.
  • Teaching is a performance art
  • Acting vs. Teaching.
  • Importance of trust in teaching.
  • What happens in my classroom happens because I want it to.
  • To Principals: You hired me to do my job, now let me do it.
  • Chris Hardwick
  • How he takes away the opportunity to make excuses.
  • How swimming helped him learn to stop making excuses.
  • Why you can’t keep complaining without doing something to fix it.
  • It is OK to vent about kids. “But, my kids don’t give me much to complain about.” (That is because if they did, he would take responsibility for it!)
  • “My classroom is noisy because it has to be noisy.”
  • “My students are weird, what am I doing to make them weird.”
  • I give two cents on why I like a noisy cafeteria.
  • Some discussion on the term “digital native”.
  • We should call what we do “Practicing Education” just like lawyers practice law and doctors practice medicine.
  • How being a good teacher and establishing the basics allows us to know how we can change things up as we go along.
  • What kind of an environment does Doug need to thrive? Trust!
  • How trusting students is an extension of the trust from administration.
  • Teach Like Your Hair is on Fire by Rafe Esquith
  • How to have your own style. Don’t teach like someone else. Teach like yourself.
  • Some kids don’t respond well to the style of Doug’s teaching.