The Cult of Pedagogy Podcast

Jennifer Gonzalez

Teaching strategies, classroom management, education reform, educational technology -- if it has something to do with teaching, we're talking about it. Jennifer Gonzalez interviews educators, students, administrators and parents about the psychological and social dynamics of school, trade secrets, and other juicy things you'll never learn in a textbook.

All Episodes

How is the anti-CRT movement harming and silencing teachers, what damage will it ultimately do to students, and what can be done to fight it?  For a more complete overview of this topic, be sure to check out EdTrust's podcast series EdTrusted: The Critical Race Theory Craze That’s Sweeping the Nation. ------------------- Thanks to CommonLit and Brain Power Academy for sponsoring this episode. -------------------

Nov 27

54 min 58 sec

When students are working in groups, and we need to get their attention, shouting over the noise certainly gets the job done, but huddles work so much better. You can find full written versions of these tips at ------------------- Thanks to Floop for sponsoring this episode. -------------------

Nov 7

3 min 7 sec

Planning instructional units can be less than exciting when all you have to deal with is words and more words. Creating a vision board at the beginning of a unit can generate fresh enthusiasm and help you focus on what truly matters. In this episode, teachers Amanda Cardenas and Marie Morris share how vision boards work in their classrooms. ------------------- Thanks to CommonLit and fastIEP for sponsoring this episode. -------------------

Oct 31

35 min 27 sec

When we see students making a mistake, we may be tempted to stop them and offer a correction. It might be best to resist that temptation, at least for a little while. You can find full written versions of these tips at ------------------- Thanks to Microsoft Reading Progress in Teams for sponsoring this episode. -------------------

Oct 24

4 min

Teachers are saying this is the worst school year ever. In this episode, I'll explore the reasons why, offer some solutions, and also share a few other loosely related thoughts that may or may not help.  ------------------- Thanks to CommonLit and Brain Power Academy for sponsoring this episode. -------------------

Oct 20

30 min 17 sec

This subtle little teaching move stops off-task behavior in a class session and gets things back on track without drama!  You can find full written versions of these tips at ------------------- Thanks to Reading Progress in Teams for sponsoring this episode. -------------------

Oct 10

4 min 38 sec

Many well-intended efforts to make schools more equitable often fail because we're trying to make them work inside a system that's a terrible fit for them. What's been missing is a whole-school approach that creates a path forward that is radically different from what we've done before. In this episode, I talk with the authors of the book Street Data—Shane Safir and Jamila Dugan—about their ground-up approach to school transformation, one that lets go of the fixation on text scores and centers marginalized voices instead. ------------------- Thanks to CommonLit and ISTE for sponsoring this episode. ------------------- Find Shane and Jamila online at and

Oct 4

55 min 30 sec

When you come in and rescue another teacher from a misbehaving class, you think you're being helpful, when really, you're just disempowering them. Try another approach! You can find full written versions of these tips at ------------------- Thanks to Reading Progress in Teams for sponsoring this episode. -------------------

Sep 26

5 min 17 sec

You want to know that your instructional decisions are supported by research, but you're not exactly sure where to find that research or how to read it correctly. In this episode, educational psychologist Kripa Sundar gives me a mini-course in how to dig up high-quality research, how to read and interpret it, and what we need to keep in mind about how academic research works. ------------------- Thanks to simpleshow and ISTE for sponsoring this episode. -------------------

Sep 20

1 hr 12 min

Welcome to EduTips, a side project of the Cult of Pedagogy podcast where I share one quick tidbit of educational research, teaching ideas, classroom management strategies, or sometimes just a quick story. This first EduTip is DON'T MAKE THEM READ AND LISTEN AT THE SAME TIME. This is a mistake I see so many teachers, speakers, and other presenters make, and it's so easy to fix! You can find full written versions of these tips at ------------------- Thanks to Reading Progress in Teams for sponsoring this episode. -------------------

Sep 12

4 min 3 sec

What factors are most likely to contribute to suicide in young people, and how can teachers recognize the signs? In this episode I talk with Anne Moss Rogers, mental health and suicide prevention speaker, about how teachers can help to prevent suicide in adolescents and children. ------------------- Thanks to Listenwise and ISTE for sponsoring this episode. -------------------

Sep 6

52 min 18 sec

Most rubrics only tell students where they are right now, but a HyperRubric marks their progress as they go, then points them to tools that can help them improve. In this episode, I talk with ELA teachers Tyler Rablin and Jeff Frieden about how they developed this new format and how it works. ------------------- Thanks to Listenwise and ISTE for sponsoring this episode. -------------------

Aug 22

43 min 27 sec

There's a good chance you're already sold on the value of podcasts. But have you brought this incredible medium into your classroom in a substantial or consistent way? The goal of this episode is to convince you to do just that. My guests—Lindsay Patterson, Marshall Escamilla, and Monica Brady-Myerov—are three major figures in the educational podcast world. We'll be talking about the research behind listening as a learning modality, why podcasts make outstanding curricular resources, and the top four places you can find podcasts that are ideal for classroom use. ------------------- Thanks to Listenwise and Scholastic Scope for sponsoring this episode. ------------------- Looking for high-impact PD that won't take a lot of time? Check out my mini-course, 4 Laws of Learning, and use the code LISTENER at checkout to take $5 off the course tuition.

Aug 8

41 min 31 sec

Writing is one of the most challenging academic tasks we ask of our students, and it can be especially difficult for students with learning differences. In this episode, special educator Sarah Riggs Johnson shares 11 key ingredients for optimizing the partnership between ELA teachers and learning specialists so that students with learning differences can become excellent writers. ------------------- Thanks to Listenwise and Scholastic Scope for sponsoring this episode.  

Jul 25

50 min 43 sec

What we call "attention-seeking behavior" is a sign of a deficit need. In this episode, my guest Connie Hamilton shares specific strategies we can use to help students meet their esteem needs—the fourth tier of Maslow's Hierarchy—in healthy, productive ways. ------------------- Thanks to Today by Studyo and Scholastic Scope for sponsoring this episode. ------------------- Learn more about my mini-course, Four Laws of Learning, at Remember to use the code LISTENER at checkout to get $5 off course tuition!

Jul 11

36 min 47 sec

Literacy is arguably the most valuable asset we develop in our students, but many classrooms are missing some of the most effective literacy practices. In this episode, author and educator Angela Peery shares a set of tools any PK-12 teacher can use to evaluate what you're doing right, what you're missing, and how you can fill the gaps. ------------------- Thanks to Today by Studyo and Scholastic Scope for sponsoring this episode. ------------------- The check-up tools we discuss in this episode come from Peery's book (co-authored with Tracy Shiel), What to Look for in Literacy: A Leader's Guide to High Quality Instruction*. *affiliate link  

Jun 14

51 min 44 sec

Now that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel of Covid-19, we have an opportunity for a fresh start in schools, and we can't waste it. Let’s take the wisdom we've gained over the last year and use it. Let's not go back to the way things used to be. ------------------- Thanks to Today by Studyo and Parlay for sponsoring this episode. -------------------

May 16

29 min 30 sec

Revolution School is a fantastic new high school in Philadelphia where students co-create their education around experiential learning, community partnerships, and personal development. In this episode I learn about how Revolution works from Henry Fairfax, Head of School, Jane Shore, Head of Research and Innovation, and Master Educator Mike Pardee. ------------------- Thanks to Today by Studyo and Parlay for sponsoring this episode. ------------------- Learn more about Revolution School at

May 2

59 min 35 sec

Wrong answers can be an incredible tool for learning and critical thinking. In this episode, Thinking Like a Lawyer author Colin Seale teaches us four easy ways to add mistake analysis into our regular teaching practices. This is a strategy that works in any content area and at any grade level! ------------------- Thanks to Hāpara and TGR EDU: Explore for sponsoring this episode. ------------------- Mistake Analysis is just one of the many strategies in Seale's book, Thinking Like a Lawyer: A Framework for Teaching Critical Thinking to All Students*. *affiliate link  

Apr 18

33 min 33 sec

When we include students in the process of defining quality work, they are more likely to rise to those standards. In this episode, educator Starr Sackstein explains how she co-constructs success criteria with her students. ------------------- Thanks to Hāpara and TGR EDU: Explore for sponsoring this episode! ------------------- Looking for high-impact PD that won't take a lot of time? Check out my mini-course, 4 Laws of Learning, and use the code LISTENER at checkout to take $5 off the course tuition.

Apr 5

48 min 33 sec

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework that rejects one-size-fits-all teaching by offering students options for how to engage, what materials to use, and how to demonstrate learning, and it's a solid way to offer a more equitable education to all of our students. My guests Katie Novak and Mirko Chardin help us understand how it works and walk us through a sample lesson that's gotten the full UDL treatment. ------------------- Thanks so much to Hāpara and Kiddom for sponsoring this episode! ------------------- Get your copy of the 2021 Teacher's Guide to Tech at, and remember to use the code LISTENER at checkout for 10 percent off.

Mar 22

45 min 26 sec

It's a terrible feeling when you know some of your students didn't really learn the content, but you move them on anyway. Mastery-based grading solves that problem by requiring students to actually master key concepts before progressing to the next stage. In this episode, Kareem Farah of the Modern Classrooms Project shows us how it's done.  This is the third and final episode of a three-part series that has taught us how to run a blended, self-paced, mastery-based model that works beautifully for remote, hybrid, or in-person learning. The first two episodes are 144, Making Great Screencast Videos, and 158, How to Create a Self-Paced Classroom.  Join tens of thousands of other teachers who are learning how to implement the Modern Classrooms model by signing up for their free course (affiliate link). ------------------- Thanks so much to Hāpara and Kiddom for sponsoring this episode!

Mar 7

57 min 9 sec

An argument for spending more time practicing subtlety and nuance and complication in our thinking. This episode is sponsored by Kialo Edu and Kiddom. 

Feb 22

18 min 21 sec

These fresh ideas for student jobs will invigorate your classroom and get you and your students excited about school again—even if you teach remotely. My guest Thom Gibson shows us how he does it. This episode is sponsored by Kialo Edu and Kiddom. Check out the 2021 edition of the Teacher's Guide to Tech at and use the code LISTENER to get 10 percent off the new guide!

Feb 7

38 min 52 sec

Students often struggle to make meaningful connections to literature and put those connections into words. The Up-Down-Both-Why technique, which starts with how the text makes a student feel, gets much better results. My guest, Sarah Levine, explains how it works.  This episode is sponsored by Kialo Edu and National Geographic Education. And check out the Teacher's Guide to Tech 2021 at, and use the code LISTENER at checkout to get 10 percent off!  

Jan 24

45 min 4 sec

The yearly roundup of tools includes an audio feedback tool, sites to combat racism and media bias, and an app that lets you Google things in mid-air. This episode is sponsored by Kialo Edu and National Geographic Education.

Jan 11

18 min 54 sec

Whether it's real or fictional, putting students to work on a campaign for a cause is a powerful way to get them writing persuasively. In this episode, U.K.-based teacher Jane Currell walks us through the process. Follow Jane Currell on Twitter at @JaneCurrell and read more of her work at This episode is sponsored by Listenwise and National Geographic Education. Learn more about my mini-course, 4 Laws of Learning and How to Obey Them, at 

Dec 2020

36 min 54 sec

Breakout rooms, collaborative projects, games—whatever we do, it's crucial that we do something to get our students talking to each other. In this episode, I'm giving you a huge list of ideas teachers have shared with me for getting students to interact better, both in-person and remotely. This episode is sponsored by Listenwise and National Geographic Education. Check out my new mini-course, Four Laws of Learning, and use the code LISTENER at checkout to take $5 off course tuition.

Nov 2020

35 min 17 sec

In a self-paced classroom, each student is met where they are, is given an appropriate level of challenge, and grows at a steady pace throughout the school year. In this episode, Kareem Farah of the Modern Classrooms Project teaches us how to get started. Learn about Modern Classrooms' free course on creating a self-paced classroom at *   *affiliate link

Nov 2020

48 min 6 sec

Green screen technology allows students to create videos where they travel just about anywhere, virtually. This simple, affordable method offers so many possibilities for deep learning and creativity across all grade levels and subject areas, even in remote learning situations. I was never all that enthusiastic about green screens, but now I'm a believer! In this episode, I talk with teacher educator Justine Bruyère about the why and the how of doing green screen projects with your students.

Oct 2020

49 min 50 sec

Sometimes, to do right by their students, good teachers have to break the rules. In this episode, I talk with Melinda Anderson, author of Becoming a Teacher, about the times when doing the right thing means bucking the system. Get the book, Becoming a Teacher (Amazon Affiliate link) Follow Melinda Anderson on Twitter: @mdawriter

Oct 2020

50 min 47 sec

Some of your students are in school. Others are at home. Some days they might switch. Your students are all over the place, and you're supposed to be teaching them all. Welcome to 2020, baby. In this episode, I'll share six principles for making this situation work as best as you can, curated from teachers who are also figuring it out.  

Sep 2020

33 min 24 sec

If you've been looking for a fresh approach for getting students to think outside the box and collaborate with each other, this may be just what you need. Hexagonal Thinking is a simple discussion strategy that can be used in lots of different subjects, in most grade levels, and it can be done in person or online. In this episode, Betsy Potash teaches us how to do it.  --------------------------- Find more from Betsy Potash at Spark Creativity. Get your free hexagonal thinking digital toolkit here.

Sep 2020

31 min 48 sec

Teaching is complex. It's dynamic. Every day we learn about new tools, strategies, and programs, and it's easy to lose our way. When you start to feel like you're in a teaching tailspin, these four research-based laws of learning will put you back on track. Want to learn more? Check out my new mini-course, Four Laws of Learning, which goes more in-depth on these laws and includes supplementary materials to help you really dig in and apply these laws in your own teaching. Use the code LISTENER at checkout to take $5 off your tuition!

Sep 2020

20 min 28 sec

One of the most important things we need to accomplish as we move forward into the school year is building relationships with our students. But if you're teaching online, that task will be more challenging than ever. In this episode I talk with Dave Stuart Jr. about his strategy of creating Moments of Genuine Connection and how we can do that while teaching remotely. Get Dave's free mini-course: 10 Tips for Staying Motivated When Teaching in Times of Uncertainty  See all of Dave's online courses** at   **I am an affiliate for Dave Stuart Jr.'s online courses. This means I receive a commission for any purchases made through my links.

Aug 2020

30 min 59 sec

Despite many attempts at improvement, school is still not working for many of our students, especially students of color. My guest, Dr. Gholdy Muhammad, believes the answer could be in rethinking our curriculum. In this episode we discuss her Historically Responsive Literacy framework, which is based on the work of 19th century Black Literary Societies and focuses equally on four areas: identity, skills, intellect, and criticality. Learn more about the framework in Gholdy's book, Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy (affiliate link) Find Gholdy Muhammad on Twitter at @GholdyM

Aug 2020

59 min 13 sec

Since blogs first showed up on the internet, they have really evolved as a genre, and they're a smart choice for a robust, long-term assignment. In this episode I'll share six different kinds of blogs students can write, along with advice on assessment, technology, and ways students can take their blogs beyond school.

Jul 2020

34 min 49 sec

Chances are you're going to be doing at least some online teaching in the upcoming school year. What shifts do we need to make in our face-to-face teaching practices to make the most of online learning? In this episode I talk to instructional technology coach Melanie Kitchen about nine ways online teaching should be different from in-person teaching, plus a few ways it should be exactly the same. Find Melanie on Twitter at @MelKitchenEDU or on her website, To get a weekly email about Cult of Pedagogy's latest posts, podcasts, courses, and products, sign up at

Jul 2020

47 min 37 sec

Are we planning with clear, measurable, meaningful learning goals to guide us, or are we just keeping students busy? Backward design helps us make sure we're doing the first thing. In this episode, I'm giving you an overview of how this approach to lesson planning works.

Jun 2020

29 min 43 sec

Some educators wonder if multicultural and social justice education are relevant if most of your students are white. The answer is yes. In fact, they may be even more relevant for white students. In this episode, Dr. Sheldon Eakins talks with me about the reasons white students need this kind of education and what, specifically, we can teach them. Follow Dr. Eakins on Twitter: Find Dr. Eakins' podcast, the Leading Equity Podcast, here:  More resources available at the Leading Equity Center.

Jun 2020

44 min 40 sec

Some thoughts on what post-COVID instruction might look like when schools reopen. (Spoiler alert: None are as good as face-to-face, a few aren't too bad.) Plus my attempt at a pep talk. 

May 2020

35 min 13 sec

We all want to give more high-quality feedback to students, but there's never enough time. In this episode I talk to Matthew Johnson, author of the book Flash Feedback, about three strategies he uses to get high-impact feedback to students much, much faster.

May 2020

37 min 31 sec

If you are moving some of your direct instruction to video, whether it's by necessity or by choice, knowing how to create a good screencast is essential. In this episode, blended learning mentor Kareem Farah gives us advice on how to make screencasts that students will actually watch.

Apr 2020

47 min 17 sec

While most teachers recognize the value of social-emotional learning, many struggle to fit it into their curriculum. But one of the most powerful ways to teach SEL is through modeling the competencies ourselves every day, which doesn't require any extra time or materials. In this episode, second-grade teacher Wendy Turner shares her process for modeling her own social-emotional growth and weaving that seamlessly into regular instruction.

Apr 2020

38 min 56 sec

A general overview of the nuts and bolts of distance learning, including general tips, advice on tech, and troubleshooting some common problems.

Mar 2020

1 hr 1 min

How often do you hear "I don't know" in your classroom? For some students, this phrase becomes a crutch that stops them from learning. In this episode, I talk with author Connie Hamilton about how we can teach students to use more specific phrases that will keep them engaged instead of taking a pass.

Mar 2020

26 min 7 sec

Although well-intended, some of our efforts to include students from diverse backgrounds can make them feel anything but welcome. In this episode, my guest Hedreich Nichols shares nine tips that will help you improve your practice and avoid some of the faux pas that come with teaching students who look, think, or opine differently than you.

Mar 2020

1 hr 3 min

If you've been wanting to try Project Based Learning but have been unsure about exactly how to do it, this is the episode for you. PBL expert Jenny Pieratt takes us step-by-step through the planning of an 8-week PBL unit. 

Feb 2020

46 min 13 sec

If cooperative learning hasn't really worked for you in the past, don't lose hope. In this episode we'll explore tons of solutions to four of the most common problems with cooperative learning.

Feb 2020

32 min 29 sec

How connected are you to the afterschool staff in your school? If you're like a lot of teachers, it's probably not much. In this episode I talk with educator Eva Jo Meyers about her work in afterschool programs, and she shares seven ways school-day teachers can build more powerful partnerships with afterschool teachers.

Jan 2020

25 min 41 sec