It is a Lemonade Learning first! We have 2 guests in this episode! Timmy and Shalonda chat about how we can advocate for literacy for all. They also share their journey as co-hosts of The Literacy Advocate Podcast.
Special Guests: Timmy Bauer and Shalonda Archibald
Host of The Literacy Advocate Podcast 🎙 Author of Billy the Dragon 🐉 Eater of Lunchables like it's normal at 31
Mother, Literacy Coach, Adjunct Professor, Consultant, NJLA Board Member, Literacy Advocate Podcast cohost
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Brianna Hodges 0:00
Welcome to Lemonade Learning, a refreshing look at learning today. We serve up high impact, practical strategies, alongside honest and energizing stories to help educators.
Lainie Rowell 0:12
Make the most of your moments. Lead and learn with purpose and craft lifetime lemonade from the sweets and sours of education. Join us for a glass.
Brianna Hodges 0:24
Hey, y'all, it's Bri
Lainie Rowell 0:26
and Lainie. Welcome to a very special episode. We have two guests. We've never done this. I'm a little nervous, but they're so amazing. That's actually taking all the anxiety away. So Bri, what do you think this is gonna be fun? Huh?
Brianna Hodges 0:38
It is it's gonna be fun. I'm already like, just indulge me for a second I feeling very like Hollywood Squares like slash Brady Bunch opening like this is really it's kind of fun to like, take this in and see these amazing people on the screen and and to really kind of jump into this conversation. So I'm excited. I'm excited for our foursome of our foursome awesome kind of group that we're going to have happen in here. So...
Lainie Rowell 1:04
And there's something else that's special because we're podcast co-hosts and their podcast co hosts, they are the podcast co-hosts of The Literacy Advocate, which you should all check out. And I'm super excited about that. So we've got Timmy and Shalonda, we're gonna have all your info in the show notes and we want to get into that conversation. So we're just gonna get started if that's okay,
Brianna Hodges 1:22
let's do this. All right.
Lainie Rowell 1:24
Okay, we like to start out with the sweet and sour so... Hmm, let me see Timmy you... We did like a five second before we started recording. You turned this on us. Which is a pro move by the way. I love that when people do that. So why don't we start with you? What's your sweet, sour one or the just pick one.
Timmy Bauer 1:43
Okay. Okay, I'm gonna go with sweet. My sweet of today. I actually have 2 so this morning. I spend every morning writing, like, at least for an hour on kids books. I'm working on a kid's book called I want to have a podcast when I grow up with a friend of mine who's a podcast producer. And the I just got back some of the work from the illustrator that have hired and it was really, really good. And then also I had a meeting with a literary agent today that went really well as well.
Lainie Rowell 2:12
Oh, I love that. I'm so excited. I hope we get to dive in a little bit about you being a children's book author because I think that's really really cool. So well.
Timmy Bauer 2:19
You know, I like that.
Lainie Rowell 2:23
We do like to talk about our books, don't we? All right, Shalonda what about you? What? What's sweet? What's sour? What's going on?
Shalonda Archibald 2:29
So I have a combination. I have a sweet I have a sour? I think my sour is professional and personal. My sour is the snow in New Jersey. It is annoying. I'm over it. I am sick of the snow there mountains of it everywhere. My windshield right now is a mess. And I haven't been able to get to the car wash. It just keep snowing and there's mountains of snow everywhere. And I'm not a fan. I'm not.
Timmy Bauer 3:04
Shalonda Archibald 3:06
Jealous? Oh, no, I'm jealous of you and your climate?
Lainie Rowell 3:12
I know. I know. This is where there's no crying on the yacht, champion problems because Timmy and I have like perfect weather. We could probably go to the beach right now if we wanted to. But um, but and then Bri who has... What did you call it earlier Bri your weather?
Brianna Hodges 3:26
It's like we have schizophrenic. Well, I was like, What did I call it earlier? Sorry. I'm so schizophrenic weather here in Texas. So it was 72 days ago, and this morning is 19. And we are frozen over we have ice everywhere. Not to complain at all to my East coasters to my northeasterners I know you guys are seriously under snow and craziness. I mean, what is like 30 inches of snow that happened this last week, something like that. So we are not anywhere near that. But it's it's, I'm with you on the whole like, we were in 70 degrees. And then now we're busting ice and on Monday it's anticipated to be the high five. And that's just as a little much because then in like four days, it'll be 75. And like it's just too much for for the weather, though. Yeah. Sorry.
Lainie Rowell 4:16
We went down the weather path. But shalonda did you want to besides the sour you said there was also a sweet? Is it snow angels?
Shalonda Archibald 4:25
No, no, I do not like snow. So it's not gonna be snow related. It's all my tweet is that one of my colleagues on one of the challenging grade levels that I work with. She came into the office while I was trying to run out so we can have this episode right? And she came in and she's like, I just want to talk to you about some things that are going on and what can we do? And I feel like that was a real breakthrough moment. Professional wise in this school. I'm new here. So I started in September from to now it's been really contentious. And just her coming in today. And she even offer for me to come in and teach her classes. And I love interactions with kids. And I haven't had very much of that since I've been in this new school. And so I've been feeling really down some days about just don't work because the kids give me the energy, the joy. So hard coming in today was definitely unexpected, sweet for my afternoon.
Brianna Hodges 5:28
That's fantastic. Yeah, that's a huge celebration right there. Like, I mean, kudos to you for laying the foundation of trust in order to you know, kind of build that that relationship and what a fantastic way to start that day to have that that invitation of like, okay, let's, let's do that. Like, I'm ready to have some conversations, some collaboration. So Wow, that's like that gave, I gave my coach my coach arms chills, and that where I'm just like, yes, that's okay.
Shalonda Archibald 5:55
Yes, mine, too. I was doing my happy teacher dance. And you know, even as coaches were still teachers, I was doing my happy teacher dance inwardly. Yes.
Lainie Rowell 6:05
That speaks to definitely speaks to us coaches, because I always get like, when I see the invite, like, I've been asked to meet with the teacher, I'm like, Oh, they wouldn't chatwith me. I'm so excited.
Shalonda Archibald 6:16
Right, right. Cool.
Lainie Rowell 6:19
Well, wait, you said something. I want to if y'all don't mind, what you said, challenging grade level? Was that what you said? Yes, I did.
Can you expand on that? Because I, I mean, I've taught a lot of grade levels I could give, I could give some like suggestions as to what I would consider a challenging grade level. But what do you what do you think in there?
Shalonda Archibald 6:38
So the challenge has been everyone getting on the same page, there are lots of strong personalities on this grade level. And historically, it has been a challenged grade level for the building. And that was shared with me coming in that we have not had any person who has been able to turn things around in this grade level. And I don't go into new situations with any, you know, cloudiness at all, I go into it to learn. And even from my first days, where I just held teacher meet and greets, I just wanted to have conversations with teachers to find out about who they were as people and introduce myself, I received very little welcoming from that particular grade level. And so everything becomes contentious. And I get that we're teaching during a pandemic, we're dealing with personal stressors to the max, right. And then professional stressors to the max. So it's been really, really challenging with with them to just under get them to understand that we're all running the same race, we want what's best for kids, we want for our students to be able to read, write, speak, think and communicate well. And so that's kind of my short story to a longer story.
Lainie Rowell 8:06
So Timmy, I wondered kind of kind of what you're talking about that like hard to get in there and get with them... Timmy, as a children's book author, you offer to go into classrooms for free, and read with the kids like has you're in this pandemic and Shalonda that I was maybe inferring a little bit that it's kind of maybe possibly not just team but specific, but maybe also situation, kind of like we're in a very different situation. People are feeling really vulnerable. But Timmy, have you seen that? Like, are you still getting invited into the classrooms a lot?
Timmy Bauer 8:39
Yeah. So at first No, at first ever, all the teachers were just that it's like, it's like COVID lit everyone's hair on fire, which understandably. So at first, it was hard for me to even get anybody to notice me. As I'm like, hey, all my tours got canceled, but I still have zoom. Like, can I please come visit your schools? But then that honestly change that didn't change for a really long time. It changed just recently, I posted a tweet about a book that I just finished called Lucas, the Dinosaur Entrepreneur. And the tweet went bananas and I booked 30 schools off of that tweet. And that was really cool. So I've been touring most of my and I say touring, what I mean is Zoom bombing classrooms, basically. And that's been I've been just doing weeks of that off of this off of this tweet, and big shout out, by the way to a teacher named Brian Martin. He posts a lot of like morning motivation, encouragement type stuff for teachers, and he gets a lot of engagement on his Twitter. My tweet probably wouldn't have gone bananas if it weren't for him, retweeting it and commenting. I've been to his classroom. He was like one of the few that I was able to visit during COVID before this happened, and he was like, hey, any teacher should have him visit their school and I guess he's got a lot of trust that he's built up on Twitter. So then it just started getting retweeted and shared and commented on and it was awesome. I was like, that was a very high day for me.
Lainie Rowell 10:08
Okay, so I'm gonna try really hard not to birdwalk but when you said trust on Twitter, I want to explore that. Maybe that's a coffee that you and I have later Timmy because I think that's an interesting concept. But, but yeah, we're all trying to get
Timmy Bauer 10:19
Lainie Rowell 10:21
Oh, like, Is that is that that's the thing, right? Like, a rabbit hole. Like go off the path. But yeah, okay. Okay, okay. You got it never had that once I do. But um, but anyways, I just wanted to, like, acknowledge that I think it's so great that you're both trying to get in to help kids and teachers. But it's, it's hard now. It's, it's different now. So I'm glad that it seems like things are improving for both of you, that gets like warms me, my teacher heart.
Timmy Bauer 10:48
I mean, I have almost survival survivor guilt, which is like, that's a weird term. But it's when it's when you're not the person that's being affected by the terribly horrible thing that's happening. And you're just, you're almost benefiting from it, and you're watching other people struggle with it. That's how I feel a lot of times as a kids book author, now I did lose like a ton of money. Because like I was, I was making good money on tour doing physical tours, there's just something about, hey, the author is coming to our school that makes... and he'll sign your book, if you buy it before he gets here... that makes like parents buy kids books from an author. So I was making good money on tour, and then COVID wipes that out. But in a lot of ways, I've benefited from the fact that every teacher and their mom knows what zoom is now. And so where before I was trying to figure out how to do virtual visits. Now, it's like, hey, I'd like to zoom bomb your classroom, everybody knows what that means.
Lainie Rowell 11:42
I love that.
Brianna Hodges 11:43
And I know, I know, somebody who travels a lot, like that's one of the concepts that we've had conversations around is like, you don't have the logistic restriction, right, of like, oh, I've got to physically get on the plane, and then the time that is gonna get me there. And you know, because that cuts down on how many places you can can be with in a certain day, right, but now you've got more of the like, you can be in five different states, six different states in one day, because you're just popping in, you know, onto different meeting times. And the same thing from you know, from that coaching perspective, where, you know, you you have some differences of being able to leverage virtual video, you know, different kinds of conversations, recording conversations, sending that and I think that, you know, so much of that is modeling for educators, modeling for parents, modeling for ourselves, that we have this technology, and we can use it and leverage it, to keep the relationships that we are making that we are creating that we are, you know, trying to flourish and sustain. Like, that's, you know, I hear so many times, and I mean, even back to like, when the first you know, one to one is coming out, right, and like I taught with people who had the T shirts, like With that said, "I teach there's no app for that", like I you know, all of those conversations, and it seems to be something that's out there all the time, right of like, technology is not the same as teaching, and I don't know, a single person who thinks that that that's not true, right? Like, no, you're exactly right, there is no replacement for the relationship that happens with a person in that in that situation. That said, there's a lot to be said, for the amplification and the augmentation that can happen with that technology to keep and sustain that relationship. Right. Like having this is the closest thing right now that we could have versus you know, not having that right like like this is this is an engaging way for us to have a conversation and for us to be able to see each other's faces and connect in a way that we couldn't do it if we didn't have the technology in there. Shalonda, I see you kind of raising your hand over there on the side. So I want to let you jump in on this.
Shalonda Archibald 14:00
Right. And I also think to add to what you said, Bri, that leveraging technology as the instructional tool that it is, is important for our learners that we have now. Right? So I teach undergraduates and our recent class, we talked about how they are in the grouping of digital natives. And so this is their world, this is their language. So are we really teaching them if we just cut off a major mode of the way that they take in information? It's very different. But we have to kind of consider how we're aligning the world to maximise on what we're offering our students.
Brianna Hodges 14:37
Yeah, I love... I mean, if you go back to like, early early, go back to Socrates and whatnot, right? Like where we had very limited availability of education, because it was the only people that could have this were the ones who had access to either that one specific person or who had access to the books and the literacy to go along with that. Right? So you had such a very sliver of people who could actually interact with that. Well, now fast forward. Again, like, I mean, I grew up in a rural area, there's a lot of content areas that are not taught in our school district. But now we have so much more that we can bring in, because we can leverage that, that technology to do that. And then you build from you know, and so I think I think it's important that I got, I'm a huge proponent of leveraging technology, it's not, it's not knowing it's, you know, I mean, like, there's a huge difference between learning how to use the tool or using the tool to learn, right, and that's one of those things that we don't always spend a lot of time having that conversation. And, you know, all four of us are huge literacy, and huge, you know, literature, lovers and proponents. And I think that, like, I don't ever, ever, ever want to replace, you know, an audio book with, you know, I'm not saying that that is better than a tangible book. I'm not, but I have a lot of students and my daughter being one of them, that needs to have that audio component in order to support and, and her understanding of the material. And she would be completely cut off from that if we didn't use that to leverage it. And so I think that like, again, for me, like it's so much of that conversation, it's not a it's not a this or that, right, like, and I think, you know, I love that y'all, y'all podcast is The Literacy Advocates, because that, to me, is what advocacy is, it's not saying, this is the one way to do this. It's saying like, let's advocate for the personal needs and the the tools that will help that person become seen in a way that is equitable, and there for all of us to recognize.
Timmy Bauer 16:51
Yeah, I just want to say to that, I named it the literacy advocate, not because I'm trying to say I'm The Literacy Advocate, but because it's the guests that I have on the show, and now my co host, shalonda. You guys are the literacy advocates.
Shalonda Archibald 17:06
Well, I tried to push back on that. I'm sorry,
Lainie Rowell 17:09
No, I was gonna push back on it. You go, girl, you got it?
Shalonda Archibald 17:13
Yeah, I would have back. Because one thing that I know about him is that he doesn't give himself the credit, because he feels like he's not in education the way we are that he isn't an education. And I tell him all the time, no, you're very much an educational professional as well, you're just not a teacher, like that category is very broad. And I think that just his insights that he offers through his podcast, and through his work in schools, is just amazing. And he's very much an advocate. Yeah, that's why he even started all the work with the with the book, like, he's a genius there.
Timmy Bauer 17:51
You know, Shalonda I feel like you're, you're an advocate of me. I appreciate that.
Lainie Rowell 17:57
I love that. We're all advocates for each other, right? Let's... what do you think about I know, we only have so much time, but when you think about unpacking this, like, I'm really curious, you know, Bri bringing in like the idea of multiple means to access literature. I love that. Like, maybe if we unpack a little bit like, What does literacy now look like? And we don't even need to get necessarily into pandemic specific, but just thinking about, like, all the different ways we can reach our kids and I have a seven year old at home, he's in first grade, I've got a fourth grader. So and I taught him her first and second grade, in addition to sixth grade. So like literacy is a very big deal to me, and it's there, like, they need to read, they need to write and they need to know how to learn. Like, if nothing else, that's what I need them to get out of school. That's, that's a big deal for me. So, I don't know who wants to start first. But I would just love to kind of see like, because we've been in education, well, I can I'm probably the longest 23 years, I'm old. But um, but we've been there for a while. And we've seen some changes, more access to things that give those multiple means. So
Timmy Bauer 19:03
you got a thought shalonda you want me to go first?
Shalonda Archibald 19:05
You can go.
Timmy Bauer 19:08
I don't want to talk over you. Alright, here's my thought. So I think that literacy is a pretty broad term. And I try to focus on English language arts type literacy on the podcast. So I really try to focus on like learning to read learning to write learning to speak, learning to communicate, but literacy is a really broad term. And there are so many different versions of literacy. And I would actually argue like, it's hard. It's honestly, I think it's obvious to most people that learning to read and write is more important than learning to like they it's treated as more important than being able to speak and communicate. But I don't know I've made way more money off of my ability to speak and communicate than I have off of my ability to read and write. I'll just say that. I mean, most of my kids books are written because I talked, I went for a walk and I talked into my phone. And then I just went to a Panera and typed out what I said. And then like the exposure of my kids books has happened because of my ability to speak and communicate, not because of my ability to read and write, there ain't nobody reading my blog. The only people that hear about me are because of my ability to speak and communicate. So that is a huge skill that needs to be emphasized in school.
Lainie Rowell 20:31
And I appreciate you teasing that out. For me when I say learning to learn, like speaking and communicating as part of that, because I deeply believe that learning should be as collaborative as possible. So to me, that's part of that learning process is how do I speak and communicate with others. And so I appreciate you teasing out those very specific skills that we also want to do. And also acknowledging that literacy is a pretty broad term.
Shalonda Archibald 20:54
Yeah. And I think, though, they're all interconnected, right? So Timmy mentioned that he's made more money off of his speaking engagements and those types of things. But it's so interconnected. Like, I don't view those components as one separate from the other, they all inform each other, it just is, what mode Am I using right now? Right, because you did still have to read and write to express what you need to to express. And speaking, at some point, it's all interconnected. And I, I know from at least my experience, that sometimes the speaking and listening component of literacy learning is not given the attention that it should be given. So those skills aren't developed the way that they should develop. Even though we have standards here in New Jersey, for that, we have speaking and listening standards. But if you look at curriculums, they don't often include the include speaking and listening standards as priority standards. They may be sub standards, but they're not as far up in the tier in the rank that they should be.
Brianna Hodges 22:03
I think I think that so I lots of thoughts on this, I think, as a secondary English teacher like this, I totally hear you, right? Like, we have standards built in through through there, we have standards here in Texas as well. And I think that it's one of those where, in me speaking and listening, like all of us have said right are so completely intertwined within within written and, you know, writing and reading, because they are so intertwined, I think that people often don't intentionally focus on this is what we're going to do, right. And so then, like, the speaking part becomes popcorn reading, right? Or it becomes show and tell. Or it becomes, you know, like, reading, you know, reading in front of your group, or it becomes answering a comprehension question in front of the group or those kinds of things. That's that part where like, then we assess, like, a level of skill instead of supporting the development of skill. And I think that that's a challenge because like, for me as a secondary, like I would, I would administer fluency tests, I would administer, you know, comprehension tests, and so much of that like, right, like I'm having, you know, I'm reading a paragraph or, or a passage out loud to my student and then having my student you know, how much did they comprehend, right, like, so then all of a sudden, like, but that's done almost in like, in a lot of capacities that's done as as a as a remediation opportunity or like as a you know, instead of it being that foundational build forward. And I think that that's where it kind of gets, I think we've lost sight of as teachers of like, understanding that spiralization of how it all comes together, right. And then the last part that I'll say on this, I'm a huge literature like nerd, like that was my undergrad, I, I love literature. And with that, I love Billy Shakes like William Shakespeare and I, we're kindred like, I love William. We're good buddies. And I always taught, I always taught a Shakespearean play and things like that. But I taught my Shakespearean plays very differently than a lot of my counterparts. Because Shakespearean plays were not meant to be read, right? They were meant to be performed. And so what happens a lot of times is like people will throw them the play, and then they'll be like, well, these kids just don't understand this because they're, they're, they're focused so hard core on these words, and and what that means, but if instead, we see it performed, and we start to understand the nuances that come through language, like those speaking skills, the listening skills, all of that stuff, that's where kids like, all of a sudden, they can start to understand what's going on, right? It's like why we can that's why we go to the movies and all of a sudden we can understand through the visual representations and all of the multi means and those pieces, it starts to put that together and and I think that if we spent little bit more time looking at it from that multi means in order to bring those those pieces together, we would have a better time as educators understanding the importance of speaking and listening, and how it all kind of connects in there together.
Lainie Rowell 25:17
Sorry, we don't have questions on this show, we just talk and then... no, just kidding...
Timmy Bauer 25:22
So I have a, I have a very critical attitude towards Billy Shakes being taught in school, and it's not about the this is gonna make this gonna get me in trouble. It's not the disrupt. It's not coming from the mentality of, we need to get rid of, you know, Out with the old and we need to focus on the new. That's not the mentality that I'm coming from where my mentality is, is more like, everything that we teach, that's classic literature, there needs to be a really good argument for why it's there instead of something that's way better.
Brianna Hodges 25:57
Okay, so can I give you my really fast response as a, as a high school, middle school teacher, like high school and middle school teacher of Why? Because there are, from a literature perspective, there's the Holy Trinity, if you will, of literature, which is mythology, which is religious texts, and which is Shakespeare, because those are the three most prevalent pieces of classic literature canon. And so many references are built from that, right. So like, in my mind, the reason why you have those as part of your your Canon is really more to like, point to how those impacts, right. So like we would spend a lot of time with like, here's the representation of this historical texts, or this, this, you know, this, this, the the canon, if you will, like, here's Shakespeare, now go find a modern day representation of this. And like, let's show how...
Timmy Bauer 26:46
What is the value of that outside of education?
Brianna Hodges 26:48
The value outside of that is because so many references are brought into ever like, it's how our brain connects like the analogies and the inferences that come into that, right? So like, why is red such a powerful image whenever you're talking about, you know, being critical of someone, right, because of the scarlet letter because of Adam and Eve because of all of this stuff. And so if you don't know that, like if you don't understand why in The Giver, whenever the apple turns red, why that's a big deal, then you need to back that out. And as an English teacher, it was really important to me to help prepare my students with a quote unquote, filing cabinet of information, because a lot of times, we don't give them that back end history, right? Like, we need to let them understand why this is a big deal. Like we need to let them understand why Jim Crow laws were in place so that then they can understand where this comes from of like, why it's so startling, because if we just if we just skip past it, and we only focus on what's happening right now in the present, then we can't bring in all the culture of the conversation of why this is important. Why, why the the passions and why the, the concerns and, you know, you skip past it. And I don't think that that honors, what all is in there. And so you need to have, like I I did, you know, I would talk about The Tempest with my students. And I did that as an eighth grade teacher, when they were doing American history. And, and I remember them being like, man, this is... you know, because the whole component of the tempest is that it was Shakespeare's last play that he wrote. And it was happening at the same time, that colonization was going left and right. And so Britain was just walking in to any and all countries and saying, like, this is British country now, right? Like, we declare it ours, we pick it as ours. And it was completely wiping out all concepts of the people of the indigenous people to those locations. And so it was really great for me to be able to bridge that with American conversations around what happens whenever, you know, when we came to the United States, what did we do, right, like we wiped out, we've declared ourselves king and queen of what we see, we wiped out an entire indigenous, you know, perspective. And so then all of a sudden, my kids were like, Oh, this is terrible. Like, we need to, you know, unpack all of this stuff. And so I think it's super, super important to have that. But you have to have the mindset of how it connects to the present and not just we're doing this, because this is the way that we've always done it.
Timmy Bauer 29:16
That's a great, that's a great, that's a great argument. I find that when I ask that question, most people will give me an answer that feels like it's an argument of this is history. And we need to teach this history. And I love that argument. I guess I just have a hard time with it's, it feels a little over glorified to me, rather than, hey, you know, we should teach it as history.
Brianna Hodges 29:42
Well, I think I mean, there are many other texts that can be brought in like, I'm not trying to say that, that it You only have to teach this one piece. And that's it. I think that I think that the important part of it is recognizing we learn from our history in order to prepare for our future and we have to make sure that we're bringing that in there. And so That sounds like I could spend a ton of time on here. And I don't want to...
Lainie Rowell 30:04
Shalonda has to get back to her site. I don't know...
Timmy Bauer 30:06
Lainie Rowell 30:07
I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding.
Timmy Bauer 30:10
Let's do an episode about it on the literacy advocate, Brianna.
Lainie Rowell 30:13
Oh, my gosh, I think you guys should definitely do that.
Brianna Hodges 30:15
Yeah, we need a marathon.
Lainie Rowell 30:17
Well, but what I love that, that I hear you, I think that you're you both agreeing on this is that when you can connect literature to the real world, that's really profound. And so I think until I don't know what what grade levels you coach, but again, I go back to my, like, my early literacy time, and I think about how often My goal was, obviously, to instill a love of reading. And a lot of times how I would tried to do that is through connecting it to other curricular area to other topics to other things happening in the real world. So I don't know what grade levels are you coaching Shalonda?
Shalonda Archibald 30:51
Right now, I'm coaching for grades four to six. But I've taught all grades five through 12. Yeah, and and I'll say this, that, um, I am not a literature, I don't teach literature. Yeah, I just teach reading. And my goal is always that reading is that foundational element for everything, I wants students to love it, and be able to receive from it, whether it's the classic canon literature, or if it's modern literature, but to be able to navigate it to grow from it in a way that suits what, what they need, what they want, when they see themselves as people, as adult people.
Brianna Hodges 31:34
Yeah, and I think that that's one of the pieces again, to like, bring us all back together on that is, I think that's, that's what's so important about the, about literacy, right, is that it gives us the connecting points to, to our past, to our future to who we are, to what possibilities are to, you know, the empathy to equity like it, it's, it's that, that piece that we can pull from, that tells us really what reality is right. Like, and whether whether we agree with that reality, or whether we want to change that reality, like it gives us this, you know, it's just that connecting point. And like, if we don't have that, then it becomes really difficult for our kids to understand, like, where that that comes in. And I think like, I mean, for me, like I have a 12 year old and I have an eight year old, and we're constantly finding books that will either help provide them a moral or a, you know, an insight into like, what it is that they they want to do, or how to treat people or, you know, some some of that kind of component, but it also helps them like, figure out how they feel about it, right, like so then it encourages that love of learning because they can see themselves in it, or they're, you know, interested or intrigued by it, or all of those pieces. And part of the biggest challenge from that reading perspective is that in my mind, and again, I'm I'm like a big fan of reading, right is that I do think that it's kind of like the cornerstone to learning. And if we don't have reading, like, it's really hard to understand. I used to, you know, like I used to tell my eighth graders all the time, the math test is a much more extensive reading test than it is a math test. like you'd have to be able to like deeply dive in and pull it apart and do all that kind of stuff. And so there's no isolation of content, it's just knowing it and how to apply it across the board.
Lainie Rowell 33:28
So you two have the podcast, The Literacy Advocate, and can you just tell our listeners, you know, what's it about? Like, how did this even come to be in you have like, not a lot of time, but you know.
Timmy Bauer 33:41
So I started it as it was called books for kids. And it was just like me trying to so there's a there's a guy named Matthew Winner, who runs the the children's book podcast, and I was basically trying to be like, Alright, well, you know what, there's one podcast on kids books. It's the children's book podcast, I'm going to be the other podcasts on kids books, I'll, I'll do books for kids. And that's how I'm going to build up my expertise. I'm going to talk to all kinds of authors and illustrators, and I'm going to, I'm going to be known as the kids book guy because of this. And I just realized, as I was doing it that, hey, you know what, I keep talking to teachers on this podcast, and I start the conversation with talking about their favorite kids books. And the conversation always goes to literacy education. And I'm so interested in that conversation, because I care. This is what I studied to be. I studied to be an English teacher when I was in college, and I dropped out six credits left to go to art school to pursue being kids book author. I was almost an English teacher. I care a lot about literacy. And so the conversation just kept going in that direction. And I'm building all these awesome relationships with teachers. And I'm like, this needs to be the podcast, that I renamed it to The Literacy Advocate. And it was not too much long after that. Actually. It was right around the same time that I met shalonda we did an episode two and I was having a, I was going to lunch with my buddy James. And he would say he was...
Shalonda Archibald 35:04
Timmy, you are about to leave something out. Because we did a four person episode on books for kids. Ken, myself and you? Well, three, it was the three of us.
Timmy Bauer 35:19
That's right. That's right. Yes. So I just had you on the show I just had you on, but it was called Books for Kids back then. Yeah. And then I'm making that transition to literacy advocate. I'm going to lunch with my buddy James. And he, he's telling me about the how great it is to have a co host for your show. And I was like, Well, I'd love to have a co host because it would help it has split the workload and just I've got another professional that I can like bounce thoughts off of. And he was like, well, who would you have of all the guests... He said, it should be a guest that you've had, who would you have all the guests and I was like, well, there's this. There's this person I just had on him. shalonda, who I think would be awesome for it. He was like texter right now.
Lainie Rowell 35:55
Yes, that's awesome.
Timmy Bauer 35:56
I texted her right then in the car. And you got back to me, like within minutes. You were like, yes, I'm totally interested.
Shalonda Archibald 36:03
You know what I did? I was, I was in my room. And I looked at my bookshelf, and I saw my stack of four books that I have had since maybe 2017. I told you this that I have been intrigued and interested in podcasting, but I hadn't pursued it. Right. So when you text me, I took it as you know what? You can learn it. Go for it. Yeah. And that's what happened.
Lainie Rowell 36:30
So, can I tell you I listened to the episode where you guys kind of introduced it. This is going to be the two of you now. I forget what the name of the episode was. Okay, so when we already had our podcasts going, I got like, almost like hives and started sweating when you start talking about the books you were reading. I was like Bri, I didn't read the books already. Did you read books? I didn't read books. We just started the show. And like I was like, are we like completely underprepared for this?
Shalonda Archibald 36:52
But you know, something that I'm learning, I'm learning that, for me, sometimes I get stuck on the learn the technical how to do part, and it takes me out of the action part, versus this is what you know how to do. You use what you know how to do and you learn the rest as you go. So that has been a mindshift for me.
Brianna Hodges 37:18
So much the time spent in the research, right? Like we tell ourselves and I mean, honestly, like Shalonda, you know, this coaching teachers and coaching kids like, like, learners of all ages and stages, right? Like, we can really bogged down in convincing ourselves that we need just a little bit more information before we should jump out there. Right? And I think that, like, I, you are speaking to my heart, and they're like, I definitely find myself in that neutral, where I'm like, just research, research, research, and then and like you wish for action, but you don't ever shift into action, because you're stuck in that that research mode. So and I also think it's just part of imposter syndrome. So I've been spending a lot of time researching and listening to and studying just imposter syndrome, right? We get hung up on who we think we are not.
Timmy Bauer 38:09
Shalonda Archibald 38:10
And that causes us to feel like, Oh, we have to conduct all this research, I have to have all these books. My therapist, she said something to me early on. And she said to me, you know, you are very wide read. You need to focus just that time on being right. You're so focused on being able to do everything perfectly. But you have to focus on just being understanding that perfection is a myth, and just get out there and do it and feel comfortable with that process. Yeah.
Lainie Rowell 38:45
And that's actually part of Bri's and I's origin story. I won't repeat it, but when we met that was like one of the very first things we talked about and so... Okak we can I feel like we could do a lot...
Timmy Bauer 38:55
I'm so inspired by that, Shalonda
Brianna Hodges 38:57
Yeah, I think that's and I think I mean, so, so very true. Because I think that that was the part for me like Shalonda, I definitely I'm, I'm very much feeling all of the things that you've just shared. And, and, like Lainie said part of our origin story, like, I mean, when we started going through it, and she was like, well, what about a podcast? And at first was like, I mean, I've been on a lot of podcasts, but I've never done one, but then at the same time, like to, like, like, Lainie was kind of my Timmy where Lainie was like, well, let's try it. I was like,
Shalonda Archibald 39:26
Yes, he just started fielding me guests. Like, you know, I'm gonna have you do this. boom. It started with when he talked to me. He told me that we will be on it together. Yeah, we did maybe two and then together ended and I'm like, Oh, my God, like wait.
Brianna Hodges 39:45
I mean, but I felt like I mean, from the coaching perspective, like you identify with this or like I say, all the time, my hypocrisy knows no bounds, right? Like I can look at anything. Like, just go like, you do not need to worry about, like you have this in your heart like we see this you need to go it's gonna be great, but then when it comes to me, I'm like, yeah, stop like, we can't do this. And so that has been, for me a huge thing with this podcast is kind of like, putting... in leaning into that and saying, like, we can do this and we can model like what learning looks like and do this together.
Shalonda Archibald 40:20
Absolutely, and it's amazing having a partner that sees your blinders, right? Because you don't see it, but having someone who sees it, because that was something that Timmy said early on to that, you know, I think that you have what it takes to do this. But you don't see that, but you have it. And he kind of just like, you know, walk into the edge of the pool and push me and swim. And, he's been a great guide through the process and I appreciate it.
Timmy Bauer 40:47
Man, you're being too good to me Shalonda.
Brianna Hodges 40:49
Oh, my goodness, not to get too stuck on the whole coaching thing. But that's like...
Lainie Rowell 40:54
We're all coaches,.
Brianna Hodges 40:55
...some great yeah, some great advice. And it talks about like the power of a coach is seeing in others what they can't see in themselves. And so you know, that's, that's why we need it. Like, it doesn't matter what your aptitude is, in a situation, you need that person who sees something in you that you cannot necessarily see within yourself. So kudos does all around like, look at you rock star.
Timmy Bauer 41:17
I just have so much faith and you Shalonda that the more you do it, the less you're... the more you're going to strip away all the stuff that is keeping you from being yourself. Like, I just have so much faith in that, like, we start doing something with all this imposter syndrome. And it causes us to put stuff around us that kind of can make us sound a little bit forced or not natural. And on your first episode, not the one that we did together. But like your first episode by yourself, you did sound a little bit forced, but like I have watched, the more you've done episodes, the more you just are yourself. And your episodes are getting better and better and better. I just have like, it's not gonna be long before I'm just like, what am I doing on this show.
Shalonda Archibald 42:02
But you know what, I still write everything out. Like Timmy said, I don't want you writing things down. Like this doesn't require that. Like, it doesn't require for you to do such extensive note taking. But I still do it. But I just feel more comfortable in the arena of the podcast.
Brianna Hodges 42:22
Okay, so can we just pause for a second and acknowledge like how much this ties in to reading and literacy with kids, right? Because we teach them decoding skills, we teach them all these things like how hesitant are we when we start out like the hesitancy as we build our fluency right then as we have faith, and then we start moving forward and we start reading it quicker, we started comprehensive thing quickly. And we don't necessarily need to have all of those like markings on our paper in order to like highlight and underline and do all those pieces. But some of us feel more comfortable having that because we know that it's there. And that gives us the confidence to move forward with it. But at the same time, like you still have it all within you, you know the whole Wizard of Oz. But you've had the magic with you all along, right? Like I think that it's it's so important to, as adult, for us to recognize that those same hesitancies that then build into fluencies are also with us at that level, at an early level. And then they move on into our big level. So Oh my goodness.
Shalonda Archibald 43:29
Also, I'm sorry, but also understanding what our kids are coming to us with and how they need for us to show up for them. And what that feels like I think sometimes when it comes to teaching children to read, because we know how to read sometimes we become disconnected from the process.
Lainie Rowell 43:47
Yeah, for sure. Oh my goodness, I wish we had more time. I wish we had more time. Okay, we're gonna have all your contact info in the show notes. I think does our for frame have room for their Twitter handles?
Brianna Hodges 44:00
I believe so.
Lainie Rowell 44:02
We're gonna make sure people know how to find you all. We love you. Thank you for being here.
Timmy Bauer 44:06
Thanks for having us.
Shalonda Archibald 44:06
Thanks for having us.
Lainie Rowell 44:06
And I look forward to having us to the future collaboration.
Brianna Hodges 44:13
To be continued.
Timmy Bauer 44:15
Shalonda Archibald 44:16
Yes, to be continued you. Yeah. Okay, everybody. Thank you. Have a great day.
Brianna Hodges 44:21
Thank you so much.
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Lainie Rowell 44:37
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai