How do you make an impact on the lives of students?  This is the question Julie Hasson set out on a journey to discover.  Listen in as she shares the lessons she’s learned along the way.

Show Transcript

Matt Grundler: All right. Hey, everybody this is Matt and Laura and welcome to another episode of the Creatively Connected Classroom. We have another wonderful host, Julie Hasson. So, Julie, we just want to tell you, thank you for being with us today, and-

Laura Grundler: Thank you for recently hosting a K12ArtChat. I feel like we’ve known you for a while from Twitter.

Julie Hasson: Yes.

Laura Grundler: Yes and you’re a principal, and you have a great with a friend of yours The Purposeful Principals, and you’ve written a book on that potential, but I want to know a little bit more about you. What’s your background? How did you become a teacher, and what was the point of becoming an educator?

Julie Hasson: Mostly to get away from my dogs. I’m so sorry, you guys.

Laura Grundler: It’s okay.

Julie Hasson: It won’t stop, something went … there’s wind blowing in our … We live in an old bungalow, so any kind of bump or thud they’re going to sound the alarm, and they have. I’m so sorry.

Laura Grundler: Hence your life.

Julie Hasson: I recently transitioned from my principal role to a professor, and this-

Laura Grundler: Oh, wow.

Julie Hasson: … education, and I do two of my favorite things, I teach graduate students, mostly at leadership, and I also do research and my focus has been on teacher impact, so the kinds of things teachers say and do that makes a lasting impact on people’s life. Yeah, so perhaps you-

Laura Grundler: How exciting!

Julie Hasson: … be out on my own without my professional soul sister, Missy Leonard for a little while. She’s doing her own passion project and it’s taken some courage to be out without here, but we still talk every day.

Laura Grundler: That’s awesome.

Matt Grundler: That’s great.

Laura Grundler: Well, and your new, your passion project, I think? I mean I could be wrong, but this whole idea of chalkboard to chances, tell us about that because to me that’s really exciting.

Julie Hasson: Well, it started really as a research project, and potentially was going to be an article. I decided if I wanted to know what makes a lasting impact on students, I needed to talk to people who have once been students and they’re not hard to find. They’re everywhere. But I think in educational research we tend to talk amongst ourselves, so this was an opportunity to talk to strangers, and I put myself at like farmer’s markets, craft fairs, city parks, big college campuses with just a sign that said, “Let’s chat about a teacher you remember.” And I think at this point I have almost 300 stories.

Matt Grundler: Oh, wow.

Julie Hasson: And I realized they were so validating and beautiful that I needed to share them with other teachers, so that became the chalk and chances blog. It was hard to name the blog, so I had to think about what tools did the teachers use to inspire me, and really they used a whole lot of chalk and gave me a whole lot of chances, so that became-

Matt Grundler: There you go.

Julie Hasson: …the name of the project, but it’s taken on a life of its own, there’s a TED talk coming out, I think next week it will be out on the TED channel, and YouTube hopefully, so it just keep growing and evolving, but it’s been professionally so rewarding and so validating.

Matt Grundler: I can imagine.

Laura Grundler: Do you think you’ll write a book about it?

Julie Hasson: There’s a book proposal in the works now that you know the distance between a proposal and a book is a long haul.

Laura Grundler: We do know that.

Julie Hasson: You need to know that. That’s the hope and the dream, but right now it’s just in the proposal stage.

Laura Grundler: That’s awesome. I guess, you know I think a lot, and I’m sure Matt does too about all the teachers that had … I mean, not only our parents’ teachers, you were just saying a minute ago, before we went on to record that your daughter’s becoming a teacher.

Julie Hasson: Yes, she’s the fourth generation in our family, so this is a teaching family, for sure.

Laura Grundler: Wow. And we are also from teaching families …

Julie Hasson: Yeah.

Laura Grundler: … which I think is very interesting, but do you have a particular teacher that made an impact on your life and you roll as an educator?

Julie Hasson: I do. There’s so many, but the one I always talk about is Nancy Russell. She was my first grade teacher. I was diagnosed with dyslexia in first grade, so I had a really hard time learning to read and I think if she hadn’t been so patient and so flexible I would see myself differently as a learner, but because she was confident and patient and she used this multi-sensory approach I found myself as a reader and a learner despite all those challenges. And when I became a principal and again, felt very anxious and unprepared, she was on my first faculty. So, I got to be her principal, which is amazing because she’s the best teacher ever. So, Nancy seems to come into …

Matt Grundler: Wow.

Julie Hasson: … my life every time I need her most, there she is.

Laura Grundler: Wow.

Julie Hasson: So, Nancy Russell, for sure. Yeah.

Laura Grundler: That’s amazing.

Matt Grundler: That’s great.

Laura Grundler: Wow, and I also find it interesting, so I was also diagnosed with dyslexia in first grade. Matt has ADHD. I wonder how many educators … do you ever talk to educators that were maybe also inspired by their learning challenges?

Julie Hasson: I think it’s an opportunity for us as teachers when a child struggles. It’s easy to teach a kid who has no apparent struggles, but when a child struggles we have the potential to either make that child feel confident and capable despite those challenges or we can show frustration and make that child feel less confident and capable. It’s such an opportunity for a teacher to help a child overcome and persist and feel good about themselves despite whatever struggles they’re facing. I think for my daughter as a teacher who had some challenges academically she’ll be a better teacher because she understands what that feels like.

Matt Grundler: Uh-huh.

Laura Grundler: Yeah …

Julie Hasson: I think that’s true for you guys, right?

Laura Grundler: Oh, absolutely. Well, dyslexia and ADHD runs in families and our oldest son is diagnosed with both. He got both of us. So, in fact, he and I were talking about that in the car yesterday. You know, teacher’s kids often have to go to events with teachers so he was going to our visual arts scholastic even with me yesterday.

Julie Hasson: Cool.

Laura Grundler: Yeah, and he and I were just talking about it, and he was saying something about he hates the word disability. And I said, “Yeah I’m not really keen on that word either.” I don’t see it as a disability.

Julie Hasson: Right.

Laura Grundler: I had a great mother who was a teacher, who always taught me it wasn’t a disability, that it was something that was going to make me a better human being.

Julie Hasson: Right.

Laura Grundler: He goes, “Yeah, I think I understand things differently than other kids.” I said, “Yeah, so, you know, think about how you can use that to help people, whatever you decide to do.” I said, “You’d be a great teacher, but you could do whatever, you know, you want to do.”

Julie Hasson: Yeah.

Laura Grundler: I definitely think that it has its own challenges though when you’re teaching sometimes.

Julie Hasson: It does!

Laura Grundler: old days when we had chalk, there were times where I mean my … one of the big things about my dyslexia is I just leave out whole letters at once.

Julie Hasson: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Laura Grundler: And some kid will say, “Hey Miss, is that spelled right?”

Laura Grundler: No, no it’s not.

Julie Hasson: I was just seeing if you were paying attention, kids.

Matt Grundler: I remember being a teacher of former elementary it helped me especially once I realized my disability, my struggle, you know, I then was able to clue in on those students a lot easier and it made it so much easier. And I’m like, “Oh, I get it now! Okay. Yeah. I see where you’re coming from.”

Julie Hasson: I know what you’re dealing with, right?

Matt Grundler: Yep, exactly.

Julie Hasson: Me, too. I always talk primary grades which is when I struggled. So, I think there’s some empathy there that we bring to teaching. That people who always were strong academically have a harder time tapping in to.

Laura Grundler: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matt Grundler: Absolutely.

Laura Grundler: Yeah, well, I was just thinking about the word persistence, too. You know, a lot of times I’ll hear … because I taught high school and I’ve been out of the classroom for awhile now, but I still have kids, former students of mine that are in the professional world now and they’ll connect with me and what not. Those kids that found school very easily, a lot of them said that they struggled some when they got to college or they struggled in the professional world because they hadn’t had to persevere as much, it just came so easily. So, I also thought that that was interesting that some of them reached, you know, when we would visit about things, you know, that they would say things like, “School was always so easy, but when I got to university or I got my first job, I struggled and I didn’t know how to handle that.” So …

Julie Hasson: That’s true. It builds that muscle [inaudible 00:09:27] having to persist despite a challenge, yeah.

Laura Grundler: Definitely. Do you have any resources that you recommend to young teachers, or beginning teachers for helping struggling learners.

Julie Hasson: I think as new teachers they tend to rely on the models of the teachers they had. Which is great if you’re like me and you have Nancy Russell. I say call up those models and think about what those teachers said and did that worked for you, that made an impact on you and that’s a great place to start, start embodying those words and actions that you experienced as a student and never forget to look at things from a student lens. I think our young teachers do that, that do that pretty naturally and systematically.

Matt Grundler: I found that really interesting that you said that because it made me think of the cling on philosophy of basically try other peoples methods until you kind of find you own and, you know, eventually they’ll just …

Laura Grundler: It will become yours.

Matt Grundler: … hold itself. Become yours because it will become your own rant.

Julie Hasson: Yeah.

Matt Grundler: So, I found that really interesting.

Julie Hasson: I’ve been reading about that notion of it, what is it, teacher persona? And it is … there’s things we are as people paired with who we are as professionals and how we develop this unique teacher persona over time when we see how our students respond to us and how we reflect on what works and what doesn’t. But it’s fun in my role, I get to go out and see some undergraduates in the field and to watch them go out and develop their own teacher persona as they work with students out in classrooms is a really fun thing to witness.

Laura Grundler: I think in my role it’s even … I get the benefit of over time because I, you know, this is my fifth year working with art teachers in a coordinator role and I’ve had the privelage of hiring some really amazing young, first year teachers and getting to see them develop and grow, you know, by the time they hit year three, it’s like when they’re starting to get to … find that persona, kind of like what Matt’s said. They’ve been trying on all these different styles, and they’ve been trying different methods and, you know, I try and take them out and see other teachers teach and connect with people, obviously we’re big into connections, but it’s just a really beautiful thing when you see somebody hit that “I found my voice as a teacher” I guess is the way I would say it.

Julie Hasson: It is so cool, they sort of come into their own.

Laura Grundler: Yeah, and they own that classroom, you know?

Julie Hasson: Yes!

Laura Grundler: I will never forget, I had a first-year teacher and I’d gone out to visit her and she was teaching fourth graders and it was a little bit of a mess, which is typical in an art room. But she … the classroom management piece she was really struggling with and I don’t know … I would normally not do this in an observation, but I just kind of was up moving around talking with kids anyways, and I turned to the teacher and said, “Do you mind if I model something for you?” And I just went right back into my teacher voice, I got all the kids into a “Okay, we’re moving forward with this, we’re all on the same page,” and the teacher looked at me and she goes, “How? [crosstalk 00:12:51] You don’t even know them! You don’t even know them!” And I said, “Well, you just, you find … it’s very true. You have your … I don’t know what that is …

Julie Hasson: Right.

Laura Grundler: But …

Julie Hasson: You come into it, don’t you? And sometimes it’s as simple as, go see a brand new teacher asking things as questions that shouldn’t be questions, like …

Matt Grundler: Yes.

Julie Hasson: … “Would everybody please sit down?” No, that’s not a question.

Laura Grundler: No.

Matt Grundler: It’s not negotiable.

Laura Grundler: Yes, yes, that’s a little bit of what was going on.

Julie Hasson: Yeah, yes.

Laura Grundler: And I turned to her, I said, “This is your classroom.”

Julie Hasson: Exactly.

Laura Grundler: You know, you …

Matt Grundler: Kind of have to demand a little bit of …

Laura Grundler: … This is your domain, and they have to follow your expectations, you know, and it’s been really nice. I was talking with that teacher’s principal the other day and she was just saying how much she’s grown and how wonderful she’s doing. It just … that’s the coolest thing. I’d love to be in your position as professor and be able to work with the newbies because it’s just fun.

Julie Hasson: Fun, and they’re so idealistic and they’re so excited that, you know, you just hope that they hang on to that as they move through the years and hope that they stay at the way we’re going right now.

Julie Hasson: I think 50% of them … I read that we are losing 50% of our new teachers in the first five years, which is, it’s just scary.

Laura Grundler: It’s devastating.

Julie Hasson: We just don’t have the numbers to replace them. Especially in things like art, where you make such an impact.

Laura Grundler: And I will say that in creativity, you know, I work with a … I know a lot of different people with jobs like mine in the metroplex and in Texas. And there’s not a lot of us, actually I’ll say that. I mean, Fine Arts Directors, I guess, but not a lot of us are arts specific, some of them are music, some of them are theater, that kind of thing. But we are struggling to find fine arts teachers, in, especially, in your larger, more urban districts. Like Dallas ISD, they have job Vacancies that can go a whole year, because there’s just not enough coming out. And as you said, I mean, so many are leaving the profession. How do we prevent that burnout? What can we do to help?

Julie Hasson: It feels kind of scary and overwhelming, doesn’t it? Because you see this issue and it’s growing and you think, “What could I possibly do?” And what I asked myself that I thought well, I can collect these stories and share stories and say to people, “You do make a difference. I have evidence. That what you’re doing is important and it makes a difference.” So, I think we all just have to see what we can do in our own way, in our own little corner, and put it out there and hope that enough drops in a bucket fill it up.

Laura Grundler: Yeah.

Julie Hasson: You guys do that by connecting people. All the time. I mean, I think that is such an important part of resilience, what you do by making sure that people are connected to a positive network of other educators. You do it beautifully.

Laura Grundler: Well, thank you.

Matt Grundler: Thank you, appreciate that.

Laura Grundler: We really believe in it. I think that Matt can attest to that more than I can about why it’s so important.

Matt Grundler: I mean, coming from the elementary you see your students for anywhere between five to six years, you know, back to back. And, you hope that you inspire them and you think you do and then they leave and then you don’t really hear a whole lot about them. One of the things that my elementary school did before I left was, they would have a senior night where the seniors who were getting ready to graduate would come back to the elementary school talk with all their friends and all that kind of stuff. I’ve had two that have really stood out, that I realized I made the impact on them, and they wrote me a letter, you know, and I had a chance to have a conversation with one. This kid is going, he had a lot of challenges, like learning challenges and he’s going into college for art and he’s like, “Hey, do you want to see my sketchbook?” And I said, “Yeah, sure.” He goes, “You always told me that an artist should always carry a sketchbook because they never know when inspiration will hit.”

Julie Hasson: Right.

Matt Grundler: That was something I had told him probably first or second grade.

Julie Hasson: He remembers your words.

Laura Grundler: Wow.

Julie Hasson: That’s amazing. That’s like what, almost over a decade later.

Matt Grundler: Yeah.

Laura Grundler: Yeah.

Julie Hasson: He’s telling you exactly what you said to him. I mean, that’s a lasting impact. That’s so cool. I think if we know what makes an impact like that we can do more of it.

Laura Grundler: Yeah.

Matt Grundler: Yeah.

Julie Hasson: We just need to figure out what it is.

Matt Grundler: You know, at the very beginning you were talking about you teacher who made an impact on you. Was there a particular project or was there a particular thing that helped you or helped her to make a bigger impact on you?

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Julie Hasson: I think she loved to read and she did a lot of reading out loud to us, brought so many books into the classroom that I longed to be able to read because of her passion. Now it’s my favorite thing to do, a day with a book is golden. I remember her reading a book by Byrd Baylor called Everybody Needs A Rock. I don’t know if you guys remember that.

Matt Grundler: I don’t know that one.

Julie Hasson: It was in the seventies, which was when I was in first grade. As her principal one day, I was walking through classrooms and I walked into her room and she was doing a geology lesson and she had kids on the rug and she was reading that book.

Laura Grundler: Ahh.

Julie Hasson: I remember sitting down by her kids and I got to listen to her read that story again and all I could do was look, you know, left and right and want to say, “You guys are so lucky.”

Laura Grundler: Aww.

Julie Hasson: But I think it’s anytime we bring our passion into the classroom. Her passion for books. Your passion for art. Kids grab on to that. It inspires them. It’s contagious. Especially for those kids who have some tendency toward whatever our passion is and want to share it with us, that’s an impact. That’s huge.

Laura Grundler: Well, I think, too, it’s so funny I was just sitting here thinking about my mom. My mom was an economics, AP micro-macro economics teacher and a history buff.

Julie Hasson: Wow.

Laura Grundler: Yeah, I know.

Matt Grundler: And she ended up with her.

Laura Grundler: And I …

Julie Hasson: No, my mom was home economics and I don’t cook or sew.

Laura Grundler: Funny.

Julie Hasson: So I get where you’re coming from, Laura.

Laura Grundler: But I will say, I think a lot … my mom’s been passed away about 12 years and there are times where I will get Facebook messages from her former students.

Julie Hasson: Aww.

Laura Grundler: And, what I hear often about my mother and I actually had the privelage of being in her AP Comparative Government test … class … yeah, at the time when you’re 17, 16-17 you’re embarrassed as all get out to be in your mother’s class. Now, I look at it and I’m like what an honor that was. She was very authentic. I mean, there was nothing about my mother that wasn’t just …

Matt Grundler: Straight forward. I’m gonna be honest.

Laura Grundler: Well, the fact that she tried to give you a ring after we were dating, what, six weeks?

Matt Grundler: Something like that.

Laura Grundler: My mother tried to give …

Julie Hasson: See, she knew right away.

Laura Grundler: Yes, it was so funny. She’s like, “I’ve got a ring for you!” And I’m like, “[inaudible 00:21:15].” She was very straight forward, but very authentic in a very loving in her own strange way in the classroom. You know, she did mock trial and she did the academic team and those kids, you know this was a different day and age, but they would come to our house all the time. I remember even being in her class that she would … there wasn’t like a solid line between mom as a teacher, mom as a human, mom as a mom, you know? It was “This is who I am and I share everything about my life and I’m a real person just like you guys in this class.” Sometimes she overshared. I will be honest.

Julie Hasson: That’s a high school danger. We don’t do that as much in elementary.

Matt Grundler: No.

Laura Grundler: No, it’s definitely a high school thing. She had eleventh and twelfth graders.

Julie Hasson: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Laura Grundler: I will say that that is the number on thing I hear when people tell me memories of my mom. Is that how much they appreciated her authenticity and how she appreciated that she shared her ups and downs and her struggles and everything, you know, it was the real deal. I mean, when mom was getting her master’s degree in micro-macro economic education, she really struggled. She also was a struggling learner.

Laura Grundler: So, she would tell her kids in that AP class, you know, this is hard stuff, I struggled through it and we’re going to struggle together and if we’ve got to do it over and over and over, we’ll do it over and over and over. Until you’ve actually mastered this, you know. I think that that was something … and just thinking about new teachers too, you know a lot of times we get to this we’ve just got to cover content, you know. We’ve got to cover the content. We’ve got to get through the calendar. We gotta do … when I see a really good teacher what I see is taking out the time to really assess and understand have they learned it, have they mastered it, can I move on, or do I need to reteach? You know, there’s just so much there about these teachers that have made an impact on our lives there’s so many components and so many facets. This week we heard a public person, a public figure say that teachers are losers.

Julie Hasson: Yeah, I heard that, too.

Laura Grundler: I won’t go into anything political about that I’m just saying, that’s hard to hear.

Julie Hasson: That is hard to hear, it really is. I feel like our profession in so many ways has been attacked politcally, economically, in lots of ways over time. So, part of our job is to find ways to elevate it and to share ways that teachers make this big, important impact. I wouldn’t want to grow up in a world without great teachers. I think that the fear of that, it’s a scary thing to think we’re at such a point of a critical teacher shortage and that we’re losing them. So, we have to find ways to highlight the important work that we do. I think that for people like your mom, you know, some of what we do is just model by the way we live our lives. You know …

Julie Hasson: She was a model for them in work ethic and character and being who you truly are. Those things speak volumes outside of any curriculum we teach.

Laura Grundler: Yeah, I was just thinking of Matt’s dad.

Matt Grundler: Yeah, I was going to say. My dad was the same way.

Laura Grundler: Your mom, too, but we had the honor of hearing your dad’s students talk to him.

Julie Hasson: Wow.

Matt Grundler: We had …

Laura Grundler: Owen was three, four, so, it’s been about 10 years.

Matt Grundler: Yeah, so, we had the opportunity … my dad was getting ready to retire from coaching and teaching. He had been teaching for almost 30 years. He taught high school physical science. So, that’s where I get my love of being able to pull art and science together …

Julie Hasson: Yeah.

Matt Grundler: … Show why they connect the way they do. I didn’t think it was at the time, but I do see it.

Laura Grundler: His dad is awesome because we’ll be in Arizona and he’s like, “These rocks are…”

Matt Grundler: “They’re made by this.”

Laura Grundler: archeological. Our son loves hanging out with him because he gets this whole lesson about the environment. Matt does that beautifully and it definitely, you can tell where the science comes in to the art room.

Matt Grundler: So, we got a chance to go to this banquet where they were honoring my dad. He had all of his former athletes slash students slash … you know, opened our house to these kids who were struggling going through high school, hitting these struggles, and was their stand in dad if they didn’t have a dad or was their …

Laura Grundler: And your mom, too.

Matt Grundler: Yeah, I mean, there are wrestlers still that are probably in their forties and fifties that my dad coached that still call my mom Mrs. Grundler.

Julie Hasson: Aww.

Matt Grundler: They basically saw her as a mom and it’s just really amazing.

Laura Grundler: Well, it was, again, it was a little bit of a different time.

Matt Grundler: It was.

Laura Grundler: One of the things that I loved hearing was he would take the boys on this epic bike ride …

Matt Grundler: From Phoenix to San Diego, so basically …

Julie Hasson: Oh my goodness, that’s a bike ride.

Laura Grundler: Yeah, they’re athletes.

Matt Grundler: Over the summer, they were on the, you know, the old school ten speeds that had super skinny tires …

Julie Hasson: Yes.

Matt Grundler: He would take them for like two days, three days bike ride to … all the way to San Diego.

Laura Grundler: And the parents would follow in the van, there would be water.

Matt Grundler: Well, that really didn’t happen until later. They would go in this big pack. There would be a pack of probably forty kids, forty high school … actually about thirty high school kids that were all riding ten speeds. It was a good team building exercise because they all had to look out for each other and they’re all making sure … so it was …

Laura Grundler: Well, it makes me think about … I don’t know what you think about this Julie, but rights of passage for teachers and kids. I feel like that’s something that’s missing a little bit sometimes from our education system. Not having time for those things. That we don’t have enough time to say, “Look at what you just accomplished.”

Julie Hasson: Yeah.

Laura Grundler: Look at this … you know even when I was at the middle school as an assistant principal I don’t believe in eighth grade graudation, it’s just my own thing. You’re not really graduating. I don’t want the kids to think you’re done, you know?

Julie Hasson: It’s all downhill now.

Laura Grundler: Yeah, exactly, but you’re making a transition. You’re transitioning to high school, so we always had … I put together a ceremony where we had transition where the kids would go under a balloon arch basically. They would go from their middle school colors to now they were Clark Cougars at the high school and now that you’re red and your cougar. I wanted them to have something to say, “I’ve made this transition. I have completed this part and I’m moving on to the next part.”I just think, you know, things like what Matt’s dad did or, you know, things like what my mom would do with the academic team, those things are the things that I think help us as educators stay connected.

Julie Hasson: Yes.

Laura Grundler: Remember … because we’re not always gonna see that kid 30 years from now and hear those stories about remembering why you carry a sketchbook. You know, that’s … so, we have to build in some things that make us excited …

Julie Hasson: It’s true.

Matt Grundler: Or the kid that decides I’m an art teacher based on.

Laura Grundler: I have a couple that are teachers now, so …

Julie Hasson: Because your … is there anything better anyone could say to you than, “I became a teacher because of you.”

Laura Grundler: There’s nothing better.

Julie Hasson: I can’t imagine anything better.

Laura Grundler: Yeah.

Julie Hasson: I was doing some reading on something called self-defining moments and you’re examples were interesting because they fit right in. One type and they’re a few different types, but one type is called guiding directives. So, it’s words that we hear our teachers say and then they become words to live by, like you always carry your sketchbook, right?

Laura Grundler: Yep.

Julie Hasson: But the other kind is sort of more symbolic. So, we take something that our teacher said or did or some event that happened and we ascribe some meaning to that and it becomes a moment that we carry throughout our lives. I think transitions are prime spots for having those symbolic kinds of self-defining moments.

Laura Grundler: Yeah.

Julie Hasson: And giving kids time to reflec on what does this mean, what is the impact of this moment on my life. Yeah, you guys give the best examples. Gonna quote you in the book proposal.

Laura Grundler: We’ll be happy to do that. We’ve got all kinds of great book ideas, but we have a hard time actually getting them written down.

Julie Hasson: I could totally relate to that, totally relate.

Laura Grundler: Oh my gosh.

Matt Grundler: Goodness, well I mean, to say this conversation hasn’t been enjoyable, it really has. It’s been a wonderful …

Laura Grundler: I’m smiling from ear to ear right now. All these lovely memories about all these wonderful people that have [crosstalk 00:30:29] where we are, you know?

Julie Hasson: I loved hearing about your moms and dads. I knew that you came from parents who are educators, but it’s so amazing to hear about them and to get some details, so, you know, I hope you guys will do some writing about your parents because I think that would inspire a lot of people.

Laura Grundler: You know, you said that the words … my mother and actually her students had this t-shirts made, my mom ending every class, she wouldn’t let the kids leave the classroom without saying, “Make good choices.”

Julie Hasson: Awe.

Laura Grundler: Every single class period, every single day. That was my mom’s mantra when they left her classroom. Leave here and you make good choices.

Julie Hasson: Yeah.

Laura Grundler: I know that I said that quite frequently when I was teaching because I had heard it so much. I know she’s not the only one, it’s not her phrase, but when I think of my mom and I think of teaching I think of that, make good choices. It’s not like that has anything to do with economics or history, but it was life.

Matt Grundler: It’s life.

Julie Hasson: It’s life.

Laura Grundler: She knew they were going to leave her classroom out to the world and they were going to be confronted with choices to make. She hoped they would make good ones.

Julie Hasson: You have to think a little deeply about that, too, because what it says to students is I care about …

Matt Grundler: What you’re doing.

Julie Hasson: What you’re going to do when you leave my classroom and I want you to be safe and I want you to make decisions that are going to put you in a position where you’ll be content and you’ll be successful. It communicated to her kids that she cared about them beyond them as just academic learners.

Matt Grundler: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Laura Grundler: Right.

Julie Hasson: That’s powerful.

Laura Grundler: Yeah, I don’t know that I’ll ever be who my mother was, but I think that …

Julie Hasson: I say that all the time, too. If I … I have friends that say, “I don’t want to grow up to be like my mom.” I think if I could just be half of my mom as a mother and a teacher I would be in really good.

Laura Grundler: I could not agree more. So, at the end of our little discussions we always like to ask if you have any parting words of wisdom for our listeners. We’ve gone all over the gamut and like Matt said we’ve had such a lovely, heartwarming … I’m almost in tears kind of conversations. Just curious what your words of wisdom would be for the listeners today?

Julie Hasson: I would say to all my educator colleagues, all my peeps, what you do makes a difference, a big, lasting difference. I talked to a woman a few months ago, she’s 85 years old and she had the most clear, beautiful memories of her high school speech teacher.

Laura Grundler: Aww.

Julie Hasson: That’s seven decades. So, do not doubt that what you do makes a difference. I always say I have the data to support that. I do. I have a bunch of qualitative data that suggests that the things we do and say make a difference. No one ever mentions test scores when they tell me that the impact a teacher had, so just know that some of those short term things that are distractions are just that. They can get in the way of what’s really important. So, just focus on your students, notice what they need, take the time to respond to those needs, and they will never forget that.

Laura Grundler: Yeah, wow. Well on that note.

Matt Grundler: Wow.

Julie Hasson: All the feels.  That’s right, go get them.

Laura Grundler: I’m so excited. I want to go teach tomorrow.

Matt Grundler: With the rocky theme.

Laura Grundler: Yeah.

Julie Hasson: Right. Awe.

Laura Grundler: Wow.

Matt Grundler: Thank you, Julie. We really appreciate it.

Julie Hasson: I’m so glad to hear your voices and get to talk to you.

Laura Grundler: I know, it’s the weirdest thing being twitter friends and Facebook friends and having all these awesome people that we know around the world, then very rarely ever getting to see faces and talk.

Julie Hasson: Yeah.

Laura Grundler: We love doing the podcast because it’s this great experience and it’s an extension. You know, It’s really what the people were asking for. They’re like, you have these amazing hosts on the chat …

Matt Grundler: But we don’t get to know them.

Laura Grundler: Yeah.

Matt Grundler: And we want to know them, so that’s how you do it.

Julie Hasson: Well I appreciate you doing that for me and for everybody out there.

Laura Grundler: Well, thank you so much.

Matt Grundler: Thank you again, Julie.

Laura Grundler: Can’t wait to talk to you again soon.

Julie Hasson: Yes, I hope everything is great at your house this week.

Laura Grundler: Yes, we do too.

Julie Hasson: Go get ’em.

Laura Grundler: Alright.

Matt Grundler: Alright.

Julie Hasson: Alright.

Matt Grundler: Come again.

Julie Hasson: Bye Matt and Laura.

Matt Grundler: Bye.

Laura Grundler: Bye.

Speaker 3: Heads-up, seven-up friends, if you’ve been enjoying these episodes be sure to subscribe to the Creatively Connected podcasts. You’ll get a notification every time we release a new episode each and every week and take a screenshot and put it on your favorite social media, twitter, insta, Facebook, you name it. Tag Education Closet and K12 Art Chat, so we can reach out and say thanks and if you really love us with all the feels, give us a review and/or a rating over on iTunes. It helps others find the show and connect with our incredible community. Thanks for all your support.

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