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Video podcast series releases third episode to elevate the conversation around education transformation, teacher leadership

Columbia, SC … A new video podcast series releases its third episode this week to elevate the conversation around education transformation in South Carolina. Dropping on March 3, this episode of the ElevatED4SC vodcast series focuses on teachers’ innovations and creativity in leading their classrooms during the pandemic. 

The video and audio versions of the series are available on YouTube, ITunes and Spotify. Two 18-minute episodes are released monthly. Previous episodes and show notes are at ElevatED4SC.

ElevatEd4SC, launched Feb. 3, features success stories illustrating how education transformation is already happening in some South Carolina schools. Viewers and listeners can also learn about what other states are doing to meet similar challenges and find out what a whole child, cradle-to-career approach to education would look like. 

ALL4SC is the producing partner for the vodcast series. ALL4SC – Accelerating Learning & Leadership in South Carolina – is a University of South Carolina initiative advocating a whole child approach to education. Other partners in producing the vodcast series include UofSC’s College of Education, UofSC’s College of Information and Communications, and Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative.

Two returning contributors join the first segment of the vodcast to share stories of teachers leading their classrooms in creative ways. In Segment One, Merrit Jones, ALL4SC fellow and advisor to national nonprofit Student Voice, shares initiatives that several teachers are leading on their own. She continues to discuss how strong teacher leadership depends upon hearing student perspectives on how they learn best. “Good teaching relies on good communication with students and responding to that feedback in real time,” says Jones.

Contributor Christina Melton is a veteran educator with more than 28 years of experience ranging from classroom teacher to district superintendent. She says that in order to implement the idea of  whole child education, a whole community must work together. 

“I would call upon our community members,” says Melton, asking the community to consider “what resources do you have available that you could contribute to the work of a district where you live? So often there’s so many great things happening in districts and communities where maybe the school district doesn’t know about it. Or maybe you tried one time, four or five years ago, and it wasn’t successful…. Come back, give us an opportunity because the needs being revealed now are so much different.” 

Speaking on teacher leadership during the pandemic in Segment Two, Barnett Berry shares research that surveyed every South Carolina teacher. Berry, a regular ElevatED4SC contributor, ALL4SC founder and UofSC research professor in the College of Education, notes that these teachers “were highly stressed, but they were also highly innovative. One out of three teachers reported they found new innovations and project-based learning, new forms of student assessment, new ways to engage parents…. We have not capitalized enough on the enormous assets in the brilliance that so many teachers have.” 

Additionally in Segment Two, National Board Certified Teacher Patrick Kelly of Richland District 2 joins Berry to share stories of how teachers have become innovative leaders of their classrooms, exploring how educating the whole child relies on strong teacher leadership. 

“By any metric, teachers are the backbone of South Carolina, whether we are looking at economic growth and development by training and preparing the next generation of workers, whether it is socially by providing students with a safe environment – and oftentimes, access to the only real social services that they have in their life,” says Kelly. “Since I teach AP US government, I would also say civically that we’re preparing the next generation of citizens for active and engaged citizenship.” 

Berry and Kelly also discuss a recently released paper for the International Summit on the Teaching Profession that Berry wrote to address how teachers lead in classrooms and schools around the world.
The series host is Roshanda Pratt, a broadcast journalist with 20 years of experience and a trusted voice on local television, radio, and podcasts. In each episode, regular contributors engage with guests who will include students, classroom teachers, policy makers, parents, and business and community leaders.

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