Cover image of Angela Watson's Truth for Teachers

Angela Watson's Truth for Teachers

Truth for Teachers is designed to speak life, encouragement, and truth into the minds and hearts of educators and get you energized for the week ahead.

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EP128 Daily routines makeover: How to maximize your time at school so you can work less at home

Join me today as I help one teacher make over her daily schedule so she can maximize her time in school and work less at home based on a coaching call that I conducted with a graduate of the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. Have you ever wondered how time slips away from you and the entire day is gone? Listen in as I walk Amara, a 3/4 French Immersion teacher from Winnipeg, Manitoba, through each element of her non-instructional time and look for ways that she can streamline and simplify. As you listen in, I encourage you to ask yourself the same questions I’m asking Amara as you are going to be able to relate to her challenges because they’re common to almost all teachers. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.


22 Apr 2018

Rank #1

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S5EP14 How to respond to rude, disrespectful student attitudes (with Robyn Jackson)

Today we're going to talk about the little things students do that are rude, disrespectful, or just annoying. The things that don’t necessarily warrant some kind of consequence, but that you don’t want to let slide every time. How should a teacher respond to eye rolling, teeth sucking, muttering under the breath, and so on? What do we do about bad attitudes? I don’t want to settle for trite rehashed info, so I reached out to Robyn Jackson because I knew she could take this conversation to a deeper level. Robyn was a National Board Certified English teachers in Maryland, just outside of Washington DC, and has since been and administrator, adjunct professor, consultant, and speaker. She’s been championing equity, access, and rigor for over 15 years. Robyn is seriously one of my favorite experts in the education space, because she has a deeper understanding of human behavior and motivation than anyone else I know, and she always keeps it real. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing her speak in person a few times just hang on her every word--there’s so much good info there. She has this lovely way of uncovering the root problem and also sort of calling you out on your own mess instead of allowing blame-shifting. Grab a notepad when you listen to this one, because you’re going to want to take notes! Want to give your feedback on Season 5 of the podcast? Let me know what you liked and what you want changed here! 


7 May 2017

Rank #2

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BONUS EXTENDED EPISODE: How to trim 3 (or more!) hours off your workweek starting NOW

In this special extended episode between podcast seasons, I’m sharing practical time-saving strategies and simple mindset shifts that will help you: * Reduce your workload * Eliminate the unnecessary * Automate processes * Delegate responsibility to students * Get more done in less time * Create a sustainable work schedule From lesson planning to grading, you’ll walk away with lots of ideas for small changes that add up to big results, and get a fresh dose of motivation for the new year. It’s so simple to create change that you can try out just ONE of the dozens of approaches shared and save an hour a week, right away. There’s something for every teacher here–don’t miss out! ----------- Want more support with productivity? Click here to learn about the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club, which is open to new members from Dec. 30th-Jan. 9th.

1hr 3mins

17 Dec 2017

Rank #3

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EP178 How to act (rather than react) and stop wasting class time when kids are off-task

Are you constantly losing instructional time to minor disruptions and off-task behavior? What if you shifted your focus from eliminating misbehavior and interruptions to maximizing learning time? When the goal is to eliminate interruptions, you feel like you have to address every single one so it never happens again. When the goal is to maximize learning time, you can choose a more constructive response that keeps the majority of the class on-task. This approach will reduce the wasted class time spent on lectures about the rules and arguing with kids over what you’ve told them to do. Here’s how to plan your responses in advance so you’re not constantly exploding in frustration over minor things.  Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our new podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.  


13 Oct 2019

Rank #4

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S5EP07 Ten things every white teacher should know when talking about race

86% of teachers in the U.S. are white. Most of you listening to this episode are therefore white. Conversations about race are super prevalent right now and for many white people, and it feels like stepping onto a minefield. They have literally no idea what to say, or feel like they don’t understand the history enough to contribute much to the conversation. Or, they say something they think is totally valid but inadvertently offend people of color in the discussion or get their own feelings hurt because they feel “attacked”, vowing to never, ever enter another conversation about race again. This can’t happen, teacher friends. It really hurts my heart to see so many misunderstandings in our country around race right now, particular when it’s among white teachers who are shaping the next generation of minds. Teachers are smart, kind, educated people tasked with raising up young people to be leaders. We cannot be ignorant about race or avoid talking about it. I’m going to start here, today, by sharing what I know now as best as I can, because if I wait until understand everything fully, there will never be an episode about race on Truth for Teachers. And this can’t wait. I want every white teacher, particularly those who teach black and brown students, to understand some fundamental truths. These can completely transform your relationship with your students, their families, and the community you teach in, and I hope you’ll be open to my words in light of that. This episode is for those who are frustrated with conversations about race right now, and also for those who want to have hard conversations, want to support their students, want to step up as advocates and allies, but just don’t know how to talk about racial issues and are afraid of saying the wrong thing. I hope the information I share today will help you feel more confident in having those tough conversations that are so, so important, and empower you to be a more culturally responsive teacher.


19 Mar 2017

Rank #5

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EP181 Four things your school psychologist wishes you knew about sped referrals (with Dr. Rebecca Branstetter)

Why does it take so long to test kids for special education services? What are you supposed to do in the meanwhile? And what exactly does the school psychologist do all day? Dr. Rebecca Branstetter of The Thriving School Psychologist Collective is here to share the hilarious stories and inside scoop on the role of school psychs. They’re trained to do far more than just test kids, and your school psychologist can be a fantastic resource: “School psychologists aren’t the gatekeepers to special education. We want to do so much more than just test. We want to be part of the school community. Think of us as your consultants and thought partners before you think of us as special education assessors”. If you’ve ever been frustrated with the special education referral and testing process, listen in to discover what’s happening behind the scenes, and what you can do (with the support of your school psychologist) to help your students. Click here to read the blog post and participate in the discussion or, join our new podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.


3 Nov 2019

Rank #6

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EP126 How YOUR response to student behavior can change the trajectory of a child’s life & disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline

One of the toughest parts of teaching students who enter our classrooms with a lot of personal and behavioral issues is that feeling of helplessness that comes from working with them. You might feel that there is nothing you can do to reach that student, or that you have no control over the situation at all.  It’s a frustrating situation for sure, but today, I discuss why you have far more power and influence than you may think through having a restorative mindset versus a punitive mindset, and choosing as a school community to approach behavior problems through a lens that is focused on long-term solutions which restore a child to wholeness rather than punishing or criminalizing kids for their behavioral choices. Join me today on one of the most important episodes I've ever done. Listen in on your time — it might shift your perspective in a way that literally changes the trajectory of a child’s life.  Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.


8 Apr 2018

Rank #7

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EP182 The Weekend Effect: Why your time off is worth fighting for (with Katrina Onstad)

The history of the weekend is a fascinating one, and author Katrina Onstad is here to tell us why (and how) workers’ rights have evolved over time. She shares the ancient concept of rest from working hours, and describes how the encroachment of work on our personal lives changed with industrialization, and changed again now that technology keeps us connected 24/7. Katrina also shares some systemic changes we can make in schools to fight the culture of overwork, and shares practical things you can do to get the benefit of “the weekend effect” and maximize your time off to create a true break. To learn more, get Katrina's book, "The Weekend Effect: The Life-Changing Benefits of Taking Time Off and Challenging the Cult of Overwork." Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our new podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.


10 Nov 2019

Rank #8

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S4EP15 How to undo your classroom management mistakes

Listen as I share the story of a classroom management mistake that made a huge impression on me many years ago. We all have examples of procedures and routines that we know are wildly inefficient...but who has the time and energy to figure out a better way and retrain the kids? In this week's episode, I’ll tell you my personal philosophy on this: It’s NEVER too late to change something that’s not working. Not in your classroom, and not in your life. You don’t have to wait for next year and an entirely new group of kids. You can–and should–modify your procedures, expectations, and teaching strategies ANY time they are not effective, at ANY time during the school year. Listen in to learn how.


13 Nov 2016

Rank #9

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EP06 How to stop being overly critical of yourself

Many teachers are far too hard on themselves and constantly feel guilty about things they’re not doing. You can make 3 small changes that will create a dramatic shift in how you think and feel about yourself. Learn how to change your mindset and move from self-criticism to self-acceptance.


25 Jan 2015

Rank #10

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S4EP7 What to do when a student constantly refuses to work

Though it’s a common problem that happens in pretty much every classroom in America, there isn’t any clear cut solution. Obviously you want to make the work as meaningful, authentic, and relevant as you can, and build rapport with students. But there are some kids who just aren’t going to focus and get their work done no matter how much of a personal connection you’ve tried to make with them, or how much choice you’ve given in the assignment. In this episode, I'll share how I respond to these students, and what you can do to keep disengaged learners from stealing your enthusiasm for teaching.


18 Sep 2016

Rank #11

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S2EP14 Five attention grabbers that refocus kids quickly

Have you lost patience for refocusing your class and fallen into the trap of just barking at the kids (“No talking!”) or pleading with them (“I'm waiting for quiet!”) all day long? Ironically, it’s more tiring to keep repeating your request for silence, since nagging kids puts us in a bad mood and the kids just tune us out, anyway. Here are 5 ways to grab kids' attention in a fun and engaging way.


1 Nov 2015

Rank #12

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EP180 Real talk on communicating with difficult colleagues at school

Do you have co-workers who are passive-aggressive, controlling, or even outright bullying others when you’re supposed to be collaborating? Are you appalled at some of the things that come out of some coworkers’ mouths, but always feel caught off guard and aren’t sure how to respond? This is an off-the-cuff episode where I’m speaking to you directly from the heart, giving the same advice I’d give to a friend. Listen in to hear some approaches I’ve used when communicating with difficult colleagues. Click here to read the blog post and participate in the discussion or, join our new podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.


27 Oct 2019

Rank #13

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S4EP8 Five classroom management questions in 15 minutes (Ask Angela Anything)

This season, I thought it might be fun to structure the Ask Angela Anything episodes a little differently, and answer a couple questions briefly in one episode. In fact, I’ve challenged myself to answer 5 questions in 15 minutes--quick and to the point. Listen in as I discuss transition tips, classes that have a hard time quieting down, reward systems, and more.


25 Sep 2016

Rank #14

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EP156 Five syndromes that overcomplicate your teaching—here's the cure

Do you relate to any of these 5 mindsets? They’re super common, but make it harder to draw boundaries and prevent us from doing the most impactful work: ✔️Shiny object syndrome ✔️Imposter syndrome ✔️Project manager syndrome ✔️Superhero syndrome ✔️Martyr syndrome Check out this week’s episode to learn more about each syndrome—and discover the cure for each one, too. Click here to read or share the transcript and audio or participate in the discussion.


10 Mar 2019

Rank #15

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S4EP02 Ten things you should throw out in your classroom NOW

As a new teacher, I was totally a hoarder. I didn’t believe I had the resources I needed to teach, and therefore had to hold onto everything that crossed my path in order to be able to make do. I learned to have the mindset of abundance which makes it possible to clear away the clutter and get rid of things, and you can do it, too! This episode will help you mentally prepare to take a new approach to what you keep and what you don't, starting with 10 things you should toss out right away. 


14 Aug 2016

Rank #16

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EP07 Find & embrace your unique classroom management style

There are a dizzying number of effective ways to lead a classroom. How can you figure out which style is right for you? Learn from a mistake I made in emulating another teacher’s management techniques, and develop the confidence to make decisions about what works best for you AND your students.


1 Feb 2015

Rank #17

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EP115 Goodbye, "Teacher Tired": 5 days to doing fewer things, better

What do you want your life to look like? When you look back on it all at the end, what do you want to feel like you've accomplished? How do you want to have spent your time? What will be your legacy? Those are deep questions for sure, and most of us just don't have the time or energy to try to answer them. It's not because we don’t care. We're just too tired to take a step back and try to figure out a better way. And yet, getting clear on what matters to you could change everything about the way you use your time and where you focus your energy. Even though "there’s no tired like teacher tired," a few changes in your mindset and habits can totally transform that.  I created a free challenge called "Goodbye, Teacher Tired" with five of the most important things you can do to stop feeling tired all of the time and maximize your time, and energy and focus. Listen in to get a summary of the five steps covered in the challenge. You can sign up for the challenge and participate in the discussion by visiting the original post here. Or, you can learn more about the "Goodbye, Teacher Tired" Challenge here.


19 Nov 2017

Rank #18

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S2EP10 Extreme student behavior--7 traps to avoid when NOTHING seems to work

What do you do for a student who continually chooses to misbehave? What happens when you feel like you've tried everything, and you're starting to turn into the type of teacher you never wanted to be? Here are 7 traps to avoid when dealing with extreme student behavior.


4 Oct 2015

Rank #19

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S5EP13 The simplest way to stop feeling overwhelmed and overscheduled

I want to use this episode to dive more deeply into a topic that I’ve touched on quite a few times, which is problem of overwhelm. Overwhelm is a huge issue for just about everyone, but particularly for teachers. I want to help you understand an important contributing factor that a lot of people underestimate or just don’t give much thought to. Once you understand what’s creating or worsening your feeling of being overwhelmed, the solution because clear, simple, and pretty straight forward.  Listen in as I share how you can avoid overscheduling yourself, and create more margin in your life through building in buffer time.  Want to give your feedback on Season 5 of the podcast? Let me know what you liked and what you want changed here! 


30 Apr 2017

Rank #20