Human Restoration Project


53: Teaching as a Nerdy Introvert w/ Jessamyn Neuhaus (Geeky Pedagogy)

Ep. 53

Dr. Jessamyn Neuhaus is author of Geeky Pedagogy: A Guide for Intellectuals, Introverts, and Nerds Who Want to Be Effective Teachers, which releases on September 1st, 2019. Jessamyn is a full-time professor at SUNY Plattsburgh, teaching US history, pop culture history, history methodology, as well as “Superheroes in US Culture” and “The Apocalypse in USU Pop Culture.”

It’s only fitting that I recorded this episode with a D.C. Comics shirt, just after watching an episode of The Boys. Jessamyn and I speak about what introverted teachers bring to the classroom, how we can engage introverted students, the problems with the loud and “inspiring superteacher narrative”, and how embracing nerdom/being authentic is paramount to success.

As an introvert, I struggled in professional development, specifically motivational speakers, who made me believe that the best teachers had “Robin Williams” moments (which we discuss on this podcast!) Certainly, this isn’t to berate those who are loud, inspiring, and engaging - but us “nerdy folks” would not do well in a profession that requires that skill-set. I worry that many educators who choose this path and read certain teaching strategy books will come to believe that teaching isn’t for them - solely because of the false narrative of what “good teaching” can look like. Jessamyn and I dive into this and what we can do to change the narrative.



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80: Pandemic Pods, School Choice, and Combating Inequity w/ Dr. Jon Hale

Ep. 80
Today, Chris and I (Nick) are joined by John Hale, whose biography you will hear at the beginning of the interview. John was recently the guest of a Soho Forum debate on the topic of pandemic pods, which you heard excerpts of at the beginning of this episode and confined in its entirety on YouTube.Since the Human Restoration Project has primarily been focused on pedagogy and changing the structures of school, I wanted to have John on to talk more about the history and ramifications of education policy and help us unpack what's really going on in our current conversations about pandemic pods, voucher programs and the recently announced Bezos Academy. How can we simultaneously acknowledge that schools need to change while being critical advocates for the need for public institutions and employee unions? How have market oriented takes on so-called school choice actually subverted the original intent of independent and charter schools? It's a really interesting conversation and it was great to talk to John. I'm sure we'll have him on again to talk education policy, history and organization in the future.GUESTSDr. Joe Hale, professor of educational policy, organization, and leadership at the University of Illinois, Urban-Champaign, and author of the forthcoming book, "The Choice We Face" (working title)RESOURCESJeff Bezos is opening a tuition-free preschool for underserved children (CNN)Savage Inequalities by Jonathan KozolSmall Schools and ChoiceRevisited by Deborah MeierFURTHER LISTENINGAre ‘Pandemic Pods’ a Symptom of the Public School Monopoly? A Soho Forum Debate (YouTube)