Working Well Podcast

Working Well Podcast Series

The educational system in the United States continues to face unprecedented challenges. A system-wide focus on workforce well-being has emerged as a key strategy towards restoring stability and is a priority for school administrators. As part of NCSSLE’S Research to Practice Initiative led by an advisory group of national experts, we convened several roundtable discussions with a variety of researchers and educators in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Their expressed interest was to better understand the well-being practices currently being implemented in schools to see how they may serve to improve conditions for teaching writ large.

For our Working Well Podcast Series, we spoke with a variety of educators who included a researcher, superintendent, principal, school psychologist, and teacher.  Our more recent conversations were located at the intersection of well-being, staff equity, and diversity, with educators who describe their distinct personal identities as one of their greatest assets as teachers in the classroom, leaders in their schools, and as trainers and mentors. They share their unique lived experiences, the many challenges they faced, and how they moved through them. We present their stories to give hope and guidance to those who may, for similar reasons, feel professionally isolated or under-appreciated, and for school leaders to take heed.  

See also theWorking Well Resource Directory for administrators, teachers, and other staff.  

Please note, the contents of these podcasts do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the U.S. Department of Education, nor does it imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education. 

In this conversation, NCSSLE Training Specialist Melanie Goodman speaks with Peter DeWitt ED.D. He was an elementary school teacher for 11 years, a principal for 8 years, and the 2013 School Administrators Association of New York State's (SAANYS) Outstanding Educator of the Year. Today he runs workshops, coaches school leaders, and provides keynotes focusing on collaborative leadership, fostering inclusive school climates, and connected learning.

In this conversation, NCSSLE Training Specialist Melanie Goodman speaks with Kathy Nimmer, who was a high school English teacher for 29 years at William Henry Harrison High School in Indiana, a public school of approximately 2,200 students. Kathy was Indiana’s Teacher of the Year in 2015 and is now mentoring new teachers full-time. Kathy is also blind.

On this episode of Working Well, we speak with Jermar Rountree, a Pre-K through 8th grade health and physical education teacher at Center City Public Charter School, Brightwood Campus, in the Washington D.C., area. Center City School is a Title I school in a densely populated, lower-income area and has a little over 250 students, with approximately 50% identifying as African-American and 50% as Hispanic.

On this episode of Working Well we talk with Elvina Charley, Ed.S. She is a bi-lingual Diné (Navajo) school psychologist primarily supporting the Navajo Nation of Northeastern Arizona. Her school educates over 2,000 kindergarten through 12th grade students; a majority of students are bilingual and speak the language of the Navajo people.

On this episode of Working Well we speak with Dr. Ricki Gibbs. At the time of the recording, Dr. Gibbs was the principal at Warner Arts Magnet Elementary School, in Nashville, TN, but recently transitioned to be the head of all elementary schools for LEAD Public Schools, also in Nashville.

On this episode of Working Well we speak with Dr. Georgeanne Warnock, who has been the Superintendent of Terrell Independent School District, in Terrell, Texas, since January 2020.

On this episode of Working Well we speak with Dr. Patricia Jennings, Professor of Education, from the University of Virginia, an internationally recognized researcher and leader in the fields of social and emotional learning and mindfulness.

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