Chasing Squirrels

I don’t blog twice in one day very often, but these posts are almost writing themselves today.   I could subtitle this post ‘teacher talk…recorded!’.  I had the great pleasure of speaking with Chris Cluff, master EDU conversation facilitator and creator of the Chasing Squirrels podcast.

Rewind 10 months. Podcast? Summit and conference presenter? Blogger? Networking? Online Youtube session? Really? How?

Life is funny like that.  Saying ‘yes’ has had a bit of a chain reaction this year.  It’s been the busiest teaching year of my life because I’ve decided to say yes to opportunities.  It has been so rewarding, largely because I’ve be-friended so many amazing teachers both in and out of my Board.

Educators can empower each other. A quick tweet or DM to make a connection or ask a question on behalf of a new member of your PLN can change your trajectory.  Teachers we meet help shape our edu interests and their passions are often contagious.  I always want to try something new after meeting an energized teacher.

The new, this time, came from a quick Twitter DM sent from a new friend that said something like “Chris, you’ve got to talk to this guy”.  A few weeks later and I have a podcast in the can!

It was a blast.  First of all, Chris researches his podcast guests and checks out their digital footprint. He then creates an amazing sketchnote that serves as a conversation roadmap. So cool.


Next we just chatted, off air. We geeked out on teacher talk.  Eventually Chris asked if we should hit record and officially start the podcast.  He warned the hour would fly by, and it literally felt like ten minutes.

I ramble, I talk too fast, I clearly say ‘um’ too often, but I must admit that sharing my views and motivations on record was somewhat liberating.  I reflect personally all the time.  Reflecting along with someone else took it to another level.

I told Chris afterwards that there is something special about a podcast.  As the listener you are not distracted with visuals and you end up tuning very carefully into the nuances of conversation.

Tuning in.  Active listening skills.  I see opportunity here in my classroom.  Another medium to adapt, explore and add to the digital toolbelt? Hopefully my students take my lead and say ‘yes’.

A night of teacher talk left me with a new pal, a growing network and a very cool experience to reflect upon. Chris’ inquisitive nature is indeed contagious.  He’s chasing squirrels.  I think I know why.