Episode 5 – Pop Culture 101

In this episode Alicia, Rob Phillips (documentarian, English and Cultural and Media Literacies teacher), Nancy Mosley (Red 4 Ed Contributor, teacher of Sociology and American History) and Morgan Fullbright (writer, teacher of English literature, and mother to be) talk about teachers in Pop Culture and the way these popular depictions of teachers and schooling reflect and often persist in our collective imaginations.  During the course of which, we mount a rousing defense of Professor Snape, talk about what really grinds our gears (That class only has like, 12 students!  12!) in on-screen classrooms, and discuss everyone from Joe Clark to Rupert Giles.

“What is it about Snape that I love so much?.. He let the kids think he was a bad guy when that was in their best interest…  I just think that that is one of the most difficult things to do as a teacher or a parent.” – Nancy Mosley

We also discuss the ways in which these depictions may inform our understanding of what teaching is supposed to be as well as the best ways to use pop culture within the classroom as a powerful tool to catch student interest, pull them in, and remind them that what we do in the classroom is mildly relevant to the “real world”.

Links to Stuff We Talked About

Did we miss your favorite on-screen teacher?  Is there a piece of pop culture that occupies a permanent space in your curriculum?  Let us know in the comments!

Hot Four Teachers was recorded in conjunction with Red 4 Ed NC – an education demonstration in progress. Red 4 Ed is a special project of Public Schools First NC, supporting North Carolina’s public schools through information, education, and engagement.

Intro/Outro music: Believe in Me (Ryan Little) / CC BY 4.0

** As a note – we were mistaken about real-life Erin Gruwell’s classroom presence.  She taught for four years, not two as we stated on the podcast, before moving on to teach at California State University.  Also, apparently Mr. Keating told them to rip out the introduction to their text, starting at page 21, not page 1.  My bad.

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