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Episode 6 – “Just” An Informality?

In this episode – the last of the season – podcast regulars Alicia Whitley and Emmanuel Lipscomb invite JQ Abbey and Allie Mullin to talk about the ins and outs and importance of informal education in encouraging the young and the young at heart alike to have fun and keep learning.

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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”.

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Episode 4 – Advocacy 101

Part of being a good teacher is being an advocate for yourself, your students, and your school.  But sometimes, it’s hard to know just where to start.

Angela Scioli (Red4Ed Founder, NCTVN Fellow), Jessica Benton (NCAE, Organize 2020), and Trey Ferguson (WCPSS Beginning Teacher Network Co-Founder, NCTVN Fellow) talk about their organizations and some of the best ways teachers can advocate for themselves, their students, their schools, and their communities.

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Episode 1 – Part 2

This is Episode 1.2 – “Audi 3000”

In the second part of this two part episode, public school teachers Alicia and Emmanuel continue talking with former educators Meredith and Paul about their decision to leave the classroom.  Besides feeling micro-managed and overworked, they hit on perhaps one of the biggest issues facing teachers today – the issue of teacher pay.

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Episode 1 – Part 1

This is Episode 1.1 – “Audi 3000”

Education Week, March 2015

On the first episode, a hot three teachers talked about what got them into education.  Bringing teachers in is good.  Getting them to stick around is better.  The more experience a teacher has, the more likely it is that they will be effective in the classroom.   What’s more, it’s estimated that teacher turnover costs the state billions.

But why do teachers leave?

Autonomy. This week on the Hot Four Teachers Podcast, public school teachers Alicia and Emmanuel talk with former educators (and apparent cat lovers) Meredith and Paul about their reasons for getting out of the teaching biz.  And the importance of keeping cats trimmed.  And looking good for race cameras.

About the Podcast

Hot Four Teachers was recorded in conjunction with Red 4 Ed NC – an education demonstration in progress – and is dedicated to the goal of amplifying teacher voice.  Red 4 Ed is a special project of Public Schools First NC, supporting North Carolina’s public schools through information, education, and engagement.  Our in and out music, “Believe in Me”, was provided by Ryan Little. Believe in Me (Ryan Little) / CC BY 4.0

You can find Red 4 Ed NC on Facebook or Twitter (@Red4EdNC).  Red 4 Ed is a special project of Public Schools First, NC.  You can visit them online at or follow them on Twitter @PS1NC.

Hot Four Teachers Episode 0

Red4Ed Mug

This is Episode 0 – “The Test Pancake”.

It is a well known fact that the first pancake, the test pancake, almost never turns out perfectly.  This is our first pancake.  In the inaugural episode of the Hot Four Teachers Podcast, Emmanuel and Angie join me in discussing reasons for getting into teaching and how we rationalize staying in teaching.  We also talk about a few challenges facing classroom teachers that may make teacher retention difficult – one of the main factors being the issue of voice.  And finally, we finish up by talking about what’s making us happy.

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That Time We Made a Podcast


One of the most difficult things about being a teacher is losing your sense of self.   You do your best to maintain neutrality whilst encouraging students to think for themselves.  You keep quiet in public debates, lest you be deemed too outrageous for the classroom – or too biased to weigh in with any validity.  You don’t talk about who you’re voting for with students or parents.  And if your views are not accepted by the wider community, you don’t talk about religion, sexuality, or extracurricular activities.  You don’t share the funniest videos on Facebook.  You don’t retweet someone who used foul language on Twitter.  And, slowly, you begin to lose your sense of self.

Except for with other teachers.

Because other teachers can share your pain.

There are currently not too many outlets for teachers to share, publicly, with one another, feelings about anything other than the latest and hottest in educational trends.  There are the occasional op-eds, though these are decried by voices that are much louder and often much angrier than our own.  There are open letters, though many of those open letters are sent by teachers who are fed up and on their way out – now no longer concerned that there may be a price to pay for their bold speech.  Sometimes, down in the comments on the New & Observer, there are teachers who dare to pipe up. Often, these comments are met with derision by the very people who have legislative power over the institution where we spend so much of our time and energy.

Everybody thinks they know school because they’ve been to school.

They don’t know school.

Red4EdNC seeks to magnify the voices of North Carolina’s educators providing a platform from which teachers can speak to each other and to public stakeholders regarding an educator’s perspective on issues that affect education the most.  Joining together to actively demonstrate, participating in civic events, and writing think pieces that represent one teacher’s well thought out, edited, and streamlined perspective are some ways that the group has set about meeting this objective.

The podcast aims to record dynamic conversations about these issues, providing opportunities for engagement with the educational community and the community we serve.  There are podcasts about teaching fads and instructional technology.  There are podcasts about inspirational teachers of the past and present.  There are a few podcasts about educational challenges – usually these result in stellar TED talks of some sort.  Thus far, I’ve yet to see a podcast that captures and shares educators having meaningful conversations about challenges within the field of education with the purpose of supporting, affirming, engaging the community.

This is that podcast.

You can listen inby visiting the “Hot Four Teachers” page or by downloading the podcast via iTunes.  If you’re interested in contributing to the podcast, or if you have an idea for an episode topic, let us know!  We’d love to hear your voice.