We are Donnell Cannon and Jenny O’Meara, two passionate educators. This season on The Hummingbird Stories, we’re asking the question: What does an extraordinary education look like for every student?
We’re hosting conversations with the most innovative, equity-minded leaders in education from all across the country — and that includes students.
Teachers and other adults at school have a huge impact on young people and, in this fourth episode, that’s what we’re talking about — the adults in the room. In this episode, we’ll hear from Miguel Gonzales, Tyler Thigpen, and three students — QuaNasia, Quinn, and Luke. We also hear from Sonn Sam, who had this to say about what he looks for when he’s interviewing candidates for teaching positions.
“When we enter the space of education, I build relationships with young people. But we have other educators that feel — ‘I teach content.’ I’ve had educators say to my face, ‘I’m a biology teacher, you guys are way too warm and fuzzy for me, man. I don’t do that.’ And I just said … thank you very much. I appreciate your time. We moving on. Because, to me, none of this matters if you don’t have a relationship with young people. None of it.”
Not only do Hummingbirds, ourselves included, prioritize relationships with students, but we see tremendous value in building collaborative relationships among the adults in the building. Not every school is designed to do that, though.
Check out our guests thoughts on these topics and more in the podcast. And we want to hear from you, too.
In every episode on this season of The Hummingbird Stories, we’ll pose a question and ask you to weigh in through our Telbee. This week’s question asks that you think about the role of the adults in the school building. We’re thinking about teachers, TAs, principals, and more. If you could redesign the role of an educator, what would it look like? Visit sayhi.chat/hummingbird to chime in.
We know a lot of “Hummingbirds” who are no longer waiting for change in a system on fire, but rather choosing to do something. We hope they’ll inspire you to take real action, no matter how small, toward redesigning schools.
An extraordinary education for all young people is possible. But it’s going to take all of us to make it happen.
Behind the Story
The Hummingbird Stories is the brainchild of educators Donnell Cannon and Jenny O’Meara. Robert Kinlaw produced Season 2 of the podcast, and Rupen Fofaria supported Season 2 as a creative producer.
In addition to Embark students Quinn and Luke and former Edgecombe County Public Schools student QuaNasia, in this episode you heard from:
- Sonn Sam, national director of partnerships at Big Picture Learning
- Miguel Gonzales, directors of schools at Embark Education
- Tyler Thigpen, co-founder of The Forest School
The hummingbird artwork on the cover is by then-eighth grade student Joselyn Hernandez, now a high school junior.