Category Archives: Show Notes

Episode 005: Dave Burgess, TLAP

Episode 005: Dave Burgess, Teach Like a Pirate

Get ready to sail the seven seas with this week’s guest, Mr. Dave Burgess. Using magic, humor, and a trademark level of enthusiasm to augment his already stellar content, Dave is a sought after speaker, well-known author, and high-quality publisher followed by educators around the world.


Connect with Dave Burgess

Twitter: @burgessdave | Website: | Book: Teach Like a Pirate

Links & Show Notes

Medici Effect

Episode 004: Kim Scott, Radical Candor

Episode 004: Kim Scott, Radical Candor


This episode, we talk feedback and radical candor with the amazing Kim Scott, bestselling author and coach. You can find stories, advice, and instructional videos from Kim at

Connect with Kim Scott

Twitter: @candor & @kimballscott | Website: | Book: Radical Candor

Links & Show Notes (please note, some language bleeped using a horse sound)

  • Out of our heads and into the classroom: Feedback hacks from Ben & Becky (2:01)
    • Errors & Misconception videos (3:15)
    • Adaptive assessments with google forms (5:20) (Written Steps | Video)
    • Real-time feedback during performances (6:50)
    • Free up your time for face-to-face student conferences (8:55)
    • Video yourself (9:50)
  • Kim on the book, Radical Candor – how to be a good human being, parent, manager, leader (11:44)
  • What is Radical Candor? (13:18)
    • Mostly about collaboration
    • Care Personally & Challenge Directly
    • Ruinous Empathy (15:05) – ‘Bob’ Story (15:45)
      • Manipulative Insincerity (17:35) – “the desire to be liked is the path to hell for a leader.”
  • Radical Candor in student-teacher relationships (19:53)
  • “It’s not mean, it’s clear” story (21:45)
    • Order of Operations in Radical Candor
      • Be willing to solicit feedback first (23:50)
      • Focus on the good stuff. Give praise first – focus on success (25:00)
      • Offer criticism (28:20)
  • Feedback is a gift –
    • Be Humble (you may not be right) (29:23)
      • That’s why it’s called ‘candor’ and not ‘truth’. You may be wrong.
    • Be helpful (31:00)
    • Do it immediately (32:53)
    • Do it in person (33:10)
      • >80% of communication is nonverbal
      • Respond to their reaction
  • What does this look like when it’s done successfully? (35:15)
  • How do we get better at receiving and learning from the feedback we receive
    • 1) First practice asking for feedback. “What could I do or stop doing that would make it easier to work with me?” – What’s your go-to question? (40:00)
    • 2) Embrace the discomfort. Don’t get defensive. “Listen with the intent to understand, not to respond.” (41:49)  
    • 3) Reward the candor. Publically. (45:25)
  • Coaching in Kim Scott’s life (47:15)
  • Rapid Fire (48:50)
    • Billboard: Radical Candor framework in congress
    • New belief, behavior, or habit: Getting good sleep
  • Kim thanks teachers (51:15)
  • To learn more:
  • Takeaways: (52:48)
  • Rate us on Apple Podcasts (or wherever you listen)  
  • Give us feedback!

Episode 003: Elizabeth Green

Episode 003: Elizabeth Green

(Episode 003 Transcript)

Join us today to hear from Chalkbeat founder, journalist, and teacher advocate, Elizabeth Green. She talks with us about developing educational infrastructure and supporting teachers in innovative ways. Find more from Elizabeth Green at

Connect with Elizabeth Green

Twitter: @elizwgreen | Website:

Links & Show Notes

  • Ben’s success quote – “Pressure is a privilege” (1:40)
  • Becky on failure – people make their own meaning – Be Less Helpful (4:06)
  • Intro to Elizabeth Green (6:10)
  • Building a Better Teacher – what makes a great teacher (7:43)
  • What are successful methods for professional learning?
    • Infrastructure for teacher preparation (11:20)
    • Coordination of specific content / curriculum (12:15)
  • Time in front of students (600 v 1100 students) (14:51)
  • Technical vocabulary of teaching – Seneca Rosenberg; Doug Lemov (16:14)
  • Teaching is Unnatural (Deborah Ball) (21:32)
  • Essential elements of a teacher prep program (24:34)
    • Common student errors (28:20)
  • The importance of love in education; putting students first; radical empathy (30:23)
  • Chalkbeat (36:23)
  • Research in Ed:
  • (newsletters)

Twitter: @Chalkbeat @elizwgreen

Episode 002: Dr. Tony Wagner

Episode 002: Dr. Tony Wagner

Don’t miss this incredible interview with Dr. Tony Wagner – widely respected author, educator, and speaker, helping us all reframe our thinking in order to transform education. Find more from Tony Wagner at

Connect with Dr. Tony Wagner

Twitter: @DrTonyWagner | Website:

Links & Show Notes

  • Ben on learning from failure (1:37)
  • Becky on engaging lessons / genius hour / design thinking (7:10)
  • Introduce Dr. Tony Wagner (11:10)
  • Tony’s current project & a bit of history (13:10)
  • How has the role of the teacher changed? Teachers as scientists & researchers. Great teachers today are performance coaches. (13:56)
    • For creative teaching to happen, we must try to understand 1) who kids are, 2) the world from which they come, 3) the world for which they must be prepared.
  • ASCD Ed Leadership
  • We can’t do 10 things well, we have to prioritize. (16:29)
  • Our profession is afflicted with the curse of isolation. Isolation is the enemy of improvement, the enemy of innovation, the enemy of science. Reciprocal relational accountability. (16:51)
  • The Finland Phenomenon, film (17:49)
  • Finland Education system & collective impact (18:15)
    • 600 hours vs. 1100 hours in front of students
  • Changes in education over the past 30 years, what needs to change for us now; skills & motivation; what does the innovation era demand (21:05)
  • Wagner’s 7 Survival Skills | 21st Century skills (23:10)
  • Most Likely To Succeed – to co-construct a deeper understanding of the changing world
  • The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman (24:10)
  • The importance of communicating the ‘why’ with parents and students (24:30)
  • Assessment systems & innovation (26:50)
  • Research and Development in Education; co-creation with students. “Learning is trial and error.” Iteration over failure. (28:46)
  • Tony Wagner’s story of failure; poetry → essay writing (engagement v. necessary skills) (31:05)
  • Advice to new (and all) teachers – visit your colleagues’ classrooms – there’s no ‘best’ way to teach. Trust & Respect – without that there is no learning. (33:50)
  • How he learned about teaching – spoiler alert: it was not from his Masters in Ed from Harvard. The discipline of reflection. Journaling as professional development. (37:03)
    • Video reflection & lesson study with colleagues (38:48)
    • The Teaching Gap, book (40:40)
  • High Tech High, importance of team teaching, presenting to peers for feedback (41:56)
  • What inspires Tony Wagner? Teachers asking questions. (44:15)
  • Working on understanding the dispositions that matter most – how do you teach them and how do we assess them? (44:54)
  • Two kinds of innovation; creative problem solving can be taught (46:18)
  • Poverty and learning (49:25)
  • Tony turns the tables – asks Ben what about ‘Global Achievement Gap’ changed his teaching (50:40)
  • Feedback from Global Achievement Gap and Creating Innovators – Letters to a Young Innovator (51:30)
  • Tony on success (53:42)
  • The Dewey Lab School, book (out of print)
  • Go to learn more:

Episode 001: Mark Barnes

Episode 001: Mark Barnes

In this episode, we talk hack learning and Results-Only Learning Environments with the original ed hacker – Mark Barnes. Mark challenges us to rethink some of our most fundamental systems – grading, feedback, peer observation – and empowers teachers to make revolutionary changes in their classroom. Find more from Mark Barnes at

Connect with Mark Barnes

Twitter: @MarkBarnes19 | Website:

Links & Show Notes


Download your free copy of the Hack Learning Anthology HERE. It’s a 12-hack preview of 12 of the books in the ‘Hack Learning’ series.

Episode 000: This is Vrain Waves

Welcome to Vrain Waves, the podcast aimed at making us all more informed, inspired, and connected educators. Take a listen to Episode 000 to learn more about your hosts, Ben Kalb & Becky Peters.

(Episode 000 Transcript)

The preliminary episode of the Vrain Waves podcast is a quick 8 minutes to orient listeners to the show and its hosts. Listen for bios, goals of the podcast, and information on how to connect with the content.