By: Kyle Palmer and Matt Hodapp

Teachers: LuAnn Fox (high school English), Elaine Jardon (middle school math), David Muhammad (high school social studies)

Teachers: LuAnn Fox (high school English), Elaine Jardon (middle school math), David Muhammad (high school social studies)

Take a breath! News events came quick and often this week. The teachers had a lot to talk about, starting with the issue of “fake news.” How do teachers teach critical reasoning skills in an era of “alternative facts.” It reminded our panel this week of George Orwell’s 1984, which is once again a bestseller. 

  • For research, the Stanford Education History Group recently published a study that concluded students’ ability to reason about what they read on the Internet is “bleak.

Meanwhile, our teachers our worried about President Donald Trump’s recent executive orders to prioritize deportation of undocumented immigrants and a controversial ban on refugees. They sympathize with Denver Public Schools’ choice to issue a statement, opposing the immigration order and vowing to protect undocumented students in that district.

Also this week, there was continued fallout from this month’s Women’s March. Our teachers were disappointed but not surprised at one Illinois teacher’s snarky Tweet about the march that got him suspended. They agree Donald Trump’s election, though, has empowered teachers and students to push the boundaries of “political correctness.” This will be a developing story in education…

Finally, the Super Bowl! What’s left to say? Lots, apparently. Our teachers used the Big Game to talk about sports sometimes pernicious effects on student learning and school culture. While they admit sports can be good, they seem to think at many schools it has gone too far.

What are the kids into these days? ‘Listen Linda’ is back (did it ever go anywhere?) Self-tanning spray is the rage, too. And what would a high school teacher’s day be without some good ole’ fashioned “water bottle flip.”

If you care about education and want to hear what teachers think about the big issues of the day, subscribe and review our podcast at iTunes. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Send us comments and questions at our email:

Music used in this episode is Inspiring Corporate and Scottish Indie by Scott Holmes, The Silver Hatch and Steadfast by Blue Dot Sessions; all have been edited.