Episode 009: Kara Rickman

Kara Rickman

Kara Rickman:

Kara Rickman has been teaching for 16 years. She graduated from Texas State University with her bachelors and master’s degrees in Education. She has taught third grade for 5 years, First Grade Title One Reading for 2 years and has currently taught First Grade for 9 years. She is currently teaching at Fabra Elementary where she is the first grade Team Leader. Kara has enjoyed giving workshops to other teachers in the district on Writer’s Workshop, Reading Workshop and Guided Reading. She enjoys reading books about implementing new strategies in the classroom and collaborating with her first grade team for new and improved ideas to help make her student successful and life- long learners. Kara’s hobbies include decorating, shopping, playing flute and piano and spending time with her family.

Recommended Resources:

Debbie Diller- Math Workstations

Debbie Miller- Reading with Meaning

Lucy Calkins- Launching Writer’s Workshop

Contact Information:


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Episode 008: Jolene Navarro

Jolene Navarro:

Jolene is a high school teacher working with students at an alternative school in downtown San Antonio, Texas. Jolene talks about her experience working with students to help them understand and appreciation art. She also talks about the importance of developing classroom management skills and finding a mentor to round out your teaching experience.

When Jolene is not teaching she is writing about her native Texas. In this episode Jolene talks about her experience in becoming a published author and gives us a preview of her newest book, “A Texas Christmas Wish”.   Jolene writes love stories about family & faith in the Texas Hill Country.

Jolene’s novels are published by Harlequin and can be found at all major booksellers.

Her website is:  http://jolenenavarrowriter.com/

Her Facebook Page is: https://www.facebook.com/jolenenavarrowriter/timeline

Click on the image of her book below to preview it on Amazon:

Jolenes Book

Jolene’s other books are:

Lone Star Hero, Love Inspired –  now available
Lone Star Holiday, Love Inspired –  now available

Recommended Resource:

Fred Jones, author of  “Tools for Teaching“, a resource for classroom management.

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Episode 007: April McNair

April McNair:

April McNair has over 10 years of classroom experience teaching 2nd and 3rd grade.  She is has a Gifted and Talented Teaching Certification, as well as an ESL Certification.  She also has a Masters Degree in Education. She is the creator of the blog, A Modern Teacher and has a successful store on Teachers Pay Teachers: A Modern Teacher.  She is the creator of A Modern Teacher Planner ™, a lesson planner and personal planner for teachers. She is passionate about working with kids, empowering, and motivating teachers with inspiring prints, planning and management tools, and 2nd and 3rd grade resources.

Recommended Resources:

Teaching with Intention by Debbie Miller

Reading with Meaning by Debbie Miller

Guided Reading by Fontas and Pinnell – Fountas & Pinnell’s small-group reading instruction is described in their groundbreaking text, Guided Reading. Their extensive research has resulted in a framework of professional development books, products, and services built to support children’s learning.Teachers world-wide recognize Fountas and Pinnell’s deep understanding of classroom realities and their respect for the challenges facing teachers.

The First Days of School by Harry Wong  – The classic text on classroom management.

Contact Info:





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Episode 006: Lisa Reeh


Lisa Reeh:

Lisa is a 1st grade teacher with experience in kinder and has worked in a private school and public schools both in the inner city and a small town on the outskirts of San Antonio. She talks about her different experiences in each environment and the importance of good parental relationships and classroom management skills. She also talks about the importance of using all your resources including reading and math specialists.

Lisa is a graduate of the Texas A&M teaching program and talks about how it helped prepare her for the classroom.

Lisa mentions a book by Debbie Diller, Literacy Work Stations: Making Centers Work.  

Debbie Diller offers practical suggestions for over a dozen literacy work stations that link to instruction and make preparation and management easy for teachers. Learn how to set up work stations, how to manage them, and how to keep them going throughout the year.

Debbie Diller & Associates, Educational Consulting, can be reached at:


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Episode 005: Terry Owens

Terry Owens

Terry Owens:

Our guest is Terry Owens, a teacher with 40 plus years of experience in the classroom with more to follow. Terry is a life long learner who believes in continuous improvement by educating herself in a wide range of disciplines . Terry shares her experiences in the classroom and her belief that her most important task is to give students the skills they need to succeed in and outside of the classroom. She also discusses the importance of behavior management and character development.

Recommended Resources:

Life Space Crisis Intervention (LSCI) is a nationally recognized training and certification program for turning crisis situations into learning opportunities for children and youth with chronic patterns of self-defeating behaviors. There web site is:   http://www.lsci.org/

Boys Town is home to parenting and child behavior experts who have developed a wealth of original content over the years that is available for free in their For Parents section at:   http://www.boystown.org/

CPI was established in 1980 for human service professionals to address the need for training in safe, respectful, noninvasive methods for managing disruptive and assaultive behavior. Their web site is:    http://www.crisisprevention.com/

Recommended Book:

Mindset by Carol Dweck – Mindset is a simple idea discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist  in decades of research on achievement and success—a simple idea that makes all the difference.


Teacher Pay Teacher Store:


Terry can be reached via email at: owensterry1953@gmail.com

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Episode 004: Theresa Lang Puckett

Theresa Puckett150

Theresa Lang Puckett:

Our guest in this episode is Theresa Lang Puckett. Theresa didn’t intend to follow a path into teaching but describes how she was inspired by the story of an emotionally damaged child and the teacher who tried to reach her. As a result she changed direct and entered college to pursue a teaching career.

Theresa has served special needs children and in this segment she talks about the importance of building relationships with parents and peers. She also talks about the need to teach children to be independent of adults and to solve their own problems.

Theresa was inspired by a book ( One Child) written by Torey L. Hayden, a child psychologist, special education teacher, university lecturer and writer of non-fiction books based on her real-life experiences with teaching and counseling. Her web site is http://www.torey-hayden.com/index.html

Recommended Resouce: HighScope Educational Research Foundation is an independent nonprofit research, development, training, and public outreach organization and can be found at http://highscope.org/

Recommended Books: Betsy Evans author of “You Can’t come to my Birthday Party” a book about conflict resolution for children. You can find her book at the Amazon link below:


Theresa can be be reached at: TheresaPuckett76@gmail.com

Episode 003: Debbie Holman

Debbie Holman

Debbie Holman:

In this episode we interview Debbie Holman, a Teacher of the Year with experience in both public and private elementary education. Debbie talks about her Classroom Management training after college and the importance of getting hands on experience in managing your classroom and student discipline. She also talks about the importance of relationships with parents.

Recommended resources:

“Teaching with Love and Logic” by Jim Fay and Davis Funk.



Episode 002: Nancy Perkins

Nancy Perkins

Nancy Perkins:

In this episode we welcome Nancy Perkins. Nancy came to teaching after earning degrees in Occupational Therapy and Psychology. She now works in special education. She talks about the evolution that has taken place in how special needs children are treated in schools today. She also talks about dealing with the expectations of parents.

She advises people thinking about a career in teaching to get experience working with children first before they make that commitment.

Recommended Resources:

Michelle Garcia Winner    https://www.socialthinking.com

News-to-you and Unique Learning systems at:  https://www.n2y.com/default.aspx

Nancy can be contacted at: Nancy.Perkins@leanderISD.org

LinkIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/nancy-perkins/85/60/666




Episode 001: Karen Aitken


Our guest for episode one is Karen Aitken, an elementary school teacher with a passion for teaching students to manage themselves. Karen has been teaching for 18 years and for the last ten years has been training other teachers how to take control of their classrooms by focusing on teaching students basic character skills such as credibility, accountability, responsibility and work ethic.

Karen developed a character building program called Building Custom Kids that eventually led to her Classroom Management training program. Karen’s training program, Creating the Self-managed Classroom is featured on her web site Classroom Management Specialists

Karen has a store on Teacher-Pay-Teacher

Karen can be found on Facebook

Karen’s web site: https://www.classroommanagementspecialists.com

Recommended Book: “Raising Boys” by Steve Biddulph  or visit his web site at:  http://www.stevebiddulph.com/Site_1/Books.html