Episode 39 – CJ Reynolds

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CJ REYNOLDS is better known by his YouTube channel, Real Rap with Reynolds, where he talks teaching, relationships, and life. As a passionate educator and creator, his two truths in teaching are: #1 relationships are king, and #2 it’s only ever about the students.

In our conversation, CJ recalls the tremendous fatigue he faced as a rookie teacher, and discusses the importance of learning to say no to some things. He talks about how a project with his son turned into a YouTube presence with over 13,000 subscribers, and the tremendous opportunities that the internet allows teachers and students today in terms of global connections and collaboration. He shares about personal passions outside of the classroom, his morning routine, and his recommendations for books, Twitter, edtech tools, and more.

Check out Real Rap with Reynolds on YouTube HERE: https://bit.ly/2vm711T.

Follow CJ!

Find the highlights from our conversation at the timestamps below:

  • 1:11 – CJ describes his teaching context: teaching 9th grade literature and a course called The History of Hip Hop in Philadelphia.
  • 2:07 – He recalls the tremendous fatigue he felt as a rookie teacher, some days unable to do nothing in the evening but sleep. Part of working his way through and out of that fatigue was perfecting ‘The Art of Saying No.’
  • 4:21 – We hear the story the Real Rap with Reynolds YouTube channel, from his son’s interest to his personal passion.
  • 8:04 – CJ explains what really excites him about education today: the new opportunities for connection, engagement, and authentic learning around the globe that the internet gives us.
  • 10:43 – His personal passions outside of the classroom include gardening and training for a triathlon.
  • 13:21 – “I’m a routine monster.” – CJ likes to wake up at 5, exercise, swim, or run, and spend some time in meditation at the beginning of each day.
  • 15:16 – Accounts worth following on Twitter: @RandyRibay, author of After the Shot Drops.
  • 17:07 – CJ suggests we try https://storybird.com/ in our English classes, another tool that allows students to create multifaceted representations and stories.
  • 20:34 – His book recommendations include After the Shot Drops by Randy Ribay and Tattoos on the Heart by @FrGregBoyle.
  • 24:45 – Two of the podcasts CJ has been listening to lately include The Tim Ferriss Show by Tim Ferriss and the Rich Roll Podcast by Rich Roll.
  • 26:02 – An accomplished YouTuber himself, CJ looks for inspiration to channels like Casey Neistat, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Mac Premo.
  • 28:06 – When he has no energy left for anything else productive, CJ’s watching Shooter and Better Call Saul on Netflix.

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Song Track Credits

  • Intro: Relax (by Simon More)
  • Outtro: Starley – Call on Me Remix (by DJ Zhorik)

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Episode 6: Clayton Mollica

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6 - Clayton MollicaIn our sixth episode of the Teachers on Fire podcast, we chat with Clayton Mollica, high school teacher at Fort Nelson Secondary School in Fort Nelson, British Columbia, Canada.

In this interview, Clayton talks about challenges and opportunities he sees in education, passions and interests that he enjoys outside of the classroom, and the rituals that make his mornings work. He also gives us great recommendations for books, Twitter, YouTube, and more.

Follow Clayton on Twitter at @MollicaEDU.

In this episode, Clayton discusses …

  • 1:02 – his current teaching situation
  • 1:45 – a challenge he’s facing in his practice
  • 3:50 – what fuels his passion for education today
  • 4:52 – a Twitter recommendation: @DaveStuartJr
  • 6:35 – passions and interests outside of education
  • 7:57 – morning rituals that work
  • 9:52 – an EdTech tool that he’s looking to optimize
  • 11:25 – his favourite podcasts: Writers & Company
  • 12:55 – book recommendation: Teacher Man
  • 14:26 – his favourite YouTube channels: Stephen Colbert, TED-Ed
  • 15:41 – his Netflix picks

Song Track Credits

  • Intro: Relax (by Simon More)
  • Outtro: Starley – Call on Me Remix (by DJ Zhorik)

LISTEN to this episode on YouTube and SUBSCRIBE for more episodes!

Episode 2: Cordell Ware

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2 - Cordell WareIn the second episode of the Teachers on Fire podcast, we chat with Cordell Ware, high school humanities teacher at Fort St. James Secondary School in Fort St. James, BC, Canada.

In this interview, Cordell speaks about the greatest challenges he’s experienced so far in education, and he describes what really lights his fire right now. We also hear about an interesting morning ritual and his top recommendations for books, podcasts, YouTube channels, and more.

Follow Cordell on Twitter @cordell_jm and on Instagram @skip.jm.

In this episode, Cordell discusses …

  • 1:00 – his current teaching situation
  • 3:50 – a low moment in his career
  • 7:30 – a passion in education
  • 9:46 – another educator to follow on Twitter
  • 11:30 – what he would be doing if he wasn’t in education
  • 12:56 – a personal habit that works
  • 14:30 – an edtech tool recommendation
  • 16:17 – a book recommendation
  • 18:04 – a podcast recommendation
  • 19:17 – a favourite YouTube channel
  • 19:47 – a Netflix recommendation

Song Track Credits

  • Intro: Relax (by Simon More)
  • Outtro: Starley – Call on Me Remix (by DJ Zhorik)

LISTEN to this episode on YouTube and SUBSCRIBE for more episodes!