Take Notes with Jen Rafferty

Jen Rafferty

Are you caught in the whirlwind of overwhelming responsibilities, forgetting the fiery passion that once fueled your teaching journey? Do Sundays fill you with dread, and does the very thought of Monday morning send chills down your spine?


It’s time to toss those feelings out the window!


Welcome to Season 3 of the Take Notes podcast, where you get to give yourself a  permission slip to disrupt the status quo, reclaim your agency, and step into a world where you get to make yourself the priority in order to show up as your best-self.


I’m your host Jen Rafferty - a former music teacher, Emotional Intelligence Practitioner, mom of 2, and founder of Empowered Educator, and I’ve been where you are.


In this season, we’re not just talking about surviving; we’re diving deep into thriving!


We’re rewriting the educator’s narrative and tearing down the walls of perfectionism, people-pleasing, and that crippling guilt that has held you captive. It’s time to liberate yourself from the chains of conventional education and step into a world of empowerment and freedom.


This is a space where your well-being is the core curriculum, where taking care of yourself isn’t just encouraged – it’s a requirement. Where your empowerment translates into the transformation of lives, creating a ripple effect that shapes future generations.


In these electrifying episodes, we’re moving from mere inspiration to tangible integration. Each conversation is a stepping stone to transform your practices, breathe life into your passion, and ignite the change to live a healthier, happier, and more balanced life. We’re about taking action and turning those “how’s” into now’s!


The transformation begins HERE and NOW. Say goodbye to the mundane, and hello to a world where you are unstoppable. Buckle up and get ready to explore territories unknown because, in this space, we are unearthing the extraordinary in every educator.


Are you ready to take the lead in your life? To not just be an educator, but a revolutionary and make transformational generational change?


Let’s do this!


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Episodes

Embracing failure as a path to success with Theresa MacPhail
Mar 21 2024
Embracing failure as a path to success with Theresa MacPhail
As educators, we've all seen the fear in our students when they're afraid to make a mistake, the anxiety that bubbles up at the thought of failing. We can recognize it in ourselves too.It's a common experience..So how do we help our students understand that failure isn't just a part of learning, but a crucial step toward growth? Join me and my guest, Theresa MacPhail, as we explore the power of embracing failure in education. Theresa, a medical anthropologist and seasoned educator, shares her journey from witnessing the effects of fear of failure on students to creating a class specifically designed to normalize failure and foster resilience.Tune in and discover actionable advice for educators on how to create a classroom culture where failure is not feared but celebrated as a learning opportunity. You’ll walk away with practical classroom management strategies that can help students shift their mindset about failure through journaling exercises, gratitude practices, and encouraging meaningful connections and conversations.If you've ever struggled with how to encourage your students to take risks, make mistakes, and learn from them, this episode is for you. Discover how to empower your students to see failure not as a setback, but as a necessary and valuable part of their educational journey. Stay empowered,JenLet’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | LinktreeInstagram: @jenrafferty_Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty RoomAbout Theresa:I’m a medical anthropologist and writer, usually of nonfiction, mostly about topics in public health and medicine. I’m also an Associate Professor of Science & Technology Studies at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. My first book for Random House is out now (2023). It’s called Allergic: Our Irritated Bodies In a Changing World and it tells the story of the global rise in allergies over the last 200 years. My next book, that I’m currently researching, is on aging. It dives into what happens to our bodies and minds as we age and why acceptance of aging (and our eventual deaths) is the key to “aging well.” Think of it like a “user’s manual” to your aging body (with a lot of troubleshooting sections). But, more importantly, it also traces out the long history of our fascination with aging and how and why aging transformed from a natural, normal, and healthy life experience into a medical problem or disease that needs to be “solved.” And what that approach to aging is doing to us collectively. (Spoiler: it’s not terrific.)To book me for a speaking engagement, please contact the Random House Speakers Bureau.Connect with Theresa:Website: https://theresamacphail.com/IG: https://www.instagram.com/drtheresamacphail/
How to enhance learning experiences and make meaningful connections by understanding neuroscience with Chantel Prat
Mar 14 2024
How to enhance learning experiences and make meaningful connections by understanding neuroscience with Chantel Prat
How can we continue to keep students engaged and motivated? If we’re being honest, the traditional education system falls short in meeting everyone's needs. In today’s episode, join me and the brilliant Chantel Prat, a professor with a vast background in psychology, neuroscience, and linguistics as we explore why it's crucial for teachers like you to understand the brain's workings to connect better with students and create a classroom that brings out the best in every student. Discover how to foster meaningful connections and effective learning environments. Chantel breaks down the importance of self-awareness, empathy, and tailoring educational strategies to suit individual needs.We'll talk about how stress is a major factor, affecting learning more than you realize, and what you can do about it. Learn why taking care of yourself is key to being a great educator. Choice can be a powerful thing in the classroom, and we'll discuss how giving your students more of it can transform their learning experience.Tune in and join the conversation to make a positive change in our education.Stay empowered,JenLet’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | LinktreeInstagram: @jenrafferty_Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty RoomAbout Chantel:Chantel Prat is a Professor at the University of Washington with appointments in the Departments of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Linguistics, and at the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, the Center for Neurotechnology, and the Institute for Neuroengineering. A cognitive neuroscientist by training, her interdisciplinary research investigates the biological basis of individual differences in cognition, with an emphasis on understanding the shared neural mechanisms underpinning language and higher-level executive functions. She is a recipient of the Tom Trabasso Young Investigator Award from the Society of Text and Discourse and a Pathway to Independence Award from the National Institute of Health. Her work has been supported by the National Institute of Health, the Office of Naval Research, and the Keck Foundation. Prat speaks internationally at events like The World Science Festival. She is featured in the documentary, I Am Human. Her studies have been profiled in media ranging from Scientific American, Psychology Today, and Science Daily to Rolling Stone, Popular Mechanics, Pacific Standard, Travel + Leisure, and National Public Radio. Connect with Chantel:Website: https://www.chantelprat.com/IG: @chantelpratphdX: @ChantelPratPhDLinkedIn: Chantel Prat
The power of vulnerability in leadership. How to build a stronger team with Dr. Walter Polka and Dr. John McKenna
Mar 7 2024
The power of vulnerability in leadership. How to build a stronger team with Dr. Walter Polka and Dr. John McKenna
Are you eager to be a leader who truly connects with your team but not sure how to get there?Many leaders find themselves overwhelmed by the demands of their positions, struggling to connect with their teams and make a positive impact. It's easy to fall into the trap of leading with authority and ego, but this approach often leads to dissatisfaction and disconnection from those we aim to inspire.In this enlightening episode, we dive into the heart of what truly makes a great leader. Joined by Dr. Walter Polka and Dr. John McKenna seasoned leadership experts from Niagara University, we explore the transformative power of leading with empathy, kindness, and genuine care for others. Discover why effective leadership is all about building strong relationships, understanding the needs of your team, and being open to feedback. You’ll learn actionable strategies to become more self-aware and reflective, enabling you to embrace vulnerability and foster a culture of teamwork and mutual respect. If you're ready to transform your leadership style and create a more connected, effective team, tune in to this episode. Let's get started!Stay empowered,JenLet’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | LinktreeInstagram: @jenrafferty_Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty RoomAbout Dr. Walter Polka:Dr. Walter Polka has held numerous professional positions throughout his 45 years as an educator. His positions include: high school social studies teacher and advisor for various clubs and organizations as well as an interscholastic coach at Lewiston-Porter High School; Williamsville Central School District social studies/science curriculum coordinator K-12; assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction and superintendent of schools of the Lewiston-Porter School District.Since 1970, Dr. Polka has also served as an adjunct professor at various institutions of higher education including Brockport State College, Buffalo State College, Medaille College, Niagara County Community College, Niagara University, SUNY Buffalo and Loyola University in Maryland. Dr. Polka’s full-time university professional responsibilities also included associate professor of educational leadership; doctoral dissertation chair; and doctoral program coordinator in educational leadership at Georgia Southern University. He is currently the leadership and policy doctoral program coordinator and full tenured professor in the professional programs department at Niagara University.wpolka@niagara.eduAbout Dr. John McKenna:Dr. John McKenna joined Niagara University in 2023 as an Assistant Professor in the Leadership Studies Department after a long and distinguished career in public administration. Before coming to Niagara University, Dr. McKenna served as a public school administrator and educator for over 35 years.Dr. McKenna has been recognized for his achievements and contributions to the profession with the SAANYS New York State Outstanding Educator of the Year Award, the NYSPTA Advocate in Action Award, a New York State Senate Proclamation for Outstanding Leadership, and a New York State Senate Resolution for Dedication and Service. Additionally, he was recognized with the SUNY at Buffalo Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award as well as UB’s Graduate School of Education Distinguished Alumni Awardmckennaleadership.comJohnMcKenna@McKennaLeadership.com
How to build safe spaces for effective communication in education and work with Dr. Teresa Peterson
Feb 29 2024
How to build safe spaces for effective communication in education and work with Dr. Teresa Peterson
Have you ever been frustrated by the feeling you're not being heard? It's a common feeling, especially in schools and at work, and even more so when power plays a role in the relationship dynamic. But don't worry, we've got a solution for you!In this episode, I am joined by the incredible Dr. Teresa Peterson from Sarah Noll Wilson Inc. With her deep roots in education, conflict resolution, and leadership coaching, she sheds light on the invisible forces that keep us from using our voices and offers actionable advice for effective communication.We delve into the importance of building safe spaces and fostering inclusivity, where every individual feels valued and empowered to speak up. She also discusses the relationship between leadership roles and organizational culture, highlighting how leaders can break communication barriers to cultivate an environment that encourages open dialogue and respects diverse perspectives.Tune in to this fantastic conversation and discover how we can all start listening better and speaking out with confidence! Stay empowered,JenLet’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | LinktreeInstagram: @jenrafferty_Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty RoomAbout Dr. Teresa:Dr. Teresa  Peterson is the Director of Learning and Development for Sarah Noll Wilson, Inc. Teresa is passionate about applying best practices for learning to make development experiences meaningful, engaging, and accessible for all types of learners. In her role, Teresa co-creates powerful learning content and guides deep research. Teresa holds a Doctorate in Education from the University of Northern Iowa and brings over twenty years of experience teaching, facilitating, and leading. She holds a Conflict Resolution Certificate from Cornell University; she also is trained in Immunity to Change Coaching and Certified in Appreciative Inquiry.  Clients love Teresa’s grounded energy, depth of thought, and ability to listen deeply.Connect with Dr. Teresa:Website: https://www.sarahnollwilson.com/LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/teresa-peterson-edd
How positive language in the classroom elevates learning and support systems with Shauna F. King
Feb 22 2024
How positive language in the classroom elevates learning and support systems with Shauna F. King
Ever wondered how much impact your words have on those listening?It can be easy to forget the big role that language plays in education. Language affects the students’ behavior, self-confidence, and overall engagement.To state it directly: words can make or break a student.In today's episode, I am joined by Shauna King to tackle this very issue. Shauna, once known as the "yelling teacher," has transformed her approach and now uses the power of words to uplift and motivate her students. Together, we'll dive into the importance of intentional communication, revealing how the right words can set the tone for a hopeful and fair classroom. We'll share classroom management techniques and how educators can lead by example, promoting positive behavior that resonates with them to improve student engagement.You’ll learn practical strategies to improve teacher-parent communication and create a better support system for the students.Tune in to learn how to transform your teaching through positive language and join us in shaping a brighter, more inclusive future in education.Stay empowered,JenLet’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | LinktreeInstagram: @jenrafferty_Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty RoomAbout Shauna:Shauna F. King has a talent and passion for connecting with adults who have chosen to serve children. Her energy and experience have led to opportunities to present to national and international audiences. As an education specialist, she has facilitated hundreds of presentations and workshops for schools, churches, and conferences. A self-proclaimed "Yelling Teacher In Recovery," Shauna shares practical and research-based strategies to improve teacher, parent, and student engagement. Her professional experience includes roles as a school climate coach for the University of Maryland Positive Schools Center, school principal, student services specialist, and classroom teacher. Her areas of expertise and passion are fostering student engagement, creating equitable learning environments, and promoting positive student behavior. She has partnered with over 150 schools to improve school climate, student behavior, and student engagement. Through high-impact training and coaching, Shauna assists schools in creating "Classrooms of HOPE," where students are given the will, skill and opportunity to make a difference in the world. Shauna F. King is the author of Children are Listening: What We Say Matters which offers practical strategies and advice for educators and parents. Her articles, What We Say Matters: The Power of Positive Talk and Transitions with the Brain in Mind, are featured in the Association for Middle-Level Education magazine.Connect with Shauna:Website: https://shaunafking.com/IG: @shaunafking
Need a more supportive work culture? How to build it through authentic connections with Sarah Noll Wilson
Feb 15 2024
Need a more supportive work culture? How to build it through authentic connections with Sarah Noll Wilson
Feeling stuck in a job where you can't be yourself? Tired of shallow work interactionsMany of us spend our days in environments where we have to wear masks, playing roles that don't fit us. But what if there was a way to break free from this cycle, to bring your true self to your job, and form genuine relationships?In this episode, I'm joined by the amazing Sarah Noll Wilson, an expert in emotional intelligence and leadership development, to discuss breaking free from the impersonal corporate culture to embrace authentic leadership and meaningful connections.Discover how her background in performance arts became her superpower in transforming workplace relationships and leadership styles. Together, we explore strategies to navigate the often transactional nature of corporate environments, emphasizing the importance of emotional connections and authenticity.Sarah offers practical advice on how to prepare for and engage in emotionally charged conversations, creating safe spaces for genuine interaction, and fostering an environment where everyone feels valued and understood. By the end of our conversation, you'll be equipped with the tools to start leading with your authentic voice, building deeper connections, and empowering yourself and others to thrive in any setting. Tune in now and start your journey towards authentic leadership and fulfilled professional life.Stay empowered,JenLet’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | LinktreeInstagram: @jenrafferty_Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty RoomAbout Sarah:Sarah Noll Wilson, Inc. is who you call when you’re ready to do the hard work of leading yourself and leading others.Sarah Noll Wilson, Inc. is on a mission to help leaders build and rebuild teams. Our goal is to empower leaders to understand and honor the beautiful complexity of the humans they serve. We create a safe, honest environment, preparing people to deal with real-world conflict, have more meaningful conversations, and create purposeful relationships. Working with organizations that care deeply about their teams and understand the connection between staff development and organizational success, Sarah Noll Wilson, Inc. specializes in transforming relationships from good to great.With 15+ years in leadership development, Sarah Noll Wilson earned a Master's Degree from Drake University in Leadership Development and a BA from the University of Northern Iowa in Theatre Performance and Theatre Education. Through her work as an Executive Coach, an in-demand Keynote Speaker, Researcher, Contributor to Harvard Business Review, and Bestselling Author of “Don’t Feed the Elephants”, Sarah helps leaders close the gap between what they intend to do and the actual impact they make. She hosts the podcast “Conversations on Conversations”, is certified in Co-Active Coaching, Conversational Intelligence, and is a frequent guest lecturer at universities. In addition to her work with organizations, Sarah is a passionate advocate for mental health.   Connect with Sarah:Website: sarahnollwilson.comX (formerly Twitter): @sarahnollwilsonLinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/sarahnollwilsonYouTube: @SarahNollWilsonFacebook: SarahNollWilsonIncInstagram: @sarahnollwilson
How to create a better work-life balance for dads in leadership roles with Larry Dake and Jeff Evener
Feb 8 2024
How to create a better work-life balance for dads in leadership roles with Larry Dake and Jeff Evener
Feeling stuck in the endless cycle of work, family responsibilities, and personal growth?Many dads find themselves caught in struggling to balance their professional ambitions with the demands of fatherhood. It's a juggle that often leaves little room for self-care, leading to stress and burnout. But what if there was a way to break free from this pattern, to find fulfillment in both your career and family life?In today’s episode, we dive deep into the lives of dads who are also leaders in their fields. Guests, Jeff Evener and Larry Dake, co-authors of "Dads, Leaders, and Father Figures," share their personal journeys of redefining success and finding balance. From the birth of a child during the writing of their book to a life-altering health scare, their stories shed light on the pressures men face and the transformative power of vulnerability in leadership.You’ll learn practical tips for self-care and setting healthy boundaries, strategies for managing the pressures of fatherhood and professional leadership. How to redefine success in alignment with personal values and well-being.Discover the secrets to being a great dad and a great leader, without sacrificing one for the other.Stay empowered,JenLet’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | LinktreeInstagram: @jenrafferty_Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty RoomAbout Jeff:Jeff Evener is a husband, father of 3, former Mayor, and current Assistant Superintendent at Homer Central School District. He is the co-author of Dads, Leaders, & Father Figures: Creating Influence & Legacy for a LifetimeAbout Dr. Larry:Dr. Larry Dake is the Superintendent of Schools in the Chenango Valley Central School District in upstate NY and has served as a teacher, coach, curriculum coordinator, principal, and Assistant Superintendent previously. He and his wife, Kelly, an elementary reading teacher, have three children and live in Endwell, NY, in the Binghamton area, about an hour south of Syracuse.Learn more about their book “Dads, Leaders, and Father Figures”: dadsleadersandfatherfigures.com
Overcoming health challenges: Discover how to listen and respond to your body with Crissy Florio
Feb 1 2024
Overcoming health challenges: Discover how to listen and respond to your body with Crissy Florio
Do you ever feel like life's challenges are too much to handle? Whether it's the stress of daily responsibilities or something as life-altering as health crises, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and disconnected from ourselves.In today’s episode, I sit down with the inspiring Crissy Florio, a yogi and breast cancer thriver. We delve into her story, showcasing her emotional resilience in overcoming cancer and the power of holistic healing.Discover why it’s important to listen to your body and intuition during health challenges, Crissy's effective self-care strategies such as journaling, meditation, and nature walks, and how yoga can support the lymphatic system and overall health. We also delve into ways to connect deeply with yourself and the importance of prioritizing well-being, not just for personal health but also for the ability to support and inspire others. Join us and find out how to harness the strength you never knew you had and how you can bring more balance into your life.Stay empowered,JenLet’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | LinktreeInstagram: @jenrafferty_Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty RoomAbout Crissy:Crissy is a lover of all things Mind, Body, and Soul. She is a Wife, Mom, Sister, Yogi, and a 3 year Breast Cancer Thriver. For over a decade, she has been teaching Vinyasa and Therapeutic Yoga- but recently has extended her knowledge to include Yoga for Cancer recovery, Yoga for the Lymphatic System and Yoga and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). She is an advocate for helping her students step into their power and connect to their bodies on a deeper level. Her classes are a well-balanced practice experience, full of healing the body physically, energetically, emotionally, and spiritually. Crissy has always believed in a healthy lifestyle and throughout the years has helped more and more beautiful humans live a more mindful, harmonious, connected life.Connect with Crissy:Website: healinginharmony.netIG: @flo_withcrissyflorioFB: FLO with Crissy Florio
How to overcome teacher burnout? Tips for sustainable teaching career with Lily Jones
Jan 25 2024
How to overcome teacher burnout? Tips for sustainable teaching career with Lily Jones
Are you struggling with teacher burnout and longing to rediscover the joy and purpose in your teaching career?You're not alone, and there's a path forward to help you find that fulfillment again.Join us in today’s episode where I am joined by Lily Jones, the founder of Educator Forever. Lily shares her journey and experiences, guiding us through the importance of reconnecting with our 'why' – the core reason that drew us to teaching and how this can transform stress into a source of strength and joy. We explore essential strategies for teacher well-being, emphasizing the importance of self-care and professional development in creating a more sustainable and fulfilling teaching experience.We also tackle the myth that hard work and joy can't coexist in the teaching profession and the needed change in the education system.Tune in to learn simple ways to bring back your love for teaching and see your work in a happier, new way.Stay empowered,JenLet’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | LinktreeInstagram: @jenrafferty_Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty RoomAbout Lily:Lily Jones is the founder of Educator Forever, where she empowers teachers to expand their impact beyond the classroom, and Educator Forever Agency, where she works with a team of educators to create inspiring curricula.  Holding an MA in Education from UC Berkeley, Lily spent seven inspiring and exhausting years as a kindergarten and first-grade teacher, then left the classroom to work as a curriculum designer, instructional coach, and education consultant. In everything she does, Lily hopes to support kids to love learning and teachers to love teaching. Connect with Lily:Website: educatorforever.comIG: @educatorforeverFB: Educator Forever
No time to eat well on busy work days? How mindful eating can help with Hannah McKitrick
Jan 18 2024
No time to eat well on busy work days? How mindful eating can help with Hannah McKitrick
Do you find yourself too busy to eat healthy as an educator? What if I told you that nourishing yourself on busy work days is possible?Join me and Hannah McKitrick as we talk about practical tips for making healthy eating simple and enjoyable, even in a busy schedule. Hannah is an alchemist culinary healer and the founder of My Intuitive Health.As someone who had Crohn's disease, Hannah shares how balanced nutrition provided the key to improving her gut health. This nutritional healing involves food choices that bring her emotional satisfaction while still honoring her physical body.We discuss the importance of health and nutrition and how the energy we bring in food preparation and eating also impacts our physical and emotional wellness. If you're looking to find a harmonious balance between tasty and nourishing food, this episode is for you. Tune in to discover how to nourish your soul from the inside out!Stay empowered,JenLet’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | LinktreeInstagram: @jenrafferty_Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty RoomAbout Hannah:Hannah is an alchemist culinary healer who is paving a new way of health that ditches the diet and instead combines energy with food to bring more lightness into your entire being - physically, emotionally, and spiritually. She has studied culinary school in Italy, eastern medicine at the academy of healing nutrition, and even healed her own gut of crohns disease through food. Her business, My Intuitive Health, has helped 100s of women truly nourish their “soul health” from the inside out, using food and connection as the catalyst that raises their vibration. She holds a healing yet playful space for women to have a ridiculous amount of fun while cooking healthy meals during her transformational cooking programs and culinary wellness retreats in southern Italy.Connect with Hannah:Website: https://myintuitivehealth.com/IG: @hannah.mckitrickFB: Hannah McKitrick
How to develop your voice and deal with hard conversations for effective communication with Jennifer Abrams
Jan 11 2024
How to develop your voice and deal with hard conversations for effective communication with Jennifer Abrams
Ever wondered how to voice your concerns without sparking conflict?Even though teachers have credentials to teach and work with students, it is a different skill set to talk effectively with adults.Effective communication with adults, colleagues, and administrators, allows educators to express their concerns without complaining and still maintain relationships, both personally and professionally. And that takes skill building, including naming their fears and hesitations and remembering that they are in a team.So joining us today is Jennifer Abrams, an international educational and communications consultant and a trainer for coaches, teachers, and administrators, to talk about empowering educators through effective communication and dealing with hard conversations.Jennifer also shares the need to balance one’s personal development and professional growth, the future of education through a human-centered approach, and why teacher support is essential. There is power in your voice and the support systems around you. So, never shy away from asking for support because that’s a path to growth. Here’s to your journey as an empowered educator! Stay empowered,JenLet’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | LinktreeInstagram: @jenrafferty_Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty RoomAbout Jennifer:Jennifer Abrams is an international educational and communications consultant for public and independent schools, universities and non-profits. Jennifer trains and coaches teachers, administrators and others on new teacher/employee support, having hard conversations, collaboration skills and being your best adult self at work. In her over two decades at Palo Alto Unified School District (Palo Alto, CA, USA), Jennifer was a high school English teacher, new teacher coach, and professional development facilitator. She left PAUSD in 2012 to start her full time communications consultancy in which she works with schools and organizations around the globe.Jennifer presents at annual North American-based conferences such as Learning Forward, ASCD, NASSP, NAESP, AMLE, ISACS and the New Teacher Center Annual Symposium among others. Internationally, she facilitated with the Teachers' and Principals' Centers for International School Leadership (TTC and PTC) and presents with EARCOS, NESA, ECIS, AISA, AMISA, CEESA and Tri-Association, and consults with schools across Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, South America and Canada. Jennifer's publications include Having Hard Conversations, The Multigenerational Workplace: Communicating, Collaborating & Creating Community and Hard Conversations Unpacked - the Whos, the Whens and the What Ifs, Swimming in the Deep End: Four Foundational Skills for Leading Successful School Initiatives, and her newest book, Stretching Your Learning Edges: Growing (Up) at Work. Jennifer has been recognized as one of "21 Women All K-12 Educators Need to Know" by Education Week's 'Finding Common Ground' blog. She considers herself a "voice coach," helping others learn how to best use their voices - be it collaborating on a team, presenting in front of a group, coaching a colleague, supervising an employee.  Connect with Jennifer:Website: www.jenniferabrams.comIG: @jenniferbethabramsX: @jenniferabramsLinkedIn
Feeling tired as a teacher? Overcome burnout and spark your passion again with Taylor Nardone
Jan 4 2024
Feeling tired as a teacher? Overcome burnout and spark your passion again with Taylor Nardone
Feeling stuck in your career or searching for purpose in your life? Join me and our guest, Taylor Nardone, a dynamic speaker, coach, and former teacher, in today’s episode where we discuss finding your truth and power during times of transition.Diving deep into personal transformation and intuition, Taylor shares his journey of embracing a career change guided by spiritual awakening and self-discovery. Discover practical tips he has learned for overcoming burnout, as well as the importance of emotional intelligence for continued personal growth.We also explore how you can align with your true self by breaking free of limiting beliefs, and the impact that adult behavior can have on the younger generation. Additionally, Taylor shares his vision for the future of education, advocating for a more personalized and engaging learning environment for students.Ready to embark on your own journey of self-discovery and transformation?Remember, it's never too late to redefine your path and rediscover your passion!Stay empowered,JenLet’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | LinktreeInstagram: @jenrafferty_Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty RoomAbout Taylor:Taylor Nardone is a speaker, coach and performer based in Boston, MA. Having gone through a transformational awakening in the Spring of 2022, he quit his teaching job and ventured into the unknown. What would follow was a journey of absolute magic and immense trust. He intuitively found his calling in guiding others in their return back home to themselves. With the phrase found in nearly all of his content, Taylor lives by the eternal knowing that all is well, always and in all ways.Connect with Taylor:https://linktr.ee/taylorryannardone
Transforming Education: Authentic Leadership and Systemic Change with Sarah Johnson
Dec 28 2023
Transforming Education: Authentic Leadership and Systemic Change with Sarah Johnson
Have you ever wondered what it truly takes to be a great leader, especially in the challenging world of education? Join us in today’s episode as we explore simple, yet powerful insights into authentic leadership with our guest, Sarah Johnson, an English teacher and school principal turned renowned author, speaker, leadership coach, and podcaster.You’ll discover how to overcome imposter syndrome, trust your intuition, and understand why staying true to yourself is crucial in education leadership, as well as foundational leadership practices. We also discussed the challenges educators face today, including how to fit into organizational norms and the importance of personal growth, not just for yourself but for the benefit of your students. Plus, Sarah offers her unique perspective on how individual changes can create systemic transformation in education. This episode is more than just a guide to coping in the educational sphere; it's a roadmap to thriving in it, underlined by Sarah's expert insights and practical advice.Stay empowered,JenLet’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | LinktreeInstagram: @jenrafferty_Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty RoomAbout Sarah JohnsonSarah Johnson is a former English teacher and school principal, turned author, speaker, leadership coach, and podcaster. She is passionate about assisting others in seeking greater satisfaction in all areas of their full lives by helping them go beyond work-life balance as well as develop strong leadership foundations. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education, Master of Science in Educational Administration, a Certificate for Women in Leadership from Cornell University, and she is working on her PhD in Global Leadership and Change. She hosts the weekly In AWE Podcast where she is proud to amplify women’s stories to empower a community.  Sarah is co-author of Balance Like a Pirate: Going Beyond Work-Life Balance to Ignite Passion and Thrive as an Educator and author of Lead with Faith: Building a Strong Foundation So You Can Rise Up, Slay Fear, and Serve Well. Sarah lives the balance message in her life by pursuing passions such as running, writing, focusing on family with her two daughters and teacher husband, while also honing her leadership skills through networking, teaching, and learning.Website: sarahsajohnson.comFacebook: Sarah Johnson ConsultingInstagram: @sarahsajohnsonLinkedIn: Sarah Johnson
Empower every student and teacher: Tailoring education for neurodiversity with Dr. Matt Zakreski
Dec 21 2023
Empower every student and teacher: Tailoring education for neurodiversity with Dr. Matt Zakreski
Imagine a world where every child's unique learning style is not just recognized but celebrated.That world is closer than you think! Join us today as we explore neurodiversity in education with Dr. Matt Zakreski, a clinical psychologist and neurodiversity expert. In this episode, you’ll discover how we can better teach and support neurodivergent children. Dr. Matt advocates for a shift from a one-size-fits-all approach to a more personalized learning experience.You’ll also learn about inclusive education and how teachers and parents can work together for all students. We also talked about the importance of authenticity in teaching. Grab your headphones and join us in our mission to transform the education system– this chat is full of ideas for anyone wanting to help kids learn in their own way!Stay empowered,JenLet’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | LinktreeInstagram: @jenrafferty_Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty RoomAbout Dr. Matt:Matthew “Dr. Matt” Zakreski, PsyD is a high energy, creative clinical psychologist and professional speaker who utilizes an eclectic approach to meet the specific needs of his neurodivergent clients.  He is proud to serve the Gifted community as a consultant, a professor, an author, and a researcher.  He has spoken over 400 times all over the world about supporting neurodivergent kids.  Dr. Zakreski is a member of Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG), the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), the New Jersey Association for Gifted Children (NJAGC), and Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education (PAGE).  Dr. Zakreski graduated from Widener University’s Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology (IGCP) in 2016.  He is the co-founder of The Neurodiversity Collective: https://www.theneurodiversitycollective.com/ Connect with Dr. Matt:Website: www.theneurodiversitycollective.comFB: www.facebook.com/drmattzakreski
How teachers advocate and ally for transgender rights in education with Flint Huffman
Dec 14 2023
How teachers advocate and ally for transgender rights in education with Flint Huffman
Creating a safe and inclusive environment is crucial not just in our homes and workplaces, but also in our schools.In today’s episode, I had the privilege of speaking with Flint Huffman, a veteran transgender teacher and content creator. Flint is not only a figurehead in transgender advocacy but also an inspiring voice in education policy.Flint shared his personal journey of transitioning in the public eye, both as an educator in front of hundreds of students and as an influential online presence. We spoke about the complexities of creating safe spaces in schools and inclusive education, the current challenges facing trans teachers and students, and the importance of advocacy and allyship in education.Flint's insights on the current climate surrounding transgender issues in education are both enlightening and thought-provoking. Join us for this important conversation, where we learn, understand, and celebrate the courage it takes to foster inclusivity in our schools.Stay empowered,JenLet’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | LinktreeInstagram: @jenrafferty_Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty RoomAbout Flint:Flint (he/they) is a veteran transgender teacher and content creator with over a decade of experience in the classroom. In addition to working in policy and action in his community, he has more than 300,000 followers across TikTok and Instagram, where he makes videos about trans life and history, education, and "general teenage weirdness.”Connect with Flint:IG: @justflintisfine
How the Feldenkrais Method remarkably transforms learning and wellness with Carol McAmis
Dec 7 2023
How the Feldenkrais Method remarkably transforms learning and wellness with Carol McAmis
Ready to explore a holistic approach to movement and learning?In today’s episode, I'm thrilled to welcome Carol McAmis, an expert in the Feldenkrais Method.Carol shared her personal journey and the transformative power of Feldenkrais, a method that emphasizes body awareness and learning through movement. We explored how this approach has revolutionized wellness worldwide and discussed the powerful connection between the body and mindset workShe emphasized the importance of slowing down and being present, and how flexible thinking can impact our learning process.Join us for an episode that's sure to change the way you think about movement, learning, and the potential within us all.Stay empowered,JenLet’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | LinktreeInstagram: @jenrafferty_Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty RoomAbout Carol:Carol McAmis earned the Master of Music in Vocal Performance degree from the University of Kansas in 1974 and the Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, Minor: Vocal Performance degree in 1972, University of Kansas. She became a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Teacher® in 1991. Prior to joining the faculty at Ithaca College, Carol taught at Manchester College in Indiana (1974-1979).At Ithaca College, Carol taught Voice, Vocal Pedagogy, and Feldenkrais® for Musicians. For sixteen years, she was a core faculty member of IC’s seminal Healthy Musician Workshop, a major influence in establishing musician’s wellness programs in colleges and conservatories around the world. A trailblazer in understanding the living body as a musical instrument, Carol developed a holistic approach to vocal pedagogy, The MultiDimensional Singer, combining traditional vocal pedagogy with voice science, Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement® lessons, and other cross-disciplinary modalities. The Ithaca College Feldenkrais for Musicians course that she developed in 1991 was one of the first offered for college credit in the nation. She has presented workshops both nationally and internationally, introducing the Feldenkrais Method® for such groups as The Feldenkrais Guild of North America®, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the New York State School Music Association, the University of Minnesota, and the Irish World Music Center in Limerick. She is the creator of “The Singer’s PlayBoxtm” an innovative approach to teaching and learning singing. Her students are active performers, working in many genres from the Metropolitan Opera to Broadway to the vocal jazz innovators, New York Voices to cabaret and world music.  Many of her students are successful public school and university teachers, and others are composers, conductors, and administrators. She is honored to have taught so many fine musicians at Ithaca College.
Can storytelling revolutionize classroom learning? An inspiring talk with Michael Katz
Nov 30 2023
Can storytelling revolutionize classroom learning? An inspiring talk with Michael Katz
Can you recall a moment when a story deeply resonated with you and made you feel seen and heard?In today’s episode of Take Notes  we are joined by Michael Katz, a professional storyteller and educator. We dive into how storytelling can make a big difference in elementary education and help with mindfulness in schools.Michael talks about his path to becoming a storyteller and shows us how telling stories can grab our attention and help us learn. This episode is full of great ideas for anyone who wants to use storytelling in education, with tips on making stories fun and interactive for kids. Curious to see how storytelling can transform learning? Listen in!Stay empowered,JenLet’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | LinktreeInstagram: @jenrafferty_Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty RoomAbout Michael:Michael Katz has been a profession storyteller for over 30 years, both as a performer and as a teacher of the craft.  The work he loves the most is in elementary schools, while his public performance have been at such illustrious locations as the openings of the L.A. Getty Center and the Disney Concert Hall.  HIs CD of stories "Far Away and Close to Home" was given a Parents Choice Silver Honor Award.  In the last 15 years he has also been teaching mindfulness in elementary schools, primarily with K-2 students.Connect with Michael:Website: www.storytellermichael.com
Seeking self-growth? How does overcoming personal challenges empower us with Jillian Seibel Pawlowski
Nov 22 2023
Seeking self-growth? How does overcoming personal challenges empower us with Jillian Seibel Pawlowski
As an educator, putting yourself first isn't selfish – it's transformational. When you prioritize self-care, you become a better version of yourself for those around you. In today’s episode, join me and Jillian Seibel Pawlowski, as we dive deep into personal growth, coaching, and the power of transformation.Jillian is a Trauma-Informed Certified Transformational Coach, who has joined our Empowered Educator team. Jillian and I delved into the transformative power of coaching. Unlike self-help books, coaching provides personalized guidance, helping you uncover blind spots and bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.We also discussed the benefits of mindfulness and how it can help you make empowered choices and shift priorities.Remember, you have the power to make a positive impact, not just on your students, but on your own life as well. You deserve it!Stay empowered,JenPs. Discover more about our upcoming workshop, "6 Truths to Return to Your Favorite Self" This workshop is designed to guide you back to your authentic self and provide tools for sustaining that transformation.Let’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | LinktreeInstagram: @jenrafferty_Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty RoomAbout Jillian:Jillian is a trauma informed certified transformation coach. She specializes in radical self-love, metacognition, consciousness, and the unification of mind and body to help people transform the way they experience themselves and life. Her expertise provides a safe space for clients to grow towards expansive self-love and self-actualization. Her passion for personal and professional growth is the foundation for her calling: to make the world a kinder, more loving place. Take a look at this CLIP from Jillian's impact talk. (Watch the full talk HERE)Connect with Jillian:IG: @dreamworthylifecoachEmail: jillian@empowerededucator.com
Can Social-Emotional Learning unlock academic success and personal growth? With Dan Wolfe
Nov 16 2023
Can Social-Emotional Learning unlock academic success and personal growth? With Dan Wolfe
Do you wonder if our education system might be overlooking crucial elements beyond academics, such as emotional and social readiness for real-world challenges?In today's episode, we're joined by Dan Wolfe, an educator and Assistant Principal at Sunray Elementary. With over two decades of experience, Dan brings to life the transformative power of Social-Emotional learning (SEL). We delved into the challenges and triumphs of implementing SEL in schools, the resistance it faces, and its broader implications for both children and adults.Dan discussed the importance of individual morals and values in becoming our best authentic selves. He emphasized that there are different paths to personal growth and that it's essential to respect and honor others' perspectives, even if they differ from our own.He also introduced his book, Becoming the Change, which provides practical tools for personal growth in SEL.So, grab a cup of coffee, settle in, and join us to understand how embracing SEL can bring about transformative changes in education and beyond.Stay empowered,JenLet’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | LinktreeInstagram: @jenrafferty_Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty RoomAbout Dan:Dan Wolfe has served in Pasco County, Florida for more than 20 years. During this time, he has held roles as a teacher, instructional coach and administrator. He is currently an Assistant Principal at Sunray Elementary. He was selected as Pasco County’s District Teacher of the Year in 2011-2012 school year. He is a part of the district’s Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Committee that recently established Pre-K through Grade 12 SEL standards.For the past two years Dan has written a blog called Becoming The Change (formerly Our Moral Compass) which focuses on a different quote each day and how we can best apply it towards becoming the change through our own moral compass and the five areas in SEL. During his spare time Dan enjoys spending his time reading, listening to podcasts, and going to Disney with his wife and daughter.For more information on his book, blog, podcast, social media links and other podcast interviews please go to: https://becoming-the-change.com/8258-2/Connect with Dan:Website: becoming-the-change.comTwitter: @ServLeadInspire  LinkedIn: Dan WolfeInstagram:@serveleadinspirealways Facebook: Dan Wolfe