In the 13th episode of The Schoolyard Podcast, host Nancy Chung sits down with two incredible educators, Juan Edgar Gonzalez, Jr. (@teaching3rdwithmrg on Instagram) and Rebecka Peterson (@rebeckapeterson_ on Instagram), to discuss their love of literacy and numeracy.
Juan Edgar Gonzalez, Jr.
Juan Edgar Gonzalez, Jr. is an elementary school teacher who is well-known for his love of literacy. He uses his social media platform to connect with teachers worldwide as part of his mission to spotlight the great work educators are doing in their classrooms and inspire everyone to read more books.
Juan shares his strategy of showcasing his own reading life to inspire his students. He believes that by demonstrating his passion for reading and making connections between books and other forms of storytelling, students can see the value and joy in reading beyond just an academic requirement.
Rebecka Peterson is a high school math teacher from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the 2023 National Teacher of the Year. She believes in redefining math education and creating a safe space for all students to explore and enjoy mathematics. Rebecka uses her platform to highlight the positive stories in education and foster a love of math in her students.
Rebecka highlights the need for teachers to bring excitement and joy into the classroom. She encourages collaboration and games to foster a sense of community and engagement among students. By making math fun and interactive, students are more likely to develop genuine enthusiasm for the subject.
During the podcast episode, Juan and Rebecka discuss the importance of instilling a love of reading and math at a young age. They emphasize that reading and math proficiency not only enhance academic success, but also nurture curiosity, creativity, and problem-solving skills essential for everyday life.
More Episode 13 Highlights
The conversation touches on the role of parents and caregivers in nurturing a love of reading and math. While it is important to have support from home, Juan and Rebecka acknowledge that not all students have that privilege. They emphasize the importance of creating a positive and supportive learning environment within the classroom, regardless of external factors.
Technology and multimedia resources are discussed as tools to enhance reading and math skills. Juan suggests using technology to bridge the gap between traditional reading and electronic reading, allowing students to make connections between the two. Rebecka shares her experience of flipping her classroom and using technology to create a collaborative learning environment.
Nancy Chung’s conversation with Juan Edgar Gonzalez, Jr. and Rebecka Peterson is a reminder of the transformative power of literacy and numeracy. By instilling a love of reading and math in students, educators can unlock their potential and prepare them to reach success in an increasingly complex and information-driven world.
Juan Edgar Gonzalez, Jr.
Juan Edgar Gonzalez, Jr., also known as @teaching3rdwithmrg on Instagram, is an elementary school teacher from Houston, Texas. He’s well-known and well-loved for his love of literacy. Juan is one of the main speakers at the biggest teacher conference in the nation and uses his social media at @teaching3rdwithmrg to connect with teachers worldwide. His mission through this work is to spotlight the great work educators are doing in their classrooms and to inspire everyone to read more books.
Rebecka Peterson is a 10th to 12th-grade mathematics teacher at Union High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is also the 2023 National Teacher of the Year and was recently named one of six state-level finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Peterson says her students bring out the best version of her, and she hopes she does the same. She helps administer the blog One Good Thing, in which she posts something good from her classroom every day. She has contributed 1,400 posts to the blog, inspiring her students to reflect on hope and joy in their own journals. At the forefront of her education philosophy is listening to stories. A proud immigrant of Swedish-Iranian descent, Peterson is passionate about making mathematics engaging, relevant, and accessible to all, no matter their background.