Teacher Talk on School Climate: Armed and Pedagogical?

By Kori Milroy

The recent Sandy Hook school massacre has brought about a nationwide focus on school safety and security.  Ideas for improving security range from an across the board ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, to placing an armed guard in every school building.  Some groups have called for teachers and/or administrators to be armed with guns or Tasers. What do teachers think about all this? [Click to download]  Are they ready and willing to be armed?  The nation’s two largest teachers’ unions released a statement opposing arming teachers, but some teachers have embraced the idea, filling up free firearms training sessions being offered in Ohio, Utah, and Texas.

On this episode of Teacher Talk, Chicago Public Schools teachers Conor Fitzsimmons and Jennifer Christiansen share their opinions on school safety and security, and the prospect of teachers carrying guns. Download the episode here or stream it below. to listen in on Kori, Conor’s, and Jennifer’s conversation about the vision, and add your own voice to the mix by leaving a comment here on the VIVA Teachers website, below this post.


This is the third installment of Teacher Talk, an ongoing series of conversations between teachers talking about education policy.

Teacher Talk: RESPECT Project

Do teachers get enough respect? Does the teaching profession need to be “transformed” in order be respected?

In this episode of Teacher Talk, VIVA Teacher Leader Kori Milroy and Chicago Public Schools teacher Erika Wozniak discuss the U.S. Department of Education’s new RESPECT Project [click to download] , a vision for the future of the teaching profession that seeks to make teaching the most respected profession in America. Kori and Erika both teach elementary grades at public schools in Chicago.

Download the episode here or stream it below. to listen in on Kori and Erika’s conversation about the vision, and add your own voice to the mix by leaving a comment here on the VIVA website.

This is the second installment of Teacher Talk, an ongoing series of conversations between teachers talking about education policy. This full interview is now up!

Founder Elizabeth Evans on PBS’ Learning Matters Podcast!

From PBS Learning Matters podcast page

Elizabeth Evans is the head of the VIVA Project, who uses the the slogan “a different way to make a difference.” They encourage teachers to collaborate and add their voice to education policy discussions.

At the #EWA12 conference, LM web producer Ted Bauer spoke with Evans (previously, he spoke with Kelly Hunter of the Children’s Literacy Initiative) about the current educational climate we live in, and what can be done at all levels to improve it.

You can listen to the interview by pressing play below.

Teacher Talk: The Good, the Bad and the Charter (Episode 1)

Kori Milroy interviewing Rachel Douglas SwansonVIVA Teacher Leader Kori Milroy, host of Teacher Talk, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of charter schools with Rachel Douglas Swanson who teaches at LEARN Charter School in Chicago. Download the 30-minute podcast to listen in on a fascinating conversation about the misconceptions and challenges charters face. Learn about the differences between teaching at a charter and a traditional public school. Hear how Swanson felt when she got her first raise based on her performance. And get jealous when she talks about getting the things she needs to be an effective teacher.

This is the first installment of Teacher Talk, an ongoing series of conversations between teachers talking about education policy.

Download the episode here or stream it below.