Episode #234: Hedreich Nicols

Dana GoodierOut of the Trenches Podcast

Hedreich Nichols is an author and educational consultant helping teachers and districts amplify the voices of all students. With her Solution Tree title, Finding Your Blind Spots: 8 Guiding Principles to Overcome Implicit Bias in Teaching, Hedreich combines her experience as a “One Black Friend” and educator with academic research and pedagogical strategies to ensure that educators have the skills and knowledge they need to create more equitable classrooms and campuses. Her 5 social justice titles with Cherry Lake Publishing further support these goals in the classroom. Her workshops and courses are highly sought after because she sees it as her mission to promote unity, even when teaching on topics considered divisive.

Hedreich also hosts a YouTube series and podcast, Small Bites, with the same focus. Between Small Bites and her work as a speaker and writer for teacher prep programs; educational publications and podcasts like Edutopia and Cult of Pedagogy; and in conferences like VASCD, CUE and AEILOC; Hedreich uses her voice to educate and create change around issues of access and equity in education. Connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin or Facebook to learn more.

In addition to writing and consulting, Hedreich serves her district in North Texas as K-12 EdTech specialist. Prior to becoming and edtech teacher and district specialist, she was a music educator and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter. Hedreich received her Master of Education at Texas A&M University. Is in Arlington, TX.

Trenches story: Has had a very curvy journey, many trenches. Recent moment- student who was struggling. This one triggered her a lot. Had toddler-like meltdowns. Hedrich gave her space to “have her space”. Set up a signal student could use. Built a strong relationship. Later when a student got kicked out, she worked in Hedrich’s room.

Talk about consulting & courses provided: SmallBites LLC can provide keynotes and professional development courses for schools and districts on equity, restorative justice and student engagement. How do you approach your work? From ½ researcher, ½ personal view. She approaches as teacher, admin, parent. Most people do things because they want a better world for their children. Evil people do wrong things for (what they think) are good reasons. Get to that place- that way you can work with them. In your work with the districts, how do you approach that? Some districts have strands they want to work on. PErhaps they have large groups of st. in sped who are of color. You have to find the empathy piece. We talk often about white males & how they’ve had to power- it makes them look like the bad guy. See what the other side looks like. You can’t drag people to change. What can you do? Don’t make folks mad.

Professional development courses can be chosen from the list below or can be tailor made to fit your staff training needs. Can highlight the 2 new ones that talk about strategic priorities and how to start w/ equity @ your school. Make sure your teachers are properly trained in best practices. Have affinity groups on campus. Her book is inclusive classroom 101. Policy that is giving 75 million $ to Native Americans affected by change. Don’t use “tribes”.

Talk about your books, Finding Your Blind Spots: 8 Guiding Principles to Overcome Implicit Bias in Teaching esp. childrens’ books about What is AntiRacism & BLM: She loves talking about them, how to weave in bits and pieces from your books in schools where the books are banned. She has been “accused” of being palliative towards the rednecks, then they give the book a look. Her books are explainer books. Being on the side of right doesn’t make you the best in an argument. Black Lives Matter, Too may have been a better slogan, she writes that in the books. Written for grades 4-8. Writes about what it means to be an ally. Practical things teachers can get engaged in. on Cherry Lake Publishing/Sleeping Bear press. 3 others- explainer-type books about Black history. She feels the victimization of not being “top of the totem pole”. In principle out land was stolen land.

When did you get started with the Small Bites podcast https://anchor.fm/hedreich and what is your podcast’s mission? Do you interview others or is mostly you speaking. 5 min quick chat. Drops Sund night for Monday morning. Some inspiration; words. She has an ongoing topic list. Her interview schedule is sometimes. Does a few interviewers. Like with Kevin Leichtman.

Out of everything? you can always get out of the trenches, there’s no where to go but up. Be thankful for what you have!

Where can ppl find you online? https://facebook.com/hedreich.nichols

SMALLBITES BY HEDREICH NICHOLS | Twitter, Instagram, TikTok | Linktree

View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/jPOyrHKSXTE


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