A podcast from CASDA Executive Director Michael Piccirillo, Ed.D, designed to elicit reactions and stimulate thinking about important topics in the field of education and offer support and professional development for area educators.
Stream It's Intentional podcasts on the following platforms, or play episodes directly from CASDA's website below:
Episode 8: Innovative Thinking: The Path to Re-Imagined Schools
Necessity is often the mother of invention. In this episode of It's Intentional, Dr. Piccirillo explores how crises in early modern cities demanded a break from the status quo, fostering innovation and evolution. This reflection leads us to a fundamental question: "can we use the current crisis to build a more equitable and sustainable education system?"
Episode 7: Connecting to Your Leadership Roots
In this episode of It's Intentional, Mike talks about the need for a strong sense of purpose to lead effectively in times of crisis. He discusses how he studied superintendents' background influences their leadership style and shares a poignant story from his own childhood to illustrate the meaning of sacrifice, purpose and leadership.
Episode 6: How External and Internal Structures Contribute to Educator and Student Trauma
In this episode of It's Intentional, Dr. Michael Piccirillo discusses the pandemic's toll on student and educator mental health and social-emotional wellbeing. He states that while external structures such as state testing and budget cuts are adding significant pressure to the already unprecedented challenge of reopening during COVID-19. Mike argues that while these stressors are real, they are difficult for educators to influence or control and that focusing on internal structures that enable districts to more flexibly and equitably respond to these obstacles is perhaps a more effective focus. He concludes by returning to the theme of community empowerment, situating families and students as stakeholders whose expertise and perspective must be valued as educational institutions navigate the current moment.
Episode 5: Co-Designing Solutions in School Districts During and After Covid-19
In this return episode of It's Intentional, Mike discusses the need to approach the challenges of covid-19 through a co-design lens. He argues that current decision making structures tend to produce superficial, technical fixes to deep rooted, specific problems that must be addressed collaboratively. He provides an overview of the co-design process as outlined in the research of Dr. Ann Ishimaru and discusses how such a model could be applied to ensure that all educators, students and families are empowered to develop the equitable, sustainable policies.
Episode 4: Self-Regulated Learning: Empowering Student Academic and Personal Growth
In this episode Mike continues conversations centered on the theme of student empowerment. This podcast poses the question, what would happen if schools explicitly taught students how to set, monitor and adjust goals for academic and personal growth?
Episode 3: Parent/Family Empowerment: It's About Access
In this episode, Mike shares 2 stories about parent empowerment initiatives that he participated in during his career that sought to remove barriers to access for parents who had previously been excluded from school programming. He also shares relevant research and reflects on how gaps in access for parents are mirrored by opportunity gaps for students, emphasizing that if we truly aim to serve "all students," then we must include "all parents."
Episode 2: Student Empowerment: Why the Quandary for Schools
Mike asks why philosophically people are on board with student empowerment, but have a difficulty enacting it. Have schools become more like places of obedience and less like places fostering free expression? He also questions a past decision when he was a principal in which he coached a valedictorian to revise her graduation speech to limit possible backlash and criticism. At the time he convinced himself that he was supporting intellectual independence, but in retrospect may have just been reinforcing obedience by having her tailor her speech, so that it fit some unwritten standard about what graduation ceremonies are about.
Episode 1: Student Engagement or Empowerment?
In the first episode of It's Intentional, Mike addresses how schools can use student participation in activities outside the classroom to support connectedness in the classroom, and how positive, supportive and caring relationships are the key to student engagement.
Episode 9: A Simple Message for Complex Times
In this episode, CASDA Executive Director Michael Piccirillo, Ed.D "gets real" about being grateful for what he has in his life and encourages listeners to find solace and peace in a simplified approach to life.