Episode 112: The Next Right Thing with Amanda Woods

January 12, 2020

All In with Pauline Hawkins

Amanda Woods joins me again to talk about her children’s books: The Robot and the Ballerina and I love You to Planet Peas and Carrots; running the marketing and business end of Wiggly Bridge Distillery; the foundation she is starting with self-publishing; and the work she does with York Region Chamber of Commerce. She also shares about some of the struggles she had to overcome to get to where she is now and doing the next right thing.

Three songs that would be on the soundtrack of her life: 1st song: “Bones” by Maren Morris; 2nd song: “The Next Right Thing” by Kristen Bell from Frozen II; and 3rd song of soundtrack: “Memories” by Maroon 5.

Contact Amanda through her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/authoramandawoods/

Or at www.amandamariewoods.com

For more information about Wiggly Bridge Distillery, go to http://wigglybridgedistillery.com/

Become a Patron at Patreon.com to support my podcast! https://www.patreon.com/paulinehawkins

2020 Going All In Diary: Family Goals Day 11

One of my goals for the new year is to plan at least one day a month when Ian and I get outside and take a walk or enjoy nature in some way. Today was the perfect day to accomplish this goal for January.

We found fun signs we never would have seen driving by (seals come up on this beach?). We smiled and said hi to people along the path (not everyone smiled or said hi back, but I told Ian it didn’t matter how other people treated us, only how we treated others). We made friends with amazing dogs. But mostly, we enjoyed the wind, the ocean spray, the sun, the waves, and the nature walk with each other.

Ian: “Why do houses like this exist?”
3 miles total: 1.5 out and back

For more about goal setting, listen to https://paulinehawkins.com/2020/01/05/episode-111-going-all-in-in-2020-with-molly-campbell/

A book for everyone

I’ve been rereading Uncommon Core in preparation for planning out my next book, and I have to tell you, it’s giving me the feels. I’ve cried through every chapter, remembering the connection I had with my students and the lessons we learned from each other.

In some ways, it’s a hard book to market because the primary audience is parents, but the parents who need it the most might not know they need it. It’s also like a memoir, filled with stories from my high school teaching days, so teachers can read it for inspiration or to help them remember why they became teachers in the first place. The primary message is about core skills students need to be successful in school and beyond, so students can read it as a self-help book.

Uncommon Core does not bash or help people navigate Common Core standards and teaching, but it is a book that talks about what is important and seems to be uncommon nowadays.

So, if you or someone you know could benefit from reading a book like this, let me know. I think it’s worth it 🙂

2020 Going All In Diary: Health Goals, Day 5

Ian and I have gotten into the habit of eating a bowl of chips while watching TV before bed. We both know this is not good for us, but I’m old. I like traditions.

Last night, I was wrapped in a blanket with Chico on my lap, thinking about those jalapeno chips I bought earlier in the day. I asked Ian to get a bowl of chips for the last half of the show we were watching.

He said no.

I insisted, as his mother, that he go get some.

He said, “No, Mom. I don’t want them and neither do you.”

So, no bowl of chips last night. I may or may not be too old to remember the last time that happened.

Secret to Success Tip #1: Create or raise your own Jiminy Cricket.

Episode 111: Going All In in 2020 with Molly Campbell

January 5, 2020

All In with Pauline Hawkins

Molly Campbell, UNH Lecturer and dear friend, joins me to have a new year/all in conversation. There’s such a pull at the beginning of a new year to make New Year’s Resolutions, but so many of us struggle with sticking with it. So Molly and I wanted to share where we are now and what our plans for 2020 are to make it the most successful year yet.

We talk about setting goals that are attainable for our physical, spiritual, emotional, family, and professional growth. We shared two motivational songs during the episode to help us do the work: 1st song: “Circles” by Soul Coughing and 2nd song: “If Not Now, When?” by Incubus

Become a Patron at Patreon.com to support my podcast! https://www.patreon.com/paulinehawkins

What if…

Some thoughts to consider for the new year.

What if we stopped expecting schools to protect our children from the world and started teaching our children to be better for the world?

What if we stopped removing obstacles from our children’s paths and let them experience the strength that comes from overcoming them?

What if we stopped raising children and started raising adults?

What if we stopped yelling at people who disagree with us and started listening to find common ground?

What if we stopped judging people before we know them and started taking the time to hear their stories?

What if we stopped fearing how the world is changing and became the change we wanted to see?


Questions about my Animal Farm Social Experiment

It’s interesting how many teachers email me about a post I wrote six years ago, Animal Farm Lessons. People can read it at HuffPost or in my book Uncommon Core, so it’s easy to find it if they are looking for lesson plans for Animal Farm.

Today, I spent some time answering these questions:

1. What is your classroom management style? In your opinion, are there classes that are too immature for the experiment? 
2. Do you let this experiment continue for more than one class period?
3. How do you collect students feedback on the activity? (I’m debating anonymously, first).
4. Do you add any formal assessment element (for example, if they are able to meet all 5 requirements as a class, each student earns 10 points)? (I’m just as worried that I would HAVE to tie points to the activity to get some of my students engaged or willing to risk becoming a leader).
5. How do you handle students crossing the line with breaking rules/classroom expectations?  Would you say for the sake of the experiment you allow cellphone use, swearing, etc? 

So I thought I’d share my response on my blog.

Dear Friend,

Thank you for your email and your questions. I understand your fears. It is definitely one of the reasons I left classroom teaching: We can no longer teach a lesson without a way to measure students’ learning in some concrete way. This lesson teaches students things that can never be measured, but they will never forget it and it will change them in some positive way.

First, I always used the lesson as a social experiment and let them learn from their behavior in the small world we created for one hour on one day. I have often wondered what would have happened if I let the experiment last longer than that, but I don’t think that’s the goal of the lesson. The goal is to see how students choose to behave in this situation. Each class is different, and something the teacher cannot control. I have conducted this experiment with honors students and with students who have been to jail. I never had to stop Rebellion Day, although I did end one session about 5 minutes early once because students set themselves up as “security guards” and were getting dangerously close to getting physical with other students. When I took back the classroom, I asked the security guards why they chose to do that. Their answer: They thought it was fun. So without judgment or anger I asked, “You think threatening or hurting people is fun?” I said nothing else to them. By the end of class, both boys apologized to me and the students they threatened. How do you grade that?

Which brings me to grades: I told them they were getting graded but not how, because I wanted them to be motivated to engage. I gave them all a participation grade for the day, regardless if they were the leader or the person in the corner playing on their phone (so, yes, I allowed that), regardless if they worked together to accomplish the tasks or all sat for an hour and did nothing (which never happened by the way). 

I think the most essential element of this experiment is my notetaking. I observe without interfering, but then I share all of my observations and then ask students questions about my observations like, Why didn’t you participate? Why did you get angry? Why did you mistreat that person? Why did you all blindly follow the leader? These observations and questions are the real lesson. Students are just acting out who they are and what they have observed in their lives. This experiment merely holds up a mirror for them and asks them, Is this really who you want to be?

It will take a lot of courage on your part to let them be, but that’s what I recommend. Of course, other teachers have put more controls and rules and grades on the lesson, so it is completely up to you and what you feel comfortable with. Some teachers graded the reflections they asked students to write afterwards, which is probably the only one I would recommend, but I never did that. I didn’t want to take a life lesson and turn it into an arbitrary grade, but I understand the pressure to attach a grade in the current system.

The only other question you asked is what is my normal classroom like. I always set up my classroom with mutual respect and created a safe environment for my students. Some classes were more challenging than others, but they always knew I had their best interest at heart–they won’t care what you know until they know that you care. They knew that this experiment was another way I was showing how much I cared about them.

I hope this answers your questions. Let me know if you have any more. If you decide to do it, let me know how it turns out.

Best wishes,


Episode 110: The UNH HUGEmanities with Krista Jackman

December 15, 2019

All In with Pauline Hawkins

Krista Jackman is a Principal Lecturer and Co-director of The HUGEmanities Project with the Englsih Department at UNH. I have had the pleasure of working under the HUGEmanities umbrella with Krista and Molly Campbell, as we create more opportunities for UNH and NHCC students to engage in humanities projects.

Krista talks about what the HUGEmanities initiative is, what projects they’ve completed this year, and what the plan is for 2020. There are great opportunities for students, educators, and business owners through this HUGEmanities project.

Three songs that speak to the humanities: 1st song: “Romeo and Juliet” by Dire Straits

Having a humanities education gives you a framework for understanding the world. The narrative is global, but not as many people read Shakespeare today! So this education lets people understand the world in a way that they might not otherwise.

2nd song: “Morning Has Broken” by Cat Stevens

This (I think?) is a song about opportunity. Each day brings a new one, and that is really what we’re trying to focus on – creating opportunity for the young people around us, and showing them how they are already poised for taking on the opportunities available to them.

3rd song of soundtrack: “Imagine” by Chris Cornell

The original Imagine was performed by John Lennon, in 1971. It idealized a world at peace, a world without borders or the divisions of religion and nationality. There have been other iterations of this song, which makes me consider the divisive nature of our  continued tribalism that we still face. So maybe the sentiment of hope and tolerance remains important today.

To find out more, go to https://mypages.unh.edu/hugemanities/home

Become a Patron at Patreon.com to support my podcast! https://www.patreon.com/paulinehawkins

Episode 109: Healing Arts Collective with Adrienne Irizarry and Bri Duga

December 1, 2019

All In with Pauline Hawkins

Adrienne Irizarry and Bri Duga from Healing Arts Collective join me to talk about holistic wellness, the interconnected nature of people, how they help people unlock their wellness potential, the meaning behind their logo, and what it means to them to go all in.

Three songs that would be on the soundtrack of their lives: 1st song: “I lived” by One Republic (Bri’s song); 2nd song: “Days Go By” by Keith Urban (Adrienne’s song); and 3rd song: “Technologic” by Daft Punk (their office jam)

To contact Adrienne or Bri about the Healing Arts Collective go to http://healingartscollective.net/

Or connect with them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HealingArtsCollectiveNH/

Become a Patron at Patreon.com to support my podcast! https://www.patreon.com/paulinehawkins

Episode 108: Against All Odds with Ralph Jarrells

November 17, 2019

All In with Pauline Hawkins

Ralph Jarrells is a writer and a film maker, with a long history of fascinating jobs. Ralph joins me from West Columbia, SC to talk about his two novels Ill Gotten Gain and Fiery Red Hair, Emerald Green Eyes and A Vicious Irish Temper and his incredible journey as a writer and film producer.

Three songs that would be on the soundtrack of his life: 1st song: “Dirty Laundry” by Don Henley; 2nd song: “Traveling Man” by Ricky Nelson; and 3rd song: “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins.

To get in touch with Ralph Jarrells, email him at ralphejarrells@yahoo.com or go to https://www.illgottengain.net/ or https://www.fieryredhair.com/ to find out more about his books.

Become a Patron at Patreon.com to support my podcast! https://www.patreon.com/paulinehawkins