Stories of Inspiration from Educators

Each episode of "My Why" uncovers the journey of one educator: a teacher or leader who has chosen to devote his or her life to the education profession. Each story is different, yet each is an exploration of motivation, purpose, and hope. A professional learning guide is provided with each episode that includes the guests recommendations for professional development.

Retired podcast

New episodes in the My Why format are included within the current Ayers All Access podcast program.  Legacy episodes produced between 2018 and 2021 can be accessed here.

Program Episodes

11: My Why with Eric Bowman – 2020 Mid-Cumberland and Middle TN Principal of the Year

Explore the motivation behind Mr. Eric Bowman's passion for excellence for every kid, in every classroom, every day. Students need to feel loved, safe, and respected so their potential can truly shine. "Let your light shine before others."

Each "My Why" episode uncovers the journey of one educator: a teacher or leader who has chosen to devote his or her life to the education profession. Each story is different, yet each is an exploration of motivation, purpose, and hope.

Duration: 
14:03
Publication Date: 
1 year 3 months ago

10: My Why with Melissa Miller – 2019 Tennessee Teacher of the Year

Explore the motivation behind Mrs. Melissa Miller's passion for giving every child, every chance, every day” to feel and to become successful. "What we do changes the world!"

Each "My Why" episode uncovers the journey of one educator: a teacher or leader who has chosen to devote his or her life to the education profession. Each story is different, yet each is an exploration of motivation, purpose, and hope.

Duration: 
15:13
Publication Date: 
2 years 9 months ago

9: My Why with Greg O'Loughlin

Explore the motivation behind Mr. Greg O'Loughlin's drive to foster student engagement and teacher collaboration. "Teaching increases our capacity for empathy."

Each "My Why" episode uncovers the journey of one educator: a teacher or leader who has chosen to devote his or her life to the education profession. Each story is different, yet each is an exploration of motivation, purpose, and hope.

In this episode, we hear from Mr. Greg O'Loughlin, English/Humanities Teacher and Executive Director of The Educators' Cooperative in Nashville, Tennessee. Greg holds a BA in Communications from SUNY Empire, an MAT from Belmont University, and was a fellow in the Summer Institute at Columbia University’s Klingenstein Center.

Duration: 
09:59
Publication Date: 
2 years 11 months ago

8: My Why with Steve Lindsey

Explore the motivation behind Mr. Steve Lindsey's desire to seek and attain his daily purpose. "Pray daily and follow God's plan."

Each "My Why" episode uncovers the journey of one educator: a teacher or leader who has chosen to devote his or her life to the education profession. Each story is different, yet each is an exploration of motivation, purpose, and hope.

Duration: 
12:17
Publication Date: 
3 years 1 month ago

7: My Why with Roger Wiemers

Explore the motivation behind Dr. Roger Wiemers' passion for inquiry-based learning. "Our messy lives teach us grace."

Each "My Why" episode uncovers the journey of one educator: a teacher or leader who has chosen to devote his or her life to the education profession. Each story is different, yet each is an exploration of motivation, purpose, and hope.

Duration: 
12:10
Publication Date: 
3 years 7 months ago

6: My Why with Cicely Woodard – 2018 Tennessee Teacher of the Year

Explore the motivation behind Mrs. Cicely Woodard's dedication to the field of education. "To prepare students for their futures."

Each "My Why" episode uncovers the journey of one educator: a teacher or leader who has chosen to devote his or her life to the education profession. Each story is different, yet each is an exploration of motivation, purpose, and hope.

Duration: 
10:50
Publication Date: 
3 years 9 months ago

5: My Why with Jarred Amato

Explore the motivation behind Dr. Jarred Amato's dedication to the field of education. "Empowering students as readers and leaders."

Each "My Why" episode uncovers the journey of one educator: a teacher or leader who has chosen to devote his or her life to the education profession. Each story is different, yet each is an exploration of motivation, purpose, and hope.

Duration: 
08:12
Publication Date: 
3 years 11 months ago

4: My Why with Reva Chatman-Buckley

Explore the motivation behind Dr. Reva Chatman-Buckley's dedication to the field of education. "I was predestined to teach."

Each "My Why" episode uncovers the journey of one educator: a teacher or leader who has chosen to devote his or her life to the education profession. Each story is different, yet each is an exploration of motivation, purpose, and hope.

Duration: 
09:42
Publication Date: 
4 years 1 week ago

3: My Why with Carla Cushman

Explore the motivation behind Dr. Carla Cushman's dedication to the field of education. "I Teach to make a difference."

Each "My Why" episode uncovers the journey of one educator: a teacher or leader who has chosen to devote his or her life to the education profession. Each story is different, yet each is an exploration of motivation, purpose, and hope.

In this episode, we hear from Dr. Carla Cushman, Director of the Master's Degree Programs in Education and Associate Professor of Education at Union University in Hendersonville, Tennessee. She is the co-author of the book How to Build an Instructional Coaching Program for Maximum Capacity.

Duration: 
07:45
Publication Date: 
4 years 2 months ago

2: My Why with Carrie Abood

Explore the motivation behind Dr. Carrie Abood's dedication to the field of education. "Teaching is an incredible gift."

Each "My Why" episode uncovers the journey of one educator: a teacher or leader who has chosen to devote his or her life to the education profession. Each story is different, yet each is an exploration of motivation, purpose, and hope.

In this episode, we hear from Dr. Carrie Abood, Lower School Principal of Portsmouth Christian Academy in Dover, New Hampshire and former Assistant Professor in the College of Education at Lipscomb University.

  • "Teaching is an incredible gift."
Duration: 
07:25
Publication Date: 
4 years 3 months ago

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