Podcast: Interview with The Bolt | Steve Barkley Ponders Out Loud

Podcast: Interview with The Bolt

steve barkley, interview with the bolt podcast

In this week’s episode of the Steve Barkley Ponders Out Loud podcast, Steve is interviewed by Conor Rogers and Trey Garbers from The Bolt podcast.  They explore Steve’s insights on podcasting and blogging as well as his teaching and coaching experiences.

Listen to the Bolt Podcast’s interview with Steve on  Spotify or iTunes!

Visit the Trinity Basin website here.

Subscribe to the Steve Barkley Ponders Out Loud podcast on iTunes or visit BarkleyPD.com to find new episodes.

PODCAST TRANSCRIPTAnnouncer: 00:00 Steve Barkley Ponders Out Loud is brought to you by Academy for Educators. Online, professional development for teachers and leaders. Online courses, modules and micro-credential programs for teachers to enhance their skill-sets. Now featuring the instructional coaching micro-credential, including five online modules framed around the work of Steve Barkley. Learn, grow, inspire. Academyforeducators.Org.

Steve [Intro]: 00:25 Hello and welcome to the Steve Barkley Ponders Out Loud podcast. For over three decades, I’ve had the opportunity to learn with educators at all levels, both nationally and internationally. I invite you to listen as I explore my thoughts and learning on a variety of topics connected to teaching, learning and leading with some of the best and brightest educators from around the globe. Thanks for listening in.

Steve: 00:53 Steve is interviewed by Bolt podcast. Recently, Conor Rogers and Trey Garbers, two educators with the Trinity Basin preparatory schools in Texas, interviewed me for their local podcast. In a somewhat different approach, Conor and Trey explored the things that I’ve learned as a podcaster and a blogger. They examined some of my insights from experience as a K-8 teacher. They were interested in my insights and learnings from 30 years in the field of coaching and from my international experiences. They even asked me to select a fictional character that might represent me. I don’t think you’ll guess my choice. Hope you enjoy.

Conor: 01:42 Well, thank you so much for joining us today. We really appreciate you being here. Appreciate your time.

Steve: 01:46 You’re welcome. I’m happy to be here.

Trey: 01:48 Welcome Steve. I did want to share, I wanted to kind of get familiar with your work beforehand. So I looked at your site and was going through some of your podcast episode titles and I saw one that said “Coaching Better Podcast Interview.” And I lit up because I thought you were going to coach me on how to be a better podcast interviewer.

: 02:04 [laughter]

Trey : 02:11 So, and then it got into coaching and I was immediately out of my element. As we explained, Conor is our one of our instructional coaches here at TBP, at Trinity Basin preparatory and I’m just a lowly IT manager. But it was really great. So thank you for being here. Maybe we’ll learn some things –

Steve: 02:27 Well, listen up. You’ve put the request in now, so I’ll honor it – what podcast you’d like me to coach you on and I’ll do a pre-conference. I’ll listen to the podcast and and then we’ll do a post-conference.

Conor: 02:45 We may take you up on that.

Steve: 02:47 Just stay on that for a sec. I just got a note yesterday that somebody’s in a graduate class and they have to critique a podcast. So she asked for permission to critique one of mine and I said, of course. And then she wrote back and said, just a caution, they told us to be brutal.

Trey: 03:07 Nothing like a brutal grad student critique.

Trey : 03:11 Well, let’s talk about the process of recording and distributing a podcast. So is there anything that you’ve learned or any advice you’d like to give us or something that was harder than you thought it would be when you got into this?

Steve: 03:23 Well, you know, similar to – I started blogging about 12 years ago and people told me that it was a great way to extend your own learning. That if you created that discipline to sit down and do the blog, it caused you to think of things during the week, pay more attention to, and then you ended up paying more attention to them in order for you to do the blog. So that certainly turned out to be true. For me, it’s extended my extended my learning as well as my written communication skills, I think, with the blog. So I took on the podcast with the same expectation and I found the same thing to be true. A little thing that’s making the podcast easier is that I’m getting requests from people who have a question they want to explore or or a book that they’ve written and they’d like to talk about it.

Steve: 04:28 So actually in some cases, finding finding the material for the podcast was easier than the material for the blog.

Trey : 04:37 Understandable. So what would you say has been the most rewarding part about getting out podcast
[inaudible]?

Steve: 04:45 When I’m presenting somewhere and the person gets up to introduce me and as part of the introduction, they say, I I drive to school at least one morning a week with Steve Barkley next to me in the car.

Conor: 05:03 Aw, that’s sweet.

Steve: 05:03 Because when you’re doing the work, as you guys well know, you have this question in your mind, is anybody paying attention to this? So with with my travels being pretty far and wide, it’s neat to be far from home and get that comment from someone.

Trey : 05:22 That’s great. And then you just hit your 100th episode, I believe. Right?

Conor: 05:25 In July, right? You hit a hundred?

Steve: 05:27 Yep. Yeah. When Joe and I decided to do this, I decided to make the same commitment that I made to the blog and that was once a week with the with the exception of the December holiday. Take two weeks off then. And there’s a couple of times I’ve wondered – I’m sure I’ve scared Joe because he’s the one that’s got to post them and it’s getting awful close and he hasn’t gotten anything from me yet. But we’ve managed to keep the discipline and hold to it.

Trey: 06:01 I commend you for that because we’ve tried ourselves over the past couple of months to try to be more consistent and have a regular posting schedule of every other week. So, every week, that’s –

Conor: 06:10 That’s admirable.

Trey: 06:11 Yes, absolutely.

Trey: 06:13 So what would you say has been the best advice you’ve been given from other podcasters or maybe even listeners about the art of podcasting?

Steve: 06:22 I don’t know that anyone’s given me the advice, but I walk for my exercise and I jump around on a lot of podcasts while I’m walking. And I think the thing that I have found from listening to others that I work to do in mind is to stay as natural as possible. So I’ve greatly valued Joe Jacobs, my producer’s cut and splice ability, which allows us to do the podcast very informally. And it comes out sounding much better than what we recorded. But that informal nature keeps a thread through it. And I think people appreciate that. I don’t think people want to listen to a lecture.

Conor: 07:10 Right. So when you say stay natural, you mean like you’re just, you. Like, you don’t put on a persona or a character?

Steve: 07:17 If it’s – you know, a lot of my podcasts have someone else on. And so then it’s really a conversation. Joe just released one for me a week or two back here where Jim Knight and I recorded together and I think to the listener, it’s obvious Jim Knight and I had a conversation and we just turned on the recording device while we had the conversation. If it’s just me, I’m kind of thinking out loud and that’s what I’d like it to sound like.

Conor: 07:49 How does your experience as a coach help you generate questions for the podcast?

Steve: 07:55 Certainly experiences that I’m having while coaching are a plus and a benefit to thinking about what to write about or podcast on. And in addition, people will share things with me. Sometimes I’ll just get a note that says, I think this is something you ought to podcast on or blog on. And then other times I frequently end my presentations telling people that if they’ll send me a question or an issue, they’ll get free coaching from me in exchange for the fact that they provided me with the content for my next podcast or blog.

Conor: 08:38 Okay, so you mentioned in your podcasts and in your intro a little bit that you said you had the opportunity to learn with educators at all levels, both nationally and internationally. And one thing that kind of was interesting to us was like a little more about your international experience. So you’ve mentioned that you will sometimes Skype into a PLC in a different country. Could you tell us a little bit about what that’s like to work at the international level?

Steve: 08:59 Yeah. Now, just a note that my international work tends to be with international schools. So while I’m working in different countries, there’s still a common element of the school that I’m working with is an international school. But for an example, I’m doing a lot of work right now with a group of seven schools in Saudi Arabia. And we’ve done everything on Skype from training sessions for administrators and coaches to last week, I had the chance to do a coaching session with the superintendent that he did live in front of his administrative team, which I thought was just powerful modeling. And by the time we were done one of the principals had contacted me to do the same thing two days later with his teaching staff. So that’s the power of that modeling. And in that particular group, I actually Skyped into to do the keynote with with 400 teachers in the audience. So I’m learning that if you set up facilitation correctly with the right technology, you can get awful close to a live presentation.

Conor: 10:24 So speaking about instructional coaching now, I’m going to nerd out about instructional coaching. Mr. Trey, you’re going to have to like pull me back a little bit. But, so we were talking, you kind of, you mentioned earlier, we have a pre-conference, we have an observation and then the post-conference. Which of those three elements would you say is the most important and if you’re pressed for time and you had to cut one, which one should you cut?

Steve: 10:44 Well, the mistake that I think most people make is they cut the pre-conference. And in reality, if
you’re observing in a classroom and giving a teacher feedback without a pre-conference, it’s not coaching. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, but it’s not coaching. It could be mentoring, it could be supervision or evaluation, but in order to be coaching, the work of the coach needs to be driven by the teacher. So that can’t be happening without a pre-conference. Additionally its so important because if I have a quality pre-conference with you, I know exactly what I should be doing during the observation. So I’m conscious of that and avoid getting distracted and then the door is open for me to provide you the feedback in the post-conference because you gave me permission and requested me to give you that feedback. So it’s just easy for us to now engage in that conversation. So the pre-conference is what sets the teacher up to be reflective.

Conor: 11:59 And I think one thing you mentioned there, you mentioned an other [inaudible] is that, you can tell the teacher like, is there a specific area you’d like me to focus in on for this lesson? I’ve tried that based on our previous video conference with you. I’ve tried that and it’s already made a huge difference –

Steve: 12:20 I’ll give you one more coaching on that question. And that is to avoid the word “is.” Because it sets them up to come back with, “no, I can’t think of anything.” And instead, now that you’ve described what the teacher’s doing and what the students are doing, where would be a good place for me to focus my attention so that when we when we talk in the post, I can share that information with you. The problem with the is, is [laughter] the problem is, is – that too many teachers interpret that as where do you think you might have a problem. And that’s not what you said, but that’s where the teacher’s interpretation goes. And so if I just, you know, there’s all these things you’ve named now, where would be the best place for me to put my attention.

Conor: 13:14 Makes sense. I’m going to try that now. I’m going to be better coach already. Okay so, you were talking about the pre-conference, post-conference – or pre-conference, observation, post-conference. Which of those three, if I had to cut one, which one should I cut?

Steve: 13:28 Yeah, the one I’d cut and this is gonna sounds strange to lots of folks – the one I’d cut is the observation. Because if you did the pre-conference, the teacher would establish what is critical and important in his or her mind. And and then when you came back in the post-conference you’d work off of the teacher’s recall and reflection. So it wouldn’t have the power that it would have had you also been another set of eyes and ears in the classroom collecting information. But I’ll give you an example. When I’m coaching, especially coaching administrators or coaching counselors, that’s not an uncommon framework for me to work in. So we’ll have a pre-conference before a difficult meeting that they’re going to [inaubdible] and then we come back and do a post-conference debrief. And while they don’t have my observations, they have their own observations and my job is to assist them in the reflection that they’re doing off of their own observations.

Conor: 14:36 Right. And if you have a good pre-conference, then you’d get some good reflection as well. So they are more intentional about whatever it is they’re doing –

Steve: 14:43 Yeah, absolutely. The word I would use is conscious. Whatever the thinking he did in the pre-conference, you’re now conscious about that part. So if a teacher said the, you know, the way that I respond to student’s incorrect answers is going to be very important. Well, when that starts to happen in the classroom, the teacher’s consciousness clicks in because the pre-conference took place.

Conor: 15:07 Okay. So I’m gonna shortly wrap up this coaching conversation. I know Trey’s really excited about me wrapping it up, but is there a book on coaching that you would say like, this book should be preserved forever on instructional coaching? You can even pick one of yours. That’s fine. It’s not self serving.

Steve: 15:24 [laughter] So yeah, here’s the hard part. The book I wrote on instructional coaching was actually my second book. So that book’s called instructional coaching with with the end in mind. And that gives people focus on that backwards planning process. But when push comes to shove, actually my first book, which was called “Quality Teaching and a Culture of Coaching” is the one that I think needs preservation because it identifies the critical verbal communication skills that fit into all kinds of coaching. Actually when I wrote that book, I was more focused on peer coaching than on instructional coaching. But it trains the questioning, paraphrases, feedback verbal communication skills that to me are critical for people to work in that coaching role.

Conor: 16:19 And just for our listeners who aren’t familiar, what is the difference between peer coaching and instructional coaching?

Steve: 16:24 In peer coaching, as I define, in peer coaching, I’m working with a colleague who has only given me the feedback that I specifically requested. And describe a behavior called mentoring – and then in mentoring, I’m working with someone who’s got a deeper, richer background in training than I do. And so they’ll see things that I’m missing and they’ll point those things out to me. And when I’m working with instructional coaches, instructional coaches are sometimes peer coaching. I mean, they’re doing exactly what the teacher asks them to do and giving them that feedback. They’re sometimes mentoring because they’re giving the teacher feedback on a school wide issue or program that the teacher perhaps didn’t necessarily request from the instructional coach. And then instructional coaches can get very close to supervision. When an administrator tells the teacher that the likelihood of continuous employment will go up if you spend some time with the instructional coach.

Steve: 17:39 So now the teacher comes and request your help and support, but they’re really perceiving you as part of that evaluation process. Even though you aren’t, there may be no feedback. So instructional coaches have a difficult role because they need to communicate clearly to teachers which of those roles they’re working in. And as an instructional coach, I want to be spending as much of my time peer coaching as I can because it means my coaching work is being driven by the teacher. But I have a responsibility to my role in the building and the district to some at times expanded beyond what the teacher’s request is. But the verbal communication skills are critical across the board.

Trey: 18:24 Well, speaking of the teacher, Steve, I wonder, we have about seven or eight instructional coaches here today.

Conor: 18:30 I think we’re up to nine or ten.

Trey: 18:30 But we do have a ton of teachers. And for those teachers who may think I might want to look towards
that in the future, is there any advice you can give our teachers to wrap their minds around how to kind of shift their mindset or things that they can apply in the classroom to that mindset if they’re looking to further their career in that direction?

Steve: 18:49 Yeah, the first thing they should do is request coaching. The best way to learn to be an effective coach is to be coached. And you can be coached by ineffective people and then you can learn from that. But in my work, I [inaudible] person in the building. So coaches frequently do model lessons. Well, nearly every time you do a model lesson, you should be being coached on it. Coaches should be having their model lessons recorded and pulling clips from time to time and sitting down with groups of teachers and requesting teachers to analyze and give them feedback on that. So the best way to become an effective coach is to start out by being coached. And chances are good, if a person invites lots of people to coach you, those people will start inviting you to coach them. And that’s a way for you to begin to step into that teacher leadership role. A teacher leadership role that doesn’t have to be “assigned” to you. People give it to you.

Conor: 20:14 Makes sense. You’ve mentioned that you had started your career in the kind of Kindergarten through 8th grade model. Do you like that model for a school? Like, what do you like about the K-8 model or what do you not like?

Steve: 20:25 Yeah, no. I I really like the K-8 model. And I’ll give you a couple of just out of the research feedbacks and then my personal. If you talk to people at state department levels, they can look at standardized test scores and they can tell you at what grade level kids moved from elementary school to the middle school. So whether they move at the end of fifth or the end of six or wherever that move is, there’s a – a drop occurs in student learning. So you’ll find some systems went back to K-8s just to take one of those drops out of a kid’s K-12 career because the other one occurs on that move into high school.

Steve: 21:24 So statistically, there’s a great reason. Backing that up from a teacher standpoint, the more teachers in a school work as a team and know the students, the better the teachers can design learning and instruction for the kids. And so the concept of moving kids to another school and putting walls between the teachers and their communication just creates another level of difficulty for teachers to be teaming that we don’t need to don’t need have in place. I jokingly talk about the the student with the spiked hair and earrings who is sitting outside the office in trouble, and he’s in the K-8 school and the Kindergarten teacher comes up and grabs his cheek and says, Tommy, are you in trouble again?

Steve: 22:25 There’s no middle school teacher that would realize that’s Tommy, okay? But this teacher who had him back in Kindergarten, she knows, she knows. And that’s just a powerful piece. And then I want to give you the last one that’s most critical to me. And that is, if you’re in a K-8 school, most of the time, six, seventh, and eighth grade students are given responsibility. So they serve as tutors for younger kids, they they work on projects, they’re building things for the playground. So, there’s so many opportunities for that adolescent to begin learning those critical leadership skills that we take away from kids when we move them off and put them in that middle school setting. We don’t give kids the level of responsibility and actually, freedom. In most K-8s, the eighth grade kids are expected to be responsible and to have freedoms that, when they get moved into the middle school, there’s a tendency for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade kids at the middle school to be treated the same. So the eighth graders have to follow the same rules that the sixth graders do.

Conor: 23:46 It helps empower them as leaders, I would say with our eighth graders.

Steve: 23:48 Absolutely. Absolutely. I’ve written a blog and I’ve done some podcasts on multi-age and I’m just a really strong supporter. If you think, almost all the learning that kids do outside of school is multi-age.

Conor: 24:07 Yeah.

Steve: 24:08 So when I was in four 4-H, you know, as a nine and 10 year old, I was going to 4-H meetings with 16 and 17 year olds. Same with Boy Scouts, same in a church choir. When I got to high school and I played soccer and joined the band as a low performing ninth grader, I spent my practice time with higher advanced juniors and seniors. But when I went to music class, I only went there with ninth grade kids. Like, it just didn’t make any sense to not take those same multi-age opportunities that exist outside of school and then take them away at the school.

Conor: 24:55 Okay. So we’re finished with more the educational section. I’m going to toss it over to Mr. Trey, to wrap up with the final three questions.

Trey: 25:03 Sure, yeah. We’re going to shift gears here a bit. We’re going to ask you three questions that we ask all of our guests in each episode. We did have to modify the first question a bit because, you know, you don’t work with us here at TBP, but it’s along the same lines. So the first question is, which fictional character do you most identify with or is there a fictional character that is a good example of a coach at heart?

Steve: 25:29 Wow! I think my answer is going to fit for both ways you do the question. And so I’m going to give a homework assignment with mine because all the young folks are going to have to go on Google and find out what I’m talking about. But my my example is Mr. Ed.

Conor: 25:50 The talking horse?

Steve: 25:50 Mr. Ed, the talking horse. And here’s my reason. Mr. Ed didn’t do a whole lot of talking and when he made a statement it was simple but powerful. It had an insightful, powerful impact. And I’ve spent a large part of my career and it’s actually one of the things I take as a compliment when someone tells me, “wow, you made that sound simple.” Not simplistic but simple.

Steve: 26:29 And not too long ago, at the end of a – I had done a whole day of training on coaching with administrators and instructional coaches. Actually, it was in Texas. And the person who had organized event when they went to thank me, the description that they gave was that I was able to make the presentation simple and powerful. And actually, that’s a large part of what I’m trying to learn when I’m writing my blogs and doing my podcast is that I have to work on this concept until I can bring it down in my head to a one, two, three. It’s kind of like, this is what it is. And so when I’m thinking about what I’d like to connect to, Mr. Ed the talking horse is an example of it.

Conor: 27:26 Right? And even your feedback to me about just the word “is”, that was a simple but powerful coaching moment for me to reflect on. I think they got peanut butter on the horse’s lips. I think that’s how they made him talk.

: 27:37 [laughter]

Trey: 27:40 And I think for your coaches, you want them to come from a “stable” background.

: 27:43 [laughter]

Trey: 27:45 We’ll move on to the second question. Pretend that joke never happened.

Conor: 27:49 So is there too many naysayers?

Trey: 27:51 A lot of naysayers.

Conor: 27:51 [laughter]

Trey: 27:54 Okay. So the next question, what one thing would you un-invent if you could and why?

Steve: 27:59 School.

Trey: 28:01 Wow.

Conor: 28:07 Woah.

Conor: 28:07 Hot take. Go on.

Trey: 28:07 Please explain, yeah.

Steve: 28:07 Yeah, because years ago I started making this statement. I would be most excited when you drove into
community and couldn’t find the school. And the reason for that is the kids and teachers at that moment would be where ever the greatest opportunity for learning existed.

Steve: 28:34 So years back in Minneapolis, they had the zoo school and there were a group of teachers and kids who did their time at the zoo.

Steve: 28:47 And those kids went on to top universities doing big things. All the zoo was, was the place that
their learning came along. I’ve done quite a bit of reading and a little bit of work with some schools here in Switzerland and Germany that do “forest Kindergarten.” [inaudible] version, the kids are a half a day, a week they spend in the forest. And that half day is fixed at the beginning of the year. So it’s going to be every Wednesday morning. So if you’re sending a Kindergartener off the school and it’s a Wednesday, take a look outside. You know, if it’s pouring rain, you know how to dress your kid. If it’s cold and snowing, you know how to dress your kid, but they’re going to spend this day no matter what the weather is, in the woods. I’ve followed lots of hands on learning opportunities and the more we got locked into school being this place, the more we’re missing opportunities for that learning to be occurring. And technology now, you know, should have multiplied that. I don’t know if this would shock you, but I’m in schools where kids are studying a foreign language and they aren’t on Skype talking with kids who are naturally speaking that language, trying to learn English.

Steve: 30:16 I mean, I just don’t, I don’t get it, you know?

Conor: 30:20 Right, right. So my question is like, I get what you’re saying that, imagine a science lesson where
you’re out in the forest and getting garden or a history lesson where you’re out on the side of a battle or something, but how would that work for teaching math? Like does everyone still have to have whiteboards? Just, I mean, you know, like –

Steve: 30:37 Yeah, I’m not opposed to any of those. But think about, think about what would happen – I guess the best way to describe it would be if you look at project-based learning or – I worked years ago with a gentleman who took his curriculum and he put it up on the walls of his classroom. And then he started the kids in projects. And he was constantly looking for when he could take something off the wall because it fit into his project. I’m sorry – not his project it fit into the kid’s project. Okay? And so the degree that you could approach learning like that and then decide what are those couple of things that we can’t make happen in a project? I did one with with a teacher – his kids basically re-enacted the Pilgrim’s arrival. It was a school in Massachusetts.

Steve: 31:31 And they basically put together as if they were the arriving group into the new land and we’re gonna work together. And they came in and found an empty classroom and the kids ended up building their desks and benches that they were going to use in their classroom. And he pulled out the history book and they read about the the Mayflower compact. They read about the contracts and they wrote deals with local businesses where the business has got free food every time the kids cooked and they got tickets to all the things that kids were doing in exchange for a $50 stock option in their classroom. And at the end of the year, they sold everything they made and delivered the money back to the shareholders, all of whom had written it off on their taxes. And so they couldn’t take it back and I had to let the kids keep it.

Steve: 32:24 So I just give you all of those. And then, interesting, that teacher had to deal with kids. He would only take project time away from them when there were things that weren’t coming up in their projects that he needed to teach because of the curriculum. And one of the examples he gave was electricity. And electricity wasn’t going to naturally come up. So we had put some time aside to learn these things. And that’s all I’m suggesting is that there’s tons of opportunities we could be adding.

Conor: 32:56 Absolutely.

Steve: 32:57 And for all of the math teachers who are listening in, if they haven’t tapped into Dan Myers, that’s a person they should Google and search because he does a great job. He’s got a lot of video clips that he’s prepared where you can show the kids a basketball being shot up to a hoop and then freeze frame. And the kids have to decide whether or not that shot’s going to go in.

Conor: 33:20 Yeah. He’s “Three Act Math.” Right?

Steve: 33:21 Yeah. That’s it. Yeah, rhat’s a great example. So that’s not nearly as far out as I was pushing this from your question, but it’s a great spot for people to stop and be thinking about what could be different.

Trey: 33:35 Very cool.

Trey: 33:36 Yeah. That might be the hottest take we’ve had with that question.

Conor: 33:38 I would un-invent school. Boom. Mic drop.

Trey: 33:41 As long as I’m not out a job. That’s fine.

Steve: 33:42 I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Before go on, because this is important. Make sure that you heard I didn’t say un-invent education.

Conor: 33:51 Yes.

Steve: 33:52 Okay. It’s that it’s that structure of locked in walls locked in schedules. I’m going to push just one more. I’m always interested – I have a room full of building principals and I’m talking about creating collaborative teacher collective efficacy and teachers working together. And I have a whole room of principals who will look up at me and go, there’s just no time in the schedule for teachers to collaborate. And I’ll stop and go, man, I wish you could talk to the people who do the scheduling.

: 34:27 [laughter]

Steve: 34:27 They’re all sitting there in the room, but they’re locked in to something that’s been invented that
they think can’t be changed.

Conor: 34:36 Right. They just take it as like, the walls. Like, it’s a structure there.

Steve: 34:42 Bingo. Bingo.

Trey: 34:45 Okay so, for our final question, outside of school, very appropriate – outside of education, is there any general life advice that you would like to share with our listeners?

Steve: 34:58 Well, I have my 70th birthday coming up.

Conor: 35:02 Congratulations!

Trey: 35:02 Happy early birthday!

Steve: 35:03 So I will I will say that the biggest insight realization I’ve had is not to stop learning. So I’ve moved to Switzerland and I have I have five-year residency, now. When I apply for my next residency, I have to take a German test. So I am on day 410 of studying German on Duolingo online without missing a day. I’m on a whole lot of LinkedIn, Twitter searches. Pretty rare if I’ve got 10 minutes at the airport and I’m thumbing down through Twitter for 10 minutes, I’m likely to find an article, a blog – something I’m going to read to extend my learning. And I think that’s a big key to to to happiness.

Conor: 36:07 That’s very well said. And I wonder if you’re learning on Duolingo, are you also Skyping with native speakers of the language?

Steve: 36:15 No, because I’m living in Germany and I mean, I’m living in Switzerland and they’re right here in the
store. The biggest struggle I have is they all want to practice English as soon as they see me. And so they talk to me in English and I have to answer that back in German in order to get the practice in.

Conor: 36:37 Well, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day.

Steve: 36:42 You’re very, very welcome. Very welcome. I enjoyed it.

Trey: 36:45 We just want to say we all follow you on at @stevebarkley on Twitter. We want our listeners to go check you out. Steve Barkley Ponders Out Loud is the podcasts available on Apple podcasts. So thank you again, Steve, so much.

Steve: 36:59 You’re very welcome. Thank you. Have a good day guys.

Conor: 37:00 You too.

Trey: 37:02 Bye, bye.

Steve [Outro]: 37:04 Thanks again for listening. You can subscribe to Steve Barkley Ponders Out Loud on iTunes and Podbean, and please remember to rate and review us on iTunes. I also want to hear what you’re pondering. You can find me on twitter @stevebarkley or send me your questions and find my videos and blogs at barkleypd.com.

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Blog: Steve Barkley Ponders Out Loud

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Listen to Steve Barkley’s Latest Podcast

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The Academy for Educators

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