Eric Hale says he’s not trying to be the best teacher; he’s trying to be the most impactful educator in the country. As Texas Teacher of the Year, and the first African-American man to be awarded this honor, Eric raised more than $100,000 in the last two years for his economically challenged school district in the “red light district” of Dallas – in addition to teaching some of its youngest students. “I may be the first to receive it, but I know I’m not the first African-American educator who deserves this award,” he says.
In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Eric speaks with host Lynne Golodner about advocacy, accountability and action as an educator, and what it takes to build the self-esteem of children in schools where 99 percent of students live below the poverty line. “You cannot educate the masses with a playbook designed for one segment of the population,” he insists.
In this episode, Lynne and Eric discuss:
- His career pivot at age 30
- Becoming a teacher because he didn’t have good teachers
- Why “cookie cutter education” is not working
- Reimagining what education could look like
- Putting kids first
- Approaching education with the belief that “trauma doesn’t wait”
- Why and how his own personal pain pointed him to his purpose
- How you can help children in need, even if you’re not a teacher
Links and Resources
- Texas Teacher of the Year 2021
- Dallas Independent School District
- National Urban Teacher of the Year 2019
- The Opportunity Myth by the New Teacher Project
- Eric Hale
Coming up next on the Make Meaning Podcast:
If you enjoyed this episode, you’ll like these other Make Meaning podcast episodes!
- Episode 90 – Jennifer Johnson, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, Michigan PTA
- Episode 84 – Andrew Meloche, Principal, Berkley High School
- Episode 66 – Giving Voice to Underserved Communities with Aaron Dworkin
- Episode 55 – Understanding Adolescence with Lisa Damour
- Episode 38 – Cities and Communities with Andrew Stein