Pre-Launch Episode

I’m going to be honest – both nervous and excited! I’ve never launched a podcast of this magnitude before and its ramping up to be amazing! I get the privilege of traveling across the country speaking to schools from coast to coast. Throughout my travels I get to meet some of the most inspiring, creative and truly amazing teachers, administrators, parent volunteers and overall, caring adults. I wanted to create a podcast to share their stories, impact and the strategies they use to create positive, kind and empathetic school cultures.

So thanks for listening, I can’t wait to see how this journey unfolds.

Listen To This Week’s Episode 👇


EPISODE RESOURCES

2020 School Tour

Read Brian’s Children’s Book: Kindness Ninja

Follow Brian On Instagram

 

Brian Williams:

Hello, and welcome to, The Rock Star Teacher Podcast. Your source for inspiration and actionable ideas to create positive, empathetic, and kind school cultures. I’m your host Brian Williams, and this is episode number, well, episode number zero. It’s the very first one. Let’s rock. I’m so excited to launch this podcast, and well, I’m not going to lie, it’s also a scary endeavor. This is the first podcast that I really focused on to put out. I wanted to make sure that this thing hits it out of the park. I’ve been wanting to do this for such a long time and I am so excited, I’m so nervous, but at the same point you got to put things out there. Just a little bit about me before I jump into my goals with this podcast is, I’m from Reno, Nevada. And I’m the founder of Think Kindness, a nonprofit organization that inspires kindness in schools and communities around the country.

Brian Williams:

And since 2009, our team of speakers have traveled from coast to coast sparking tidal waves of kindness in schools across the United States. We challenge each one to change the world in just 15 days. But one thing that we’ve noticed, is that within each school there are some truly remarkable teachers, counselors, administrators, and volunteers that have implemented truly amazing projects to better their school culture. And every single time that I meet one of these amazing people, I think every teacher needs to hear about this, right? Whatever they’re doing, I want it to create a megaphone to showcase their awesome ideas and projects with the world. But as I hear more about their idea, what I realize is it wasn’t just a one time thing. They’ve implemented several iterations, some that flat out bombed and didn’t work, some that required way too much time or resource they had to go back to the drawing board. And then finally, after countless iterations, they landed on the perfect solution that melts everything together.

Brian Williams:

And so I always thought, well, what if I could share these stories to quicken the learning curves, so other teachers and educators can implement the same ideas in their classroom in schools. So, that is the goal of this podcast, to feature these rock star teachers and educators, as well as bring on some industry experts to share their insight, research and expertise and well, just to have fun. When I was picking the name for the podcast, I created a list of at least 30 different names and I emailed to a bunch of friends and colleagues. Some got cross off the list and naturally some added their own two cents, and more names got added, but I was constantly drawn to this one. And when I told my wife the name of it, she said, “But you don’t even know how to play an instrument.” Which is true. I don’t know how to play anything. There was no music class of any sort in the schools that I went to.

Brian Williams:

The only instrument I know how to play is a wicked air guitar. But what drew me to the name of rockstar, is because every time I looked at that word, it brought me back to the first time that I ever snuck into my very first rock concert. It was a Green Day concert during what was called, The Warped Tour. And a couple of weeks prior to the concert I was teaching a martial arts class, and one of the older adult students, and I mean he was like grandpa age, was taking the class, and he would talk about how he could sneak into any concert with just a clipboard and a walkie talkie. Well, as the Green Day concert drew closer, I decided to rope three of my friends who are crazy enough to test his theory out. So, we got some clipboards, we got some walkie talkies, and we photoshopped some papers with The Warp Tour logo that we could put on the clipboard.

Brian Williams:

So, we looked official, we put on our headsets and decided to head to the back entrance. We approached the first security guard, and just were looking down at our clipboards and walked past him as if we completely owned the place. And he gave us a very reluctant look. And as we passed him, he just said the word loud but not confident. He’s like, Hey, Hey. And I replied quickly, just off the seat of my pants, I’m like, Manny called us in. I don’t even know a Manny. I don’t even know who Manny is. Didn’t even know if there was a Manny that worked there. But for some reason he let us keep going. As we got in, we stripped our headsets off and clipboards and proceeded to walk backstage. As soon as we got back there, another person came up to us and said, “Hey, the band is calling the crew together for the gratitude circle.” And just pulled us over. And we’re thinking wait, what? Gratitude circle?

Brian Williams:

I didn’t know what this was, but also I didn’t want to ask in fear of being caught. Because obviously, everyone knew what this was except for us. So, I just decided that, let’s just play along. So I followed along, and as we got to the back of the stage, there was the entire band, Green Day, right there, the opening bands, everyone. And we joined in this big circle. People started sharing everything. It was like their last hoo rah right before they took the stage. And as people started leaving the circle, as the gratitude circle came to completion, a guy walked up to me and he says, “Hey, you didn’t say anything.” I looked at his badge and it said, tour manager. And for sure, he knew. I could tell by the tone of his voice that we’ve been busted.

Brian Williams:

So, I had an option, I could just lie through my teeth. And so I told him, I go, “You want to know what I’m grateful for?” And he’s like, “What’s that?” I go, “I’m grateful for the old man that told me his trick for sneaking backstage to a Led Zeppelin concert.” And knowing it still works to this day, decades later, I’ll be honest, we all snuck in. But we also just witnessed a side of the band and crew and tour, that I would have never been exposed to. And I’ll never look at Green Day the same. And he said, “I knew you snuck in. We’re like family and you stuck out like a sore thumb. We know everybody, but thanks for being honest boys. Enjoy the concert, make yourself at home.” And then he slipped us three full access backstage passes. You see, the guy that told us how to sneak in, well, he’d been kicked out of countless concerts. But then he found the formula that worked, and decades later it still worked.

Brian Williams:

I mean, mostly we still got busted. And as teachers, you don’t have time to go through several iterations of different ideas. You may give a project one shot, that might be all you got. Maybe two, and you have limited resources, volunteers, and just the mere hours in the day to take these ideas from an idea to fruition. So, I’ve been reaching out to find those educators that have implemented successful projects. They can answer the question, what worked? What didn’t work? What they would do different if they were to do it again? And what advice they have for everybody else. This way you can get the winning formula right out of the gate. Now, for me, growing up, I grew up around teachers. I am not a teacher myself. Full disclosure. I’m in over 180 schools speaking every single year, but I also have eight school teachers in my family.

Brian Williams:

So, I know what it’s like to sit at the dinner table and hear about all of the drama, expectations, trouble students, administrators, politics, the list goes on and on and on. I know most people think teaching is just sunshine and rainbows, but in reality, it’s not. And you are not alone. And so, this isn’t just a podcast where I want to share some big old grand ideas, that’s not even remotely realistic for you to execute. I want to have tangible, action oriented ideas, sprinkled with some fun, humor and inspiration. But ultimately this podcast is about you, and the community that we can grow. The community that you’re already in, where we can link teachers around the [inaudible 00:09:01]. The community, and how we can support you in what you are doing. And this is the community and we want you to be a part of it.

Brian Williams:

So, we want to hear from you, if there’s someone in your school that you feel we should interview on our podcast, or even a subject or idea that you would like to hear more about. Let us know. But like all podcasts, we want it to be heard all over the world. And so, we constantly are going to be battling the algorithm. And so, our goal’s to reach hundreds of thousands of educators around the globe. And there’s one call to action that I have for you. One way that you can help us by making that happen, and the one call to action I have, is for you to head over to iTunes or wherever you’re listening to this, like, subscribe. And if you can, please leave an honest review, that would mean the world to us. And this first season of the Rock Star Teacher Podcast is going to be an amazing one.

Brian Williams:

I’ve reached out to people on Twitter, on Instagram, that I think there is no way they’re going to respond to my email. And some of them literally within 30 minutes, looked at the email and replied, “Yes, I’m so stoked. I’d be honored. Guys, we have some amazing people coming on this show that have done remarkable things, that have been awarded massive awards at the White House and by presidents. And have best selling books that you could literally just walk into Barnes & Noble and buy. I am astonished at the mounts of people and resource we’re able to bring in. And so, I’m so excited to share that with you guys. I’m so excited to hear more about you, and your schools, and to do shout outs.

Brian Williams:

This is an experiment and it’s going to have bumps in the road. I know it is. But I’m excited for the journey. And as we go through this, there’s going to be some bumps like I said, we’re going to figure out some winning formulas, and for some things that we might try that might not work at all. But that’s the goal. Mine is to come up and have fun and just to rock out, even though I don’t know how to play any music. So let the show begin. This is episode zero. This is the first one. So, stay tuned for the first official episode, of The Rockstar Teacher Podcast. I’m your host, Brian Williams. So take care. Be brave. Be kind. And rock on.