Real Teacher Talk

Real Teacher Talk

Do you feel like you are being pulled in a dozen different directions as an elementary school teacher? Are you constantly overwhelmed because you can’t get caught up? Do you ever get the feeling that no matter how hard you work, you still aren't doing enough for your students or for your family at home?If your answer is yes to any or all of these questions, you need a better way. You simply can't go on like this.Join Kristen Donegan of Easy Teaching Tools and The 3 PM Teacher as she talks about how to make teaching sustainable so you can finally say goodbye to grading papers after-hours and missing out on time with family and friends.While she can't fix the education crisis, each week Kristen will help you work smarter, not harder, have time to focus on the curriculum, enjoy teaching again, and still have plenty of time outside of the classroom to do what you love.Tune in to Real Teacher Talk and listen closely because it’s time to take back your power, finally leave school at 3PM, and enjoy your life!To find out more, visit


January 1, 2023 1 min

Hey there. I wanna thank you for being such a loyal listener to The Real Teacher Talk podcast. We're going on a brief hiatus, but I'd still love to connect with you.

The best way to do that is over on Instagram at Easy Teaching Tools, our website,, or by Email.

And the bonus of that is when you sign up, you'll get tips to get organized with your lesson planning by going to Ea...

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Are you ready to get your life back?

As we look forward to all things 2023, This week we decided to drop back to our very first interview on Real Teacher Talk, I sat down with Sabrena Brooks, a busy teacher and mama to talk about how she balances school with her life and the tools she uses to make it happen.

Sabrena Brooks is a mom of two active boys with a baby girl on the way. She is a lover of camping and music...

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December 18, 2022 9 mins

Some people call them the Sunday blues. Some people call them the Sunday Scaries. Others just flat-out say, “I am dreading going to work tomorrow.”

Whatever you call it, if you’ve had this experience, you aren’t alone! All sorts of people, teachers included, can feel this way on Sunday evenings.

Although this feeling is normal, I am passionate about helping teachers enjoy their lives both inside and outside of the...

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If the thought of student loan debt makes you want to crawl into a hole and hide, this episode is for you!

Student loan debt is overwhelming for anyone, but especially for chronically-underpaid teachers.  If you’re in the boat of feeling overwhelmed, you are not alone.

In this episode of Real Teacher Talk, I sat down with student loan expert, Meagan Landress McGuire to discuss how to get started tackling this dau...

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December 4, 2022 13 mins

Last week we chatted about how to handle it when you’re struggling with one specific coworker or team member.

Today, we’re going to go a little bit deeper and discuss what to do if the environment you’re in becomes too toxic. Maybe it’s too much negativity, or maybe your environment is swinging the other way to toxic positivity!

Cattiness, bullying, gossiping, and retaliation are the kinds of things I’m referring ...

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Do you have a coworker at your school that just really irritates or bothers you? I’m not talking about the coworkers that are outright mean or offensive, but the sort of coworker that just gets under your skin.

I bet you have at least one person coming to your mind! We all have them. It can definitely be a challenge working with someone who you struggle to get along with, but many times we have to!

In this episode...

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November 20, 2022 18 mins

I’m doing things a bit differently this episode, and I’m opening up about the hardest teaching year I’ve had so far in my career.

I explain the different factors that worked together to make it a perfect storm, and why I want to go back to the classroom with a refreshed and new perspective.

In this episode of Real Teacher Talk, I get vulnerable and share things that went on my last year of teaching (so far) both ...

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November 13, 2022 15 mins

We aaaaaaaall have them in our classes. THOSE parents. You know exactly which parents I’m talking about.

The ones who email you at all hours of the day and night, the ones who question every single decision you make, the ones displeased with every paper sent home.  Dealing with sassy parents and guardians can be super stressful. But, it doesn’t have to be!

In this episode of Real Teacher Talk, I dive into this top...

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November 6, 2022 20 mins

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by parents or caregivers offering to volunteer in your classroom?

I know that lots of schools don’t have parent volunteers, but for those that do, it can become a lot of work to prepare for them! If you don’t know where to start, this is the perfect episode for you.

In this episode of Real Teacher Talk, I chat about how to make parent volunteers work for you! I discuss how to utilize...

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As a teacher, have you ever asked (or been tempted to ask) WHY are we doing this?!

If so, you aren’t alone. Collecting and analyzing data in the classroom can give us answers to why we’re doing certain things and give us a road map for what to do next. 

In this episode of Real Teacher Talk, I sat down with Dr. Matthew Courtney to discuss all things data! We chat about how to use data to solve problems in our classrooms, how...

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Data collection is a super important part of teaching, but so many teachers dread it! I promise you don’t have to.

There are ways to make the process simple, effective, and meaningful. I sat down with Rebekah Poe to chat about how to streamline the data collection process.

Rebekah Poe is an award-winning special education teacher and national teaching conference presenter. She has over a decade of experience in sp...

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October 16, 2022 18 mins

If the thought of parent or caregiver conferences makes you feel a little sweaty, you’re not alone! What is it about talking to other adults that can be so scary?

I learned a lot during my time in the classroom, mostly from making my own mistakes.

So, in this episode of Real Teacher Talk, I am sharing my favorite simple tips and tricks to make your conferences run smoothly and be a little less stressful.

I share ho...

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Have you heard the phrase “quiet quitting” and wondered how it related to teaching?

Quiet quitting is a hot topic right now. It’s the idea that people are “giving up” or “quitting” on their jobs without actually resigning.

In this episode of Real Teacher Talk, I tackle this topic and whether or not I think it actually relates to teachers! I discuss what quiet quitting is, how to do more than the bare minimum and only work your contra...

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Do you ever wonder how you can create a positive classroom environment and still get everything done that needs to get done?

If so, you’re in good company. But trust me, it’s possible!

In this episode of Real Teacher Talk, I sat down with Mr. Johnny Tiersma, a fellow San Diego area teacher,  to talk about how to create a classroom environment where all students can thrive! We discuss what stops teachers from having fun, how to use hu...

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Does the mere thought of preparing to have a substitute in your classroom make you feel sick to your stomach? 

If so, you aren’t alone!

In this episode of Real Teacher Talk, I sat down with Kelsey Sorenson of Wife, Teacher, Mommy to talk about how to successfully prepare for a sub day! We discuss what stops teachers from planning ahead for inevitable sub days, how to realistically take the time to plan ahead, and what exactly needs t...

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Do you ever feel like it’s impossible to have fun in the classroom anymore? There are often so many “other” things to care about, that fun can be the last thing on our minds.

In this episode of Real Teacher Talk, I sat down with Matt Halpern to talk about why it’s a challenge to have fun in the classroom, why fun in the classroom is important, and how to bring fun back!

Matt is a joyful educator who draws on almost two decades of exp...

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September 11, 2022 27 mins

Have you ever felt like your centers are a little overwhelming? 

Sometimes the systems in our classroom are way more complicated than they need to be,  and we need to take a step back and simplify so that we can do our jobs more efficiently.

In this episode of Real Teacher Talk, I sat down with Farrah Henley to talk about the number one mistake that teachers make when it comes to their centers and the steps they can take to start sim...

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Do you have any specific tools that you use in the classroom to help you stay organized? 

As teachers, there’s so much to get done each day. It can get overwhelming fast if you don’t have a good classroom system in place that will help you stay organized and on task.

Today on Real Teacher Talk, I am sharing one of my favorite tools that I used in the classroom that really helped me get things done. 

If you’re in Easy Organization Tool...

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Are you worried about classroom management this year? 

I have heard from a lot of teachers that they are a bit worried about heading back to the classroom because of how rough the last couple of years were with all of the classroom behavior issues. 

There have been a lot of questions about how to manage behavior using the latest best practices so I invited my friend Allie Szczecinski from Miss Behavior onto the show to share some of ...

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Are you feeling stressed out at the thought of heading back to school? 

Many teachers are feeling even more overwhelmed about heading back to the classroom than normal this year. There is just so much to do and they are already tired. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. 

In this episode of Real Teacher Talk, I sat down with my friend Michelle Emerson from Pocketful of Primary to talk about five easy tips that you can use to st...

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