When Archway Veritas’ second-grade teacher Taylor Brown was driving home from Flagstaff one day, she was listening to a podcast in which the guest talked about the impact that his fourth-grade teacher had on him, which led to a discussion on the importance of teachers.
“I thought to myself, it is interesting how we hear so much about teachers, but we rarely hear from them,” Taylor said.
This episode was the inspiration behind the Teachers Talk Podcast, created by Taylor and her coworker (and best friend), Skylar Marois.
Teachers Talk celebrated its first anniversary in July. The podcast is a collaborative effort inspired by Taylor and Skylar’s conversations about educational issues, ideas and encouragement.
“The goal is to inspire teachers inside and outside the education world. We know that 50 percent of teachers leave the profession within the first five years. Our mission is to help retention rates by sharing best practices, experiences, and tips with others,” Taylor said.
There are currently over 50 episodes available – they come out every Monday and are anywhere from 25 to 55 minutes long.
Topics include intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation and its impacts on students, love and logic practices, creating a work/life balance, the importance of teaching history, the effects of praise and building student relationships.
The educators are Arizona natives, with Taylor from Cave Creek and Skylar from Phoenix. Taylor moved to Arcadia after graduating from the University of Arizona in 2017.
“My parents moved to Arcadia a year prior, and I fell in love with the area. I stumbled upon Veritas while driving home one day, and it was meant to be,” Taylor said.
She’s taught second grade at Veritas for six years, with Skylar following close behind at five years. The two met in 2018 when Skylar started at Veritas as Taylor’s teaching assistant.
“We became instantaneous friends when I heard 90s throwback jams coming from our classroom during summer prep. We have been best friends ever since,” Taylor said.
Once they decided the podcast was a go, it was time to learn how to put it together. Their first order of business was obtaining equipment.
“We ordered a microphone on Amazon and spent a lot of time on YouTube. I am not tech-savvy, so we spent a lot of time looking up tutorials on how to work GarageBand [a digital audio application], how to upload, how to edit; it’s a learn-as-you-go type situation,” Taylor said.
The podcast debuted on July 3, 2021, with an episode focused on a growth mindset inspired by American psychologist Carol Dweck.
While the podcast usually has Taylor and Skylar as its main speakers, they’ve also had several guest speakers, including coworkers, friends and other education professionals. One episode features a former teacher who has been in education for over 70 years.
“Our favorite part is knowing that we have the opportunity to reach an infinite number of educators to help inspire and lift their voices,” Taylor said. “We also love when listeners reach out and tell us how an episode may have impacted them or how they have implemented something new since listening.”
“The feedback has been so affirming,” Skylar said. “Our love language is words of affirmation, so when people tell us that they loved an episode or would like help with a specific area, we are always overjoyed!”
Upcoming episodes include “how to prepare for the first days of school” and “how to cope with behavioral challenges.” Teachers Talk is available on all podcast platforms.