If you are a new listener to Think Inclusive, you may not realize that I started the podcast and blog over ten years ago.
And during those first few years, I only produced a handful of episodes.
Honestly, it was a struggle. My wife worked nights as a nurse, and I had three young children at home. And I had to wait for everyone to go to bed.
Nearly every time I had a guest, I warned them that I could have crying children I would need to take care of at any moment. Fortunately, everyone was flexible and gracious.
Sweet memories, but it was hard. I think I blocked a lot of that out of my mind because I'm getting a bit teary-eyed as I'm writing this. And yet something compelled me to keep going.
I used to record straight into our Mac Mini, which we used for our TV. So imagine me cozied next to our TV and computer with cords and notes strewn about my foldout table.
I've been looking back at old episodes because I want to upload our archive to YouTube
It will take a bit to upload the few dozen episodes I produced before it became part of my job as Director of Communications for MCIE. But as long as you are reading this, would you do me a favor? Would you subscribe to our channel?
And so it's in the spirit of celebrating our original episodes that I wanted to share three for you to check out. When I listen back, I don't hear a huge deviation from what it sounds like now. But I'm proud of how much we have grown.
I'm eternally grateful and realize how fortunate I am that I get to spend my day thinking, planning, and creating content to equip and inspire people to inclusive practices.
Thanks for listening y'all.
My first official guest on Think Inclusive was Nicole Eredics, former co-host of The Inclusive Class podcast.
If you listen, you'll notice I say that this is "Episode 002." My intention was to get to 100 episodes eventually, which technically is a milestone we have yet to cross. The first interview I ever recorded was with my friend and former colleague Scott F. If you ever want to hear that one, I included it in the "Best Of" episode in 2020.
Sometimes I forget that these episodes are really evergreen. If you listen to the conversation I have with Paula Kluth, the same struggles that families and educators have with bringing inclusive education to their schools are as relevant today as they were a decade ago.
Here is one of my favorite exchanges in the episode.
So one of the things I always tell families is, you remember that song, there are at least 50 ways to leave your lover, you know?
There are at least 50, if not 500, ways to get inclusion if you're a parent. Not all of them and not most of them are easy, but I think that there's a different, almost a different path taken by almost every parent that you meet who got there, who wanted it and got there. Some of them are very quiet, and they chip away. Some of them are fierce, and some of them get really mad. Some of them sue. Some of them move. Some of them run for PTO and become the school board president. Some of them, I know one mom who opened up her own school, um, you know, kind of like a hybrid charter school. I mean, that's, that's unique. Being on a school board is unique. So I'm always fascinated by that. And I think the same is true for teachers.
When I was still a district support specialist in Metro Atlanta, I remember walking into my supervisor's office, and she had the Who Cares About Kelsey? website up on her computer. I must have come across as a complete goofball because I just about lost it.
"Oh my goodness!" "That is such a great movie. In fact did you know that I interviewed the filmmaker Dan Habib on my podcast?"
Seriously though. I regret acting so excited because there was a 100% chance our teachers and administrators would not see the film because yours truly, the rabid inclusionist, was endorsing it.
Dan has been on the pod a couple of different times, and for this upcoming season in the Fall, I want to have Samuel, his son, on (check your inbox, Samuel).
One More Call to Action
In the communications field, it is best practice to only give one call to action. You know, the thing that the writer or organization wants you to do after reading or engaging with content. But I'm throwing caution to the wind.
And because I love transparency, I want to be completely honest with you.
I'd love for you to become a Think Inclusive patron.
When you join for as little as $3 per month, you get access to ad-free podcast episodes, bonus content, and live events.
Can you even get a cup of coffee for $3 anymore?
It would mean the world to us and keep us going to create more and more content to equip and inspire you to advocate for authentic inclusive education.
Thanks. And remember, inclusion always works.