An Unconventional Teacher is a pay-it-forward project for educators seeking something different. We hope to uncover why it is that the unconventional ways of yesterday are now becoming the conventional ways of today. 

Please consider giving by becoming a patron with Patreon and give monthly or by a one-time donation via Paypal. Any amount is appreciated. If you can’t give, we still appreciate your here! Help us spread the word by telling your friends, family and the teachers you know. Share this podcast on social media and help us reach the world!

Featured Guests

From incredible educators shaping the lives of their students to statewide and national teachers of the year, the guests on our show inspire our listeners and share insights into what makes them such unapologetically unconventional educators.
How do we embrace being unapologetically different from those other educators around us for the sake of our students? 
How do we thrive as unconventional teachers? 
If you’re interested in being featured in an upcoming podcast, please email us.

Jennifer Stillittano, Central Coast New Tech High School, Nipomo, California

High School Entrepreneurship and Research & Communications Facilitator, PBL Guru
Jennifer Stillittano is an absolute unconventional teacher through and through. She brings joy and incredible depth to her classes as well as a sense of boldness and risk taking that is so uncommon in today’s educational landscape. 
Jennifer is also a Project Based Learning trainer and the owner of the website PBLLab

Kelsie Brook Eckert, Moultonborough Academy, Moultonborough, New Hampshire

High School History Teacher Founder/Co-Host of the Remedial Herstory Project
Kelsie Brook Eckert inspires each and every one of her students to love what they are learning and do their best. She raises the bar for herself and in turn raises the bar for each of her students. 
Kelsie also is the co-host and founder of the Remedial Herstory Project. This podcast rocks and is worth a listen!
5th Grade English and Social Studies Teacher
Micah, the first guest on our podcast, is a case in point that when a teacher strives to put diverse books into the hands of a child, good things happen!  
2017 Massachusetts History Teacher of the Year
Kevin’s incredible drive and passion for equity in the classroom and schoolhouse shines through in his interview. 
Middle School English Teacher
Kim shares her unbridled passion for modeling what she expects for her students in her own actions. This Episode is not to be missed! 

An Unconventional Teacher Blog Highlights

Gratitude in the Classroom
by Jon Hinthorne

Gratitude is something that is taught. It does not occur naturally in humans. So often, humans feel grateful for people or things in their lives, but maybe the fast-paced nature of their worlds pulls them away from the act of giving gratitude. I certainly feel that pull everyday.

Schedules for the Classroom
by Amber Burkett (Guest Contributor)

Teaching is difficult enough just as it is. If you do not have a clear set of dreams and values that align with your teaching philosophy, burn out can occur quickly and the passion for your craft wanes. 

Step #3:
Seek feedback from your peers and students often

Feedback is a gift! Ironically, giving and receiving feedback is something that most humans struggle with at all stages of life. Teachers are typically so involved with and sometimes protective of their craft that feedback can be difficult to digest.

Show Host

It’s time to pay it forward and share the incredible and unconventional things teachers across this nation are doing for their students! 

host jon hinthorne

Jon Hinthorne

High School Spanish Teacher at Central Coast New Tech High School, California

Jon has a passion for bringing people together around a common purpose: to be kind and authentic humans.

Our world thrives on the ability to understand our surroundings and have compassion and empathy for our neighbors. Jon lives his life by this truth. It drives his teaching in the classroom, with his sons and the rest of his family.

Jon believes in service to a cause greater than self. He and his wife volunteered in the Children’s Eternal Rainforest in Costa Rica for two summers. He served as a Corps Member for City Year Boston for a year and a National Teaching Fellow for Citizen Schools Massachusetts. He incorporates the endless lessons and learnings from those experiences in his current work of serving his community on the central coast of California as an educator.

When Jon isn’t teaching, he is raising his two beautiful boys, composing solo piano music, adventuring on the central coast of California, and adoring his beautiful wife. They have traveled the globe both together and separately. Jon has explored 17 countries and uses those experiences everyday in his classroom and home life.

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Schedules for the Curriculum

The idea that a schedule is set and needs to be strictly adhered to is an old school method for structure designed to encourage teachers to crunch in teaching...

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Gratitude in the Classroom

Gratitude is something that is taught. It does not occur naturally in humans. So often, humans feel grateful for people or things in their lives, but maybe the fast-paced...

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Step #3 To Be An Unconventional Teacher

Step #3 To Be An Unconventional Teacher:  Seek feedback from peers and students often Feedback is a gift. That’s what people always say, right? Well, the statement really should...

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Step #2 To Be An Unconventional Teacher

Step #2: Align your beliefs, values and dreams with your teaching philosophy Let’s face it: teaching for most of us is our life. I rarely meet teachers who do...

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Step #1 To Be An Unconventional Teacher

Step #1: Embrace and live your teacher dreams Share on Instagram Share on Facebook Step #1: Embrace and Live Your Teacher Dreams By Jon Hinthorne  (An Unconventional Teacher) December...

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A humble beginning

This marks the beginning of something I have wanted to do for a long time: pay it forward. From my first moments as a student to now as a...

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