Episode 16: An Interview with Brian Riordan

Brian Riordan is the featured unconventional educator on this exciting episode of An Unconventional Teacher. Brian is a high school Spanish teacher in Howell, Michigan, focused on engaging his students in comprehensible Spanish language experiences and having fun while doing so. 

Partway through Brian’s career as a teacher, he realized he needed to make a change and received empowering trainings from podcasts and online resources to move his class from grammar and worksheet-focused lessons to more engaging, “Comprehensible Input” strategies. These included using leveled reading for fun, music videos, and engaging brain breaks.  Now, his class is much more exciting and his students are enjoying their learning much more.  

Brian’s website and blog is worth a look as well and can be found at https://proferiordan.wordpress.com/.  

Episode Highlight Quotes:  

“I used to think that being that rigorous, traditional teacher was maybe what I was built to do.” – Brian Riordan 

“Teach with joy!…Once I realized that everything I need to do is coming from a place of joy, it just makes everything so much better.” – Brian Riordan 

“I always throw my lesson plan book away at the end of the year and try to start fresh every year.” – Brian Riordan 

“Just taking a chance. Being brave. Making courageous decisions and saying, ‘I’m going to completely change things up. Throw out all my old notes, all sweet, beautiful grammar powerpoints that I had….and ever since then, our participation in our program is up and kids feel more successful.” – Brian Riordan 

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An Unconventional Teacher Founder & Host: Jon Hinthorne

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