The Buffett Early Childhood Institute Shares About the Transition to Kindergarten Toolkit

In this episode, Monica Wells and Alyssa Anson of the Buffett Early Childhood Institute join us to talk about their work to connect and support early childhood care and education providers, schools and kindergarten educators, and families as they onboard learners to the kindergarten experience. Listeners can expect to learn about and receive access to a set of toolkits and resources to support this transition. In the pod, Monica and Alyssa frame the Why behind this work and the need for this effort on behalf of kids.

For more about the Buffett Early Childhood Institute’s Preschool Development Grant, access

Visit the Nebraska Department of Education’s Office of Early Childhood page to download the toolkits and resources. Those materials can be found at

Prioritizing Cognition in Nebraska’s World Languages Standards

Chrystal Liu, world languages specialist at NDE, and Nick Ziegler, world languages coordinator and tech integrationist at ESU 5, join us for an episode dedicated to Nebraska’s World Languages Standards. This discussion highlights the 2019 prioritization of five standard strands that focus on communication, culture, connections, communities, and cognition. On the pod, Chrystal and Nick also explain how educators came together this past summer to create a differentiated set of student-facing, self-assessment checklists to promote learner engagement and metacognition.

You can find access to the standards and also the self-assessment checklists at

Matt Miller on Blended Learning

Matt Miller is back this week on The Good Life EDU to share about his new show, The Digital Learning Podcast. On their pod, Matt and his co-host Holly Clark delve into the topic of blended learning and reframe how we might think of that work in our modern context. In this episode, Matt discusses blended learning through that lens, highlighting the importance of blended learning and a few of the building blocks that support that work and its implementation.

You can listen to Matt and Holly’s show at The Digital Learning Podcast

Get SET Nebraska – Support for Special Education Teachers

The Good Life EDU Podcast welcomes back Pam Brezenski who now serves as the Project Manager for Get SET Nebraska, a grant by Office of Special Education Programs (secured by NDE in collaboration with ESU 13 and UNL). Get SET Nebraska aims to help retain special education teachers in Nebraska to enhance student success across the state. This effort, which is in its first pilot year, aims to grow from six districts to fifty districts between this school year and the next, and all districts in Nebraska are eligible to participate. For more information on their administrative leadership academy and/or their mentoring and induction programming for special education teachers, please reach out to Pam directly at

About – Get SET Nebraska

Celebrating Our 100th Episode by Diving Deeper into Mindfulness for Teachers

For our 100th episode of The Good Life EDU Podcast, we welcome the author of the book Mindfulness for Teachers, Dr. Tish Jennings, to the show to frame our understanding of the many stressors currently impacting the teaching profession. On the pod, Dr. Jennings uncovers ways of addressing these very real issues that range from the macro, systemic-level factors to the micro-level interactions that teachers have with their students each and every day. This is a practical and pragmatic conversation that will leave all listeners with a few takeaways for how to enhance our understanding and support of school staff.

NE’s Digital Citizenship Symposium & What’s N.E.X.T. with Blended Learning

This is a fun and informative conversation that shares about two efforts in Nebraska to support teaching and learning with technology. Peg Coover of ESU 10 takes the lead in the first half of the pod as she explains the history, current work, materials, and contest opportunities that Nebraska’s ESU Digital Citizenship group provides. In the second half of the pod, Eileen Heller of ESU 3 describes the recent efforts of the blended learning workgroup towards living out their new purpose statements. Those efforts include the “What’s N.E.X.T. with Blended Learning” live show, which airs across the ESUCC’s social media pages at 9:30 am CT on the last Tuesday of each month. Regardless of whether you live in or outside of Nebraska, this episode offers great ideas and avenues for new learning that we hope you find useful and enjoy!


Access our ESUCC live shows on our Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube sites.

Access the ESU’s Digital Citizenship Symposium (Resources) and Contest at

Here’s a document that highlights the history of the ESUCC’s efforts with Blended Learning

Here’s the impact study that illustrates the data derived from that initiative.

Here’s the blended learning rubric referenced in the episode.

You can watch the first episode of the What’s N.E.X.T. with Blended Learning live show here.

For more information, please contact us via our website at

“Leading the Whole Teacher” with Allyson Apsey

In this episode, we are joined by speaker, author, and education advocate Allyson Apsey, who shares insights from her latest book, “Leading the Whole Teacher.” Listen and learn from Allyson as she highlights her six elements of how we might effectively lead and support teachers, and just like her book, this resource is filled with practical strategies that are easy to implement.

To learn more from Allyson, visit

Supporting Nebraska’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children and Their Families

This episode brings together all five of Nebraska’s Regional Program Coordinators for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, and the group is joined by NDE’s Darsha Pelland, who works in the Office of Special Education as the IDEA Low Incidence Director. On the pod, coordinators Heather Witte, Sara Peterson, Jill Hoffart, Lindsey Hinzmann, and Diane Meyer explain the full scope of services for our deaf and hard of hearing children and their families. Listeners will appreciate learning about the statewide structure, the programming available, and the heartfelt examples these great educators share from their personal experiences with serving their students.

To learn more about this program and to contact a regional coordinator, access for more details.

Is There a Workforce Design Problem in Education, and If So, How Might We Address It?

This week, we explore a “co-teaching plus” approach to reimagining how teams of teachers can facilitate learning experiences thanks to Brent Maddin, the Executive Director of the Next Education Workforce Team and the Professor of Practice at the MLF Teachers’ College at Arizona State University.

Show notes:

If you are interested in joining the 2022-2023 Next Education Workforce Learning Cohort, you can do so here:

If you only have 10 minutes, check out this video that captures the big idea of the Next Education Workforce and click around the Next Education Workforce website

Here is the Resource Collection related to budget-neutral financial models that support innovative staffing (referenced in the episode).

Recent press on the Next Education Workforce

Distance Learning Courses in Nebraska

Recently, The Good Life EDU podcast has been exploring a variety of ways in which the education community at large has responded to the present teacher shortage. In this episode, the superintendent of Morrill Public Schools, Barry Schaeffer, and the coordinator for the world languages program at ESU 5, Dr. Nicholas Ziegler, explain how distance learning courses are helping Nebraska schools offer students learning experiences that would be challenging to provide without this programming.