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Ted Neitzke brings you the “The Smart Thinking Podcast.” Smart Thinking is for anyone and everyone — because we are all leaders. Join us weekly for reflective activities and strategies to grow yourself and others.


Get a piece of paper, a pen and stretch out your wrists. Why? Because you’re about to get hit with a gazillion tips and tricks to support online instruction. Take a listen as Catlin energetically goes through her strategies to support online instructional engagement and design! Go to her website for immediate ideas an d applicable tactics for learning. 

Dr. Catlin Tucker is a bestselling author, international trainer, and keynote speaker. She was named Teacher of the Year in 2010 in Sonoma County, where she taught for 16 years. Catlin earned her doctorate in learning technologies at Pepperdine University. Currently, Catlin is working as a blended learning coach and education consultant. Catlin has written a series of bestselling books on blended learning, which include Balance With Blended Learning, Blended Learning In ActionPower Up Blended Learning, and Blended Learning In Grades 4-12. She is active on Twitter @Catlin_Tucker

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This conversation gets us talking about how to create a blended environments, the conditions needed to be successful and previews some of Heathers newest innovations and ideas.

Heather Staker is an adjunct researcher for the Christensen Institute and president of Ready to Blend. She is the co-author of Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools (San Francisco: Wiley, 2015) and co-founder of Brain Chase Productions, which produces online-learning challenges disguised as worldwide treasure hunts for students in grades 1-8.

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This is a great listen to help you help children, staff and yourself with organization and the skills needed to learn, work and organize your daily life.

Sarah Ward, M.S., CCC/SLP has over 25 years of experience in diagnostic evaluations, treatment and 
case management of children, adolescents and adults with a wide range of developmental and 
acquired brain based learning difficulties and behavioral problems not limited to but including:

 Attention Deficit Disorder

    •    Verbal Learning Disabilities

    •    Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities

    •    Asperger Syndrome

    •    Other Social-Cognitive Learning Disabilities

    •    Traumatic Brain Injury

    •    Acquired Brain Injury

Check it out: https://efpractice.com/

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When you're stuck and the team is unable to move forward together - -what do you do? Give this episode a listen and hear how to shift your the groups your serve with a simple process. 

  • List where you could apply this process.
  • Describe your SWOT.
  • List those you could train to run out this process.
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In this episode we will explore the different ways to engage others in addressing the issues you face. We all too often look past the people with the answers and that leads to greater issues. 


  • List the legacy experts in your life.
  • Describe how you can engage them in your improvement processes.
  • Develop a process to engage the legends in your world.
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When an organization acts under pressure for too long -- it can have significant and unforeseen consequences. Hear a story that could be your "canary in a coal mine" moment.

  • Describe how you could bring the problem to the problem.
  • List collective commitments you have.
  • Analyze those you serve and identify where you need to step in and provide renewed purpose by identifying shared commitments.

New Song: Well Pennies: Everybody Wants To Rule The World

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Many of us work with people that are pessimistic or "difficult." Why? Take a listen to this perspective and hear a couple of tools that may be applicable to you in your daily life and leadership. 

  • List the behaviors about yourself that you don’t care for and compare them to your triggers.
  • Read and analyze the book Feeling Great by David Burns.
  • Describe how you can support others who may be working through cognitive distortions.

Book: Feeling Great, Dr. David Burns 

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Everyone experiences a shift in their ability to be confident. When life is constantly unpredictable it is the job of leaders to support others to build and then maintain their confidence. Take a listen from the lessons of a 15-year-old.


  • Describe how you can allow others to lead so they gain confidence.
  • List how you can reinforce the efforts taking place all around you.
  • Describe how you can create the opportunity to review how far you’ve all come together.




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Being aware of tone deafness is a critical and important skill for people. Especially when reflecting about your own behavior as well as your ability to coach others who lack awareness of the damage they are doing to others by leading from the wrong perspective - -self importance.

Take a listen as we reflect upon how to best be in the moment for others and not appear to be tone-deaf. 

  • Am I in the frame of mind to be present for those in front of me?
  • Can I be who they need in order for them to succeed?
  • If I were them – what would I need from me?



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As leaders we need to make certain that those we serve have meaning in their days. Listen as we explore how powerful and easy it is to increase ownership and engagement in the moment. 

  • List symbols you can provide to support mindfulness.
  • Describe permissions you need to give so that people can move forward.
  • Describe your process so that you can design time for pause

Song: Andrew Hoyt - I Wanna Dance With Somebody 

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