The What School Could Be Podcast

The What School Could Be Podcast

53. Writer, Poet, Teacher, Mother, TFA Alum: Jannica Breslin

November 23, 2020

Metamorphosis, dragon flies, Hoʻokipa writers, coffee talks, Poetic Couture, Carol Dwek and finding the Filipina within, oh my! My guest today is Jannica Breslin in an episode I am calling my Teach for America Special. This is a partnership with Jill Baldemor, the Executive Director of Teach for America Hawai`i. When I offered Jill the opportunity to name a TFA Hawaiʻi alum to be on this podcast, after some consideration, she named Jannica Breslin. There have been many TFA alums as guests on this podcast, but none specifically named by TFA Hawaii’s top brass, which is way cool. Jannica is a middle school language arts teacher at Konawaena Middle School on Hawai‘i Island. She was a 2009 Teach for America corps member, which would make this her 12th year in education. Jannica was in the same cohort year as Justin Brown, who I interviewed on this podcast for Season 1. TFA Hawaiʻi Executive Director, Jill Baldemor said the following about her pick for this episode: “Jannica is a humble local girl, a public school graduate of Farrington High School, and not as well known, but definitely a bright light in her approach and leadership, which has been especially apparent during COVID. She was one of the first teachers to proactively stand up informal teacher collaboration groups to share best practices in distance learning and she’s helped her school a bunch in the transition.” In this episode Jannica and I ranged across a variety of subjects including her passion for writing, her love of vulnerabilities and growth mindsets, her Aloha for TFA and what it takes to get middle school kids excited about words. She is funny, thoughtful (there are long pauses between my question and the start of her responses) and she cares deeply about children. Jannica teaches with another, former podcast guest, Shawna Gunnarson. What an extraordinary opportunity for kids in Kona to learn from Shawna and Jannica! As always, our theme music and editing is done by Daniel Gilad at DG Sound Creations. You can learn more about Daniel at his Facebook page. I am super pleased to note that 41 out of 41 listeners have given our podcast a 5 star rating. We appreciate this very much and thank you for the wonderful written reviews. If you love these episodes with remarkable and innovative educators and education leaders, please give us your own rating and write us a review at your favorite podcast store. 

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