PMP369: Connecting Through Conversation with Erika Bare and Tiffany Burns

Erika Bare has been an educator for over 20 years, currently serving as the Assistant Superintendent in the Ashland School District in Oregon. A special education teacher by training, she is passionate about supporting all students through individual supports to reach their limitless potential.

Tiffany Burns loves working with kids. In her two decades in education, she taught elementary, middle, and high school students. She worked as an instructional coach, curriculum writer, and university adjunct instructor in Oregon, Alaska, and Mexico. She loves her current role, as an elementary school principal where she gets to lead, learn, and play with her favorite people–kids and their grown-ups. 

Together, they have authored the book Connecting Through Conversation: A Playbook for Talking with Students, available from ConnectEDD Publishing, or at their website.

In this episode, we delve into their backgrounds, educational philosophies, and the practical strategies they offer in their book, exploring ways educators can build meaningful connections with students through effective communication.

Listen to the entire episode for tremendous takeaways! Here are a few highlights:

Introduction and Backgrounds

Erika Bare
Tiffany Burns

Erika and Tiffany share insights into their backgrounds, passions, and some surprising facts about their journeys in education.

Origins of Collaboration

Tiffany reveals how their paths crossed and their collaborative journey in the realm of education.

Exploring the Playbook

Discover the practicality of their book, including their belief in ‘Behavior is Communication’ and the concept of EATS: Escape, Attain Connection, Tangible Connection, and Sensory.

Importance of Caring Out Loud

Tiffany sheds light on the significance of displaying care and establishing regular routines to acknowledge students’ success.

Navigating Power Struggles

Erika provides invaluable advice on reframing language to avoid detrimental power struggles and maintain respectful relationships with students.

Acknowledge, Validate, and Coach

Enjoy a live demonstration of this strategy performed with Erika as the teacher and Tiffany as the student, followed by a detailed explanation of the technique.

Connecting with Caregivers

Erika walks us through the thoughtful process of maintaining open and caring communication with caregivers, especially during conflicts.

Connect with the Authors

Erika and Tiffany love working as school administrators in the same district, while also providing professional development, consultation, and facilitation of book studies for educators across the country. You can find it, along with many free resources, on their website.

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William D. Parker
William D. Parker