Podcast: Chris Dier in Chalmette, Louisiana, for Teachers in America

Photo: Mr. Chris Dier in his classroom at Chalmette High School.

On the HMH Learning Moments podcast today, we have a new episode of our Teachers in America series, featuring Chris Dier, a teacher of World History and AP Human Geography at Chalmette High School in St. Bernard’s Parish, Louisiana. A Louisiana native, Chris was uprooted by Hurricane Katrina in his senior year of high school, but eventually returned to earn two Master’s degrees from the University of New Orleans. Now working in the same high school where his mother taught before him, Chris’s focus is to provide an equitable and multicultural education for all. He has been featured in The New York Times, and more recently in The Washington Post for "An Open Letter to High School Seniors." Chris is the 2020 Louisiana Teacher of the Year and author of the book The 1868 St. Bernard Parish Massacre: Blood in the Cane Fields. You can learn more on his website, or follow him on Twitter @chrisdier.

A full transcript of the episode is below.

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Noelle Morris (left), host, with World History and AP Human Geography teacher Mr. Chris Dier.

Noelle Morris: Welcome to HMH Learning Moments, a production of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. I'm your host, Noelle Morris. I want to acknowledge that you're hearing me impacted by my seasonal allergies. But regardless, my enthusiasm of sharing this podcast does not change. You're also hearing me from the desk of my living room here in my home office in Orlando, Florida. Let's continue with this is Teachers in America.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week, everyone! In today's new episode of Teachers in America, I'm joined by National Teacher of the Year finalist Chris Dier. My conversation with Chris took place in Louisiana before school closures in February, 2020. So in context of everything from then to now, as you're listening to this podcast, I want to share with you that our hearts go out to the people of Louisiana, and those everywhere affected by COVID-19.

Chris teaches World History and AP Human Geography in Louisiana at Chalmette High School in St Bernard's Parish. One of the interesting things you'll learn about Chris is that his senior year of high school, he was uprooted by Hurricane Katrina. So transitions and hardships and change is nothing new to him. But eventually after high school, he decided to move back to his hometown where he has earned two master's degrees. In fact, he is teaching at the same high school where his mother taught before him. Chris's focus is to provide an equitable and multicultural education for all. He is the 2020 Louisiana Teacher of the Year and author of the book 1868 St. Bernard Parish Massacre: Blood in the Cane Fields.

Now here's Chris.

Noelle Morris: Hey, Chris, I'm so grateful for you to let me in your classroom to be able to do this podcast and have this conversation for Teachers in America. So listeners, I'm here today in St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana, about 10 minutes outside of New Orleans at Chalmette High School. One of the things that I have learned, Chris, from the moment we came in to the building, which I have to thank you for meeting us at the door. . . .would you describe that as part of your personality that you were just always going to make sure people are okay?

Chris Dier: I think so. I think, one: that's a teacher in me, but I can't just say that's me. I think that's part of our culture is that we are so welcoming and anytime people come in, we definitely get them the service that they need. I always say you never really leave Louisiana with an empty stomach or without a friend.

Noelle Morris: And that continued as we walked in the hall because you were mentioning to students, do you see that there are guests here? And then they would add a smile or say, Oh, you're going to love it.

And then as we walked in the hallway, and then came into your classroom, and there were two students here that I have to say, I did not expect to get such a warm welcome to a perfect stranger. And even though I was born in Mobile, Alabama, and I consider the Gulf and this area sort of the part of the South that I'm from, as I walked in, she was telling me everything that she loved about what she was seeing in me. And I was like, What is happening here? So tell me how does that happen? Is that again, part of the culture of the students and the area, or is that something that you're noticing coming from the way you teach and embrace who they are?

Chris Dier's AP Human Geography class.

Chris Dier: I think it's a mixture of both. One thing is, if you walk into this school, or if you come into the community or some places where a lot of locals frequent, they'll notice that you're not from here and they'll want to take you in and introduce themselves and show you around. And I think you saw that as you were coming in when students saw that they had faces that were a little unfamiliar to them.

So they wanted to tell you, Hey, and smile. I do try to bring that in my classroom and taking that culture and utilizing that to get students to get to where they need to be. But the two students that were in here when you came, I didn't even know they were in here. So I try to keep my classroom a space where it's open and people can come in and they can embrace who they are and embrace anyone else who comes in.

Noelle Morris: I mean, she complimented me on my fashion, and she was like That pink works for you. And I was like,

Well, thank you. Usually I'm coming to. . .   I'm asking the questions or I'm pointing out what I'm noticing, so it was nice to have that. An unexpected flip. Let's give our listeners a little bit about the culture of your community and the high school and the makeup of who are the students here.

Chris Dier: Our students are very diverse. It's a diverse background. At Chalmette we have about 52% student of color. So no race or ethnicity is a majority. And I feel like they're being raised in ways that the older generation that was here has not been raised. They are experiencing culture, different cultures, at a very young age.

I actually grew up in Chalmette and the demographics were a lot different. Before Katrina, it was majority white. After Katrina, it's shifted dramatically. We had a lot of immigrant groups come in, a lot of people from New Orleans come in. And I think that exposure that our students are getting is really opening their minds and getting them to understand where people come from, especially in classes where you try to bring that out and bring out the best that diversity can offer.

So, yeah, I think our future is bright here ‘cause of our students.

Noelle Morris: You mentioned about being from Chalmette, but you were displaced after Katrina in your high school years, right? So tell me a little bit more about that.

Chris Dier: So, I went to school here my entire life. And St. Bernard Parish was kind of all I've known. And Katrina hit when I was 17, so our home got about 12–13 feet of water.

The whole entire area was uninhabitable. It's definitely not like what you saw today when you came in. So everyone had to leave. My family ended up in Texas. We stayed in hotel rooms until we could no longer afford it. Checks weren't coming in, so we had to stay in a shelter in Longview, Texas.

So from there, I finished my senior year of high school in Texas. And that was a very interesting and eye-opening experience, and I think it shaped a lot of who I am. I couldn't tell at the time, but I think now when I look back on it, that experience really gave me perspective. It opened me in ways that I didn't even know it was possible.

I probably would not have been a teacher, if not for that experience. I remember my mom actually came back to live in a FEMA trailer on the school parking lot to teach other students who came back. And since there were no school buildings you could have classrooms in—they were either demolished, gone, or not able to serve the population—so she was teaching students in trailers as well. And I got to see a lot of resilience from teachers like my mother and from the community, and from New Orleans as a whole.

Welcome to Chalmette High School.

Noelle Morris: So you're in Texas, but your mother was a teacher.

Chris Dier: She was a teacher.

Noelle Morris: And so she was determined to get back here to the community. Did you come with or did you stay in Texas?

Chris Dier: So, I actually finished high school in Texas and then went to college in Texas. So my mom came back as soon as she was able.

She showed a perseverance that is really admirable. And she'll downplay it, but I think that she could have went anywhere to get hired, and do what she did.

She's a phenomenal teacher, which is why I'm here as a teacher, but she decided to come back to the community and stay in a trailer that was literally the size of a parking space. That's how they lined ‘em up. Set the bar high for doing things for the betterment of the community.

Noelle Morris: You said you went to college in Texas. So you just said she could have gone anywhere.

You too could have gone anywhere and been hired. So what brought you back to your home?

Chris Dier: So I think I also felt that connection to the community.

I remember going to college in Texas and just keeping a very close tie with my hometown. And when I was a senior, I really wasn't too sure what I wanted to do in life. I know a lot of teachers, they say it was when I was five, when I was six. I can't say that, to be honest, because I remember my mom coming home with lesson plans and grading, and at the dinner table doing work, and I saw the hard work and dedication.

And even though I also saw the impact she had on the community, everywhere we went, people stopped her. And a trip to the grocery store could literally last three hours because they were stopping my mom and telling them about their lives and thanking her. So I did see the positive side, but I also saw how hard she worked.

So it terrified me a bit. And I was scared of being a teacher. I didn't know if that's what I wanted. But I remember talking to my mom my senior year, and I was a little disillusioned by the career paths that I had in mind. And she said, why don't you come watch me teach and see it from my perspective instead of a student's perspective?

And I took her up on her offer. She's not a person you could really say no to. And I sat at that desk right there, and I watched my mom teach in this classroom. And I remember seeing real engagement happening and real inspiration happening in real time. It was fascinating. And the impact that she was making on the community.

I remember thinking, I want to move back to my home community and be a part of that process as well, because she was giving kids hope, and I saw that. Around the same time the BP oil spill happened in 2010 and so many students and their families, they lost their jobs.

And I saw that, and I really feel this. . .  calling to get back there.

So after I graduated, I started teaching at St. Bernard Parish and I never looked back.

Noelle Morris: So you are teaching in the classroom where your mother taught.

Chris Dier: That's correct. This is where my mom taught and she retired after 40 years. When I came back to teach, I taught middle school for five years and that's what I wanted to do.

But when my mom retired from this classroom, she said, do you want to apply for my position? And that's how I started teaching at Chalmette High. And she felt so happy to leave her legacy in the hands of her son.

Toys in the classroom when Chris's mother taught before him, still there today.

Noelle Morris: She had to have seen something for her to say come and see it from my perspective. You had only seen my profession from my child seeing the paperwork, seeing probably exhaustion, right?

What was the first teacher moment that you had where you felt now I know what my mother was saying about how much she loved teaching?

Chris Dier: I first started teaching special education, a significant disabilities class. It was incredibly hard for me to do, but I remember seeing students overcome obstacles. And once I started to actually see that happening, then I remember thinking that, wow, this is a powerful profession.

And I feel like that happens frequently in teaching, especially the older you get, and the more you teach, the more those moments happen because the better you become, especially if you work to try to become a better teacher. And my first year was very challenging. Absolutely. But I do remember times where there were those instances where kids’ light bulbs were going off in their head.

And one thing about teaching that a lot of people don't realize is teaching is only one aspect of it. It really shouldn't even be called teaching, because they come to you as you saw today, they come to you with so many external problems. Because they look to you for guidance and assistance. And I remember when I started teaching that I wasn't anticipating that as much.

So when that started to happen, that's when I realized that this is more than just a profession or a job where you clock in, clock out. It's a calling.

Noelle Morris: You said guidance and assistance. But the one thing I can tell too is acceptance, and see me. And from the students I've met, they definitely know you see them.

What surprised me though is when you and I were talking, and I mentioned one of your students was . . . you said, come in and meet our guests and she came in. . .

 Chris Dier: She is going places.

Noelle interviews Chris for Teachers in America.

Noelle Morris: She is going places. She is going to run some nonprofit or phenomenal advocacy program. And as we were talking, she said, You know, last year when I had Mr. Dier, I didn't know a lot about my black culture. And through his class and the way he's designed it, I was able to learn more about not just my black culture, but my black history here in this community

this part of Louisiana and New Orleans. And now I feel so empowered that I want to keep learning more, but I want to give that to others. And she's created a club that you sponsor.

Chris Dier: She wanted me to sponsor a club, and she came to me at the beginning of the year and she said she wants a club where students  can talk about issues that relate to their lives and work to de-stigmatize mental health issues, And help  kids cope with trauma by using culture and things that bring us together as a bridge for that. And I just thought it was amazing. I said, I'm on board right away., the day she came up to me. And so she had a vision and she felt empowered and she came in and wrote blue on the board—B.L.U.E.—and I say, what does that mean?

And then she wrote the B, believe in yourself; L, love yourself; U, unity; and E, evolve to empower. And I remember just thinking that is unreal that she went home and had a vision and carried through with it for something so powerful. So we set it up. The principal loved it. And I remember the student asking me, how many people do you think are going to show up, you know, on the first day? And I really didn't know. I didn't want to let her down. So I said about a dozen or so. And then the first meeting comes around and my classroom was so packed that there was kids outside of the door, and I was just so impressed. I now, every Tuesday kids come into my classroom, they form a circle and they talk about these issues and she plans all these activities.

Her and her friends, they get together and they plan the activities. And she'll email me something to print, and it's questions that they can discuss and go over. One thing she did that had students in tears. They wrote letters to family members and loved ones, some of whom are not with us, and they read them out loud to each other. And it was powerful and it was impactful.

And I sit in on the circles now and I talk about my issues. And then we have other teachers that come in. So it's real community building that a student is doing that I feel like I empowered who is now in turn, empowering me.

Chris Dier has a slice of King Cake with Jaila Day, founder of B.L.U.E.

Noelle Morris: And took it to a whole different level.

Chris Dier: I didn't know I needed it as much as I thought.

So now I look forward to Tuesdays at lunch,

Noelle Morris: I would too, and it is this generation because my daughter is part of their generation, Gen Z. They're not inhibited. If an obstacle is placed in their way, they're going to pause for a second. I notice they get frustrated, but then they're like, well, let me see how I go around.

You are the 2020 Teacher of the Year for the state of Louisiana. Why does it surprise you that your students would advocate for you and talk about you, even though you're not standing right there?

Chris Dier: That's interesting. You know, I was surprised because I didn't know that. She's never told me that. And I told her to talk to you about her work that she's doing this year.

So I guess I never knew the origin story of why she was starting that work. So I was surprised. And you know, you try to stay humble, but when someone says something that powerful, it makes you feel great. Like you actually made an impact on someone's life. And so to hear that was definitely a great moment, you know, for a student to say that to complete strangers about my teaching, then yeah, that makes me feel great.

Noelle Morris: And we do tend to be humble. And I'm on this side where. . . 

Chris Dier: We're not in it for the pay.

Noelle Morris: Yeah. You're not in it for the pay, but I do love the side of teaching personality that we should be bold and say, I am awesome. I know what I'm doing. I still am learning. We are lifelong learners. But I think as teachers, we need to own our craft and we need to be bold.

So you mentioned that one of the students had been in an in-school suspension and as we were coming up to your classroom, you'd stopped by the in-school suspension room and said, I would like her to be able to come to class.

Chris Dier: Right.

Noelle Morris: Is that something you've established here with your principal?

Chris Dier: I have. And when that happens, I feel like if a student gets an in-school suspension, I think to myself, I really wish they were here today because they could gain so much. And I thought about that with the student. When I heard that she was in there, I knew that she would thrive in this activity and that she would really enjoy it. And she gained, I feel, like a lot for today. And today she did way better than so many students that I've taught for years. She's one of my top students.

Mugs, books and a Teacher of the Year plaque decorate the shelves.

Noelle Morris: What's your walkup song? So, if you know, when you're walking into class, you're getting yourself ready, you’re hyped, you're like, I got this.

Chris Dier: I'm thinking of a song that I've been listening to lately that's really current and relevant because we're in Mardi Gras season. Well, there's a song called Iko Iko, and it is the quintessential New Orleans Mardi Gras song, and it just reminds me of my childhood.

Noelle Morris: I know that you play music, and you give the origin of the song as well. I got to see you teaching folk culture and they were doing collaborative activity and researching and putting that together. Why is it so important for you to help your students recognize and embrace their identity and their culture?

Chris Dier: Right? The music I started off with today was a song sung in Louisiana French by the local artist named Alexis Marceau, who actually went to Chalmette High. And she now tours the country singing in French, and the students can see and hear somebody where they're from singing in a language that has been around in Louisiana for a long time.

And I think that when you bring culture into the classroom and put it on the table, their culture, then you meet the students where they are and you can get them from that familiar that they know of, and then you can bring them into the unknown. So you leverage the existing community culture. And once you build that into your classroom, you can start creating those connections. And from those connections, that's where true solidarity and empowerment come in. But I don't want students to just come into the class and then they learn a bunch of content. Oh, that's great. And then they move on with their lives. I want to try to instill, you know, a sense of activism and that it's never finished even for teachers.

Noelle Morris: What's your favorite food?

Chris Dier: I love local Creole cuisine. I love gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee. There's nothing better than eating boiled crawfish with people that are so close to you in your life, and we try to bring that here into the classroom as well. Even in the cafeteria, they serve gumbo on Fridays and red beans and rice on Mondays.

Noelle Morris: I was noticing. I was like this, this cafeteria, it has a different smell.

Chris Dier: Oh yeah. They'll cook gumbo and red beans and rice on Mondays. And they're cooking what they know, and there's hot sauce for the kids. And I think food is a great thing to bring people together as well. At the end of the year, kids are encouraged to bring food representative of their culture.

An encouraging poster for incoming freshmen.

Noelle Morris: Tell me, being a white teacher, how do you learn to feel comfortable letting your students learn from you? And then how do you feel as, as white educators, we can support each other in having that conversation to embrace cultural responsive teaching.

Chris Dier: That's something that I have to think about every day as a white male educator in the South. I'm coming and speaking in front of students that are a lot different than me, and a lot of students of color and a lot of white students too.

And I have to think about the ways that I carry myself and the ways that I think and operate in order to ensure that, you know, my privilege is used in ways that is beneficial for all. And that leverages every student and does not try to ever, you know, marginalize any group or contribute to the marginalization of groups that happened in our society.

So that's something I am cognizant of. I think that I try to create a culture in my classroom where students can feel safe to talk about their backgrounds and their identities, and I encourage it. And I try to build an environment of empowerment where it's not only welcomed, but it is celebrated.

That your culture means something. And it's a culture that I want to learn about and learn from. And my students and I, we might be very different in some ways, but I want them to understand from the day they get in there that you have something that you can bring to the table and you have value. And I want to get that value from you.

Noelle Morris: Definitely. I mean, I think your authenticity just exudes from who you are. It's not about a checklist. It's not about trend. It's really this human to human connection. Do you realize that when you want them to summarize or recap, there's a check-in phrasing that you do, and I just wondered if that's a best practice that you've picked up to give yourself a pause?

Chris Dier: Do you have any thoughts, questions, comments, or concerns?

Noelle Morris: Yes. Yes. That’s one of the things that I observed. I was like I may borrow that because you say it so calmly and I'm wondering is that your wait time. Or is that just something that you're like, okay, we've been talking, I've been sharing, you've been reading, you've been talking, now you need to pause.

Chris Dier: Right. It's just something that I do because it's like the ultimate check-in, right? They might think, well, I have a comment, but it's not a question, or I have a concern, or something.

Chalmette students taking notes during a lecture.

Noelle Morris: Well, you mentioned this class is new. You've done it. You've done a switch. So I'm also wondering if you were just in the mode of almost. . . the training of how you teach, how they participate, how they contribute.

Chris Dier: Right? I want to keep that open line of communication as best as possible so they know they can be honest with me and. And once you create that honesty and you create that trust, then we can circle back and then talk about things that happened in our hometown in the past, and bring that to things that are happening today.

Because you have to salvage that culture of honesty and trust. So they feel like they can talk about things or concerns that they might have.

Noelle Morris: I like that you said concerns at the end because it is you're offering them to say if something we just discussed is not sitting easy.

Chris Dier: Right.

Noelle Morris: Or is causing, you know, almost like a reaction emotion. You want to bring it out right then and talk about it, but I also want to share, I heard you don't even hear the chairs turn the desk turn when they formed groups. Cause right now you have it in rows cause the number of students you have. But then when you ask them to collaborate, they just turned the chairs. You don't even hear it. So I want to know how you have established that.

Chris Dier: Well, we start on the first day with collaborative work and that's what we're going to do here. We're going to work together. It might start off in rows for the first few minutes, but that's not the way it's gonna end. So I told them on day one, you know, when you get in your desk, just be cognizant.

Just be aware that there's a class under us of students with special needs. So just think about that when you move your desk. So instead of a demand, you can give them something to think about and they take it on themselves because they're humans just like us, and they are, you know, they want the best for themselves as well and for people around them. And I truly believe that.

Chris Dier is the 2020 Teacher of the Year for the state of Louisiana.

Noelle Morris: So it's Friday, you're on your way home. What's a way that you think about your self care and rejuvenating over a weekend.

Chris Dier: I try to read and write as much as possible. That's kind of like my therapy is writing. I also play soccer. I try to travel as much as my wallet allows me to as a teacher. So I try to engage in things like that, spend time with family and friends and make sure that I'm having my downtime.

Noelle Morris: You've written a book, and in that book was the research that you did from what you were learning from students?

Chris Dier: Yes, so I was actually teaching at a middle school and I was doing research because I was trying to get the history of the community and bring that into the classroom. So I was constantly trying to bring in different stories.

I was teaching Louisiana history. And so I was pulling things from all over the Louisiana, you know, indigenous cultures, and just trying my best to get their history to them. And I came across something that happened in 1868. There was a massacre that happened here, a racial massacre where people were killed during the presidential election of 1868 for trying to vote for a certain ticket.

And that happened in St. Bernard Parish where I'm from, on the grounds where I teach, and I never heard about it. And my mother never heard about it. And almost everyone I talked to never heard about it except for very few people. And it was literally, I can count them on one hand. So I was so intrigued by this history that I just started diving in and digging and trying to do as much research as possible.

And through that research, I wrote a blog and The History Press reached out to me and asked if I wanted to write a book about this topic. And, of course I said I would love to. So I did publish a book in 2017 about the history of that massacre that happened in my hometown in St. Bernard Parish. And what I was noticing as I was doing research is that a lot of the names in the book, the surnames, are the last names of students that I currently teach, victims and perpetrators alike.

And some of them are in the same classrooms together. So it gives a lot of students perspective about what happened here and just how hard it was to be a person of color in St. Bernard Parish back then and definitely today. So I think with those connections that we build, we can talk about the history here in ways that could help shape our future.

A wall of books in Chris Dier's classroom.

Noelle Morris: We were talking about that massacre being based on people wanting to vote and vote for a certain ticket. When you think about your research and your writing of that book, and now it's 2020, what do you see from students' perspective now, how they are talking about or embracing their future as participating in civic duty.

Chris Dier: Learning about the past and what people gave up to be able to vote, say in 1868, the passionate determination that people are exercising in the face of grave danger and terrorism to exercise their right to vote. I think that that kind of history is inspiring to many students, but I also think that this generation tends to be more active in terms of what they want to accomplish and the things that they want to do.

The more I teach, the more I'm seeing it—a more engaged student population that wants to enact change, and that's not going to accept the status quo as is, but that they're all going to push forward and really try to mold cultural and political identity that matches them. And I think it's really important, especially in Louisiana, there's a lot of issues here from high incarceration rates to a vanishing coastline due to climate change that I think our students recognize and want to change for the better. So I'm hopeful that the students that are coming up are going to be the students that are going to be the agents of change that we need, because the issues are already impacting them. It's not like they're going to go off into the future and fight. Well, these issues are already real right now, even if they can't vote. So to see them understanding it and reading that material and getting a grasp on things that are larger than them. That's powerful to see as a teacher.

Colorful art decorates the walls of Chalmette High School.

Noelle Morris: It's interesting because we talked about Katrina, we talked about the impact the BP oil had and they were babies?

It's always been in their lives, so they had to catch up to the history and the understanding.

Chris Dier: They were born in that history. This is their life and they are coping with trauma and they are a part of history. And it's so normalized to them, but it's not the way a lot of kids are raised or brought up.

Noelle Morris: And the student that we talked about too, she was giving me suggestions of where to eat, right? She's like, Oh, you gotta go here. It’s great soul food. And I was like, okay, where? And she's like, well, I know where it is, but I don't know the city that well because I live here. I don't go into the city that much.

When I was listening, though, she's not inhibited. She is social. So she pulled out her phone. She was like, well, I know it's good food. I've been there. Let me figure out how to tell you how to get there.

Chris Dier: Right? A lot of them have family in New Orleans and they go there a lot, and some of them are actually just from New Orleans and came out to these working class suburbs, but a lot of them have very close connections to the city.

Like even myself, I feel like I have a lot of family in New Orleans and there's a lot of differences between here and in New Orleans, no doubt about it, culturally and demographic wise. But it's not unheard of for so many students to go into the city.

Noelle Morris: And they're global. So when we think about, their. . . not just civic duty there, their worldview.

So they do see what's impacting their community and what they don't want to see happen within their state, but they're also very much more aware than I know I was in 1987 and even probably you, younger.

Chris Dier: Oh, they’re much more aware than I was in high school. Easily, easily, much more aware and have a better idea of so many things from food to global politics. I mean, even today, just talking about King Cakes and which ones they like. And when I was growing up, everyone in Chalmette loved Randazzo's, the local bakery. But now the kids talk about Dong Phuong and New Orleans East, and it's a Vietnamese bakery and that's where they take a trip to go get King Cakes more.

And it's interesting to just see their cultural awareness. And those horizons that are so much more broaden than I was, and that's how they are politically and civically.

A New Orleans classic: the King Cake.

Noelle Morris: I'm glad that we have this generation to think and expose and ask questions and not be, not be fearful. Thank goodness they have a teacher like you guiding the way.

I mean, you're not telling them what they need to do. You're guiding, you're giving them curiosity, you're teaching them the right to ask their questions and find their answers. It's just a gift that keeps on giving. So like your mother helping you get into this profession, I know that you are impacting and will have future teachers that you're teaching today.

Chris Dier: Thank you so much. I thank you for coming all the way out to Chalmette High. These things don't happen often. So that's probably why our students were so excited to see people coming in. So thank you for coming in here and, and you know. Opening yourself to the community. It's much appreciated.

Noelle Morris: Thanks everyone for joining us today. I hope that y'all enjoyed this episode as much as I did. If you would like to be a guest on the Learning Moments and Teachers in America podcast, please email us at shaped@hmhco.com. We're always looking for new teachers, new stories, and especially want to hear what's happening in your world today.

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You can find Teachers in America on the HMH YouTube channel and read more on the Shaped blog by visiting hmhco.com/shaped. You'll find the transcripts and key takeaways there. You'll also find links in the show notes. At this time, HMH is supporting educators and parents with free learning resources. You can visit hmhco.com/learningsupport for more information. Learning Moments is produced by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, The Learning Company. So until next time, bye y'all.