Learning Moments: Teachers in America Podcast Season 2

Season two of HMH Learning Moments: Teachers in America continues to feature the incredible stories of real teachers—and we are so honored to share their stories with you, our listeners. Hear firsthand from the people who are shaping young lives in classrooms around the country every day.

Listen below to each episode and find links to full transcripts of the conversations and behind-the-scenes photos. Subscribe now to be the first to hear each teacher's unique story.

You can follow HMH Learning Moments: Teachers in America wherever you listen to podcasts. Subscribe on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcher, or iHeartRadioPlease consider rating, reviewing, and sharing Learning Moments with your network. We value our listeners' support and feedback. Email us at Shaped@hmhco.com.

LaQuisha Hall: High School ELA Teacher in Baltimore, MD

LaQuisha Hall (right) with Noelle Morris (left), host of Teachers in America.

Air date: January 21, 2020
Season 2, Episode 1 (S2E01)

More information available here, including photos and a transcript.

This is part one of a three-part arc featuring teachers who have found their home across the state of Maryland. We start in the state's capital, Baltimore. Our guest is LaQuisha Hall, a 17-year teaching veteran who currently teaches English language arts (ELA) at Carver Vocational-Technical High School in Baltimore City Public Schools. In 2018, she was the Teacher of the Year for Baltimore. She is also the founder of the girls’ mentoring program Queendom T.E.A., the Baltimore branch of Project LIT, and the SheRose Awards which honors the unsung “sheroses” of sexual assault and domestic violence. LaQuisha is an outspoken survivor of childhood sexual abuse and is now passionate about supporting young women who are survivors and preventing further abuse from happening. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram @MrsHallScholars.

Julia Allan: Kindergarten Teacher in Ellicott City, MD

Air date: February 11, 2020
Season 2, Episode 2 (S2E02)

More information available here, including photos and a transcript.

Part two in our three-part arc featuring Maryland teachers. After first visiting Baltimore, we now travel to a suburb of the capital, Ellicott City. But while LaQuisha grew up in North Carolina and found a home in Baltimore through teaching, Julia Allan always knew that Howard County was her home. After changing careers at age 30, now Julia teaches Kindergarten (in the same classroom where she was a kindergartener) at Northfield Elementary School, part of the Howard County Public School System.

Debra Reynolds: 7th Grade World History Teacher in Salisbury, MD

Air date: March 10, 2020
Season 2, Episode 3 (S2E03)

More information available here, including photos and a transcript.

This is the third and last episode in our arc covering Maryland teachers. After visiting LaQuisha in Baltimore and Julia in the nearby suburbs, what is life like for a teacher two hours away on peninsula of Maryland's Eastern Shore? Ms. Debra Reynolds is in her 3rd year teaching World History at Wicomico Middle School, part of Wicomico County Public Schools—and much like Julia knew, Debra has always known that her hometown is where she wanted to stay.

Meet Your Host: Noelle Morris

Air date: March 24, 2020 Season 2, Episode 3.5 (S2E03.5)
More information available here.

Meet your season two host, Noelle Morris, a former teacher and HMH's Director of Content and Programming, in this Q&A.


Chris Dier: High School Teacher in Chalmette, LA

Air date: May 4, 2020
Season 2, Episode 4 (S2E04)

More information available here, including photos and a transcript.

On this episode we picked up a King Cake and headed over to Chalmette High School in St. Bernard's Parish, just outside of New Orleans, LA. There we met up with World History and AP Human Geography teacher, Chris Dier. After being uprooted by Hurricane Katrina in his senior year of high school, Chris returned to teach in the same classroom where his mother taught. He is author of the book The 1868 St. Bernard Parish Massacre, and is the 2020 Louisiana Teacher of the Year.

Homeschooling During COVID-19 Feat. Debra Liese

Air date: May 26, 2020
Season 2, Episode 5 (S2E05)

More information available here, including photos and a transcript.

On our very first Teachers in America minisode, we sat down with mother and former educator Debra Liese to discuss how COVID-19 has changed the way our children learn, and how parents are coping in the midst of school closures.

Teaching Through Historic Moments Feat. Bianca Cole

Air date: June 16, 2020
Season 2, Episode 6 (S2E06)

More information available here, including photos and a transcript.

In this minisode, we connected with middle school teacher Bianca Cole to find out what it's like to teach not only her class, but her son, during these times of major change in America—from the effects of COVID-19 on Seattle to the Black Lives Matter protests that have taken place across the country.

Sarah Lerner: High School Teacher in Parkland, FL

Air date: June 23, 2020
Season 2, Episode 7 (S2E07)

More information available here, including photos and a transcript.

Sarah Lerner is an advisor for the yearbook and an English and journalism teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Sarah is passionate about mental health and advocating for gun reform. She was a finalist for the Florida Scholastic Press Association teacher of the year, and a recipient of both the CSPA 2019 Gold Key Award and CSPA 2020 Special Distinction Adviser Award. She also oversaw the publication of the student written anthology Parkland Speaks: Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Share Their Stories.


Kelly Harper: 3rd grade Teacher in Atlanta, GA

Air date: July 28, 2020
Season 2, Episode 8 (S2E08)

More information available here, including photos and a transcript.

Our guest for this episode is Kelly Harper, a third-grade teacher at Mary Bethune Elementary in Atlanta, Georgia and winner of the 2019 District of Columbia Teacher of the Year Award. When Kelly was earning her Bachelor of Arts from Spelman College, her goal was to become a prosecutor and work towards dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. By the time she graduated, she knew that the best way to do that was as a teacher, where she might make a lasting difference in students' lives, and champion their voices.


Stay tuned for future episodes!

More details and air dates for 2020 will be announced soon! If you or a teacher you know would like to be featured in a future episode of Teachers in America, email us at Shaped@hmhco.com.