Episode 212: Assume The Best: Tips From A Veteran-Turned-Teacher
Happy Veterans Day! How does teacher military experience feed classroom community? Find out in our conversation with Josh Adee of Columbia County Alternative School.
Happy Veterans Day! How does teacher military experience feed classroom community? Find out in our conversation with Josh Adee of Columbia County Alternative School.
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Ashley Mengwasser: Ahoy there. Welcome back to Classroom Conversations, the platform for Georgia's teachers. I'm your host, Ashley Mengwasser. I can't believe they let me steer this ship. Today's podcast is brought to you by the Georgia Department of Education and produced in partnership with Georgia Public Broadcasting. I want you to think of this studio as a classroom within a submarine. That's really the best way to understand emerging of the professional worlds of today's teacher guest. We're looking at a particular career transition case study. Veterans who become teachers. We descended to the whole with Josh Adee, a history teacher at Columbia County Alternative School, which is in Grovetown. Josh has taught middle and high school students for fewer than three years since retiring with 20 years and one month of service to the Navy. When he was stationed in Hawaii, Josh's role was information warfare and submarines. Josh retired at Fort Gordon in Augusta. Josh, I salute you man. How are you?
Josh Adee: I'm doing great, Ashley.
Ashley Mengwasser: Are you excited to be here?
Josh Adee: I am.
Ashley Mengwasser: Have you ever done a podcast before?
Josh Adee: No, I have not.
Ashley Mengwasser: So, this is a first for a man who spent a lot of time underwater.
Josh Adee: It is.
Ashley Mengwasser: I'm glad. You told me that when leaving the service you wanted to continue serving, which I love very much. Without having to use a weapon though, I like that. Tell me about your mental shift from the Navy to civilian educator.
Josh Adee: So, going from the military, I was in charge of adults. And, one things I do love mentally with dealing with children is now when they behave like children, it's because they are children instead of growing adults-
Ashley Mengwasser: Their adults behaving like children.
Josh Adee: ... who like to behave like children, and I've got to lead them. But, there's a huge mental shift in just attitude and behavior and some of the language. That's a massive shift about the language I can use around sailors versus children.
Ashley Mengwasser: Oh yeah, exactly right. I can imagine that. What interested you about teaching though? How did you go from being underwater to, "I want to be on land now working in classrooms with kids."
Josh Adee: So, I met my wife in Hawaii, and she was teaching. And that was my first exposure to it besides my own time in school and I'm like, I saw how much she loved it. I tried to volunteer and help with her school because we didn't have any children our own yet. And it was a lot of fun. And then my next tour, I was an instructor and it was my absolute favorite tour when I was in the Navy.
Ashley Mengwasser: Really? Was instructing? Oh that makes sense. What's your wife's name?
Josh Adee: Her name is Monica.
Ashley Mengwasser: Monica. So Monica walked the walk and talked the talk and that inspired you. And so practically when you decided you were going to take this path, you achieved the actual occupational shift by getting your MAT at Augusta University, is that right?
Josh Adee: That's right Ashley.
Ashley Mengwasser: Tell me about that program at Augusta University.
Josh Adee: So, at Augusta University, the Master of Arts and teaching program is meant for somebody who you didn't just graduate from school, go to college, and then decide, "Okay, I want to go teach, I get a degree in education and then you'll become a teacher." It's for somebody who has a bachelor's in something else and is like, "You know what? I want to transition and I want to be a teacher."
Ashley Mengwasser: Like you did.
Josh Adee: And I started doing that during my last tour in the Navy and the Augusta University and the Navy, both worked with me a lot to make sure that I could actually achieve my goal. Especially I used a program called Skill Bridge when I student taught right before I retired. So that way, I was able to get everything done right before I retired. And it was amazing getting to go to all these classes and I took some of what I learned from the education courses to the Navy with me, such as seeing sailors just goofing off acting like sailors and just redirecting them instead of just yelling at them because that's what the natural Navy thing would be like. Just ask them, "Hey what are y'all working on?" And then redirecting what they should be working on. It was amazing how that transferred.
Ashley Mengwasser: Exactly. Skills like that, I'm sure really come to bare into your classroom. We'll get more into that before we actually explore you in the classroom. I always love to highlight for our audience the teacher himself, because teachers are multifaceted, interesting individuals in addition to being truth bearers. So tell us about you, your family, your personal life. How about some fun facts Josh?
Josh Adee: All right. So, I'm originally from Amarillo, Texas. Because of the Navy is how I ended up in Georgia. I got to travel pretty much all over the world. I've been married to my wife a bit over 18 years now. We have two children. Our oldest is Sarah and she's 13 and our youngest is Maggie or Margaret because she goes back and forth what she wants to be called.
Ashley Mengwasser: Respect.
Josh Adee: And she's seven and they are exactly six and a half years apart in age. So, my mom spoils them by celebrating their half birthday.
Ashley Mengwasser: Oh, I love a half birthday.
Josh Adee: And we've also got a border Collie mix named Pepper.
Ashley Mengwasser: Fur Babies.
Josh Adee: Yes, fur babies. And she's about 13. She's barely younger than our oldest daughter. And then we got three cats. One named Marshmallow, he's almost two now. And the vet said he's very fluffy but it's fitting for his name of marshmallow.
Ashley Mengwasser: Okay, perfect.
Josh Adee: And then we got another one named Mal who's named after Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a Firefly and he lives up to the name Mal. He definitely does. And our newest edition is a little black kitten named Sherry, just from Black Panther, which is my wife and daughter named her and she's the one who's always... You'd think of motor was going on as loud as this little kitten can purr.
Ashley Mengwasser: Oh my gosh. You guys are into some comics. I can already tell with the naming of the animals. Are you MCU or DC?
Josh Adee: I prefer MCU. I like the DC movies but the MCU just has more of a connection. Plus now with Disney+ they got all the series and everything that goes with it.
Ashley Mengwasser: Who's your favorite superhero?
Josh Adee: Captain America.
Ashley Mengwasser: Oh, you didn't even hesitate. I think he's my favorite in the MCU. But DC, my favorite overall is Batman.
Josh Adee: Batman.
Ashley Mengwasser: And the latest film. Did you see it yet?
Josh Adee: Yes.
Ashley Mengwasser: We don't want to spoil it for anybody, but that is homework watching at this point. People need to see that immediately. It's fascinating. What'd you think of it?
Josh Adee: I loved that movie. We went to see it. I think it was right on my birthday. It was my birthday present, getting to go see that movie in theaters and was just like, "It was amazing."
Ashley Mengwasser: So dark and gritty.
Josh Adee: I know.
Ashley Mengwasser: Yeah.
Josh Adee: And I'd only known him before from because my wife made me watch Twilight with her and Cedric Diggory from Harry Potter because my wife also loves Harry Potter. And I'm like, "How is this kid going to be Bruce Wayne and Batman?" And I was just completely blown away.
Ashley Mengwasser: Boy, wasn't he? I bet you've caught yourself in some hairy situations. Not to say your Batman-esque, although you could be Josh. But just in the Navy in your time underwater, did you ever get in some pickles down there? Can you think of one time in particular that was scary?
Josh Adee: Oh, I don't know if this really be called scary. But I know that qualifying submarines, which in the Navy we have these warfare designators. I had information warfare, surface warfare and one for submarines. It's this very long process to qualify because you have to learn everything about the submarine. The engines, how we make water.
Ashley Mengwasser: It's a mechanical beast.
Josh Adee: It is. And to finish it, you have to do an oral bore where they're basically just drilling you constantly and part of it they're like, "Oh go to the nearest OBA and don it and come back." Which is an auction breathing apparatus that we have to seal up on our faces. And then there's these ports around the submarine with air and you got to go...
Ashley Mengwasser: Find a port.
Josh Adee: Find the port and... Well, you have to hold your breath when it's not in there. And one of the questions what I'm wearing this thing is also, "Oh yeah. How does my pee get turned into our drinking water?" So to explain that about how our whole reverse osmosis system works.
Ashley Mengwasser: With no oxygen or not enough oxygen.
Josh Adee: Oh, well they'd also make their own oxygen. They use electrolysis.
Ashley Mengwasser: I gotcha. Okay. How long were you holding your breath in this exercise?
Josh Adee: I didn't really count because you were trying to move as fast as you can to do in the next one. Because when it's that way, I was plugged in so I had air.
Ashley Mengwasser: You had air. Oh, I'm happy to hear it. We need all your brain cells in your current profession.
Josh Adee: Yes.
Ashley Mengwasser: So, thank you so much. And I know as outsiders a lot of us can have sort of erroneous ideas about military service. You're an insider though. What myths do you want it debunk right now?
Josh Adee: The biggest myth I wanted to debunk is that the military is bootcamp and everybody's saying "Sir, yes sir" all the time and super clean cut and you get in trouble, have to do pushups. For the most part, that's what basic training or initial training can be like. But, I loved my time in the military or in the Navy. I mean I got to visit so many places and so many different ports. The Navy or any service is not like boot camp or what you see on TV. The most realistic submarine movie is actually Down Periscope.
Ashley Mengwasser: Is it really?
Josh Adee: It is the way we act. Not for how they'd really be the naval stuff happening, but the way sailors act and mess around and play around. Down Periscope.
Ashley Mengwasser: That was accurate.
Josh Adee: It's the most accurate.
Ashley Mengwasser: When did that movie come out? I need to go watch that again.
Josh Adee: Oh back in... I don't remember. It was in the 90s, cause it came out before I joined. Because there's Hunt for Red October is very accurate in how it displays some of the stuff. But just the way sailors actually behave, hopefully nobody comes to get me after say it all this, letting out of the back because we do fun things like there's crossing the line ceremonies, when we cross the equator and that's to become go from being a war to being a shellback and you go through this whole long process. I can't do too many details, it just involves a lot of pushups.
Ashley Mengwasser: Oh dear. That sounds awful.
Josh Adee: And there's another one when we crossed when I was on submarines, we got to go over the Arctic circle and that's come on blue nose and it's very similar, but it involves ice.
Ashley Mengwasser: Oh. Ice, ice baby. Well, you can consider this next question reconnaissance for our listeners. But help us understand your school's mission and culture at Columbia County Alternative School.
Josh Adee: So, our mission is to help the students. It is an alternative school. So the students there, they've made a mistake. They've made a mistake and it's just like when I was in the Navy, we did not want a zero defect Navy. And our job is to help these students do the best they can, so that way they cannot get behind in their academics and they can keep going and just move on with life as if that never happened.
Ashley Mengwasser: What are some of the skills from the military then that you use in your classroom?
Josh Adee: A lot of the skills I use in the classroom, I try to be as honest as I possibly can with the students. I use a lot of my background experience, just places I've visited, because since I do teach social studies and history, I have actually seen some of these places or I've been to a Hindu temple in Bali or the Buddha of Kamakura.
Ashley Mengwasser: Fascinating.
Josh Adee: And one thing that really helps in the classroom and in the school in general is, in the military, we always have these things called collateral duties, which because you have your main job and then other jobs you have to do and teachers, we have to wear so many different hats. Because, one time you're a teacher and the next thing you know okay you're not to be a coach or a mentor. It really helps a lot of us to just go back and forth.
Ashley Mengwasser: Exactly.
Josh Adee: And it also really helps because I've seen the way people behave in an office when I've been on shore duty. I've seen way adults behave in a classroom where it was instructor duty and I've seen the way adults behave when they're in essentially a tin can under the water or on a surface ship. And I know how adults behave in the real world and if anybody's ever seen say the office, there's a reason, there's a comedy about how people goof off and play in the office. And it's the expectation of knowing that we can't imagine that children have to just be perfect little robots doing exactly what they're told.
Ashley Mengwasser: Good point. That's not realistic. They're going to make mistakes. So, is your point then that you talk to them about mistakes being a normal factual part of life and...
Josh Adee: Yes. And that we're all human, we all make mistakes and it's okay to make mistakes and move on and it's part of that just growth mindset. You just have to... Even whether it's a behavior thing, you're just not doing what they're supposed to right now. It's easy, just move on and just pretend it didn't happen.
Ashley Mengwasser: So, you're pretty transparent with them about real world stuff and you bring that to bear in your classroom. Tell me about the sign that's posted on your wall.
Josh Adee: So, I've got a couple. My favorite one that I got off Etsy, it looks like a road warning sign. It says, "Warning no whining zone."
Ashley Mengwasser: No whining zone.
Josh Adee: And I point to that whenever they start complaining about something. I've tried to use that sign to help reinforce the positive classroom climate, which you'd think a no whining zone sign. You're like, "Well that doesn't sound positive." But it's the idea. I've built relationships with them and they can trust me. I take their feedback, I listen to them and I do explain the stuff, the things that I have control over. So that way, it's like if it's something inside my own classroom and it's like can we do something in a certain way? I take their feedback and I help them. But when it's something, those are the rules we have to do it. I've built that relationship and that trust and one way I've done that is just by, I do try to listen to their feedback and take what they say. But there are times we just have to just accept what the rules are and just go with it.
Ashley Mengwasser: And that is intended to protect everybody and keep the momentum flowing.
Josh Adee: And that we can just keep going and not have the lesson pause having to talk about why because we have to do what we have to do. I had to do it in the military. I expect them to do, but I've built trust in them and they've built some trust in me and the fact that I have their best interests at heart and that the idea is that to get everybody learning and to not disrupt anybody else's learning. Because, the most important thing in that classroom is that we're all learning and doing our best.
Ashley Mengwasser: Because duty calls.
Josh Adee: Yes. These are the rules. We have to follow the rules.
Ashley Mengwasser: Exactly.
Josh Adee: We don't have to understand them, you just got to do them.
Ashley Mengwasser: As direct as that feels, I'm sure you save some time not going back and forth on the why and the how, so you can kind of propel your instruction forward. Makes sense to me Josh. In what ways did you build community in the military and then how do you think you do that in the classroom now?
Josh Adee: So, in the military, the world I came from, the information war for community is really small. There's only a few places we primarily go and I do still have so many friends on Facebook that I'll still try to talk to and see when I can. And the thing with a lot of what my job was, we always had to like, I'm an expert at what my thing is, but somebody else knows they're an expert in their field. So, we have to be able to reach out and we have to collaborate and build that community and know that, "Okay. If I need information on X..." It's hard to talk about my old job. "Then I have to go ask petty officer or sergeant so-and-so or Mr. So-and-so." And the same thing inside the submarine because, when learning about qualifying down there is pretty much human beings and an oxygen atmosphere. We're not meant to be 100s of feet below the water, so the oceans doing everything it can to kill us. So we have to be a community and we're together. And I try to bring that to teaching. Some of our community is built up from when I was at Augusta University, I actually just ran into somebody I went to class there with. At the gym he was like, "Oh I also teach world history and government." And he shared all his stuff with me so we can collaborate that way, which makes my job so much easier. And then, I'll share information with him and then I share stuff with my fellow teachers. I found out that we were building a community and collaborating between myself and my ELA teacher across the hall without even knowing about it, because she was telling me how excited the kids were though they would never admit it to me, because they were talking learning about George Winthrop and the city on a hill. I'm like, "Well we had just learned about that because we had just covered the puritans." So, we've got community being built all the time and the biggest part of that is finding out who the experts are and then asking them for help.
Ashley Mengwasser: Yes. So, how are schools different from submarines?
Josh Adee: Well, there's the sun. That's a huge difference.
Ashley Mengwasser: Minor detail.
Josh Adee: Just a minor detail.
Ashley Mengwasser: Vitamin D.
Josh Adee: One of the biggest things is, on a submarine, it wasn't always but sometimes stuff done it was life and death. And at school, there are some terrible times that could potentially be, but for the most part it's never life and death. If a student makes a mistake, it's something we can move on from. If somebody doesn't do well on one of my exams or an assessment, I can just go back and remediate them. But if somebody on a submarine they pull the wrong valve, it could cause a huge problem for everybody. So, it's a lot less stress. It's way less stressful for a certain kind of stress dealing with students. And being at school also is, this may sound crazy, but it's a lot more surprising. Because it is challenging. In a submarine, you develop a routine which it almost, it feels like ground hog day with what we're doing. Whereas, and that was on lots of other appointments I've been on, and it would be exciting points. But a lot of it's like, you just get up, you eat, you do your work, you eat again, you work out, you shower, you go to your rec and it starts over and every day is like the movie Groundhog day. Whereas with education and being in a school every single day, it's like a new challenge and it's like I think that I have a lesson or strategy down pat and then it's like a curve ball gets thrown at me and I got to adjust and adapt. And that's one of the things I actually love about teaching.
Ashley Mengwasser: Well, in a classroom it sounds like surprises and aha moments are good things. Whereas when you're in the ocean, starting in a 10, like you said, not always good surprises down there.
Josh Adee: Not always.
Ashley Mengwasser: Not always. I'm imagining a wave of veterans entering classrooms in the future. In your opinion, Josh, what makes retired military personnel gold for the teaching profession?
Josh Adee: Well, retired especially for the profession because, it does really help that we have all this experience. And generally, not always but generally, dealing with junior sailors or junior enlisted members or even junior officers depending on somebody's pay grade or rank when they retire, they act and behave very similar to high schoolers or even sometimes middle schoolers. So it does, and the leadership and mentorship that I got to do with junior sailors and helping them grow and seeing them flourish and seeing them get promoted or get the program they want or the recognition for a job well done, awards, some I see on Facebook and they're going up so high in the ranks and they're doing amazing, wonderful things. But being in the classroom you could see them do well on this test and the next test and then next thing you know they're graduating and they're coming up and thanking you.
So, that aspect and the fact that they've built all this time because leadership in the military is mentoring and leading people. And adults and children are different but there's a lot of similarities there and that experience I fall back on all the time.
Ashley Mengwasser: Yes. And you told me when we first spoke and we're going to bring you on the podcast that you have a couple big things that stand out to you. And number one is, you learned from the military the power of the redirect, which you already kind of hinted at before and you can use that in your classroom. And that makes military personnel good with kids, because you can just get things back on track. And then you mentioned this statement, we don't have a zero defect navy, therefore...
Josh Adee: Therefore, it's the same thing with children. They make mistakes. Whether it was a mistake bad enough for them to get or big enough for them to get sent to an alternative school or they made a mistake in assessments. And I've seen some students, they don't get an A, you just have to be able to understand that you don't have to be perfect. And the idea is to grow. Because, if I give somebody a project and I have a rubric and they got the full points on everything and it's completely perfect, there's no room for growth. That tells me that I need to do more to challenge them. It also can mean something as for at schoolwork, but can also mean for just behavior or anything else in their life of people make mistakes and we're all human. They make mistakes and I sometimes make mistakes and you just have to accept them and move on.
Ashley Mengwasser: It's like a hyper-realism that is very freeing. I could see that being really beneficial in the classroom. I know that one program in particular, Troops to Teachers makes it possible by helping service members and veterans become certified and employed as K-12 school teachers. How would you describe what the offerings are through Troops to Teachers?
Josh Adee: So, Troops to Teachers recently came back. It was sunned down for a little bit, which made me incredibly sad, because it's an amazing program. Because there's a lot of push for the service members, especially in my field, to just stay with the fields we were working.
Ashley Mengwasser: Have been in. Right.
Josh Adee: But not everybody wants to do that.
Ashley Mengwasser: True.
Josh Adee: I joined the Navy,
Ashley Mengwasser: You were inspired by Monica and here you are.
Josh Adee: And I joined initially because I didn't know what I wanted to do. And a lot of people in the military are like that. But the thing is troops to teachers and give you an idea of, "Okay. If you thought you want to do this, it can guide you and direct you into, what does it take in the state you want to teach in? And whether it's like which assessments. For in Georgia, we have the GACE ones you have to take or what type of academic you want to go back to school like I did, or other ways you can get certified. One of the biggest help they gave me was career counseling and helping with my resume. Because when we were separate from the military, they give you a lot of training and resumes because we've been in the military all this time. I had never really written a resume before.
Ashley Mengwasser: Exactly.
Josh Adee: But education resumes, and resumes meant for the business world or for the government are so different. And pretty much nobody else helped me, but Troops to Teachers really helped me with that and that's what helped me land my first and current teaching jobs, just when you just go out and look up for a brand new teacher resume online, it's like, "Okay, you went to school and then you had your student teaching and then here, but..."
Ashley Mengwasser: It's very linear. Yeah.
Josh Adee: And there's like what about all the other stuff I've done? All the other experience I have?
Ashley Mengwasser: Well just so you know, resume building and resume writing is a difficult skill for all adults. So, it isn't just you Josh. How do you approach discipline in the classroom? Just because I'm curious, I don't see you as the drill sergeant type. You're not. What happens when a student's out of line in there?
Josh Adee: So, I try to redirect and I also, because I try to do, it's tiers of strategies of what I want to do. And I try...
Ashley Mengwasser: That's so Navy of you.
Josh Adee: I know. So I try redirection and I remember from my management class presence. So I always try to, if I see a student doing something that they're not supposed to be doing and it should just be their board or they could be, and well part of it too is to assume the best. Not the worst, which is the opposite of what it was in the military. I always try to assume the worst and hope for the best, just because you got to be ready. But to assume the best and that, "Okay. If they're talking, they could be, I have found them or I was about to say something, they really were just helping each other with a problem or they had a question and then one student was helping another and I'm like, "That's great." And the only thing might be, "Hey, just make sure y'all keep it down."
Ashley Mengwasser: So, you're modulating their volume. You're not saying no side conversation. No, because that was actually beneficial.
Josh Adee: Yes. Or it could be I'm just standing behind and I catch them, somewhere they're not supposed to be. And I'm like, "What are you doing right now?" And redirect them and they're like, "Okay." And then they point out what they're really doing and then just get them back on track. Another tool I like to use, because you've always got to pull them out if it's anything you're going to really... You don't want to potentially cause any conflict in front of the other students, because then you're by yourself. So, I try to pull them out and something I'll try to do, just ask them what's going on. Because, they could be just having a bad day, there could be something else going on at home and just talk to them and just say, "Hey. I don't want..." And also start off with, "You are not in trouble and say you are not in trouble, I just want to talk to you." Because...
Ashley Mengwasser: That's your disclaimer.
Josh Adee: Second you pull a kid out, they assume they're in trouble.
Ashley Mengwasser: Body language changes.
Josh Adee: They start acting defensive and it's like, "Man, you're tripping or you’re doing too much." So, I try to take all that back, nip it in the bud, "No you're not in trouble", just talk to them and say, "Hey, I want you to do this for me please." And then I also pull some other students out, which I have to make sure that I have something positive to say to them, because I don't want to give it away that they're not all going to be that. Just say that, "Okay, I'm just pulling you out to stand here." But to pull them out and just give them some feedback or just check on them and see how they're doing too. And that way, it doesn't necessarily... They don't know why they're being pulled out even though if somebody was doing something they weren't supposed to, they kind of know. But I try to make sure that throws them off so that way they're like, "Oh, I'm getting in trouble and he wants to see me. And that kind of separates them.
And it also can sometimes move them away from somebody who is going there. I know I have had to raise my voice in the past, I don't like doing it.
Ashley Mengwasser: I don't believe it Josh.
Josh Adee: I do not doing it one bit, but I do everything on my power not to.
Ashley Mengwasser: To prevent that from happening. And apart from discipline, what are some quick tips you want to offer right now for all teachers currently in the classroom?
Josh Adee: One of the biggest things, and these might be tips that everybody already knows, but one of the tips I always do every time we do an activity, especially if it's the first time, is I always asked for feedback immediately from students. When we did escape rooms or I do a stations activity or even it's just notes or it's like, "Okay. Instead of doing traditional notes, what I'm going to do is I'm going to give notes and if you don't want to listen to me and write everything down, PowerPoints here on their computer, you can do it yourself. And then I ask them afterwards, "Did you guys like this?" And some students will be like, "Whatever. They don't like anything you're going to do." You could do. Unless it's like here's an Xbox to play, they won't be happy. But, I'll get that good feedback of like, "Okay. Well, we loved playing this game or oh I do want to move around or yeah, this was too much for us, we didn't really like the timer, we didn't like this." And getting that feedback and reflecting on it.
Ashley Mengwasser: That's good feedback.
Josh Adee: There's that. And the other part, so I mentioned earlier about how we're all human is when you make a mistake, just own up to it. Even if causes everybody to laugh, just let them go and just then pull them back and just let them see that you're also human. Because it's not just they're human, but I'm human. Whether it's I misspell something on the board just for a project, I made my rubric inside Google sheets and it was really ironic that it was the section on spelling and grammar. I had misspelled the word grammar and when you pull it back into Google Docs, that's when it tells you that, "Hey, that word's misspelled. And I pulled up on screen and I'm like, "Yeah, I'll fix that."
Ashley Mengwasser: I'll fix that later.
Josh Adee: Just ignore that, overlook it. Just acknowledge your mistakes. And another one is, and this is kind of from the military too or just in general. I don't have to be an expert in everything. There's other teachers and there's other people who know whether it's like, "Okay, I'm having issues with a student." Ask other teachers who may have a relationship built with them already and they may trust them more. And they maybe like, "Hey, that's just that kid. Or, "Okay, I'll talk to that student for you." Or, "Hey, I want to try this activity or whatever, this assessment or just bounce ideas off of others, like other teachers who are more experienced. And also you might find out, you're inadvertently collaborating and then you can build on it when you do that.
Ashley Mengwasser: Back to community.
Josh Adee: Which is awesome.
Ashley Mengwasser: That is awesome.
Josh Adee: And another good tip is, when you're doing that, if somebody offers you advice, even if you don't want to take it, just-
Ashley Mengwasser: Receive it.
Josh Adee: ... receive it and it may or may not work for you. And if it doesn't work for you, that's fine. But I know there's some teachers that are like whenever they get advice, they're like, "Oh I don't want to do that. Oh I don't want to do that. Oh I'm not going to do that." And then eventually that causes issues. But, basically it's like seek out. Because those are our official mentors. But in the military we had an official mentor too, but everybody, no matter what rank they were, had a ton of mentors and they're always going them for advice and for help pretty much.
Ashley Mengwasser: So, use your mentors and they're all around you in multiple shapes and sizes. I love that. You know what song I'm going to listen to on the way home? All Your Only Human Talk. There's a song about being human. I think it's called I'm Only Human and I believe When I Fall Down, Do you know the song I'm talking about? Maybe it's actually kind of a sad song, but I'll text it to you later Josh and you can listen to on the way home. It feels like It's right up your alley. Well, thank you for being here today. Bon voyage to you, Josh, I guess. You're doing wonderful work and making waves in classrooms and we appreciate it.
Josh Adee: Thank you, Ashley,
Ashley Mengwasser: Come back sometime?
Josh Adee: Definitely.
Ashley Mengwasser: Maybe bring some cool submarine gadgetry that we can play with?
Josh Adee: I'll see what I can do.
Ashley Mengwasser: You'd have to steal it, government property. I don't want you to get trouble.
Josh Adee: Do they frown on that? They frown on that quite a bit.
Ashley Mengwasser: You're doing so well in the classroom. Thanks, Josh from sea farer to way farer, serving Georgia's students, that's Josh Adee. Josh, thank you for the lovely periscope view of your profession back on land. The Navy sometimes uses the slogan forged by the sea. It's interesting to think about Georgia's K through 12 students as individuals forged by their teachers. Further duty upon the notion that you are doing the memorable work. Whatever bubbles up in your classroom today, just think of Josh and his underlying notion of service. You're a great teacher. Just a couple of episodes left in season two of classroom conversations, so be sure to come back for more next week. I'm Ashley Mengwasser. Goodbye for now. Funding for classroom conversations is made possible through the school climate transformation grant.