TeachLab with Justin Reich

Subtraction in Action: Wrap Up

Episode Summary

Our host Justin Reich wraps up our series on Subtraction in Action with his reflections, along with highlights from conversations about the act of subtraction with education thought leaders from around the country. “We're just not that good as human beings at thinking about subtractive solutions. We've thought about stuff that we could add, but have we really taken the time to think about things that we could subtract?”

Episode Notes

Our host Justin Reich wraps up our series on Subtraction in Action with his reflections, along with highlights from conversations about the act of subtraction with education thought leaders from around the country. 

“We're just not that good as human beings at thinking about subtractive solutions. We've thought about stuff that we could add, but have we really taken the time to think about things that we could subtract?”


We hear highlights from conversations with:


Resources and Links

Watch our film We Have to Do Something Different

Explore our Covid 19 Reports and Resources

Get your copy of Justin Reich’s book Failure to Disrupt: Why Technology Alone Can't Transform Education

Check out Jal Mehta’s Book In Search of Deeper Learning: The Quest to Remake the American High School

Learn more about the untapped potential of subtraction in Leidy Klotz’s book Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less





Produced by Aimee Corrigan and Garrett Beazley 

Recorded and Mixed by Garrett Beazley


Follow TeachLab on Twitter and YouTube

Follow our host  Justin Reich on Twitter

Episode Transcription

Justin Reich:                 From the MIT Studios of the Teaching Systems Lab, this is TeachLab, a podcast about the art and craft of teaching. I'm Justin Reich. This is the final episode of our Subtraction in Action series. If you haven't listened to our earlier episodes, be sure to go back and check them out. Looking back over all of our Subtraction in Action conversations, I think that my main reflection is that there are two promising pathways for bringing a subtractive lens to making school simpler so we can do the most important work together. One approach is to start with examples of subtraction from other places, to talk to people who are trying to do this work and say to them, "How are you making schools simpler and following through on some of those ideas?"

                                    So we heard Matt Kraft talking about reducing interruptions. We heard Nicole Allard at Vista talking about reducing communications. We talked with Nat Vaughn about simplifying rules and policies. We talked with Tyler Thigpen about simplifying curriculum. So one thing to do is to go through those different categories where people have had success with subtraction and say, all right, which of these things sound like it might land with my community in my school? Another approach is to say, "Let's think about the toughest challenges we have in schools, the things that we're working on anyway, and let's make sure we're thinking about what subtractive solutions might be to those problems."

                                    So when we were talking with Larry Ferlazzo, we got on a thread where we were talking about addressing chronic absenteeism, and there are all kinds of things that we can add to systems to make it easier to be better supportive of students who are having a tough time coming to school. But in our conversation, we found, oh, there are also some things that we can subtract that are blocking our ability to do the good work that we want to do.

                                    And Larry talked compellingly about this paperwork he had to file seven months in advance of being able to do a field trip. And of course, if we want kids coming back to schools, we want really powerful learning experiences for them and field trips can be great for that. So what we did in that conversation is we started with a problem. We talked through a whole series of additive solutions that the district was trying, and then with some more thinking and reflection, we found our way to subtractive solutions. There are so many folks who are thinking about how can we get more learning time for students and how could we add tutoring? How could we add summer school? How could we add extended time? But Matt Kraft reminds us how can we use the time we already have by subtracting interruptions, by making it easier for students who come in late to just smoothly get back into a lesson?

                                    And I think that's the second approach that we can probably be using all of the time, is when we're taking on a challenge in our classroom, teaching in our curriculum, working with our colleagues, helping students rebuild community, school leadership, all these things, we can just recognize, as Leidy Klotz taught us in the second episode, we're just not that good as human beings at thinking about subtractive solutions. And one of the easiest things we can do knowing that is to just be really intentional with us, with our colleagues saying, "All right, we're trying to fix this. We've thought about stuff that we've add, but have we really taken the time to think about things that we could subtract? How could we get from A to B?" It's almost by bringing B closer to A, rather than trying to walk all the distance from A to B. To wrap up this series, we're going to share some highlights from conversations that I had with educators across the country. We're going to start close to home with a conversation that I had with Nat Vaughn, the principal of the Blake Middle School in Medfield, Massachusetts.

Nat Vaughn:                 One thing from a subtraction piece, truly that gets more into "academic piece" is our material in our content. We really could not, when we knew in March 2020, that spring, there's no way we were going to get through material. I mean we couldn't. And also, how are we going to do it? It really pushed us to move along further towards do we need to get to every piece of this content? Do I need to ask every question on the homework? What's the end game here? So I think lessening that piece allowed us to more actually see where kids understanding truly is at on priority standards and power standards. That's one that, I think, has really been something that we can lean on a lot.

Justin Reich:                 And how has that conversation moved forward? So you're in the state of Massachusetts, there's Massachusetts curriculum framework, your sixth through eighth grade. So your math and your English language arts are being tested, but your science is not going to get tested until the high school. Social science is not going to get tested at all. What does it look like concretely if I'm a teacher in Medfield Middle School, is essential administration coming up with power standards or group of teachers coming up with them? Is it happening by grade, by department, by individual instructors? What does that look like?

Nat Vaughn:                 Yeah, so it actually we've been looking at our methods of assessment and feedback and that had been happening and moving and looking at competency based reporting and then how do we do that melding traditional grades as well? And a lot of that really thinking about, well, if we're looking at that, we want to be more skills based. So we have looking at reporting on learning skills separate from understanding the content. So we had been doing some of the work, but this really pushed us to we have to do this now. And so I would say it's a combination from really we're fortunate that we have a six 12 department structure and truly looking at priority standards at each content area, whether it's art, music, wellness, science, math. And what we try to get to is if you could say, what is the thematic approach to this understanding of the material that at the end of the day, what do we want to assess on?

                                    So have, depending on the department, the most number of priority standards is four versus the 40 frameworks. And just do they categorize under each of those? And that's what we're reporting on kids report cards right now. And they are the exact same priority standards on sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. And for some departments now the conversation looking at the high school because it really should be thematically what that's done. And again, what it's done is we've had kids and we know this is going to keep happening, kids with interrupted absences or attendance at school. And so these conversations of are they ready to return? Well, where are they at with the priority standards? That's going to help us move forward in looking at how we assess and how we understand learning.

Justin Reich:                 So you probably have at least three levels going on. It sounds like changing something on report cards, that's a building principal, assistant principal kind of level.

Nat Vaughn:                 Totally.

Justin Reich:                 Choosing what it is that you're going to focus on on those report cards becomes a departmental goal. All the math teachers across the school, all the English language art teachers across the school have to do that within their department at the middle school and in coordination with the high school so that we're sending kids from the eighth grade who are ready to be successful in ninth grade. And then individual teachers have to figure out in my earth science class, in my pre-algebra class, in my Spanish class, what exactly that looks like. But they're not doing that idiosyncratically on their own in the sense of, hey, we're not going to get through a semester of stuff. Let me just figure out what to cut and what to keep. They're coming up with some priorities with their colleagues and then doing that focusing in the curriculum probably more independently if I'm a teacher who teaches Mandarin and I'm the only one who's doing that, whereas all of the geometry teachers maybe are a little bit more coordinated into that.

Nat Vaughn:                 Absolutely. Yeah. What's been challenging is really benefit, too, of collegiality. And I know you've talked a lot about coherence at times or a lot and in that way of thinking, it's been much harder for the singleton teacher that has Mandarin. They don't have the colleague to bounce off. Even within our world language department, Spanish teachers, there's five of them, French, a couple. But it's much easier to benefit those conversations. Now at the same time, the Mandarin teacher is the one room schoolhouse saying, yeah, these are the priorities, but our world language priority standards aren't dependent on the language. They cross... And that's been the conversations within science. It doesn't matter which aspect of the science that we're doing that has done that.

                                    I will also say, and it may not be a zero sum game of subtraction, but by doing that, it has allowed us to introduce other modes into teaching the curricula. So for example, one of the priority standards in our math department is do they have a way to visually understand mathematics? That has allowed us to bring art into mathematics formally. And really what it's done is it's opened up more opportunities for students to show their understanding of the math. So I don't know if that's a subtraction zero sum game, but it's been an opportunity gain.

Justin Reich:                 Well, the point of subtraction, I mean at net, if schools are overwhelmed, there's got to be fewer things that they're doing. But the other idea is if the things that we're doing right now are not working and we need to do some new things, if those new things are only additive, it's just not going to work because nobody has the energy. But if you say, "All right, we're going to focus on these priority areas and we're going to give you all some permission that comes from the district, that comes from the principal to cut some things, we're going to support you through that process. We're going to encourage you. We're going to collectively mourn the loss of these things that we used to spend some more time on, but now we're just not going to do it."

                                    But that's exactly what the subtraction is supposed to do is create the space to say, "Hey, we might be able to engage some new students in some different ways, we might have some richer learning if we do some new things, but the new things can only emerge if the subtraction gives us the opportunity to focus on some things that we think are important."

Nat Vaughn:                 Yeah, amen. I mean I think I always hear about it. I remember feeling this way too. All right, something has to give.

Justin Reich:                 I asked Tyler Thigpen, the founder of The Forest School in Georgia, how he thinks about the work of doing subtraction. Let's hear what he had to say.

                                    You are the leader of a school. You've given us some great examples of subtraction in action at The Forest School. How do you think about doing the work of subtraction? How do you think about, as a school leader, when you're getting ready to convince all your different stakeholders that it's time to take something away? How do you think about that? How do you identify what to subtract? And then when you've picked something to subtract, do you have thoughts about how to go about doing it? Again, not from the point of view of an expert, because no one's an expert in these things, just your reflections of like, oh yeah, now that you mention it, here are some things that I think about when trying to help people subtract and make schools simpler.

Tyler Thigpen:              Yeah, I mean guess your question, Justin, makes me think of the different stakeholder groups that exist in a school and how there's probably a different approach with each one of them, so parents, teachers and students. So by training I'm actually a minister and over the course of my, I guess my life, I've actually officiated a number of funerals and buried people. And I actually think of how that's even relevant to the teaching profession because there's a lot of teachers who love their content and get into the profession because they love the history of whatever or they love this book. And I get that. And for those teachers who care so deeply about their content and you start subtracting, there's actually a process of mourning, I think, that has to occur. It's like, man, I'm not going to be able to talk about this anymore in school.

                                    And so honestly as a leader, shepherding them through that process of mourning and loss because it is a loss. I mean, teachers feel it so deeply because that's why they got into the profession. So I would go very slowly and very cautiously and trade it in some ways like a moving on with teachers.

                                    I think with parents, I think there needs to be external validation that it's okay because parents, we all in the country, we went to school in some form or fashion, so we have an idea of what schools should look and feel like and what is required. And we have a pretty firm idea. Even if our schools were not very great, we have a pretty firm idea of what schools should look and feel like. And so when big changes are made, in my experience as a leader, helping parents see and hear from other authorizers, other leaders or influencers in the field outside of myself, whether it's college admissions officers or employers or consultants who are doing research or researchers or local community leaders or employers that, hey, actually this thing that used to get taught isn't relevant anymore or is less relevant now. And actually this thing is. And actually facilitating that conversation with the parents and caregivers, I think, can help you go far fast.

                                    And then for students, I mean I always think with students it's just about relevance and helping them see how they're going to be able to use this when they're 30, when they're 40 and they really do. I think they have their finger on the pulse and they know immediately their radar for relevance is just... I mean, that's all they think about I think, so just sharing examples.

                                    So I think they're actually happy when they find out that there's subtraction taking place. Like, oh, we don't have to. Oh good, okay, good. But then you're probably adding some stuff or introducing some new stuff that they need to say, "Wait, why do I need to know that?" And we're dealing with that right now with cryptocurrencies actually. Even though there's a lot of uncertainty around the future of that industry and world, we've got a lot of learners who are like, "Hey, how is this even relevant to me right now?" And so we're having that conversation with them and we're learning a lot from them and alongside them as well. So I just think having that conversation with them about relevance is important. But that's how I would think about it. I don't know, what do you think?

Justin Reich:                 Have you ever read Robert Evans book, the Human Side of School Change?

Tyler Thigpen:              No.

Justin Reich:                 You should. The heart of the argument in that book is exactly what you said as a minister, which is that change is loss. Even change that many people are really enthusiastic about is inevitably about loss. And so part of what you have to help people do as a leader is mourn what's being left behind and figure out what kind of new growth comes after that. And I think as school leader, we motivate people to change by talking to them about all of the good things that are on the other side of the change. And somehow, we have to do that simultaneously with this really real recognition that changes inevitably associated with loss.

                                    When I was a ninth grade world history teacher, we did a huge shift in our curriculum. We had this world history class that was a death march from Prehuman hominids through the Renaissance or something like that, a few centuries every week or something like that. And we were sitting around one day and realizing our students are not telling us that they like this course and we who are currently teaching this course right now, we also don't like it that much. And actually it was not hard to get people on board with the theoretical changing of the class. It was not hard to get people on board with the idea, okay, we're going to cut this down to many fewer things.

                                    What we actually ended up doing is organizing the course around three big units where we looked at contemporary conflicts and we traced the identities of the people involved in those conflicts back into the ancient world. So we looked at the India and Pakistan, we looked at Israel and Palestine, we looked at the conflict in Bosnia, which in 2000 felt pretty salient and certainly still does for a lot of people today, but involved cutting the Greeks and Roman empires out of this class.

                                    And that, for some of our colleagues, was just a really painful experience of where they had vested a lot of time. They felt it was really important to people's learning. It was stuff that they were good at. And years afterwards, after it was successful, some of the folks who had the most mourning to do at that point were the most grateful for the chance to try to do some teaching really differently. But in that first moment, there was no way of doing that big curriculum change without giving people some space to be like, yeah, that was awesome. You did an awesome job with it. And we have to set it aside because the only way to get away from the death march is to pick some things and to not do them anymore.

Tyler Thigpen:              Yeah, that's awesome story. How was the new program received?

Justin Reich:                 Really well. I think we made this change in 2003 or 2004 or something like that and the school is still teaching it in this different way, roughly as far as I know. And everyone was immediately much happier. And I mean, the other huge story of subtraction there is just if you can choose to do fewer things, you can do them more deeply. And that's really satisfying to students and it's really satisfying to teachers, that the fun part is getting way into something. And I even think it inspired the US history teachers to sit down with their curriculum again and being like, yeah, we could spend a couple of days on every decade or we could do some strategic sampling.

                                    And I mean, there are some fields where this is more intuitive. I think a virtue of teaching something like British literature or virtue of teaching world literature is you know for sure you're not going to read all the books. You know from the beginning that you're just sampling from a cannon, that you're sampling from a body of work. When you're teaching something like US history, it can of feel like, well, in theory we could spend a little bit of time on every decade in US history. The question then is it's not about saying the industrial revolution or the lead up to the Civil War or the Roaring Twenties weren't important. There's great teaching that can be done in all of those things. It's being able to say, yeah, they all could be great, but if we get rid of it, what can we gain by going more deeply?

Tyler Thigpen:              I love that, Justin, and glad to hear it's thriving. It reminds me a little bit of the way we structure our Civs, and again, in the spirit of subtraction, recognizing that we want our learners to learn the skills of great historians, but knowing that by the time they're 18, their understanding of the history of the world, even our guides understanding of the history of the world is going to be limited, so how do we structure that in a way that helps them build cross-cultural competence and empathy and the skills of a historian while still being able to tell the story of the world in broad terms? And so we created a spiraling curriculum that's on a three-year cycle where learners dip their toe in the water in elementary and go a little bit deeper in the middle, a little bit deeper still in high.

                                    But what we've done is basically every week just identify two moments in history from a different part of the world, different culture, different person, different protagonist, some people empower, some people not empower and we tell that story and invite the learners to put themselves in the position of someone who's making a decision in that story. And again, sometimes people in power, sometimes people not in power, and then think deeply about what their context was like, and then even to make their thinking visible, do a maker challenge where they have to wrestle with some component of that story or that decision and actually make a prototype and then have a sharing and reflection protocol.

                                    But again, what we subtracted was all the books on world history, all the books on US history, all the books on American history that are so beautiful and so great and they still get a chance to touch on those, but instead opted for these moments that provide a window into the context of that era. And I don't know, students are receiving it well. It's certainly not perfect, but it's definitely subtracted the amount of stuff that kids have to memorize about history before they graduate.

Justin Reich:                 For that example you just gave us or any of the others that we've talked about today, can you think of a story of a particular teacher or particular student who was impacted in a really positive way from one of these subtraction that we've been talking about? Can you give us a day in the life of somebody who really won big because of one of the things you've described?

Tyler Thigpen:              Sure. I mean, I think I mentioned earlier that we're next to the movie studios. There's a high schooler who was really thinking about going to college for years. And that's what her parents were thinking as well. The mission of our schools is each person who enters our doors will find a calling that will change the world. And so the question that our guides and our staff and our parents were asking the young people is like, why are you here? What are your plans? What do you want to do? What are you meant to become? What are you hoping to become? And eventually she realized, actually acting is for me. This is what I feel like I need to be doing. And so she really leaned into this minimum graduation requirements and instead she used the time, resources, and network of our school to launch her acting career.

                                    And while she was in high school and did all the head shots and learned how to do all the readings and the auditions and how to get a side hustle on the lot serving coffee. And I just got a text from her a couple weeks ago that she just signed a big deal to be on a show and she signed an NDA, so she couldn't tell the details. But this was, for us, was an example of a learner still using the resources of our high school, but to pursue her calling thanks to subtraction. I mean, if she had a huge list of graduation requirements, there's no way she could have gotten that deal, I think, as quickly as she did.

Justin Reich:                 So simplify your graduation requirements and your students will become famous actors and actresses. You've heard it here first.

Tyler Thigpen:              I think it's more of an entry level acting gig, but that's her goal.

Justin Reich:                 That's great. Sometimes to make big changes, educators need to subtract from their expectations of themselves. Beth Rabbitt, CEO of The Learning Accelerator had some great reflections on this topic. What do you think teachers can change about their self-perception or their definitions of themselves? What can we subtract from our expectations of what it means to be a competent teacher that might give us some more space to do things differently?

Beth Rabbitt:                Certainly one thing that we saw and I think would be resonant for a lot of teachers is this notion of teacher as content creator and as curriculum developer. Now, do we want to have deep conversations around curriculum, around the content of what kids are learning and collaboration? Yes. Do we want teachers to be spending five hours a week on the weekends writing up brand new lesson plans? No. And so I think a lot of teachers had the opportunity to think about, hey, how can I collaborate with my peers? How can I leverage resources that are hopefully high quality instead of having to create it all on my own? Which I think also frees teachers up from having to be the owners of all content. I think in a classroom as educators, we're not always allowing ourselves as adults to say, "I don't know. I don't know." Or to not be the experts.

                                    And I think that the pandemic gave us all a huge amount of opportunity to practice saying, "I don't know, let's talk about it." And I think doing that with learners, in particular," with kids asking questions and rather than handing them the book or knowing exactly where to go, being able to say, I don't know, let's figure it out together." I think it's a shift a lot of teachers have made and I don't want to sound patronizing, but can be freeing to assume the knowledge is out there, we can find it together.

                                    Another thing I think teachers, and this is related to students opportunities for self-pacing and self-directed learning and inquiry, can let go of a little as the notion that they always have to be in control at all times. And that a good classroom is a classroom that is completely silent, where kids are exactly on task and rather embrace a little of the chaos of helping kids learn to get self-directed, having kids engage in different inquiry projects, having kids spend some productive struggle working through stuff, is actually a really, really valuable thing to be allowing in the classroom and to be creating space for.

                                    And that's going to be a little bit less. I think of some of my early days doing classroom observations and walking through with a checklist and saying are all students staring looking at the board and engaged? And I think a lot of things we looked for in those environments, which we looked for in pandemic environments, had nothing to do with students engagement because you could be on camera and absolutely not in the classroom at all mentally.

Justin Reich:                 Well, sometimes when we want to change whole complex systems, we start by thinking about changing ourselves, that if we start by thinking about the ways that we might think about what a good classroom looks like, what our students are capable of doing, what they're capable of doing for themselves, then that opens up some pathways for us thinking differently about what our whole classroom, what our whole school, what our whole system can look like.

Beth Rabbitt:                One of the things that keeps me really optimistic in this work, so we talk about school "systems," so Russell Ackoff, who's an organizational learning and management person talks about schools as being social organisms that are, in fact, created by, made up of and transformed by the individuals within them. And certainly there are systemic aspects to the work that we do, but schools, classrooms, school systems are actually organisms and we can change them and we can change how to behave by deciding to work differently with each other. And I think that deciding to work differently with each other and having a belief that we can, in fact, transform is what we need right now as we're thinking about what to let go of, what to embrace and how to be in partnership with each other in this work, rather than thinking about the system as not being malleable and not in fact entirely created by those of us who are working within it.

Justin Reich:                 Yeah, I think that's exactly right that schools often look to us like they're fixed, like they're received, but they're actually created by people every day. Even the things that have been around for a long time were created by people just like us. And if we don't like them anymore, we can make them different. And we saw that in spades during the pandemic. As we've learned throughout the series, subtraction is hard. Nicole Allard of the Vista schools in California had some good insights on how to get started. I don't know if you were working with a school right now, which it was really hammered by COVID, just buffeted by all the challenges of the period, what would be your advice on some ways in the waning months of the school year to get people refocused on those conversations about mission in ways that aren't going to drain people's tanks further?

Nicole Allard:               So I think it's how do you create opportunities for people to talk about the school mission that are not going to drain them, but are actually going to excite and motivate them? So how can you create powerful moments for teachers that they're actually going to walk into these meetings and be excited about? And you can do them in five minutes. So we started, and I recommend to everybody, we started getting in a circle with 80 teachers and saying, "What's your personal why? You could all make more money somewhere else and probably work a lot fewer hours and not have to deal with everything that you're dealing with. Why are you an educator?" You have to reset that with them. They have to have an opportunity to remember what excited them before COVID, during COVID, whatever.

                                    And we spent time, I thought we would just share around with a partner. We lined up by years of service and we ended up spending 30 minutes on it because they wanted to share out loud. That reignites people's passion. And then when you started with their why and you give them an opportunity to say if this is your why, you have these last two months, what work is really important to you based on your why? What's the most important thing you want to accomplish in the next two months? You can then scale that out to, as a school, let's talk about our why and let's talk about the next two months or the next school year, what would be our most important work. And so I think it's about, I go back to my goal, which is catalyzing. How can I catalyze really important moments for teachers to get them bought in, feel shared ownership, and be excited about the why.

                                    And I'll tell you, you may think you don't have the time to do it, you have to make the time to do it. There is something you can subtract. I had teachers who would always say, "You can't take two minutes of my period. I use every minute." And those were the same people who'd walk in their classroom and there'd be two minutes when they had kids packing up their stuff. So where in a meeting, start your meeting on time, start a norm where if you walk in five minutes late, that's fine, but we're five minutes in and we're going to do recognitions and something cool that you're going to want to come for those first five minutes. You've just gained five minutes of your meeting that you could have spent five minutes doing a table talk about a shared why. So what is the noise? What are the non-important, non-essential things that have just become habit that you can really dig into and remove in order to free up space for those powerful moments?

Justin Reich:                 Well, one of the things that I really like that is the starting point is really listening to teachers. And certainly our experience has been in the last year and a half, we've interviewed over a hundred teachers and many folks have told us that when we sat... And we had the privilege of listening to folks for 45 minutes or an hour, just talk about their experience teaching over the last year and a half. And the two things that have struck us doing that is we had way more teachers cry than we've ever had doing a series of interviews before. But also we've had lots of teachers say to us, "You are the first person who has really listened to me talk about my experience over the last year, 18 months, two years." And people need to be heard, especially if you work in this very unusual job where most of the time you're in a room, in the past in a Zoom room, separated from adults. It's just you and a bunch of kids.

                                    And so this idea of trying to find the things that people don't need to focus on, take those things off their plate, creating a sense of shared mission by letting people talk even for short periods of time with each other about what's really important from them, building from that sense of what's really important to them to shared mission, to shared why, and then trying to use that really systematically and rigorously to say, "We don't need to do X because we can do these other things because that's the real focus area." Yeah, I mean I think that's a great blueprint for starting and getting into some of this work, Nicole.

Nicole Allard:               Thank you. And that's the model we used and it works. And the positive unintended consequence is people feel very valued, their time feels valuable, they feel like they made a difference. They walk into their classroom feeling like they know their students better because they've taken time to connect because we took time to connect with them. And in all honesty, it makes me a better leader because if I tried to lead in isolation, it wouldn't work. Instead, I'm leading with the knowledge and the experience of 80 staff members and 40 classified staff members who have different views of the school, of kids, of experiences than I do. And so that collective think and that collective culture and that collective work changes everything.

Justin Reich:                 So that's really the heart of our thinking on Subtraction in Action. It's all about finding the things that we can stop doing in schools, the things that we could take off teachers plates to help us focus on the most important things. Super grateful to my colleague Jal Mehta at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for helping us think through and frame all of these issues. And listeners, we really are at the point where we turn it over to you. We've had some great conversations about Subtraction in Action. We know that they've gotten some great reception, really grateful to ASCD's educational leadership for publishing an article, The Power of Doing Lesson Schools, which also got a bunch of traction. And it's time for classroom teachers, for educators, for school leaders, school system leaders to go out there, to try some of these things and let us know how it's going.

                                    You can find us out there on Twitter for as long as it continues to exist at teachlabpodcast.com. We'll have a Mastodon instance up at no time that you can reach us. And then you could also email me at jreich@mit.edu. Would love to hear your stories of Subtraction in Action. I'm Justin Reich, and this is TeachLab. Special thanks to all the educators who participated in Subtraction in Action. And thanks to you for listening to our Subtraction in Action series. If you enjoy the conversation, you could check out the other Subtraction in Action episodes and share this series with a friend or colleague. Of course, be sure to subscribe to TeachLab wherever you get your podcasts. And if you like what you hear on TeachLab, leave us a rating or a review. It really does help.

                                    Don't miss our new short documentary film, We have to Do Something Different: Teachers in the Journey to Create More Equitable Schools. Educators around the country are screening this film to spark meaningful conversations about equity in their schools. We've got a great screening toolkit to support these really important dialogues. You can find the film, you can find the screening kits, you can find all kinds of other resources at somethingdifferentfilm.com, that's somethingdifferentfilm.com.

                                    And finally, you can check out our latest course, Youth in Front: Understanding and Supporting Student Youth Activism produced in partnership with Learning for Justice, which used to be called Teaching Tolerance. It's a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. We've got some great upcoming episodes about youth activism in schools, so stay tuned and you can hop into the course at youthinfront.org, that's youthinfront.org. This episode was produced by Aimee Corrigan and Garrett Beazley. The sound was mixed by Garrett Beazley. Stay safe until next time.