Shawn Sheehan is the Director of Governmental Affairs for Lewisville ISD in Lewisville, Texas. He has taught math in Texas and Oklahoma and is the 2016 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year. In 2018, Shawn worked in a congressional office on Capitol Hill as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow. Shawn earned his B.A. in Journalism at Arizona State University and his M.Ed. in Special Education at the University of Oklahoma. A strong advocate for improving public education, Shawn has been featured on CBS This Morning, NPR, The Economist, and more.
Rodney is a 21-year education veteran working with marginalized black and brown communities in Richmond, Virginia. He has received numerous awards for his accomplishments in and out of the classroom, most notably the 2019 National Teacher of the Year. He has worked with Pulitzer winning author James Foreman to develop curriculum units on race, class, and punishment as a part of the Yale Teachers Institute. His current role is as a senior policy advisor with Richmond Public Schools in charge of Teacher Pathways with a specific focus on the RVA Men Teach Program to recruit and retain male teachers of color in Richmond Public Schools.
With the education climate becoming increasingly polarized and politicized, it is critical educators stay up-to-date on the conversations surrounding their work. In 2021, as schools tackled the challenge of reopening amid a pandemic, tensions flared across the country over issues such as mask mandates, COVID vaccinations, and social studies curriculum. Legislators, advocacy groups, and parents became more engaged in the education policy making process while teachers had to navigate new and tumultuous waters.
In an effort to reach a broader audience of educators and provide teachers with new perspectives on the latest education issues, Shawn Sheehan and Rodney Robinson created the Teachers Caucus Podcast. The Teachers Caucus Podcast strives to amplify educator voices and strengthen teacher advocacy by providing diverse perspectives and discussion on the latest education policy and politics that impact the profession. Our vision is to inform and inspire educator advocates and we believe we can accomplish that with our core values.
We hope you’ll find the Teachers Caucus Podcast informative and uplifting while on your commute, your lunch break, or in between classes. We want to hear from you, so connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, or use our contact form. Thanks for listening!
-Shawn & Rodney
A caucus is a group of people who belong to a particular political party or identify with a movement or cause. We hope to unite teachers as a collective voting body and keep them informed on the policies and practices that impact the teaching profession. We could’ve called it The Educators Caucus Podcast, but we really want to center and celebrate the people who are providing direct instruction to students. If you’ve ever been a teacher, you know that elevating the classroom teacher voice is critical and that’s what we’re here to do!
For the record, we are not an officially recognized legislative caucus at any state or national level. But who knows what the future holds?
We want to engage in education policy discussions and the greater social and political issues that affect public education. We also strive to feature new and unique voices in education with a diverse cast of guests from a range of backgrounds. Current classroom teachers will always be the priority focus group, though, so we’ll talk about what matters most to teachers.
Shawn and Rodney have an extensive network through their own experiences and travels as recognized teachers of the year. But we’ll also be following the latest news in education and will reach out to people who can speak to the trending issues that impact classroom teachers. If you would like to be featured as a guest on the podcast or have a guest recommendation, let us know on the contact form.
At this time, we are not actively generating revenue and are self-funding the podcast and its resources. If the right sponsorship opportunities present themselves, we’ll certainly consider them. We are always grateful to accept any donation amount to support our work as content creators. We plan to reinvest 50% of contributions made (and revenue generated once applicable) into the podcast, our website, and the hardware and software we need to produce a high quality show. We commit to giving away 25% of funds to current classroom teachers in the form of gift cards via social media promotions. And as content creators working hours beyond our day jobs, we’ll accept the remaining 25% of funds.
We are not a non-profit organization or a political action committee at this time. We’re just two educators talking about education policy and encouraging teachers to engage with their local, state, and federal policymaking process and advocacy efforts.