Hello everyone! Welcome to the very first episode of EDUTAKE with Horace Buddoo. As you probably already inferred from the title, this will be a podcast where we explore various opinions (or “takes” if you will) about issues that are related to education.
So let’s start by giving you little background about who I am. It’s always so difficult to talk about myself, because a) I don’t really like to, and b) I wear so many hats that sometimes even I can’t keep up with all of them. But I’ll just name a few right now: I am a speaker, an educational consultant, TEDx Curator and organizer and I am also a TEDx speaker coach. But my most important job is that of an educator.
My first dance with this thing called teaching started in 2003 as an interim teacher. Now I am currently a mathematics teacher at an independent school in Miami, Florida. With the exception of this year, I spent my entire teaching career in the public school system teaching high school and believe me, I have seen a lot; some things were good and others were not so good. However, I don’t think that anyone believes that our educational system has reached the pinnacle of what it should be or could be, so one of the goals of this podcast is to discuss what’s going on in education and what can be done to improve it.
So, full disclosure: this is my second attempt at podcasting. My first attempt was a podcast that I launched in 2014 called “The Curious Buddoo” which ended up being back-burnered because I simply didn’t have the time to keep up with it. My day job as a teacher plus all of my other projects were very demanding and I could no longer fit in my aspirations for podcasting.
However, I had some interviews that I did with various guests that were unedited and never saw the light of day. One of those interviews was with my friend and mentor, the late great Dr. Brian Dassler, who was the former vice-chancellor of education in the Florida Department of Education. I met Brian in 2013 when he was the keynote speaker at an education conference that was held at Florida International University. His talk was exceptional and everything he said resonated with me and my beliefs about education and good teaching. After he got off the stage, I went up to him and introduced myself We exchanged business cards and we became friends.
Brian was one of the most humble, warm, positive, and influential people I have ever met in my life. His views about education were progressive yet practical and he eventually became of my biggest inspirations as a teacher. In 2015, I organized and curated a TEDx event called “TEDxWestBrowardHigh” with a theme entitled “The World is Mine.” It was held at the school where I was teaching at that time. I knew I had to get him on the stage to do a TED Talk so I invited him to speak and he graciously accepted. Click here to see Brian's TED Talk.
Unfortunately Brian Dassler passed away earlier this year in March, and it was not only a sad time for me but for the entire state of Florida. Brian was well known among all the school districts in Florida and in many other states as well. I remembered that I had this interview sitting in a file on my iPad but it took me months to replay it because I was so devastated by the great loss. After I finally decided to replay it, I was inspired once again by him. As a result of his inspiration, I decided that before the end of the year, I will jump back on the podcasting horse and give it another ride. So it is fitting for me to have the late Dr. Brian Dassler as my first guest and dedicate this entire podcast to him so that you can get a glimpse of the person that influenced me and many others to be better educators and to dedicate ourselves even more to the service of our students and the improvement of our education system.