Pam Peterson

In this episode of the Smart and Simple Matters (SASM) show, I talk with one of the smartest, funniest, and well-spoken people I know.

Pam Peterson, one of the newest teachers in Minnesota, takes us on an insightful journey about education today and in the future. And if you have school age kids/grandkids or maybe just plan to have them at some point, you gotta listen to this.

After all, where else are you going to get a pearl of wisdom like this?

When push comes to shove, there are no test subjects in the classroom. They're real kids spending real time in their real grade needing to acquire real responsibilities and real skill sets to move along. – Pam Peterson

Or how about this?

Ultimately what we want is for people to have courage. Courage to explore. Courage to ask better questions. Courage to put themselves out there. Courage to express themselves. – Pam Peterson

What You'll Learn

Pam has been on an amazing journey to fulfill her almost decade-long passion to become one of the best darn teachers around. And she's finally passed the crossroads to teaching full-time.

You'll get to hear her riveting story about why teaching is the emotionally and spiritually lucrative option that allows Pam to leave corporate America with no regrets. Pam is an expert storyteller, but you'll hear more than just magnetic tales here.

In this episode you'll learn about:

  • The “power of the yes” and when you should use it.
  • The dirty little secret about why students like competition in learning.
  • What can be achieved when you're perspiration-smart instead of inspiration-smart.
  • Keys to becoming fully engaged with your work.
  • Which learning muscles you need to work the most.
  • How to avoid wasting kids' time in the classroom.
  • New forms of teaching accountability … and what they say about the status quo.
  • Analyzing whether school material is relevant to the real world.

Resources and Items Mentioned in This Episode Include:


  • [02:49] Pam's values, history, fashion sense, and what makes her tick
  • [06:26] What's prepared Pam for teaching and the “power of the yes”
  • [12:45] Doing simple things right like asking better questions and leading a conversation well
  • [16:50] A primary paradigm for teaching any subject in school
  • [20:56] Where the future of teaching is and should be going
  • [24:44] The challenge for parents to determine if online learning is right for their kids
  • [26:43] A crucial goal of teaching from K-12
  • [29:05] The universal skill sets that all children should have
  • [30:57] The myth about diversity and teaching that needs to be dispelled
  • [33:53] Educational movements you should be aware of
  • [36:44] Making school service projects more than just about service
  • [39:34] Enforcing key concepts across subjects

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