Debbie Silver on Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8

Debbie Silver

On this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast, Shawnee Caruthers sits down with Dr. Debbie Silver to discuss the second edition of her book Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8.

Dr. Debbie Silver is an award-winning educator with 30 years experience as a classroom teacher, staff development instructor, and university professor. Aside from being recognized as the Louisiana State Teacher of the Year, she is also a popular education keynoter and author.

Let’s listen in as Debbie and Shawnee chat about agency, self-efficacy, what parents should be telling their kids and more.

Debbie did not intend on going into education, her original dream was to be a standup comedian and writer. She quickly realized that “the greatest contribution that I can make to the world today is being a teacher […] I was lucky enough to figure that out early on.”

Even so, she has been described as “where education and humor collide.” This approach is rooted in her deep belief that teachers need to be authentic. Even today, when she reflects on what it would have been like to be a comedian and her friends say, “Deb, that’s what you do.”

Debbie also has a lifelong dedicated to finding and inspiring joy. With the pandemic, she thinks that getting back to this essential mindset is now more widely acknowledged and desired. “Deliberate optimism is reclaiming the joy in education.”

“You’ve gotta get really good at figuring out what you can control and what you can’t control. You can control relationships with your students, that’s the most important thing.”

Her book, Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8 was inspired a consistent need for persistence and resilience in her own life. She wanted to give examples: what does this look life if you’re teachers? Parents? “There is a lot to be learned about the feedback we give kids and what we do to keep raising the bar.”

The book ends with a series of FAQs, such as:

“I’ve told my students that failure is not an option. I won’t accept failures in my class. What’s wrong with that?” She then helps to unpack these questions to get to the heart of why certain practices

One thing she wishes she knew earlier is that I shouldn’t be giving feedback on things kids can’t control. This simple mindset shift can make a huge difference in your relationships with your learners.

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This episode was sponsored by Corwin. If you’d like to learn more about our policies and practices regarding sponsored content, please email Jessica Slusser

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The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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