Timothy Jones and Mason Pashia on What Education Can Learn From Poetry

Key Points

  • Perception changes during the creative process.

  • Have confidence in your ability to communicate thoughts effectively.

On this special episode of the Getting Smart Podcast, producer Mason Pashia is joined by Timothy Jones. In honor of Poetry Month, Timothy and Mason discuss their deep appreciation and practice of the intersection and language. 

Timothy is a long-time educator, coach, mentor and someone who lives and breathes hip-hop. Timothy is the Chief Visionary Officer at #HipHopEd, a digitally-birthed organization with a sprawling membership of brilliant educators and passionate advocates that know just how powerful this intersection can be. 

He is also the founder of Techniques4Learning, a company dedicated to utilizing Hip-Hop and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy to develop and implement strategies, curricula and activities to improve teacher student engagement for schools, universities, education organizations and community-based organizations.


This episode touches on themes of creation over consumption in art, personal growth through creative expression, and the transformative power of poetry and hip-hop. Tim shares his journey into creative teaching through hip-hop-based pedagogy, stressing the significance of contribution in artistic endeavors. This journey alongside students really catalyzed how engagement with creativity can lead to profound personal discoveries.

The dialogue further analyzed how improvisation in freestyling impacts perception and self-reflection, creating connections between individual experiences and artistic expressions. Timothy accentuated the importance of effective communication skills for learners, likening it to an executive producer orchestrating ideas for clear conveyance. The session encapsulated a blend of creativity, introspection, educational innovation, and personal growth within a dynamic discourse bridging arts to holistic learning experiences. The meeting concluded with insights on fostering confidence in articulating thoughts effectively as a key aspect of communication skills for learners across various settings.


Exploring the Intersection of Life and Arts in Education (00:10 – 01:25)

  • 00:10: Introduction to the podcast topic of blending a life in the arts and a life of the arts in education.
  • 01:08: Introduction of Timothy Jones and his work in using hip hop for educational engagement.

Understanding the Role of an Executive Producer (02:13 – 04:47)

  • 02:13: Poem titled “What Exactly is an Executive Producer?” is shared.
  • 03:57: Discussion on the interpretation of the poem and the concept of executive producer in life.

Incorporating Hip Hop in Education (08:49 – 10:53)

  • 08:49: Timothy’s experience with teaching creative writing using hip hop.
  • 10:02: Explanation of personal mantra derived from teaching, “Opportunity in time for us.”

The Creative Process and Reflection (11:00 – 14:48)

  • 11:00: Reflecting on the feedback loop in creative work.
  • 12:30: Discussion on how poetry influences perception and thought processes.

Freestyling and Perception (15:00 – 16:31)

  • 15:00: Request for a freestyle on place making and home.
  • 15:27: Freestyle on place, pace, and design is shared.

Reflections on the Creative Process (18:23 – 20:45)

  • 18:23: Reflections on the process of creating and shaping one’s environment.
  • 20:24: Viewing improvisation and freestyling as reflections of personal experiences.

Learning and Communication (22:16 – 23:33)

  • 22:16: Discussion on the importance of confidence in communication.
  • 23:13: Highlighting the role of an executive producer in effective communication.

Getting Smart Staff

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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