To The Core Podcast

Where we get to the core

of parent questions about education and learning


  To The Core

Founder of  The Community Classroom, Dr. Megan Allen, launched the “To The Core” Podcast in September 2021. A place where parents and caregivers can get their education questions answered by those who know best: Teachers!

Each Tuesday Megan and a guest will answer different questions submitted by parents and caregivers. They will offer insight, provide some resources, and have some fun along the way.

Interested in submitting a question to be answered on our podcast? That’s awesome! Click here to submit.

Podcast Episodes

The teachers of The Community Classroom are proud to showcase Episode Zero of To The Core, a podcast series that answers parent questions about education and learning. 

Hear from rising 2-second grader, Edith Allen, and gain some peace of mind as she tells us all the things she liked about Zoom school! From learning in a pandemic to advice for adults on math to keeping learning fun for kids – Edith shared her amazing insight with us today on To The Core.

Today we answer a parent question we’ve heard more than once: My daughter used to love math and now she doesn’t. What happens with girls and math?

We talk to Dr. Daniele Massey, the 2013 Department of Defense and Education Activity Teacher of the Year and a math teacher for over 15 years. She offers us insight into:

  • The importance of math role models
  • How language can impact a child’s math identity
  • How parents and caregivers can implicitly (and negatively) impact a girl’s math identity
  • How to help your daughter form a more positive math identity
  • What we can do as parents to prevent anti-math attitudes
  • Ways to normalize math conversations in the house.

Does it hurt children to measure pandemic learning loss? Are we going to stigmatize an entire generation of kids? And WHAT do we do as parents about standardized tests and this upcoming school year?

In this episode of To The Core, we get to the core of these questions with Dr. Jemelleh Nurse Coes, the 2014 Georgia Teacher of the Year and the Director of Teacher Leadership Programs at Mount Holyoke College. We’ll tackle this issue in a way that helps give us some much-needed peace of mind as parents and caregivers. The best advice you’ll receive from Dr. Coes? Just focus on making your child feel invincible. The rest will come.

“My child doesn’t like to write. What can I do?”

We hear this question frequently at The Community Classroom, so we decided to ask one of the best teachers we know: Christine Paglia Baker. Christine is local to the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts, a tutor at The Community Classroom, and an educator of many years. This thoughtful and brilliant educator shares with our parent and caregiver audience:

  • Why kids might feel that way,
  • How to help them around barriers,
  • And how to work with children so they have a better relationship with writing.

If our children don’t like to read, can they still “do” life successfully? Is this normal?

What can we do as parents to help our kids like reading a bit more?

If you’ve ever wondered about these questions, this episode will bring you some much-needed peace of mind. We talk to literacy expert and educator Mary Phillips, a veteran educator of over 20 years who works to direct systemic and wide-scale change in reading and writing. But we get micro in this conversation and talk about what we can do one child at a time.

Mary will walk us through:

  • How to reframe our thinking about what reading is and isn’t
  • How to talk to our children about this
  • Strategies to help develop readers!

Ever been frustrated with your child’s math homework? We feel you!

In this episode, we’ll get to the heart of what is causing that frustration and what we can do about it. We’ll talk to Dr. Mike Flynn, the 2008 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, author of Beyond Answers, and the Director of Math Leadership Programs at Mount Holyoke College.

Dr. Flynn (who is also Megan’s husband!) will share with us:

  • Strategies to support our children in math,
  • Tips for staying out of the way,
  • Questions to ask to help them,
  • Other math tips for learning at home.

The complex relationship between girls and science.

Something happens to girls in upper elementary school and middle school where they start losing their fascination and love of science! Our guest in this episode helps us unpack that complex relationship. Carly Baldwin is a National Board Certified Teacher, a chemistry teacher in Ashland, Kentucky, a virtual tutor at The Community Classroom, and a Presidential Award Winner in Math and Science Teaching.

Carly will share with us:

  • How representation matters in science,
  • How the language we use impacts our girls,
  • How access and environment can impact girls and science.

What exactly is fluency and why should we care as parents? 

You may have seen it in an elementary school report card or heard about it in a parent-teacher conference, but what does it mean for reading at home? These are some of the questions we’ll tackle today with our guest, veteran educator Christina Webster, a veteran educator with a deep passion for early childhood literacy.

Christina will share with us:

  • What fluency actually is and why should matter to us,
  • How we can help our kids develop stronger fluency at home,
  • How we can model fluency as parents.

How do you know if your child is kindergarten-ready?

What do our kids need to know before they start  Kindergarten? And should we worry if they don’t know the alphabet or their letters yet? These are some of the questions we’ll tackle today with our guest, early childhood educator Danielle Goua. Dani is a teacher in DC Public Schools who is a passionate educator who loves young kids and shares some heartfelt and practical advice for parents!

Dani will share with us:

  • What we should do if our kids are “behind,”
  • The value of play and fun in learning,
  • How to build literacy skills with our young children at home.

What exactly is math play (and why is it important to us)? 

Math joy may seem like an oxymoron but trust us. It’s so important for our children!  In this episode, we’ll get to the core of math joy by exploring math play, learning how we can integrate it into our family life at home. We’ll talk to Jay Bright Shovar, a Mount Holyoke College alumna, a veteran educator from Alberta, Canada, and a Community Classroom tutor.  

Jay will share with us:

  • What we might be doing at home already that is “mathy,”
  • Great games to beef up your family game nights,
  • Other math tips for learning at home.

Submit A Question

To submit a question to be answered in our podcast, please use the form below. If we use your question we’ll be sure to give you a shoutout on air, as well as email you a link to the episode once it’s live.

Meet the Tutors of the Community Classroom

Meet The Tutors

Get to know our experienced team of teachers who provide incredible tutoring and academic coaching to our clients. Many live in our home state of Massachusetts, while many also live all over the country.

Request A Tutor

Getting started is easy. We offer two types of tutoring experiences as well as academic coaching and parental support. We're ready when you are.

Pin It on Pinterest