Tisha Richmond is a passionate and innovative Tech Instructional Coach and high school Culinary Arts teacher from Southern Oregon. She is passionate about infusing joy, passion, play, and gamified strategies into classrooms to make learning MAGICAL.
Tisha was awarded the 2018 Golden Pear High School Teacher of the Year award and speaks nationally on gamification and various innovative strategies. She is a connected educator that is continually collaborating, sharing, and learning with her Personal Learning Network. Her book Make Learning Magical was released by Dave Burgess Consulting in the Fall of 2018. Our conversation was so much fun. Enjoy!
You and your family
I have a beautiful family of four where we live in Medford, Oregon. My husband, Russell, and I have been married 21 years. He is a ceramics teacher and teaches at the same school as me. We have two wonderful kids. My daughter, Ella, is a sophomore at Portland State University and is studying anthropology. My son, Tommy, is a junior in high school and is amazing as well. Both are brilliant and different in amazing ways.
My family: Husband Russ, HS Ceramics teacher
Daughter Ella, Sophomore at Portland State University
Son Tommy, Junior in High School
What it was like for you as a student/learner
I definitely had some magical moments with magical teachers, but I really struggled in school. It was not easy for me. I was a really timid learner and fairly introverted as a child. I believe I was a very distracted learner and had a hard time keeping attention.
Those experiences that were magical really stuck out to me and an important part of my educational experience. My Consumer Economics teacher in high school had us play the stock market game where we were buying and selling stocks. I also enjoyed my Culinary class which, surprisingly, I came a Culinary teacher and loved the hands on. For me, to be in project-based classes and learn with my hands as an active learner was really important to me.
Your journey as a teacher
Going into my junior year of college, I had a hard time knowing what I was going to major in. I started out as a business major, then maybe a dietician even though I wasn’t that good in chemistry. I remember my guidance counselor telling me that I had to decide to figure out what I was going to do with my life. She asked me if I ever thought of Family Consumer Science because that really brings what you love about food, nutrition, and being able to work with children and maybe broaden your horizon and teach things like child development, interior design, culinary, and other areas. My junior year was the first year Home Economics became Family Consumer Science major. It all kind of came together in that year.
Once I found my passion with that major, I loved learning. Then it took me a while, but I became a really good student. It was all about me feeling confident in my own skills and abilities and finding what I was passionate about. For every kid, it comes at different times. My first teaching position was in Child Development and then they offered me to teach a Culinary class in Escondido, California where I taught for five years. When we moved to Oregon, I was able to stay home with my kids for five years when they were little. I ended up in a half-time position in Medford in Interior Design and Culinary. Going half time meant I could be with my children and go to their classes and also do what I love. After five years that transitioned into a full-time position. It’s been an amazing career teaching valuable life skills to kids.
Recipes on my Website: https://www.tisharichmond.com/recipes.html
Technology Integration Specialist
In 2014, I was at a point in my career that I was considering leaving teaching. I was tired, burnt out, and frustrated. Coincidentally, in that year, all the Culinary teachers who qualified for Carl Perkins funding that we get as Technical Ed teachers went in on a grant for a set of iPads. We earned it and received professional development money. I chose iPadPalooza in Texas. I had no clue all these amazing things were happening in education. I learned about so many resources, activities, and what you could do on Twitter. I saw this contest where you could submit a reason why you should go to this conference called Miami Device and create a digital presentation to share with the world then they would select a certain amount of winners. I shared it and I won.
Interview on DisruptEdTV: https://youtu.be/ykKx6xNRP_w
At that conference, I learned what it meant to have a tribe. I was there by myself at a social event. A person who I had met earlier came up to me, Rodney Turner @TechyTurner and said, “What are you doing here all by yourself? I’ll introduce you to some of my friends.” That’s when I started to get connected and am still connected to this day to the people I met at that event. That’s what catapulted me into this love of tech and role of being a connected educator. I started taking risks and trying new things. I brought the iPads into the classroom. The more that I connected and took these leaps, the more I grew. Here I was, ready to leave the profession and make lattes at a coffee shop and then 10 months later, I had this renewed excitement and joy for teaching and learning. It’s contagious. The more you try new things, the more you connect to people, you become globally connected and can’t get enough. It’s so inspiring. That’s what changed my passion: by how learning can be transformed and reach our 21st-century learners. I became passionate about helping other teachers to discover their passions. I wanted to impact students beyond my classroom. I have an innovation team and told them I just wish my title was “Joy Specialist.”
About your book, Make Learning Magical
It is about transforming unforgettable experiences in your classroom. It is my story of how I went from this teacher who was burnt out ready to leave education to a teacher exploded with joy and excitement for teaching and learning. Magical is actually an acronym:
- M is for Meaningful Beginning
- A is for Authenticity and Agency
- G is for Gamified Experiences
- I is for Innovation
- C is for Creativity, Collaboration and Curiosity
- A is for Authentic Audiences
- L is for Legacy
Each section pulls together the Magic. That Magic in the Classroom takes in…
- Power of a Team
- Creativity Unleashed
- Global Connections to Relevant Learning
- Stepping out of your Comfort Zone
- Making Community
- Gamified Classroom
Transforming your classroom into a place where students are inspired, empowered, and immersed in their learning can be more than an illusion of smoke and mirrors. It doesn’t matter what grade or subject you teach…..you all hold the MAGIC! Discover it for yourself and change the way you think about teaching and learning forever!
There’s even a BreakoutEDU game for Make Learning Magical: https://www.breakoutedu.com/blog/2018/9/14/breakout-edu-and-tisha-richmond-making-learning-magical
Tisha Richmond is a passionate and innovative Tech Instructional Coach and high school Culinary Arts teacher from Southern Oregon. She is passionate about infusing joy, passion, play, and gamified strategies into classrooms to make learning MAGICAL. She was awarded the 2018 Golden Pear High School Teacher of the Year award and speaks nationally on gamification and various innovative strategies. Tisha is a connected educator that is continually collaborating, sharing, and learning with her Personal Learning Network. Her book Make Learning Magical was released by Dave Burgess Consulting in the Fall of 2018.
Tisha’s Contact information
Twitter: @tishrich #MLmagical
Tisha Richmond YouTube channel: