What will the world look like in 20 years? How will we prepare young people to thrive in this uncertain future? What is the purpose of education? Answering these questions is daunting. I am in awe of anyone willing to try. On the podcast, I have the privilege of learning from inspirational teachers, leaders, innovators & activists who are passionate about what education could be. Together, we can crush it.

Hey! My name is Natalie Vardabasso and I’m the producer and host of #EduCrush.

Growing up, I knew one thing for sure…I never wanted to be a teacher. Why? I wanted to escape school and never go back. School felt like a game I had to play to please others and I was eager to earn my freedom and finally start learning who I was and how I might contribute to the world.

But then, in my mid-twenties, it hit me.

What if students didn’t need to leave school to start exploring their identity? What if school was a place where students engaged with the world around them? What if school prioritized learning over points?

And thus my obsession with reimagining education began.

For six years, I taught middle school Language Arts and Social Studies before transitioning out of the classroom to co-design engaging and relevant learning experiences alongside other teachers. I’m currently the Assessment Instructional Design Lead at Calgary Academy, a K-12 special education school in Calgary, Alberta.

I hope this podcast inspires you to challenge school as we know it and provides the tools to rebuild education in the service of learning for all.