A Kids Book About: The Podcast

Rachel Talks About School

Episode Summary

Rachel Burger, author of A Kids Book About School, talks about what school is, why we go, and why it’s so important!

Episode Notes

Rachel Burger, author of A Kids Book About School, talks about what school is, why we go, and why it’s so important!

A Kids Book About School (view book)

Full Book Description:

What does going to school mean for you? A lot of people will think of history, science, or PE class. But did you know school can teach you so much more? Like how to connect with other people, communicate well, problem-solve, and discover the things you love the most. School is a journey, and this author (and teacher) is here to encourage you along the way!

About the Author:

Rachel Burger (she/her) is an English teacher and writer. She enjoys listening to podcasts, painting, and seeing friends. When she is not writing or teaching, she is likely spending time with her husband, 2 sons, and their dogs. 

Episode Transcription

A Kids Book About: The Podcast

Rachel Talks About School



Matthew: What is school?

Naima: It's a place that you go to learn and you know how to make math.

Rachel: So school is the place where you learn, socialize. and grow as a human. You learn different things in your brain. You learn how to socialize with other people.

Matthew: Welcome to A Kids Book About: The Podcast!  I’m Matthew. I’m a teacher, a librarian, and I’m your host. 

The voices you heard just a moment ago were from Naima and Rachel. 

Each week we talk about the big things going on in your world with a different author from our A Kids Book About series. 

Rachel: Hi, my name is Rachel Berger and I am a teacher, writer, and mother of two. And I wrote the book, A Kids Book About School. 



Matthew: Hello, listeners! Of all the episode we’ve done, you may just be an expert on today’s topic. Do you go to school? Are you a student? Do you have a favorite subject or a favorite teacher?

We’re focusing today on the “why” of school, as well as how school looks for different kids, in different cultures, and in different countries.

But to start our conversation, why don’t we ask Rachel that question that so many of you have asked your own grownup: why do we have to go to school?

Rachel: So why do we go to school? We go to school to get an education about the basics, to learn about ourselves and others, and, It's just the place where you, like, again, I keep, I keep thinking of the thing, like “Grow your brain. Learn things you need to move forward as a human.”

Matthew: Depending on your age and where you live in the world, school may be required, meaning that all children of a certain age are expected to attend and be enrolled in school.

Rachel: Yeah. In some countries you are expected or required to go to school. And in some countries that's not necessarily the case, you know, it's kind of different where you are.  depending on where you are.

Matthew: Not every country shares the same rules and expectations around school. In some countries or areas, students may not be allowed to attend school based on their religion, their gender, or their family’s income.

Rachel: Many people do go to school at some point in their lives, but every country is different. Some people are not able to go to school in certain places in the world. Some people are not allowed to. So it just kind of depends where you are. 



Matthew: Did we mention that Rachel is not only an author, but also a teacher?

Rachel: I teach middle school currently seventh and eighth grade English. For 10 years I taught K through six, so I've taught Kindergarten, third and second. 

Matthew: Okay, so, back to school. 

Do you ever ask kids from outside of your school what their school is like? It’s a quick way to discover that not every school does things exactly like your school. 

Some kids do school in very different ways, actually.

Rachel: You know, we have different buildings or locations. You know, some kids are homeschooled. Some kids may not get to go. Some kids go to like a typical building we might see in America. You know, girls may not go, as I mentioned. 

There's all sorts of different styles and priorities to those schools as well. So, school can really vary depending on where you are or, you know, what you and your family are looking for.

Matthew: Let’s take a quick break. When we return, Rachel will talk about having the right to an education. And we’ll get into more feels about school.

Rachel: I don't feel like one particular way about it. It's kind of like just this big mixture of feelings because, for me, I really loved school the most when I went to college and could pick what I wanted to do. 

I always loved reading and writing, so I loved that part of school, but I always dreaded math because I felt so bad at it. So that was never an enjoyable part of school for me. So it kind of depends on what we're talking about. 

And then also now when I think of school, I just think of my students and being there with them and how funny and fun they are. So… yeah.

Matthew: We’ll be back in just a moment.



Matthew: Welcome back.

Today on the podcast we’re talking about school with A Kids Book About author Rachel Burger.

Before the break, Rachel shared how her feelings are kind of all over the place when we’re talking about school, from the things she loved to the subjects that challenged her to those students she looks forward to seeing each new school day.

Listeners, I would love for you to ask one another this question: how does thinking about school make you feel? Share your answer, and then ask someone listening with you to share, too!

Naima: How does thinking about school make you feel? Weird. Okay. 

Matthew: Ha! I love it!

No matter how you feel about school on any given day, the ability to access education, to learn, to be with your peers, and to gain new skills is something on which it’s hard to put a price. 

In A Kids Book About School, Rachel writes it this way: “We all deserve to go to school, and the way we work to make that happen is by each of us taking advantage of our ability to get an education and learn how to make things better around the world.” 

Rachel: Yeah, absolutely. I'm. I'm very passionate about that. Like people have fought and still fight for people's right to a quality education. And schools and education, this is actually something I say to my middle schoolers when they're like, oh, why do we have to come? Why do we have to do this? 

I'm like, “You know, maybe schools and education like have their imperfections But you guys are getting a chance to get a free education and you know Even if you don't love everything. Let's try to appreciate that and do with it what you can.”

You have a right to know what you're good at and what you struggle with so you can grow as a human. You have a right to know our history as humans, and it's important that we all do. So take this opportunity and do what you can with it. It doesn't mean you have to be amazing at every class that you're in or something. But knowledge helps us do better in any situation. So take your knowledge and do something with it.

Matthew: What led Rachel to write A Kids Book About School is something that drives much of the work we do at large at A Kids Co.

Rachel: I really care about children having opportunities to learn, talk, and understand the world around them, especially with their parents, because sometimes things are tricky to get started talking about, and we're all so busy, but I find, as a parent, it's so much easier. to have these conversations with my kid when I can start with a book.

Matthew: Our time’s almost up. I’m about to send you back out into the world. So let’s  think about how we’ll use what we learned today in order to step out into that world in a more intentional and, perhaps, meaningful way.

Rachel, are there any actions we, the listeners, can take to help our classmates feel more included, engaged, valued, and smart at school and beyond the school walls?

Rachel: I think just be open, listen to others, remember how beautifully different and similar we are at the same time, and water the seeds of whatever interests you. 

Those would be my biggest tips.



Matthew: Thank you to Rachel Burger, author of A Kids Book About School, for joining us today. And special thanks to Naima for lending their voice to this episode.

Naima: Hello, my name is Nayima. I live in Texas. I'm six years old. My favorite thing is playing with friends.

Matthew: A Kids Book About: The Podcast is written, edited, and produced by me, Matthew Winner. Our executive producer is Jelani Memory. 

And this show was brought to you by A Kids Co. 

Follow the show wherever podcasts are found and check out other podcasts made for kids just like you by visiting akidsco.com.