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Building little humans is hard.

It was a rainy August day in 2012 when Elly Hall and Lindsay Mangold first met as bright-eyed, unscathed, eager first year teachers. That was us! We built a friendship and partnership rooted in our shared belief that emotional education was crucial to academic success. In 2016 we earned our masters degrees and reading specialist certifications. During that program, we found Restorative Justice which built the foundation for the work found here on Lead Teacher. 

The big and small challenges of education can burn out teachers who are searching for solutions. We are often told that systemic problems won’t change, administrators determine the culture of our schools, and outdated systems determine the function of our classrooms. This is where we need teacher advocates.


Teachers need to know that the practices in their classrooms can and will lead to larger change.  In his book Teaching as if Life Matters, Christopher Uhl concludes, “We could begin by recognizing that as teachers, we are uniquely positioned to be societal change agents.” Advocates whose practices reflect the quality of relationships in their classrooms create a gravitational pull where students, administrators, and other teachers want to be a part of it. We are here to explore the strategies and mindset that create a classroom that leads by example while also pushing for wide-scale change.


We want to thank you sincerely. Thank you for feeling compelled to make time for this work. Thank you for working with resources that are on their maiden voyages. Thank you for creating a space in school where students can build meaningful relationships with you and their peers. Thank you for making sure everyone in your class is heard every day. Thank you for being the driving force in a future filled with people showing empathy, compassion, grit, and an interest in the well-being of others. Thank you for changing the world.

Yep. We went there.


Teaching as if Life Matters

Christopher Uhl with Dana L. Stuchul