Hello, friends!

I’m Ryan McHale, and welcome to the Pondering Education site – home of The Pondering Education Podcast and featuring blog posts written by educators from around the country.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself…

About Me

I’m currently in the middle of my 8th year as an English Language Arts teacher in Milford, Massachusetts.  I’m presently working with 8th graders in hopes of getting them academically and socially prepared for the challenges that await them in high school. In addition to fulfilling my role as a classroom teacher, I serve as the Curriculum Team Leader for the ELA/Reading Department, serve as an advisor to the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance, and I’m currently working to earn my Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of New England.

On a personal note, I live in Milford with my wife and two young children.  I absolutely love living in the same area as my students as it’s helped forge tremendous relationships with families all across town. In my spare time, you’ll find me taking in a concert from bands such as Phish, Dead and Company, Dave Matthews Band, and Pearl Jam. 

My goal with this podcast as well as the featured blog posts found on ponderingeducation.com is a two-fold. I want to use this platform as a way to help remind us all why we entered into the field of education. as well as to help pass along best practices from experts all around the country.

What you won’t find here is overly negative commentary. While constructive criticism is both helpful and necessary at times, we all know that this job isn’t an easy one. The last thing you need to is be reminded of the multitude of those roadblocks we encounter throughout a given school year. Instead, let’s accentuate the positive! Let’s work collaboratively to strengthen that intrinsic motivation that exists within all of us.

Social Media

Twitter: @pondereducation (official podcast) and @McHaleELA (classroom account)

Instagram: @pondereducation (official podcast) and @mchale_teacher (classroom account)

Facebook: @ponderingeducation



Thanks for joining us on this journey!






Tal Thompson is an award-winning, National Board Certified, passionate, and energetic teacher. As a nearly twenty year teaching veteran, Tal has seen many changes in the education world since he began teaching back in 1998. Through all of those changes, he has evolved into one of the most engaging teachers around.

Tal was a finalist for the 2015 America’s Top Teacher award on the Live with Kelly and Michael show. Tal recently received the Citizen Education Elementary Teacher of the Year award for the state of South Carolina.

Tal currently teaches fifth grade at Stone Robinson Elementary in Charlottesville, Virginia. It is here that he invests so much time and energy into what he believes to be our greatest natural resource… children! Tapping the potential in every student is at the core of his teaching philosophy and vision. He has achieved his success through creating a classroom environment that nurtures confidence, camaraderie, and accountability within each and every student. When he’s not creating future leaders, he can be found hanging with his wife and two amazing young sons.

Follow Tal on Social Media!

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/talltalteaches/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TallTalTeaches

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/talltalteaches/?hl=en

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/c/TallTal