Introducing Ricky Adamson (Episode 23)

“The book that I wrote and had published in 2019 is based on the stories my grandparents told me about driving the school bus.  The gist of the story is that a child with a limp is afraid that kids on the bus will make fun of him. But, that doesn’t happen on ‘Happy Hazel’s’ bus. The moral of the story is that it’s OK to be different.”

As I note in my introduction to Ricky Adamson’s episode (Episode 23), language aficionados, especially language educators, are more tuned in than the bulk of the population to how language and culture can signal who’s in “our group” and who is not. Ricky is one of the most “tuned in” educators I know in regard to welcome and inclusion.

Through this biography and the podcast, get to know this wonderful person whose commitment to welcome, inclusion, compassion, and empowerment has been powerfully expressed through his work with language and culture, from his time as a dazzled French student through his years as a powerful and effective teacher, supervisor, writer, publisher, and consultant. Enjoy meeting Ricky Adamson.

Ricky Adamson’s Bio

Ricky Adamson, Ph.D., knew he wanted to be a teacher from kindergarten. Throughout his K-12 experience, he was blessed with excellent teachers who mentored him, encouraged him, and set him on the path to teaching. But, it wasn’t until an opportunity to take French in 8th grade that Ricky found his love for languages. His love continued throughout high school and into college, where he majored in French. His 14-year career in the classroom took him from his hometown of Forrest City, Arkansas, to Houston, Texas, and Rogers, Arkansas.

While completing his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Language Education at the University of Arkansas, Ricky served as an Academic Facilitator at Rogers-Heritage High School in Arkansas. From there he began his westward trek, first stopping in Dallas, TX. Serving first as an Instructional Specialist for Languages and later Director of World Languages for Dallas ISD, Ricky grew his love for working with teachers and helping them find the success he found in the classroom.

After entering the field of educational publishing, Ricky eventually found his home in Los Angeles, California. Still in the field of world languages, he serves as Manager of Professional Learning for World Languages for Carnegie Learning. His love of helping teachers as they lead students on the path to proficiency has been the fuel leading him on his career path.

As Ricky completed his graduate degrees, he focused his research on a topic that he found to be of utmost importance:  representation for all students in the curriculum and classroom. From research on the inclusion of multicultural literature in high school English courses to the subtle messages that are sent when students see themselves, or the lack thereof, in the world language curriculum, Ricky hopes to help all teachers use language and culture to show all students that they belong.


Happy Hazel’s and Jolly Jim’s School Bus Adventures

To learn more about previous guests on It’s About Language or access other episodes of the podcast, visit It’s About Language or click on the Podcast tab above.

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