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Education Life-Long Learning Pete Springer Podcast TTT Season 4 Writing

Season 4 Episode 17: Pete Springer on Embracing Life-Long Learning

“When I think about why I decided to become a teacher in the first place, I believe it primarily was because of the role models who were/are in my life.”

Pete Springer, from his book, “They Call Me Mom

Welcome to Tea, Toast and Trivia.

Thank you for listening in. 

I am your host, Rebecca Budd, and I am looking forward to sharing this moment with you.


I am delighted that I am travelling virtually to Eureka, California where I am meeting up with writer, teacher, and mentor, Pete Springer.

Pete is a former elementary school teacher (grades 2-6) in Eureka, CA.  He said that he retired in 2016, but from what I have read, he is far from retired.  His passion will always lie with supporting education, kids, and teachers, which is demonstrated by his dedication to lifelong learning.

What is lifelong learning?  When does this journey begin and how is it nourished throughout our stages of life?  How do we inspire others to embrace the joy of learning?  These are the questions that will be discussed today.

I invite you to put the kettle on and add to this exciting dialogue on Tea Toast & Trivia.


Listeners, thank you for joining Pete and me on Tea Toast & Trivia.

And a special thank you, Pete, for sharing your insights, your journey, and your passion for supporting education, kids, and teachers.

Your dedication to promoting the teaching profession and lifelong learning inspires us all to explore learning at whatever age we find ourselves in.

I want to add this thought that is found in “They Call Me Mom” –

If there were one thing that I wish my readers would glean from my thoughts on education, it would be to understand what a profound influence that a teacher can have on his/her students. You are inspiring and empowering the next generation.”

Listeners, I invite you to connect with Pete on his website, Pete Springer and  Amazon Author Page. It is a place that celebrates the joy of learning.

Until next time we meet, dear friends, keep safe and be well.


Pete Springer on Embracing Life-Long Learning Tea. Toast. & Trivia.

By Rebecca Budd

Lifestyle Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

98 replies on “Season 4 Episode 17: Pete Springer on Embracing Life-Long Learning”

Thanks for the opportunity to meet and chat about my life as an educator and my journey to conquer new challenges in retirement, Rebecca. If my journey can inspire others, that will make me happy. The overall lesson for me is not to be afraid to try something because it is new.

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I am delighted that you joined me on TTT to discuss one of my favourite topics: life-long learning, Pete. I am looking forward to your return for a reading of “They Call Me Mom!” My sister, Sarah, called me today and reminded me that we need to do something every day that scares us just a little. Keeps us engaged and full of enthusiasm for exploration.

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I know each time we conquer one fear, few feelings are more empowering. I’ve seen it many times with children. They have one success, and their confidence grows. Your sister is on to something.

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How wonderful to feature my blogging friend, Pete on TT&T. It was great to hear him speak about lifelong learning, a favourite topic of mine. My dad only had a grade seven education, but when he retired from farming/ranching and moved to the city, he would walk to the library and pick books on a subject he always wanted to learn more about, bring them home, read them, then chose another topic. In his retirement years, he educated himself. He believed in lifelong learning long before it was a buzzword. Pete was and still is, a great teacher. I learn a lot from him by following his blog. A wonderful episode. Thanks to both of you.

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Many thanks for listening in, Darlene. Life-long learning is one of my favouite topics, too. Shelby Foote said it best, “A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library.” Your Dad understood the concept of life-long learning and how exploration and discovery add meaning to our experience. It is not just in the learning, is it? Our thinking and actions are influenced as we come to know more about ourselves and the world around us. Exciting!!!

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Nothing better than having your father setting the example, Darlene. I LOVE learning that your father utilized the library as a learning source. What a fabulous way to spend his retirement! While so much can be found online, the library is such a go-to resource.

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Your dad’s journey sounds similar to my mom’s experience, Liz. After she had raised her four kids (I’m the youngest), she went back to school and got her degree in social work. Like your dad, she was twice the age of many of her fellow students. I don’t think I appreciated how courageous she was to do that at the time. She became a social worker and worked with dialysis patients and their families.

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So great to hear Pete featured here today. First I loved, ‘retirement is switching gears’. I also loved when Rebecca says, ‘we are connected by stories’, absolutely. The universe always takes us where we need to be, even if we weren’t sure where we’re initially going. It led Pete where he needed to shine and life and introduced him to his wife. Beautiful interview. Hugs xx

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I am delighted that you listened in, Debby. Thank you for your heartwarming and encouraging comments. I love your thought “it led Pete where he needed to shine.” May we remember to seek those things that we love for that is where we will shine.

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My wife likes to tell her friends that she made the first move. I was putting on my Academy Award-winning performance as Pete, the clueless male.

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HI Rebecca, it is lovely to see Pete featured here and to here him talking about his teaching career and his intended purpose for his book. I have read They Call Me Mom and enjoyed it very much. It is equally useful for parents and caregivers as it is for teachers. Pete also has a terrific blog where he shares a lot of positive and heartwarming articles. Thank you, Rebecca, for what you do.

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I am the one who should be thanking you, Robbie. You were the one who introduced me to Pete! Many thanks for listening in and adding to the conversation. I was inspired by Pete’s insights. As he says, we learn from the day we are born to the day of our passing. And that gives me great comfort.

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HI Rebecca, I really hope so, I can’t imagine a life where learning no longer happened. I hope that doesn’t happen to me ever. I think my thoughts on the horror of dementia that were reflected in my poem, She Lives and Yet She is Dead which is on YT.

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I appreciate you mentioning that my book is helpful to parents and caregivers. Since discipline is part of those jobs, I specifically had parents in mind when I wrote that chapter.

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Thank you, Rebecca and Pete for this extraordinary conversation! ! I really do not think my comments will do justice to this encouraging and positive story. I appreciated that Pete shared his very early experiences of discouragement and for relating his own search and choice of his life’s involvement with education. I could relate to his words about “growing up” and his return to college to prepare for his new challenge!

His teaching of children in a school environment, where he met his wife, must have prepared him for his outstanding contribution after retirement I like his definition of retirement as “switching gears” and then being able to do things that a busy teaching life had not allowed. His time with children in a school environment must have prepared him for the outstanding contribution of his books, time, and other means of promoting education.

I appreciate his words: Learning take place the day we are born until the day we pass. These comments are only the beginning of what is contained in these valuable words.. I would encourage all to take time to enjoy! ! Also, Pete has written a book, which is available “They call me Mom.” and is well worth the read! !

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I am delighted that your enjoyed this conversation, Frances!! Thank you for your thoughtful comments that added so much to this discussion. Pete’s definition of retirement as “switching gears” was excellent. I look back on my life and see that we are in a continual process of reinvention, of switching gears, as we encounter new challenges and opportunities. I know you will enjoy Pete’s book “They call me Mom”!! Sending many thanks for your support and encouragement over the years. You have taught me to switch gears with grace and enthusiasm. Hugs!

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Thank you so much for your kind words, Ms. Frances. I may be retired, but teachers don’t abandon their students after that school year. Another former teaching colleague and I had lunch with four former students today who are graduating from high school this year. Two were twin girls with plenty of obstacles in their lives. They easily could have gone the other way and not turned out as well as they have. Both of them are already registered for college next year. It reminded me of the heart and perseverance that many children must possess to change their stories. My heart is full.

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Thanks so much for having Pete on your show, Rebecca. I feel like I’m in the room with you guys, since I’ve visited British Columbia and Eureka, California.

I chose a career that required lifelong learning, and when I would speak to high school classes about careers in technology, I always shared that requirement. Many students were frightened by that, so it’s wonderful to hear that Pete was instilling this concept to young children. Maybe they will be comfortable with the thought.

It was an elementary teacher that sparked my interest in writing. Teachers like Pete are wonderful, and an incredible resource in our communities. I appreciate his emphasis on those values that he shared with those kids.

I think you know how much I agree that we are connected by stories. I like Pete’s story a lot. My brother is a retired teacher. He lives in the town where he taught, and like Pete, he runs into former students all the time. When you leave a mark, a memory like that on your students, you did a good job. I can see it in their faces when they stop my brothers, and I have no doubt that’s the look they have when they run into Pete.

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I’m part of the Humboldt County Children’s Author Festival here in my hometown. Every two years, we fly in twenty-five children’s authors and then escort them around to over 70 local schools in the county so that they can talk to kids about their lives as writers and the role that stories have played for them. It is funded through grants and by the fantastic support of the community. I’m the lone male on the 20+ person committee, but that doesn’t bother me. There are far worse things in life than working with many great ladies committed to literacy. I

Kudos to you, Dan, for taking the time to talk to high schoolers about your career. I’m sure it was beneficial for the students to learn how they could pursue a career in technology if they were interested.

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I think it’s important for the kids to hear about careers from people in those careers. It’s wonderful that you bring writers in for the kids to meet and talk to. I would have loved to have had that opportunity.

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A VERY inspiring conversation about teaching, reinventing one’s self after “retirement,” and more. Teachers are my heroines and heroes; they do such important work — and I have very warm feelings about many of the ones I and my two daughters were lucky to have. Thank you, Rebecca and Pete!

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I remember that my 2nd grade teacher had a very difficult last name. She taught us to say her name as a song. We all knew that song by the end of the school year, and to this day, I remember her name and pronounce it as a song. I agree, Dave – teachers are my heroines and heroes, too. They do fabulous work!!!

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I’m grateful to have the opportunity to reinvent myself, Dave. I had fantastic role models. After my mom raised her four boys, she bravely went back to school, got a degree in social work, and then worked with dialysis patients and their families. I compare teaching to painting. There is more than one way to paint a beautiful picture.

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It was such a treat to see Pete featured on Tea, Toast, and Trivia! I look forward to his blog posts because I always feel better for having read them. So much of your conversation resonated with me, starting with Pete’s first step on the road to becoming a teacher, working as one-on-one aid, going back to college, and becoming a certified teacher. He could have been one of the students I advised when I worked at the School for Lifelong Learning (now Granite State College)!

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It’s been a pleasure getting to know you through the blogs, Liz. Your commitment to education is inspiring. I toyed with becoming an advisor for students in the teaching program. Having mentored four student teachers, one of the beliefs that I tried to impart was the understanding that we all (even experienced teachers) have bad days. It’s easy to get down on yourself and think, “I’m not a good teacher,” when the reality is so many of our students come to our classrooms with baggage. We do the best we can to flip the script, but that’s not easy if their home environment is challenging.

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I feel the same, Audrey. I have enjoyed some of your discussions with your author friends. I don’t know how you choose your topics, but it’s all good stuff. I don’t always listen to the whole discussion, but I love the opportunity to hear you chatting about different elements of writing.

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I’m glad to hear that, Pete. Our last few chats were prompted by questions from other writers. We started with a list of seven. We’re always looking for topics, so if there’s some writing-related thing you’re wondering about, just leave a comment.

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I agree, Audrey. That is why I am very interested in writers reading from their books and poets reading their poetry. Voice is a powerful instrument which bring me a sense of belonging. Many thanks for stopping by and for your lovely comments. Sorry for the late response – have been on the road and just came back into WIFI!

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I’ve enjoyed listening to you read on your blog, Norah. I knew you were from Australia, but it was fun to match what I pictured your voice would sound like with the real deal. It was close to what I imagined.

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I am delighted that you joined the conversation, Norah!!! Sorry for the late response – been on the road and out of internet. Just wanted you to know that I appreciate your comments and visit. Pete is amazing!!!!

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How wonderful that you were able to travel to Eureka to interview Pete! It was through an interview that I “met” Pete, who thought that our RVing trials and tribulation were interesting. I met so many interesting bloggers as a result of this interview, but Pete remains special to me in his positive, inspiring attitude and stories. Great interview and it was nice to hear Pete’s voice for the first time 😊

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I’ve enjoyed traveling with you and Tony, Margie—not literally but figuratively. I’m captivated by the whole boondocking lifestyle. You’ve added a few places to my Travel Bucket List.

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I am delighted that you listened in to this amazing conversation!! I agree wholeheartedly – Pete has a marvelous way to inspire us to seek positive opportunities. His support and encouragement builds our community. I am thrilled that Pete joined me on TTT.

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Thank you so much for your comments and visit, John. Please forgive my delay in responding. I am on the road for the next month and will be in and out of WIFI, but please know that I appreciate your comments. And yes, isn’t it wonderful that Pete is continuing his amazing work!!!

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Thank you, John! On the Road Again is one of my most favourite songs. I looked up the background and found that it all came about when Willie Nelson stared in Jerry Schatzberg’s film, “Honeysuckle Rose” (haven’t seen the movie). I understand that during a flight, Schatzberg asked him to write a song about life on the road to use as the theme song. He wrote he song on a “barf bag.” Always interesting to know that back story. Thank you for sending the song – made my day.

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As I’ve already told you, John, I take inspiration from you and others who show us it’s never too late to follow our dreams. I look forward to many of your regular weekly blog series.

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Thank you so much for joining the conversation, Bette! Sorry for my late response. I’m on the road for the next few weeks and will be in and out of WIFI. I just want you to know that your comments mean a great deal to me.

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Thanks so much, Bette, for your contributions to education and writing. I’m heading in your general direction next week, although I won’t make it to Maine. I’m flying into Boston on Monday.

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Wonderful interview, Rebecca and Pete! His posts are inspirational and teach us the value of volunteering in your community. I enjoyed They Call Me Mom and believe the lessons embrace all walks of life, not just the children he taught (many of whom have gone forward to lead kind and caring lives themselves). Pete is that teacher who makes a difference- it doesn’t get better than that ❤

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What a kind comment, Jacquie. My parents exemplified what it meant to give back to one’s community, and they deserve the credit for being such great role models.

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It was great to listen to Pete and learn about his journey to teaching. Funny how that happens. I loved his perspective and enthusiasm for reading in school and in the community. I enjoyed Pete’s book, Rebecca, especially his anecdotes. I think you’ll enjoy it. I’m so interested in his children’s fiction, and I’m happy to wait. Great interview you two. Have a wonderful weekend.

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I can’t help but think of my students and the circuitous journeys many have made to find their passion. I just saw one of my students had graduated from cosmetology school yesterday—a perfect fit for her. One has to have a certain leap of faith when they switch paths, but if we’re unhappy, that’s a pretty big clue we’re not doing the right thing.

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Finding happiness in what we do – that is the ultimate journey, isn’t it, Diana? As you said so well – we only get this one life. As Virgil wrote many centuries ago:

“Death twitches my ear;
‘Live,’ he says…
‘I’m coming.”

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Thanks, Jennie. I know by now that we share similar philosophies about children and learning. It should be hands-on, interactive, relevant, and something that will help them as they continue to develop their skills.

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Thank you for listening in, Jennie. I just learned that Pete will be meeting up with you in the next few days. He says that you are a Rock Star She when it comes to teaching preschoolers. He sent me the link when you appeared on the Kelly Clarkson show a few months back. I enjoyed this interview immensely so am sharing the link!!

https://www.nbc.com/the-kelly-clarkson-show/video/preschool-teacher-gets-huge-surprise-after-35-years-connecting-kids-with-books/824261977

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Hi Rebecca! Pete and I had a wonderful day together yesterday. How kind of him that he sent you my Kelly Clarkson video. He didn’t tell me. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing it!

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I am delighted that you listened in, Marian! I had so much fun meeting up with Pete and hearing about his teaching experiences. Most of all, I was inspired by his dedication to the teaching profession and his willingness to share his knowledge. Many thanks for your comments – they are truly appreciated.

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I have followed you long enough to know what a fabulous teacher you must have been, Marian. Speaking of worthy candidates, Rebecca needs to interview you if she hasn’t already. Your story of growing up in a Mennonite culture is fascinating, which is why I enjoyed your book and how you told it.

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Pete – you have the best ideas! Let me know if you would like to join me on TTT, Marian. As you know, my “second family” during my college years was Mennonite. Those were wonderful times for me.

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I’m like the ‘White Rabbit” in Alice in Wonderland but I have never been so happy to have arrived here…The last year has been a difficult one and listening to Pete has given me a focus which I have been sorely lacking…Thank you both Hugs xx

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I am so very glad that you joined the conversation, Carol. Pete has a marvelous way of inspiring us to seek the best of what life gives us. He sees the world in terms of possibilities and opportunities. I love following Alice down the rabbit hole!!! Sending hugs!

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Life has a funny way of pouring down so much stuff on us at one time. You have handled it like a champ, Carol. Thanks for being a great blogging friend.

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Bless you, Pete.. You are correct it does but you did encourage and inspire me with your words for that I thank you… I also class you as a great blogging friend.. Blogging certainly opens up a different world for us I have had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful people I would never have met otherwise and whom have enriched my life.. 😎x

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