Saturday, December 24, 2016

Ep 28 - Shauna Pollock: "Figure out what they are curious about and empower them to follow their curiosity"

Image result for Shauna pollock

Shauna Pollock is an educator in Ottawa, Ontario. She is in the midst of preparing to open her own independent school in September 2017 - Blue Sky School.

Listen in to hear what Shauna has to say about what she is currently doing in education and her path to becoming a teacher [experiences along the way: Disney's EPCOT and how it influenced her classroom (and her book writing opportunity), starting a school for Syrian teenagers, the passionate learner experiment, helped open a Montessori school in Ottawa, and now working on opening her own school], writing her book and the special opportunities that came with that experience, how she stayed focused while researching for her book, students and parents as customers/users - teaching students for more than one year, her work with Syrian refugees, what motivates and inspires her, the passionate learner experiment experience, some of the ins and outs of the independent school she is starting, and what she would say to someone to help them get motivated/inspired.

You can listen to the Podcast here.

You can connect with Shauna by email or on Twitter (@misspollock).

Her book can be found here and you can read more about the book at the Creating Classroom Magic site.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Ep 27 - Derek Rhodenizer: "Go out into the hallway and give five kids a high five"

Derek Rhodenizer

Derek is the Director of Academics at Westboro Academy (JK-8 independent bilingual co-ed school) in Ottawa, Ontario. Trained as a teacher in New Zealand, Derek found his place in Education in the private system. He is an active digital leader, always looking to connect.

Listen in to what Derek has to say about his current role in education and the work he is doing at the moment (Admin focused on the academic side of things), the Lego wall in his office and thinking about it as another learning space in the school, his experience working in independent schools, discovering Twitter and leveraging it to create a professional learning network, living in Ottawa, his Podcast and how it came to be, how he got into teaching, what motivates and inspires him daily, his thoughts on failure and fear, a story about bio hacking, and what he would say to someone in need of motivation/inspiration.

You can listen to the Podcast here.

You can check out Derek's Podcast, "Rhodenizer's Eduthoughts", here.

You can connect with Derek on Twitter (@DerekRhodenizer).

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Ep 26 - Jonathan So: "You have to find inspiration in the littlest things sometimes"

Image result for Jonathan So

Jonathan So is a grade 6 Classroom Teacher Peel Region. When he and I met a few years ago he was teaching grade 2. He recently earned a Master's Degree in Mathematical Education and had the privilege of talking about "making kids doers of math" at a Parent Conference sponsored by his school Board.

Listen in to what Jonathan has to say about what he is currently doing, what got him into teaching, thoughts about failing a University course and his father's reaction, Mathematics and how it has always been part of his life, his keynote for his school board's parent conference, his teaching philosophy and how it came to be, his love of learning, what he would say to people who are not motivated/inspired, how he sees things differently since becoming a father, and Stuart Shanker and the work he is doing with respect to self regulation.  

You can listen to the Podcast here.

You can watch Jonathan's talk here:

You can connect with Jonathan on Twitter (@MrSoclassroom) and his Blog site.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Ep 25 - Cassie Hawrysh: "Whatever you're chasing, chase with all that you have"

Cassie Elise Hawrysh

Cassie Hawrysh is a professional Skeleton racer from Brandon, Manitoba. She is in her 8th year as a Skeleton athlete. Aside from being on the Canadian National team, she was an alternate for the 2014 Olympic games in Sochi, Russia. 

"In 2002 she chose to focus on track & field, competing as a Heptathlete and 400m Hurdler for the University of Regina in Saskatchewan where she was named 4 X All-Canadian; by 2007, she had earned my BA in Journalism with distinction. A spur of the moment move to Calgary in 2009 launched her Skeleton career and she spent the first few months just convincing herself that sliding head-first at 140km/h wasn’t a crazy idea. As it turns out, it is a little crazy – but nothing makes her happier and she's also a natural at it. From being named female Rookie of The Year in her first season to numerous podium finishes and two World Cup 4th-place medals to date - as our 2013/14 Canadian Champion she knows what her sport requires to be the best, and she continues to push & race her way straight to the top." (as taken from Facebook 

Listen in to what Cassie has to say about herself, what it's like to be an athlete at such a high level, what she would be doing if she were not a Skeleton athlete, how she uses/manages her Social Media accounts (Brand), the ins and outs of her digital presence, the connections that matter to her, and the TEDx talk that she did in Winnipeg called 'Run Wild'.

You can hear the Podcast here.

You can connect with Cassie on Twitter (@CassieHawrysh), Instagram (@cassiehawrysh), SnapChat (cassie-opia), and her website.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Ep 24: Val Iannitti: "Throw your heart before you, and run after and catch it."

Image result for Val Iannitti
Photo from the Ottawa Citizen (
Val Iannitti is the founder of Zestible, an Ottawa based company that makes nutritious and delicious home cooking easy and convenient. "Growing up in an Italian-Canadian family, she was taught that the family dinner was the most important part of the day. And now, as she raises her own young family, she strives to uphold that tradition. Soon after her kids were born she realized what a struggle it is to plan, cook and eat healthy meals every night. Zestible was her solution. Val has always had a personal mission to contribute to making the world a better place. Val spent years working in human rights and international development before going back to school to study business. With this new tool belt of skills, but the same personal mission, she built Zestible to help families have convenient access to healthy, local food every day." (

Listen in to hear what Val has to say about how things worked at her house when her parents cooked meals, what she is doing right now (her company - Zestible), what brought her to start her own business and some history to provide context, the importance of having a supportive partner and how her her needs are being met by running her own business, challenges she faced based on her gender, what motivates/inspires her to do what she is currently doing, how she landed on "food" for her business, reactions to her idea of starting a business, what helped prepare her for what she is experiences today, and what she would say to help someone find motivation/inspiration.

You can listen to the podcast here.

You can connect with Val on Twitter (@ZestibleInc) and or at

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Ep 23 Amy Fadeji: "You need to be where the people are."

Image result for amy fadeji and penngrove elementary school

Amy Fadeji is an Elementary School Principal in Penngrove, California. She was a teacher for 7 years and then moved to Alabama and taught ESL and grade 3. She moved back to California to teach primary for a bit and then jumped into Administration.

Listen in and hear what Amy has to say about the confusion around connecting with people digitally and then meeting them face to face, her journey to becoming a Principal, the relationship between Principals and Teachers, the teaching she did in Alabama, what motivates and inspires her, her time at the school she is currently at, challenges with being a young female in the role of Principal, where she gets her "thick skin" from, her use of Social Media in her work, her work as a presenter, what she would tell someone to help them find motivation,

You can hear the podcast here.

You can connect with Amy through her Twitter account (@mrsfadeji), her school account (@pennpanthers), her Blog, and through email.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Ep 22 - Chris Cluff: "Do you accept or believe that you can change the course of history by doing your job?"

Chris Cluff

Chris Cluff is currently an educator in an alternative program called Access in York Region - he works with students who have been suspended or expelled. Before becoming an educator, he worked in the Hospitality industry where he started at the bottom and worked his way to the top (Chef/Restaurant Manager). He earned a degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Guelph and then found himself in Teacher's College where he earned his teaching credentials.

Listen in and hear what Chris has to say about his use of social media and face to face meetings, the path that led him to becoming an educator ("this is me"), the students he works with and the program he is part of, his attraction to looking at the fringes and bringing what's out there back to center, questioning to understand (flip your view), his experiences and how they fit in nicely to what he is doing as a teacher, what motivates and inspires him, how he became a chef, what he would say to someone to help motivate them, and the importance of saying more "yes".

You can listen to the podcast here.

You can connect with Chris on Twitter (@beyondbinders). Also, make sure to check out his VLOG on YouTube and his blog.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Ep 21 - Dee Lanier: "Start with questions, hear their story, build context"

Image result for dee lanier and twitter

In this episode I connect with Dee Lanier (Lin-ee-er). Dee is a STEM specialist (Technology 2nd-5th grade) with a team called QUEST at Charlotte Lab School, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Listen in to what Dee has to say about his work in education, what a QUEST class is, his start in High School (and a special guest appearance by Ken Shelton!!) and how it led to some great opportunities, how he became a teacher (deep interest in College), his work with UNCOMMEN, and what he would say to someone to help them find motivation. 

You can see Dee's TEDx Talk:

You can listen to the Podcast here.

You can connect with Dee via Twitter - @deelanier 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Ep 20 - Dave Guymon: "Talk about their concerns and find their wins"

In this episode I chat with Dave Guymon, an Instructional Technology Coach in Idaho. Dave started his teaching career as a 3rd and 6th grade teacher, moved into the role of an online middle school teacher, then became a Digital Innovation Coordinator, and now is an instructional tech coach role. He has written a book called "If You Can't Fail, It Doesn't Count", holds a Master's Degree in Educational/Instructional Technology, and has a little family that keeps him busy and upbeat. 

Listen in to what Dave had to say about Idaho potatoes, how he got into education, what he is currently doing as an educator, the role of tech in the classroom, taking risks, how he got into his current role as a technology coach, the book he wrote years ago, thinking about writing another book (about the changes he has recently made in his life), his journey to becoming healthier (eating and running), what kept him going as he changed his lifestyle, his growing family, and what he would say to someone to help them find their motivation.  

You can listen to the Podcast here.

You can connect with Dave via Twitter - @DaveGuymon

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Ep19 - Rusul Alrubail: "Find out why you feel that way and take a step back"

Image result for rusul alrubail

In this episode I chat with Rusul Alrubail. Rusul is an education writer, consultant, and blogger who is currently working on The Writing Project, a platform that fosters and nurtures student literacy and voice. Prior to her work with the Writing Project Rusul was a Professor at Seneca College who taught English and literature courses to first year college and undergraduate students. Rusul is a big believer in the power of student voice to create positive changes in people's lives. 

Listen in to what Rusul had to say about her current work - going from being a college Professor to working with #Educolour and Edutopia (building communities at the Writing Project), pronouncing her name properly and the importance of addressing people by their proper names, her story and the motivation/inspiration to do a TED talk, #EduColor (inclusive collective that focuses on issues of race and culture in education), the positives and negatives of her work with EduColor, her experiences/perspectives with racism (via gender), the importance of hearing diverse stories (getting to know different cultures and who people really are), her blog site, and what she would say to someone to help them get motivated/inspired (become aware of why you don't feel motivated and then take a step back). 
You can listen to the Podcast here
You can connect with Rusul via Twitter (@RusulAlrubail) and her blog site