OYAP Coordinator

Deb Lawlor – Coordinator, Intermediate/Secondary Student Success OCSB

Deb Lawlor - Coordinator, Intermediate/Secondary Student Success OCSB
About Deb Lawlor

Deb Lawlor (@deb_lawlor) is the coordinator of student success at the Ottawa Catholic District School Board. 

Her interests include authentic learning experiences & inquiry.  She is also an avid outdoor enthusiast, photographer, traveler, optimist & cook.  In this episode, we talk about her educational journey and her travelling sabbatical. 

Connect with Deb: Email | Twitter

Listen Now

Listen to the episode now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or on your favourite podcast platform.

Resources Mentioned

6 Modern Sabbatical Ideas

Specialist High Skills Major Program

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program

Hapaweb Solutions

Smiths Falls

The Transcript

**Please note that all of our transcriptions come from rev.com and are 80% accurate. We’re grateful for the robots that make this possible and realize that it’s not a perfect process.

Sam Demma (00:00):
Welcome back to another episode of the High Performing Educator podcast. This is your host and youth speaker Sam Demma. Today’s guest, I had the pleasure of working with back in 2019, and then in 2020, she took a sabbatical to go travel the world and she’s finally come back and I convinced her to come share some of her wisdom on the show. We talk a ton about her social sabbatical. Today’s guest is Deb Lawlor. Deb Lawlor is the coordinator of intermediate and secondary student success at the Ottawa Catholic school board. She also now has taken on the portfolio of helping to coordinate anything related to SHSM and OYAP, specialist high skills major, or the Ontario youth apprenticeship programs. And she is a powerhouse. She won’t be in education too much longer but while she’s here, we can learn a lot from her. I hope you enjoy today’s episode. I’ll see you on the other side.

Sam Demma (01:34):
Deb, thank you so much for coming on the high performing educator podcast. Huge pleasure to have you on the show. Can you start by introducing yourself and sharing a little bit about how you got into the work that you do in education today?

Deb Lawlor (01:47):
Okay. Hi, I’m Deb Lawlor and I’m currently working at the Ottawa Catholic school board as a coordinator in the intermediate secondary student success department. And I have been an educator for about 25 years now. I started way back when, and I was able to leave from high school, get into university to take a teaching degree. I did my Phys ed degree first and was able to start yeah, actually with adults in the beginning, I sort of, I call it, I went through the back door to try and get a job at the time because there wasn’t anything available. And through, some people who were in a class of mine, they told me about it and I started teaching adults. So I was probably, I was in my, my mid twenties and I was actually teaching adults who were anywhere from 18 years old and my oldest student was 54.

Deb Lawlor (02:36):
I can remember Florian because he was his grandfather in my class trying to get his education after having left. I think he left like grade five, six and went to work on his farm and he was just trying to get his basic grade nine math and, and get his G E D at the time. And from there I moved on to teaching grade seven and eight. I wanted to get into working with the kids. I, I enjoyed working at adult Ted, but it was really, I wanted to do the extracurricular. I wanted to coach, I wanted to have activities beyond, you know, student council with the kids and work with them in that way. And so I was able to, to go into grade seven and eight. And from there I moved into a high school when, when St mother Teresa was opened up in the day when, when we were expand quite a bit in the Ottawa area for, for schools out in some of our outside the city areas.

Deb Lawlor (03:23):
And I taught there for almost 14 years teaching F ed mostly for anything from grade 9, 10, 11, 12 girls to mixed classes with grade 11 and 12 girls, boys and I, my last class I taught was actually a grade 10 boys class, which was quite fun. They, they, they made me laugh. and partway through that time, I started consulting at the school board as if I said consultant halftime and did that for about eight years. And after that, I moved on into being the coordinator within my department. And the section that I have is called specialized pathways, which really covers some programs for are students who are trying to get through high school and explore areas within options for them after high school, whether it’s apprenticeship going right into the workplace or if they take a college or university pathways.

Deb Lawlor (04:12):
So I have focus programs, dual credits, specialist, high skills, major or Chisholm program as we call it. And oh yeah, the Ontario, a youth apprenticeship program, which is some fascinating areas where you can really look at what are the options we can offer students today that are not just taking a class, you know sitting, listening, and, and learning, but they’re actually doing, they’re doing the hands on pieces, getting into job work experiences and finding out about what the work world would would be like in their career that they’re wanna choose and pursue.

Sam Demma (04:42):
I love that. And if you can think back for a moment to when you were younger and going through university or school and teachers college, when did you actually know, ah, I want to be a teacher. Was there like someone who pushed you down that path or did you just know at a young age that that was the calling for you?

Deb Lawlor (04:59):
It’s funny, you asked me because my path sort of, I had a very direct path and I meandered for many years and then I came back to it. So I actually, I wanted to be a teacher in grade four. I, I loved school as a kid. I wanted to that was all I wanted to do was to be a teacher. And, and then I hit grade six and all of a sudden I met somebody in my class and they were very well off. And when I looked at what she had, I wanted that and I thought, well, her dad’s a lawyer. I’m gonna be a lawyer. They’re rich. I’m gonna be a lawyer. I wanna get into them pursuing that. So from grade six, all the way to grade 11 until like took grade 11 law, and then I went, I don’t wanna be a lawyer anymore.

Deb Lawlor (05:37):
so a way too much detail and article and the, the research you had to do to look up stuff did not interest me. So then my brain went to the second thing. Okay. At the time I was in grade 11 and in grade nine, I got braces. So I went and had braces grade 9, 10, 11, 12. And again, I’m going, Hmm. My orthodontists are making a killing and not hurting people while doing it. So I thought, great. I wanna be an orthodontist. So I went down to see my guidance counselor and he’s like, yep, you’re gonna need to take this science and this science and this science and here’s, I said, oh, I don’t wanna do that. That’s not of an interest to me to take all the sciences. Yeah. And at the time I, then I was grade 12 by then I had started, I had started working at a summer camp when I was in grade 10 and I was working with kids mostly anywhere mostly preteens, like kind of like your 11, 12, 13.

Deb Lawlor (06:28):
And then I took over the program to work with kids who were counselors in training. They were the 15, 16 year old. So in working with them and I wasn’t very, and still am a strong athlete in, in my abilities. And so I was playing on all the school teams at school and it wasn’t until I finally talked to my dad. So if you talk about who was my influencer, it was my father. Hmm. He said a couple of things to me, one of the things was he, he told me, and this was really important to hear as a female back in 1980s, you, you can do anything you want to like, whatever you choose to do and to be, go for it. That’s, that’s your, your, your ability to try and do that. So that was one thing that was very important to hear.

Deb Lawlor (07:07):
The other thing was he’s, you know, I had this idea that, you know, I did well in school. I had good grades. I could be anything I wanted to be, I could apply to any program and probably get in. But when he said to me, think about this for a moment, if you’re gonna work for 30 years, you better darn well, like what you’re gonna do. And I kind of went, whoa, I’m like, yeah, like 30 years, that’s a long ti 30 years is a long time. Yeah. I have to try and imagine what I would wanna do for 30 years and was at a time when, like, people actually did the same thing for 30 years. That’s no longer the case anymore. But in thinking about that, I went, all right, well, look at your life, Deb, you are playing all these sports. You’re an athletic person.

Deb Lawlor (07:51):
You enjoy being active and you enjoy working with kids that you’ve been doing this at this camp, put the two together. And it was like, well, okay, yeah. Be a PHY ed teacher. And in my mind, at the time though, I was like, well, but you know, I could be more than a pH ed teacher, but I went back to the thought of, you had always wanted to be a teacher anyway. So it doesn’t matter what, you know, that stigma that might have been around it was, is I thought I could enjoy that for 30 years. And so, yeah, my dad was, was a very big influencer and what I could do and that I could choose anything I wanted to, whether I was male or female at the time. And also to say like, you wanna enjoy what you do. And I remember my first years of work going, I, I don’t, I didn’t work a day in my life because I didn’t feel like it was work, you know, in the beginning I, you know, I was doing with my physi and that, and I was kind of like, yeah, like I’m, I’m getting paid to play.

Deb Lawlor (08:43):
You know, now there’s a skill to making play interesting to kids and having them engaged. Yeah. Don’t get me wrong. But yeah, I, I, I really don’t feel for most of my career that I’ve really worked a day in my life in that sense that it, it it’s enjoyable. I, I love what I do.

Sam Demma (08:58):
That’s awesome. And it’s changed a lot over the past couple of years, specifically this year and something I’ve recently started to realize is that our beliefs lead to our emotions, our emotions lead to our actions and our actions lead to our results. And when we get a different world view, our beliefs change, then our emotions change, our actions changes and our results that we might even project onto our students change. You recently took a sabbatical and traveled the globe for a year, gained some new perspectives, came back to the classroom. And I would say arguably back to education, arguably more passionate, more inspired with a new clarity. Could you share a little bit about what prompted you to make that decision to travel and how it affected you as a professional in education?

Deb Lawlor (09:47):
Okay. I’ve always loved to travel. I, I started traveling in, in my mid twenties and the nice thing. I mean, it’s, it’s to double edge sword as a, as an educator, we are pegged into times that we have to travel mm-hmm. So we have to travel at March break. We have to travel at Christmas the two week time break. And then we, and we graciously have a summer time where we can choose to, to do some, some intensive traveling during that time on the flip side of that, it’s also very costly at all those high season times. But what sort of got me into wanting to pursue some sabbaticals and, and, and to travel in that way was in order to go to New Zealand in Australia. And I, and I did that on a sabbatical that I took back in oh 5 0 6. It was my first one.

Deb Lawlor (10:32):
I, I had that care at dangling in front of me for five or six years as I was on reduced pay in order to, to get to that goal. But what drove me was I wanted to see Australian New Zealand, but the time to see their summertime was in our wintertime and as a teacher, I wasn’t gonna be able to do that. Mm. And so that gave me the drive, the push to kind of go, okay, let’s try this, this sabbatical where I do a reduced pay. And it’s given, you know, I’m paid from a, that final year from my own money. And when I did that, it allowed me to see places. I, I, I had never, you know, had an opportunity to see. And this time when I went to go, my, my dream was to go to, to Asia. I wanted to go explore Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos, and see cultures that I didn’t know very much at all about.

Deb Lawlor (11:16):
And it allowed me to immerse myself into a place that there was new things to see there was new things to taste. There were new people to get to know. And I traveled with people who were internationally spread across the world. There was people from the UK, people from Switzerland, people from Germany, I met people who were Dutch all over the globe. And I think just that exposure to people, you start seeing other perspectives. And I’m always very curious about the education systems in other places. And you talk to them about how long’s your school day and what do your kids do? You know, what are the sports that they might get involved in? What extracurriculars do they run? How do they do that? And it was very interesting to me going to Asia because it is very different in some ways to, to how we do things.

Deb Lawlor (12:04):
I, I had a really great opportunity. This little boy in Vietnam came and, and approached me while we were wa walking between PI places on, on the tour. And we had a chance to stop. And I was sitting on a bench and this little nine year old boy came up and he said to me, is it okay if I sit and talk with you? And I said, sure. And I kind of looked around for the parent and, and the parent and his father and his grandfather was sitting on the bench across from me. And what I had ended up finding out later from my guide was that this was how a lot of the children would try and learn English. They didn’t wanna learn from their teachers who were Vietnamese. They wanted to learn from English speaking first language people. So they were often encouraged to see, seek out the tourists and have conversation to practice through English.

Deb Lawlor (12:49):
And so I was fascinated because this little guy, he knew, knew more about Canada than some of the students that I knew. And he was like, he, I told him where I was from. And he started talking about, well, your population is approximately this million, this number million. And you have a very large country, and it’s very cold there. You know, he had all these, I, you are nine years old and can tell me about my country. It was very interesting. But then to ask and say, so, you know, like, what are the types of things you do? What do you like doing at school? And he liked computers and he liked reading. And I asked him about sports and I said, physical activity. I said, do they do it at your school? And it wasn’t popular among some of the kids. And there were some things that were happening, but it was very oriented to achieving and to practicing your lessons and working on those types of things.

Deb Lawlor (13:42):
So I always find it interesting to travel elsewhere, to find out what they, what they do. And, and can we learn anything from, from other other cultures and, and, and having other perspectives. I mean, just on the, on tour itself my tour in New Zealand that followed that was, I was probably the oldest on that tour for most of the time of that tour. I was probably 20 years senior, too, to most of the people on the tour. And again, to have that perspective of youth and say, you know, how do you see these things and what do you, think’s happening in the world? And is this working, and, and why would you do this? Or wouldn’t you do that? Was very interesting. And I met a, I met another teacher from the UK and she was 32 and, you know, worked at elementary.

Deb Lawlor (14:24):
So again, something different for me to kind of probe. And I’m actually still in contact with, with three of the four of the gals that I met. We’re still on, on WhatsApp together to, to connect and talk about things and see how, how we’re doing. So the opportunities. And then, so what that brings back with me then Sam, for coming back to work is, is a, a renewed vigor about what I do and, and listening then to finding those other perspectives when, when I’m dealing with what I deal with now and making sure that, you know, there’s not somebody in the room that’s not heard mm-hmm , and if I’m not hearing a voice, I start to look for it and thinking or asking myself, well, what would this person think? Or how would this impact this person? Whereas before, you know, if you, it might have just been a bit more narrow because you haven’t had all those other different perspectives to hear about.

Sam Demma (15:15):
That makes so much sense. And would you recommend other educators listening to travel?

Deb Lawlor (15:20):
Oh, absolutely. I highly recommend I’ve done three sabbaticals over my time. Nice. And my next one will be permanent but no, I, I think it’s a great, I think it’s a great opportunity. And you know, what, you, you also don’t need to travel extensively far away. I mean, I, I went to Asia, I went to New Zealand. Yeah. Those are big, big options to try and, and get away from. But what COVID OS taught me is that you can actually explore around the area you live. I’m actually trying to, now that I’m restricted in where I can go from auto it’s like, well, what new trails can I go check out? And what are the new, I went to a grocery store the other day that I, I kept seeing fruit for a long time, on my way to my, my physio appointments.

Deb Lawlor (16:02):
And I said, I that’s Adonis. I’m like, that’s telling me something. That’s not a Sobeys. It’s not a Loblaws. You know, I thought, well, what kind of, you know, what’s, what’s the type of foods and stuff. So I went in and I, I had a, a little mini exploration, you know, for half an hour of just walking through aisles and going, wow, okay. Like in their deli, they’ve got a whole bunch of chickpeas and they have nuts and they have different produce that I couldn’t normally find in the wintertime. And I thought, you know, looking at the different culture that’s been brought into a store and it was very exciting in that same way of just going something new, something different and something to try. So I absolutely, I, I would highly recommend travel for, for anyone to do, but it, it can be travel even to another province.

Deb Lawlor (16:42):
If you haven’t explored Canada, it could be to a, to a small town. We live in Ottawa here with my board. But I mean, there’s Smith falls around there’s, Almont, there’s Kingston, not far our way, there’s these small little town Smith falls, Richmond, like you can explore, you know, and I think that it adds to when we’re lifelong learners, mm-hmm, , you’re constantly in, in education, you are a lifelong learner. Whether you like it or not, because you’re not always gonna be teaching the same courses, the same grade level, you’re gonna change positions. You might go into advance, you’re always gonna need to learn. And if you keep open to that learning, then it makes it a lot easier for, for what you’re

Sam Demma (17:20):
Gonna do. I was speaking to an educator yesterday on a phone call, Michael Kelly from the Toronto Catholic district school board. He teaches a GLE learning strategies course. And he was telling me that he has a passion for history, and that’s what he got into education be cause of. And there was this opportunity to travel to Italy with his students and show them history. And he said, by going on that travel experience, it renewed his passion and reconfirmed for him that he does love history. And it’s so exciting to him. And it’s so cool. And he said, he came back to school with so much more passion to teach it. And I think it’s the same case for you, but in a slightly different position that you’re now working in with the school board. What new challenges though, have you been faced with over the past? I don’t know, a couple of months that you’ve been placed back into this position right after a global pandemic?

Deb Lawlor (18:11):
Yeah, definitely a, a change in in experiences coming back to this, I, I wasn’t, so therefore I wasn’t in, in place working when COVID hit in, in the spring when schools were, were, were adjusting that I think part of the challenge I’ve seen is trying to find ways to make activities. And this is activities with my teachers or the activities teachers are doing with students trying to make activities that we normally would do engaging. Now that they’ve a lot of it switched online. And I, I think the screen time is a challenge. I, I think it’s, it’s very difficult for people to be on screen, how they’re in school. And then, and then they go home on, in our board. They, they flip flopping days at high school and then go home and then you’re expected to be on screen all day long with that.

Deb Lawlor (18:59):
And then a lot of what people’s personal interests and hobbies are, is to be on social media or to be online on, on their device. So, so I think that’s the, the biggest change that I’m, I’m on screen now all day long and I’m on meetings and, and doing trying to connect with teachers through Google meets or individual Hangouts, or it it’s a lot of a lot of time that just sitting. So I just, you know, before I, I got online with you, I just came from my walk outta lunch that nice, you know, get outside dress for it. It’s a little chillier there today. Yeah. but, and, and I also thinking it’s trying to reach out to our students and, and our teachers for me, cuz I, I work with our staff to, in a meaningful way. It, it’s making sure that they’re is those human connections that we still need.

Deb Lawlor (19:54):
And so something, you know that you can try and create, that’s fun. Something that, you know, is lighthearted being able to make use of time. That’s precious for people being consistent in terms of what you want to try to accomplish and be clear about things. It, it’s a challenge to try and make sure that, you know, you’re not wasting people’s time for different pieces. And then also for me in the, the role that I have is I get funding to run some of these programs. And there’s a lot of funding this year that we’re not using it for buses. We’re not using it for supply release. We’re not using it for hospitality reasons. So now it’s like, well, what do we use that funding for? And it’s trying to find ways to brainstorm and to think outside the box of, okay, I can’t, I can’t bring a, a, a provider and to give a certification to students. So what am I gonna do instead? You know, we ask, we can do it online, but it’s like, well, can I give you kits that you can have someone zoom in live with you and you guys each now all have your individual piece to build a house and to work on that and understand the, the makings behind construction and, and, and the skills that go with that.

Sam Demma (21:08):
I love that that’s an amazing understanding and how things have changed and shifted what is going really well though. I, you talked about an online system that specifically the O C D S B or the OCS B is using that’s working really well for teachers and students and helping them keep track of their it’s. I believe it’s like a Google workflow or something along those lines.

Deb Lawlor (21:30):
So ha power workspace is what we use. Yep. And teachers are able to load up all of their different materials in there. But the nice thing about Hapa is that the students it’s already set up for them when they walk into their, into their, their, they say, walk into their class when they begin their class, when they get yeah. Virtually, if they sign in and the folders for each of their courses are already in Google drive. So if they had math history, religion, and English happening, then there’s already a folder that has all their documents that they need. So it kind of removes that need for a binder. You’re not losing papers, things aren’t falling out. If the teacher knows the student’s gonna be away, they know that that information is in there to access wherever they are remotely and be able to do that.

Deb Lawlor (22:13):
And that was a, a nice thing to be able to see happen where it really, I mean, COVID, that’s a plus side of it. Is it really accelerated how quickly our staff is using it and becoming comfortable with it? Because we had to last spring when everything went, went remote, now I could see in the future that, you know, let’s say a student has a lacrosse tournament that we can misses some of their classes, right? Yeah. Then they come back and they know everything’s already in there, or they’re on their bus, taking the ride out, or they’re driving to Toronto to, to do a tournament you know, in their personal life. And then they can be worth on the stuff and not miss anything that that’s gonna happen there. And Harara allows the students to actually add cards to it. So you can actually collect evidence and, and they might have something where say, you know, Sam, I want you to add, you know, your ideas to this slide and Deb, I want you to put your ideas in this slide and each student would have a slide to add into it.

Deb Lawlor (23:06):
So now you have collaboration happening between students, even though they’re in their different places or it could even be happening in the same classroom because now you can’t touch each other’s, you know, laptops and materials, et cetera, but they can still be collaborating on the same document together. And and the assessments are done there through there as well in track so that they teachers able to see their progress as they’re working on it, to see where they’re at and whether they need some little reminders to, you know, keep going at it, or if they, you know, need feedback and get some help and they can do that electronically as well.

Sam Demma (23:37):
I love it. And you mentioned that your, your next sabbatical will be your final one before that parting day mm-hmm . What, what keeps you hopeful and motivated when working in education with young people, despite the challenges that we’re facing?

Deb Lawlor (23:53):
There’s always hope if you look for it. It it’s, I, I have an attitude of gratitude and I think that alone really gives me hope because as even, even walking outside today, I was thinking, you know what, I, I can go outside and walk. I’m not sick with COVID right now. Yeah. And I have my health and I’m in an area that I can do this in. I think that the the ability to not give up that there is that there’s always going to be something kind. I see people being kind that’s hopeful to me. So when you see simple kind gestures during your day, someone opens the door for, for you at work, you’re out in the grocery store. And, you know, you can still see the smile of people’s eyes above the mask, right. If, if you look for it, if, if you, so it’s pain attention to the little details.

Deb Lawlor (24:47):
Sometimes watching that, you know, someone’s got a real joy for Christmas right now in my department, and they’re just, every decorations are going everywhere and it makes people smile. And I think the other thing too, is just knowing that this too shall pass like it, this isn’t gonna be forever. It’s inconvenient. Absolutely. it’s, it’s depressing for some at times it’s certainly financially impacting people and, but it’s not gonna last, it will, it will be done someday. And I think you, that having that belief, knowing that it, you know, when you think of something hard that you went through it, wasn’t forever mm-hmm . And at the same time, what gives hope is that there’s other people that you can, that you can be helpful to around you. And that in itself is very, oh, very inspiring to, to see others doing that, to, to watching, you know, students making things for others, for the can.

Deb Lawlor (25:46):
I mean, the can food drives aren’t happening in the same ways that they did before, but we’re still finding people who are thinking outside the box. And I think when I see that when I see people being innovative, when I see people being creative with the situations they’ve been given, and yet seeing really neat things that they’re doing with their students, that gives me hope within, you know what’s gonna happen. And, and you sort of get pushed outside your comfort zone. But I think that gives me hope in the sense too, that we’re doing things that we might not have done. Had we not been put in this position? Yeah. You know, there’s been a lot of quick changes. People are collaborating a lot more now because they need to. Yeah. And they’re seeking help out from other people. I, I, I put an all call out to my, to my Chim leads across the province, you know, back in October when I was like, oh my gosh, I don’t know what to do with this.

Deb Lawlor (26:35):
And, and I got 13, 14 responses. And then I connected with those people by phone and followed up. And then we chatted about things. And then I went, okay, I’m not the only one dealing with this. Someone else is feeling the same thing I am. And someone else is going through something similar. And as you talk to someone, you just kind of go, okay, I’m not alone in this. There there’s others who are going through the exact same thing. And then you stop being so hard on yourself in what you’re trying to deal with because others are doing the same thing.

Sam Demma (27:02):
Yeah. I love that. And your hope is hopefully rubbing off on your hope, the listener. I hope this reminds you that there is always a perspective shift that you can have, right? That’s the whole idea of change. What you’re believing about the situation. It will change how you feel. It will change your actions and you’ll get a totally different result. Deb, if you could travel back in time and speak to your younger self, when you just got into education, what would you say?

Deb Lawlor (27:30):
Oh, so if I’m, I’m speaking to myself from my perspective now to my younger self?

Sam Demma (27:34):
Yeah. In education. Okay.

Deb Lawlor (27:37):
Don’t take it personally. I love it. I think as young educator is we take everything personally. We are upset if they don’t do the homework, the student doesn’t do their homework in our class. We’re upset when they walk out and say, I hate you. That we’re upset when, you know you, you plan this great lesson, you put all this effort and it totally bombs. And the kids think it sucks. You know? Like I, I think you can’t take it personally. You do the best that you can with what you’ve got and that’s gonna develop over time. I think part of it is I would tell myself I would tell myself it doesn’t have to be perfect. I think there’s so much, we strive that, you know, you’ve gotta have that perfect lesson. It’s gotta be, everyone’s gotta receive it in the right way.

Deb Lawlor (28:20):
And, and everyone being happy with it. I’d probably tell myself not to work so many long hours. I burn the candles a lot when, you know, and you do as a young teacher because yeah, you just, you need to you until you get the experience until you, you know, figure out what it is you, and if you’re teaching something different all the time, it’s, it’s inevitable it’s gonna happen. What else would I tell myself? I would tell myself to, to enjoy the ride. Mm. But really enjoy the ride because it, it, and I think I did, I eventually, I, I started to do that to really, to, to it’s about the journey. It’s not about the endpoint really, to, and, and not to be afraid to, well, certainly to not worry so much about the content. And it’s more about, it’s more about the skills that you’re teaching the kids.

Deb Lawlor (29:08):
And again, sort of my beginning year, my first, you know, five, six years that wasn’t in my mind as I, as I grew, and as I got more experienced, you, you start to enjoy those kids who who are the challenge, the kids who don’t agree with you, who, who will push and who have issues that you start to realize that you can help mold and help guide them. And it’s not all about having the kid who puts their hand up all the time and raises their hand and hands everything in and does everything you want them to. And doesn’t talk back to you. After a while I started seeking out the kids who I thought you’ll be okay without me, you’re gonna do fine and be all right, but you need a little more attention and, and, and you need in year and you need me to ask you, how are you doing today? You know, scale of one to 10, where are you at just doing a check in? Doesn’t need to tell me a, any information. I don’t need to know the details, but if I know you’re a four today, then I’m gonna deal with you a little bit different than if you’re at an eight, you know, and, and, and cut you a little slack and give you a little bit of room and be understanding that, Nope, you’re not gonna get that assignment into me today. And it’s not the end of the world.

Sam Demma (30:18):
I like that. That’s awesome. Deb, thank you so much for coming and sharing some of your wisdom and advice on the show here today, and some of your own personal journey through education. If another educator wants to reach out to you, what would be the best way for them to do so maybe Twitter or an email or whatever you prefer.

Deb Lawlor (30:35):
Yeah, they can, they can give me an email at debbie.lawlor@ocsb.ca. So debbie.lawlor@ocsb.ca. My Twitter handle is @deb_lawlor.

Sam Demma (30:55):
All right. Awesome. Thanks so much, Deb. I look forward to staying in touch and seeing where your travels take you next.

Deb Lawlor (31:02):
Sam’s it’s been a pleasure to be here.

Sam Demma (31:04):
And there you have it. Another amazing guest, an amazing interview on the High Performing Educator podcast. As always, if you enjoy these episodes, please consider leaving a rating and review so other educators like yourself can find this content and benefit from it. And here’s an exclusive opportunity that I mentioned at the start of the show. If you want to meet the guest on today’s episode, if you wanna meet any of the guests that we have interviewed, consider going to www.highperformingeducator.com and signing up to join the exclusive network. You’ll have access to networking events throughout 2021 and other special opportunities. And I promise I will not fill your inbox. Talk to you so soon. I’ll see you on the next episode.

Join the Educator Network & Connect with Deb Lawlor

The High Performing Educator Podcast was brought to life during the outbreak of COVID-19 to provide you with inspirational stories and practical advice from your colleagues in education.  By tuning in, you will hear the stories and ideas of the world’s brightest and most ambitious educators.  You can expect interviews with Principals, Teachers, Guidance Counsellors, National Student Association, Directors and anybody that works with youth. You can find and listen to all the episodes for free here.

Dave Barrett – Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) Coordinator for the Bluewater District School Board and the Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board

Dave Barrett - Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) Coordinator for the Bluewater District School Board and the Bruce Grey Catholic District School Board
About Dave Barrett

Dave Barrett is the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) Coordinator for the Bluewater District School Board and the Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board. OYAP is a School to Work program that opens the door for students to explore and work in apprenticeship occupations starting in Grade 11 or Grade 12 through Cooperative Education, events and community partnerships.

Prior to Dave’s work with OYAP, he was the Project Manager for the Saugeen Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) for 12 years and worked in many different sectors and industries over his career.

Connect with Dave: Email | Linkedin | Instagram

Listen Now

Listen to the episode now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or on your favourite podcast platform.

Resources Mentioned

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)

Pathways to Apprenticeship (Skills Ontario)

What is Co-operative Education?

The Transcript

**Please note that all of our transcriptions come from rev.com and are 80% accurate. We’re grateful for the robots that make this possible and realize that it’s not a perfect process.

Sam Demma (00:00):
Welcome back to another episode of the High Performing Educator podcast. This is your host and youth speaker Sam Demma. Today’s guest on the podcast is Dave Barrett. Dave is the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program Coordinator for the Bluewater District School Board and the Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board. OYAP is a school to work program that opens the doors for students to explore and work in apprenticeship occupations starting in grade 11 or grade 12 through cooperative education events and community partnerships. Prior to Dave’s work with OYAP he was a project manager for the Saugeen Economic Development Corporation, SEDC for 12 years, and worked in many different sectors and industries over his career. I hope you enjoy this conversation and get a new perspective on future career planning for students with Dave.

Sam Demma (01:28):
Dave, welcome to the High Performing Educator podcast. Huge pleasure to have you on the show here with us. Please start by introducing yourself and sharing a little bit about what you do!

Dave Barrett (01:40):
All right. My name is Dave Barrett. I’m the Ontario youth apprenticeship program coordinator for two school boards both Bruce Grey, Catholic district school board and the Bluewater district school board. So we, I cover all of gray and Bruce counties, which is slightly bigger than the province of prince Edward island. And my job is to encourage students to explore the pathway of apprenticeship through co-op education and the great career opportunities in the skilled trades.

Sam Demma (02:05):
What got you into this work? Why OYAP and why are you the person doing it?

Dave Barrett (02:11):
That’s an interesting question because if you looked at my resume, I’m really not qualified to be doing what I’m doing. However in my previous career I worked in economic development and workforce development was a big piece of that. And it was one of the areas where we’d hear all the time that students weren’t participating in these great career opportunities and not exploring the skilled trades. Well, when I took on this role, I found out many were, but we, we opened up more opportunities for them to do it and tried them in different ways. And then through my role in my community contacts, we’ve created all kinds of, of different events for students to come and try it. It doesn’t matter if they’re on the academic college workplace or apprenticeship pathway, if you don’t try it, how can you know, if this is the career for you?

Dave Barrett (02:55):
So that was where sort of my, my role, my expertise, and my background brought to this. And we’ve just continued to raise the numbers of the number of students who are exploring. I don’t think the skilled trades are for everybody, but I also don’t think university is. And I also don’t think colleges, and sometimes you gotta work for a couple years to figure things out all are great pathways. I just wanna make sure people understand the skill old trades before they start thinking that this isn’t the career for them. Cuz there’s some great opportunities here.

Sam Demma (03:24):
I couldn’t agree more. I think every pathway is a valid option. Every student learner is different. You know, my dad is someone who works in skilled trades and half of my family works in skilled trades and it’s a, it’s a great way to make a living. And if you love building things and working with, and why not?

Dave Barrett (03:42):
The what, but if you never tried it before, when you were in elementary school, how can you, how can you know? Well, I don’t want to take tech when I get to high school. Yeah. So that’s, that’s kind of the, the stuff that we work towards

Sam Demma (03:52):
Now, did you grow up working with your hands and very involved in labor and you know, the trades yourself?

Dave Barrett (04:00):
I’ve had a varied background, so I I’m very upfront with students when I do my my OYAP presentation. Cool. And what I talk about is I’m somebody who gets bored after about seven to 10 years of doing anything . So I did work in construction and started an apprenticeship. And then I worked for a cabinet maker for about five years we were talking, we were, I was on the apprenticeship pathway and thought, you know what? I really don’t wanna do this. Then I bounced around. I got into healthcare and I was actually back in the day, they called them orderly, but I was a PSW in a nursing home, still the best job I ever had, but you know, moved on, did college pathway, cuz I wanted to do other things I worked in for a while. I was actually responsible for apprentices at an auto body shop for a number of years that I managed.

Dave Barrett (04:46):
And then I went into community economic development. So I used the university pathway to get my certifications there. And now I’m an OYAP coordinator and you know, that’s what we talk to students is whatever, whatever pathway you decide now you’re not locked in, you know, use the tool. And I, I, what I try and equate is the pathways are actually just tools. Use the tool when you need the tool. So if you need to do an apprenticeship, do an apprenticeship. If you go, you know what? I think I’m smarter than these engineers then great use the tool of university, go become an engineer and show them and move on in your career.

Sam Demma (05:19):
And how do you think a teacher who is, is not, you know, promoting OYAP and keep in mind, there might be educators listening as well. They’re outside of Ontario. So keep, how would you suggest a teacher promote different pathway opportunities, including the skilled trades to their students?

Dave Barrett (05:38):
I, what I encourage, I talk to my teachers about is I have no expecta that they would understand the skilled traits if they didn’t have family connection to them. Yeah. So use your experts. You know, Mo all teachers pretty well had followed the university pathway. They know it very well. They’re gonna promote it cuz it’s worked well for them. But contact your OYAP coordinator, your tech teachers your community partners and have them come in, cuz they’re the experts in this field. And, and that’s, that’s what we do here is my guidance folks, my student, success, people, careers, teachers all know who I am. They know how to reach me and I’ll come in and present the apprenticeship pathway for them and help them with activities. And then they’re the ones that I send the invitations to come to our hands on events and different events to hear different perspectives, women in skilled trades, indigenous youth in the skilled trades, you know we’ve got a nuclear power plant in our backyard that everybody wants to go work for. How do they get in there? Well, bring them here to say, here’s how you do it. You know, those types of things and use your use your local experts. People who consider, you know, expect teachers to know everything, baloney. They know what they know and their, and what their pathway took. Them, use your experts and, and locally we do pretty well with that. I think.

Sam Demma (06:54):
Yeah, I think you’re so right. Everyone goes into their job or their situation and most of their beliefs are based on their own past experiences. So if you know you

Dave Barrett (07:04):
Past experiences and perceptions. Yeah. And it’s, it’s funny cuz I actually start, I, I started it years ago, but I started my presentation with, I’m not here to recruit you to apprenticeship. I’m here to, to make sure you understand it before you start. Aren’t listening to people who haven’t got a clue, what they’re talking about. and then once we get into it, all of a sudden they’re going, oh, I had no idea the number of teachers that go, why didn’t I do this? You know, it it’s, it’s fascinating. But it’s just one of those things where there’s all these perceptions and I just spend all my time knocking them down so that when a student student hears it from somebody, they go, no, no, that’s not how it is. I do know this. So, and that, that’s how we’re breaking down those barriers. I

Sam Demma (07:45):
Love that. You can see here, no one can see this who’s listening, but there’s a little empty upside down backpack on top of my hat. And , I, I have this belief that every person in life has an invisible bag strapped to their back and is filled with all those perspectives and past experiences that shape their beliefs. And you kind of carry those things with you. And you know, oftentimes sometimes people put things in there that shouldn’t be in there and that could be, you know, perspectives that hold you back or limit you. And you know, if you don’t stop to remove the things that were never yours to begin with, they start to become weights that weigh you down. And I think it’s just a, a cool, a way to put into perspective what you’re saying. It’s like we have to empty our backpacks and be opens to perspectives.

Dave Barrett (08:25):
Sam. I love that. I, I think that’s brilliant. I’m actually gonna steal it from you. I’m really big on R and D Rob and duplicate. Nice. I love that cuz that’s exactly what happens. And I, I see it too often. I got into a a discussion with a student who was certain, he wasn’t allowed to go into the skilled trades because he was on the university pathway. He said, no, no I’m only allowed to go to university, but he truly believed that. So then we have to talk about, and that was a perception that he was carrying in that backpack that you talked about, that we needed to say, here’s the real information. And here are the opportunities for you. We’re not saying don’t go to university. We’re saying all of the pathways are open to you. It’s up to you to figure out what’s gonna get you to where you want to go next.

Sam Demma (09:06):
Love it. Absolutely love it. And if you were to try and con you know, not convince, but trying to educate students about the upper opportunity that exists in, in the trades, like how do you paint them that picture? You know, go ahead and paint that picture now.

Dave Barrett (09:20):
Oh, I’m gonna give you the two minute version then. All right. So the first thing I talk about is in the skilled trades is the money. So when you become a registered apprentice, you have to be paid. There’s no free apprenticeships. So you have to be paid in a block release situation. You’re going to be paid for about a year. Then you’re gonna get a letter in the mail that letter’s gonna say, it’s time for you to go to trade school. Most trade schools are at community colleges. You’re gonna pick the college that you wanna go to. So if aunt milli lives in Ottawa, you can say, I want to go to the Ottawa college that offers my program, cuz I can live with aunt milli for nothing perfect. You don’t apply the ministry of labor training and skills development phones. The college buys your seat and pays 90% of your tuition.

Dave Barrett (10:04):
Most apprentices pay about $500 whenever they go to trade school, wow, you finish trade school. You go back to work. The interesting part is, before you go to trade school, you’ve been working for a year. You qualify for employment insurance. So right before to go to trade school, you and your employer will go to the employment office. Your employer will lay you off. You get fast tracked onto employment insurance. So you get paid while you’re going to trade school. And if you need it, there’s living allowance. There’s mileage allowance and there’s childcare allowance. If you have to put kids in daycare in order for you to attend, this is usually the part where I see parents elbowing their students going. You should look at this. So this is the way apprenticeship works. Block release. There’s some other ones where you can continue to work. And then you go to school in the evenings.

Dave Barrett (10:50):
And one Saturday, a month, my nephew did one where he worked the first three, four weeks of the month. And then the last week of every month, he went to Trey aid school. So there’s variations, but most of them are like that. So this is an opportunity for students to get in. And if you read the papers and the statistics, there is a skilled trade shortage and this isn’t just Ontario, Canada, north America. This is a worldwide issue. So if you wanna stay local in the skilled trades, you can, if you wanna, and locally, you can do that. If you wanna see your country, you can do your skilled trades and your ticket can get you across the country. If you wanna go international, skilled trades can get you there as well. So it opens all kinds of doors. And again, it’s one tool. And the argument that I always talk to students about is if you wanna argue with me on smarts, wages knowledge, and you think someone with a university degree is better than someone that has a college diploma is better than somebody that has a, a journey person license.

Dave Barrett (11:48):
I can win the argument in every direction, whether you wanna talk on wage. I know people from university with university degrees that are the smartest people that I know. And I know people with university degrees that are like talking to a bag of hammers. well, it’s the same in the skilled trades. Yeah. I know skilled trades people. Yes. They didn’t go to university, but they’re some of the smartest people you’ve ever and they’ve put in the time to really know their craft and they make all kinds of money and they love what they do. And that’s what I talk to students about is don’t go into this for the money. Don’t go into it just cuz I’m talking to you like that, go into it because you have a passion for it. And if you ask me which one I should get into, I’m gonna correspond right back and say, what do you wanna try next? Cause if you spark an arc and go welding it let’s talk. If you spark an art and go, I hate this. Perfect. Now, you know, don’t become a welder. Let’s go try something else until you figure it out. So there’s my two minute pitch for the skilled trades.

Sam Demma (12:45):
I love it. I love it. Right. It’s the idea that generalizations aren’t okay. It’s like, you know, there are people in the trades who are brilliant. There are also people in the trades who Aren, there are people in university who are brilliant and there’s people in university who are brilliant. exactly.

Dave Barrett (12:58):
No, but it’s perceptions, right? It is. And, and it’s this hierarchy that we’ve somehow built for ourselves. And, and I, I disagree with it and it’s really fun to disprove that I don’t have to pick on anybody, but it’s very easy when we talk salaries, when we taught knowledge. One of the things I just added two years ago to my presentation is science, technology engineering and mathematics. Stem is huge in education right now. Well stem, the skilled trades is where stem hits the road. Cause if you don’t understand OMS law and boils law, you’re not gonna do well in the skilled trades, particularly in welding and electrical engineers are the ones that draw the drawings who takes those drawings and actually builds them skilled trades people. They have to understand engineering, mathematics, PHA, and theorem. Oh, they used to throw that on the chalkboard.

Dave Barrett (13:46):
And I go, oh, when am I ever gonna use this in my life? Become a carpenter. That’s how you square wall 3, 4, 5, come on man. That’s and it’s just making those connections that you can actually do it. So that’s, you know, mathematics, perimeters volumes just had a friend of mine complaining about the, they had to completely redo their plumbing cuz their plumber couldn’t do the math. It’s important that you know these things and it’s not for somebody that doesn’t do well in the classroom. They have to understand what they’re getting into. And one, they have the passion, the math, the engineering, the science technology all makes sense. That’s awesome. Plus we use really cool equipment in the skill trades like

Sam Demma (14:24):
Yep. I’ve heard stories even in my own high school of kids repairing a teacher’s car and then getting to drive around the block. And that? Not that this is what happens

Dave Barrett (14:32):
Everywhere. No, they, oh no, that never happens. But yeah, exactly. You know, and the in it’s really cool. Like I looked, I visited a training center locally and they had what were called dark rooms and inside the dark rooms were mill rights and boiler makers who were operating robots inside nuclear vaults, I’m going and they had to be skilled trades people in order to do this. So you’re using the coolest equipment and their supervisors were flying drones around to do the inspections. I mean, what a great, you know, so gaming skills when mom and dad said, Hey, your gaming skills will never Mount to anything, get into the skilled trades. You might just find out they will

Sam Demma (15:08):
Buy some drones.

Dave Barrett (15:09):
exactly fly drones, working robots, real ones. Yeah. It’s kind of cool.

Sam Demma (15:13):
So how did you get into this position? Tell me more about your journey through education yourself. So

Dave Barrett (15:19):
I like, as I said, I was I was working in community economic development and I did, you know, again, I got bored after I was there for 12 years, but I started to do a lot of work with my, a local school boards. So the person who was in the Ontario youth apprenticeship program position was retiring and I’d done a lot of work with her and she said, you should apply for my job. And I’m going look at my resume. There is no way, but I applied anyway. And I had worked with some of the people that were on the hiring team and they said, yeah, let’s take a shot. And that’s worked out really well. So I’m actually not a teacher. Mm-Hmm I come to the position from industry, but I’ve worked in the auto industry, construction industry. I, you know, did some work in manufacturing.

Dave Barrett (16:03):
So all of these things culminated in my position and I think it’s, I’ve got a passion for it. And again, you talk about percept, you come into it and I hear this kids today, baloney kids, they are more engaged. They’re they’re the same as I was when I was there. They just look funny. I look funny to the generation ahead of me. Yeah. They look funny to me, but talking with them and especially when they get a passion for culinary, we run a culinary program. It’s fun to talk to them cuz they know, know their craft and they can’t wait to get into the industry. And that’s, that’s what I love about this position.

Sam Demma (16:37):
Someone recently told me experience comes from age is, you know, is not true. It’s experience comes from experience. And I would also argue experience. Doesn’t also come from a paper, you know, sometimes it comes from experience and you know exactly the fact that you’ve worked in all the different, like various, you know, industries in the field that are the same fields that these kids are gonna get into, gives you the opportunity to give people a very clear picture of each and every one of them. Right. Exactly. And

Dave Barrett (17:05):
That’s it. I bring that, that perspective to it that I didn’t, I couldn’t read in a book or I lived it. So I, I can honestly say here’s what I experienced and here’s how I overcame it, whether I needed to overcome it or not. And, and I, I do think that is valuable. It’s, it’s interesting because in my presentation I actually took that piece out about my, my pathway and all the teachers said, put it back in. That’s the part where the kids went, this guy’s credible. Yeah. So I, I talk about my own faults, my own indecisions, my own bad decisions and my own good decisions. And, and through that they go, okay. Yeah. I, he still, he looks like he’s doing all right. And he’s still living his life. So carry on. Exactly.

Sam Demma (17:47):
Yeah. That’s awesome. And how do you approach a student who is in class and is, or who’s coming to you and, and telling you Dave? I have absolutely no idea what I wanna do with my life. like, I feel like that’s a common conversation you probably have with students.

Dave Barrett (18:02):
And it’s, I, I go back to what I said or what do you wanna try next? So have you been to my events? Have you tried? And, and if some of the things that we’ve created with our local partners is I shops are expensive to run. So they’re only in our high schools. So elementary students don’t have a chance to be exposed to them, but we live in a day and age where technology rules. So I’ve got welding simulators, I’ve got an excavator simulator, I’ve got all kinds of dexterity challenges. I’ve got robots and things like that, that we take into the elementary schools and we let those students try these things. And what I find cool about that is you see students who are, you know, not the athlete, not the academic, all of a sudden excelling in their grade seven, eight class.

Dave Barrett (18:47):
And they’re going, how, how do you know how to do that? Because they’re the hands on learners that have been building stuff since they were four, but this gives them the chance to try it. And once they try it, then we start having the conversations about what parts of, of skilled trades do you like. And, and that’s how we sort of build that model. So when I have the conversation with students, it it’s more around, okay, how can I help you try some of these things? So I’ve, I’ve had, you know, you’re right. I, not long ago I had a student who wasn’t sure if you wanted to be a carpenter or a chef and I’m kind of going, okay, we have some work to do here, cuz that’s pretty diverse. Yeah. but let’s, let’s talk about trying stuff. And what is it you like about this and what is like about that?

Dave Barrett (19:32):
And then we built them from there and they’re actually in my level one cook program right now. Cause they that’s awesome. They kind of decide. And I said, at the end of it, if you, if you hate the level one cook program, you get the end of the day going, this isn’t for me. Perfect. Now, you know, didn’t cost you dime. You’re just gonna be stuck cooking Easter dinner and Thanksgiving for the rest of your life. But other than that, you can go become a carpenter. Now, you know, that’s it’s you got some great skills.

Sam Demma (19:56):
I, I try and here’s another thing you can Rob, maybe an analogy but I, I, I think of it like career search, like a buffet, right? You go to a buffet and you, you walk around, you take a little bit of everything they have to offer and you go sit down, you eat some of it. And certain foods you hate and you don’t grab that ever again. And other foods you end up loving and you know, you keep going back for those. And it’s like the same with trades, the same with jobs, any anything in life. It’s like, you figure out what you love doing, not by theory, but by doing the thing, you know,

Dave Barrett (20:28):
Consider that stolen. I love that’s you’re you nailed it. That’s a, exactly what it is, is keep trying stuff. And I, and I talked to the students that way. I said, your job is the students to try everything you can in the next four to five years, that’s your job. And then from there, you’ll sort of maybe figure it out and be honest. When you, when I talk about my career pathway, I was probably close to 30 before I kind of nailed it. Yep. Cause I’d done construction. I’d done healthcare. I’d done manufacturing. I’d done. These other things went, eh, no, no. Yeah. And then all of a sudden I got into community stuff and I went, Hmm, this makes sense to me. And then workforce development and guiding people to, to careers and helping my community grow. And I went, yeah, I really like this. And then that’s, that’s where I went from there. But it took a while to get there. Remind me, don’t be afraid of

Sam Demma (21:15):
That. Remind me how many years you’ve been in the OYAP position, helping students, you know, figure out different pathways.

Dave Barrett (21:21):
I just started my 10th year.

Sam Demma (21:24):
If you could go back to year one, knowing what, you know, being in this role for 10 years, what would you have told year, Dave?

Dave Barrett (21:31):
Honestly I would’ve said try more stuff, make more mistakes. Mm. Keep trying, keep trying I, some of the programs that came that we’re doing now that are really successful, I really wish I would’ve started them earlier. And a lot of them came from just doing so a good example. We had, we had young women’s events where I would get a couple schools. We’d, you know, they’d pick young women to get on a bus and we’d take them to different industries just to see what they were like. And I thought, well, geez, aren’t I hero? I had 40 young ladies on a bus and we took them into the auto industry, the agricultural industry and these different ones. We talk skilled trades. And then my colleague said, well, why don’t we just do this at their high schools? And that way they can all come.

Dave Barrett (22:18):
Geez. That makes sense. So we started doing young women’s nights where the students would come. We’d allow them to invite their favorite aunt, their mother, their, you know, best friend to come with them. And then we put them into the welding shop and then into the auto shop and we’d circulate them around. And all of a sudden we were having 80 and 90 young ladies trying to skill trades at nine of our high schools. And we’re going, okay, this is better. Well, that’s that kind of grew. But that only happened in the last, before the pandemic three years of the first five years, we weren’t doing it. So it’s stuff like that. Where I’m I like trying stuff. I don’t let the bureau bureaucracy get in the way. Let’s try it. We pilot it, make all of our mistakes and then run with it.

Sam Demma (23:03):
That’s awesome. Love that this has been a exciting conversation. It’s already been 25 minutes time flies in when you’re having a good chat. But if another educator is listening, wants to learn a little more about how they can encourage skill trades and their students, and wants to ask you a question, what would be the best way for them to reach out and get in touch with you?

Dave Barrett (23:22):
If you want to email me: dave_barrett@bwdsb.on.ca. Shoot me an email and I’ll respond. I’ll talk to anybody about skilled trades and events and share anything. I, I think these are great pathways. I don’t think they’re for everyone, but if you are interested in an event or how we do things more than happy to share.

Sam Demma (24:06):
Awesome, Dave. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Really appreciate it. Keep up with the awesome work and we’ll

Dave Barrett (24:10):
Talk soon. All right, Sam, thank you so much for the opportunity you take care too,

Sam Demma (24:14):
And there you have it. Another amazing guest, an amazing interview on the high performing educator podcast. As always, if you enjoy these episodes, please consider leaving a rating view. So other educators like yourself can find this content and benefit from it. And here’s an exclusive opportunity that I mentioned at the start of the show. If you wanna meet the guest on today’s episode, if you wanna meet any of the guests that we have interviewed, consider going to www.highperformingeducator.com and signing up to join the exclusive network. You’ll have access to networking events throughout 2021 and other special opportunities. And I promise I will not fill your inbox. Talk to you soon. I’ll see you on the next episode.

Join the Educator Network & Connect with Dave

The High Performing Educator Podcast was brought to life during the outbreak of COVID-19 to provide you with inspirational stories and practical advice from your colleagues in education.  By tuning in, you will hear the stories and ideas of the world’s brightest and most ambitious educators.  You can expect interviews with Principals, Teachers, Guidance Counsellors, National Student Association, Directors and anybody that works with youth. You can find and listen to all the episodes for free here.