Sam: Why do you do the work you do with young people?
Merle: To pay back what my teachers gave me!
Sam: What inspired you to get into this work?
Merle: I have always wanted to live a life of service. It feels good!
Sam: What gives you hope? What do you think is the biggest opportunity in education right now?
Merle: My children give me hope. The opportunity to break down systemic barriers…we are becoming aware.
Sam: Share a story about a situation where you witnessed a student transformation due to the impact of a caring educator.
Merle: My student who was very oppositional came to SMILE camp with me when he was in grade 8. He became president of his high school and now helps facilitate SMILE camp!
Sam: What unique ideas, tools or software are you finding very helpful in your practice right now?
Merle: Everything I post on @teachmetoolbox
Sam: What is your motivator (or your driver)?
Merle: Other amazing teachers who I collaborate with. Like minded people.
Sam: What advice would you give your younger self when you just got into education?
Merle: Don’t lose your spark! Switch grades or change roles.
Get in touch with Merle:
Sam Demma is an entrepreneur, youth coach, and keynote speaker. He co-founded the volunteer organization PickWaste, created the High Performing Student, delivered two TEDx Talks, and is a Board Director of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. Sam’s mission is to provide students with the hope, tools and strategies they need to become servant leaders in their schools and in the lives of those around them. www.samdemma.com