About Nicole Haire
Nicole Haire (@NicoleHaire) is a powerhouse educator. She worked in Canada for most of her career, but for the past five years in Qatar as the BC Program Head at the Hayat Universal School. She has hosted the Canadian Student Leadership Conference and is a nerd for self-development books and literature. Enjoy this interview.
**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):
Do you want access to all the past guests on this show? Do you want to network with like-minded individuals and meet other high performing educators from around the world? If so, go to www.highperformingeducator.com. Sign up to join the exclusive network and you’ll get access to live virtual networking events and other special opportunities that will come out throughout 2021. I promise you I will not fill your inbox. you might get one email a month. If that sounds interesting, go to www.highperformingeducator.com. Welcome back to another episode of the high performing educator podcast. This is your host and youth speaker Sam Demma. Today’s guest is someone with an insane amount of energy. She geeks out on self-improvement books, just as much as I do. And she’s someone that knows everybody in this space of student leadership and, and student advisory. Nicole Haire is the British Columbia, the B C head of all the grade 8-12 students at Hyatt Universal School (HUBS), which is in Qatar.
Sam Demma (01:10):
She’s been in Qatar, I believe for the past five years and she’s doing amazing work, like absolutely phenomenal work. Previously, she’s hosted a CSLC, the Canadian student leadership conference at a school. She’s, she’s been around. She knows everyone in this industry. She’s someone that you should know if you don’t and she’s someone that has a lot of wisdom to share. I hope you enjoy today’s episode. Nicole, thank you so much for coming on the high performing educator podcast. It’s a huge pleasure to have you on this show. Why don’t you start by telling everyone on listening, where you’re tuning in from and how you got into the work that you’re doing with young people today?
Nicole Haire (01:49):
Well, thank you, Sam. What a privilege to be with you. I’m tuning in from Doha, QAR in the middle east, which about six years ago, I had no idea that that was a place or where it was, but it’s attached to Saudi Arabia right next to the United Arab Emirates near a lot of people know Dubai, but Doha is a city of about 3 million people and it’s beautiful here. We’re actually hosting. We, we, because I live here now are hosting FIFA in 2022. So the whole place is under construction. There’s this go bigger, go home in Doha. So I work at a, a BC offshore school. I was a Principal in prince Edward island for Ooh, a lot of years, 25, 26 years. Single mom with three kids in University and I felt like I needed a challenge and an adventure and this opportunity fell into my lap and
Nicole Haire (02:45):
I decided to take a leap of faith and come to the sandbox. And I came for two years. And after a year and a half, when I had to make the decision, whether I would go back to Canada just yet, I wasn’t finished learning what I need to learn here so it’s been quite an adventure. I’ve done lots of traveling, but my students, my, my teachers are from mostly Canada, but also UK, South Africa. So lots of diversity and the students themselves are 98% Qatari nationals, which is unusual for an international school here. Usually they’re mixed, but our school is mostly kids from here. So it’s, I’ve learned so much and not really speaking fluent Arabic yet, but , I, I know the, I know the school where’s like Halas, like that’s enough and yallah get going. You’re late. They’re like, oh, Miss.Nicole, you speak Arabic. No, no, I just school, I speak
Sam Demma (03:40):
School. that’s so awesome. Tell me more about how this opportunity fell in your lap. I think, you know, especially in student leadership, we can talk about seizing opportunities, but the opportunities typically come when the students ready or prepared to take advantage of them. And I, I want a little more context on how this fell into your lap.
Nicole Haire (03:58):
That is so so true and it’s, it’s not that I hadn’t had, you know, little voices talking to me prior to that, but I wasn’t, I wasn’t ready to listen. And to be honest, as a single mom, I was working three jobs. I was a principal for all week long. I was a waitress on the weekends. I was teaching at the university and I was just going solid I all the time. I was also heavily involved with student leadership at my school and at the national level. And I just, I, I was passing myself on the highway. I was just running, running, running all the time. And one night I was driving home from the restaurant where I was waitressing at like two in the morning, cuz we, we closed late and I fell asleep at the wheel and I went off the, to the side of the road.
Nicole Haire (04:43):
I fell asleep and I almost hit a post wow. In a country road in prince Edward island. And I went home and I, I just thought I I’m out of control. Like I, I have to get a handle on this. And, and to be honest, I know everyone has different faith, but I wasn’t in a faithful place at the time. And I just said, I prayed. And I said, you gotta show me the way. And I put my name into a search agency and I had an opportunity to go to Toronto to a job fair. And I met the people from my school and because I had this leadership background and because they were building a high school and they wanted somebody experience with that, they offered me a job within like two months. My household, I had a job in Qatar.
Nicole Haire (05:27):
Nobody knew where Qatar was including me. I blindly went and everything inside of me just told me it was the right move and I needed to take the risk. I needed to take a leap of faith and I did. And it has just been in the best decision I’ve ever made in my life and, and was a one time in my life where I truly knew what I was doing was exactly right. So I think going with your, your gut instinct, whether you call it your gut instinct, your gut instinct, like I think we know when we’re doing the right thing for us mm-hmm and just to get over the fear is the biggest thing like to take, to take that leap of faith means to put the fear aside and just, and just trust and, and go for it. And that was what I did and it’s been the best. So,
Sam Demma (06:10):
Wow. That’s such an amazing story. You see, if I ask a simple question, we get a whole nother layer. So the decision and the move, and I absolutely love that. That’s that’s, that’s the truth. Yeah. I love it. And you know, you mentioned earlier that you were you’re super involved in student leadership. Mm-Hmm how has that translated into your role now in Qatar? Are you still striving to do things on campus? And where did that passion stem from to get involved in student leadership and be the president of C S a and, and really champion the leadership activities in Canada?
Nicole Haire (06:46):
Wow. Well, I, well, I laugh cuz I always say I’m a Leo , that’s part of my problem. nice. Yeah. Born in July, but also just as a, as a child growing up, like I, we can all trace our leadership roots back, you know, and I was the girl guide and in girl guides, I had leaders who saw the potential in me and I wasn’t right away a leader. You know, I had, I had adults in my life, take me aside and say, I think you have this skill. I think, I think we’re gonna put you in a position to practice. And they corrected me and they guided me guide ha ha girl guides. But you know, I got to, when I got into school, I was just always a, a person who was an extrovert and wanted to, I wanted to be happy and I wanted school to be happy.
Nicole Haire (07:30):
And so I was in student council and I, I did all those things. And then as a teacher, I think you, you kind of paid the, you know, so people did that for me. So I started being a student council advisor at my school in Toronto where I started my career. And then again, when I moved back to prince Edward island and then one day a friend of mine said, we’re going to take some kids to the Canadian student leadership conference. It’s in Sacville Nova Scotia, 2001 let’s just go. And I’m just, I think that’s part of my personality is I’m usually the one that jumps on the bus and says, where are we going? You know, it’s kinda like get on a plane to Qatar. Where am I going? You know? And I, I just always, I like that adventure and that, that sense of fun.
Nicole Haire (08:14):
And so we took kids to see SLC 2001 in the Sacville and it was right after nine 11, it was the whole thing was just serendipitous. But we got there and we had no idea. We got off the bus and everyone was screaming and our kids were just like, Deering the headlights. Like, what is this place? And by, by the middle of that conference oh no, actually it was the first night when they say, you know, soon. So see whatever first year and you know, Yorkton, Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan kid scream. So I’m saying to prince Edward island, get ready, get ready. We’re gonna, they’re gonna say PEI and we’re gonna scream. And they didn’t say PEI. They said every province except PEI. So I turned to Dave Conlin and I said, why didn’t they say PEI? And he said, PEI is the only province that hasn’t hosted.
Nicole Haire (09:03):
And I said, well, that’s unacceptable. We’re gonna host. So in 2008, they put me in the board and I was a director for PEI and in 2008, my, my school hosted the first CSLC in, in, in prince Rhode Island. Nice. And it was fabulous. And just, just memory will never forget. And a team building experience as a school that will never forget. Because when you have to bring a thousand people from across Canada to your school for five days, the best part was the ability because my mother in charge of billing with a friend of mine and, you know, a small town Summerside PEs 15,000 people, we had 45 extra families that didn’t get to host billets because everybody wanted to be part of it. And it was such a, yeah, it was such a feel good week. And so that, that kind of thing, like just seeing of people benefit from you know, just seeing them become leaders.
Nicole Haire (10:00):
I think that that’s why I love being a principal. It’s, it’s not about me being the leader. It’s, it’s finding leadership in my staff and empowering them and kind of working yourself out of a job. The best thing you can do as a leader is work yourself out of a job because every, everybody around you is, is doing their part and, and their body in, you know, so I think they’re all kind of different transferable skills. Some of the things I did in grow guides, I used in my school in, in Qatar, but when I got here, the school was not a high school and the oldest grade was grade nine. Mm. Were gender segregated as our community here is Muslim. And the boys and girls after grade from grade four on, they separate into boys classes and girls classes. So I came in kind of naive to that whole culture and religious tradition.
Nicole Haire (10:51):
And, and I decided I would bring the boys and girls together to train for student leadership my a first month here. And they tried it and then they both came, both sides, came to me and said, please, please don’t do that to us again. That’s not how we do things. and I realized that I, it was a good lesson for me because rather than coming into a place and imposing my view of what I thought things should be. I had to come in and, and be quiet and observe and be respectful and get feedback and find other ways to do some of the things that I wanted to do. So one one thing we’ve done when I was in my school in PEI, we dismantled student council because we found the same 20 kids were doing everything. They were, they were fundraising, they were spiriting.
Nicole Haire (11:40):
They were, you know, doing everything and exhausted. And about three teachers as their advisors were also exhausted. And student council runs from August to July. I don’t care what anybody says. It might take a couple of weeks off in July, but you’re all the time. So we dismantled our student council into into councils, like the ministry here, here. I did it. I brought the idea here and our students do it here as well. So here we have the ministry of sport. Nice. The ministry of the interior is the got government ministry of activities is student activities, ministry of finance. They all wanna be in that ministry of global citizenship because here in Qatar, they have ministries and ministry of the interior is actually the government. And we had just a boom of kids because some people do wanna be just finance. They don’t wanna rah and cheer and march in the parade, or do philanthropic things.
Nicole Haire (12:37):
They just want to count the money. And they wanna put that on their CV as going to university to study accounting say, and some kids are spear kids, and some kids are philanthropists and some kids are sport kids. And so each ministry has a mandate and we had 20 plus teachers involved and about 200 kids. And they had never had student leadership at the school because the school was never a high school. So they decided to, we didn’t have recycling in Qatar when I got here and our kids by their initiative came up with the reusable, like the wa water bottle stations. And they did a whole proposal and got the school to put in the water fountains so that the kids can use wow. And they banned, they banned plastic water bottles from the school. Nice. Like, and so kids are kids, you know, and that’s, that’s what I found when I came here, I was like, okay. So they may dress differently. They may have a religion. And that’s different than mine, which is often more, more like it than different from it. As we have more conversation with one another, but just kids or kids and they still love to lead and they want to have great schools and they’re excited about life and they care about this planet and they care about one another. And I just, potato potato, I just felt like I was home when I got here. You know? So I, I stayed because of the kids. Yeah.
Sam Demma (14:03):
That’s so cool. Mm-Hmm you mentioned over 20 teachers help with it and have participated. There’s other people I’ve spoken to on the podcast and outside of the podcast who sometimes tell me that these positions of student leadership or student council sometimes go vacant, cuz someone doesn’t wanna step up. How were you able to get 20 teachers interested, involved, and excited to help with this work?
Nicole Haire (14:29):
I think you have to be contagious. And I’m not saying that the people that struggle to get help are not contagious because I think people are exhausted right now. Mm-Hmm , especially in this time, like we haven’t launched our student ministry because everybody’s online and now we’re starting to, we’ve all got our legs under us. And it’s like, okay, let’s get student assemblies running virtually let’s, you know, there’s ways around a mountain, but you have to have energy to create energy. And when you’re running on low with your battery and everybody’s just in survival mode, because there’s so much new learning and teachers are learning technology while they’re trying to deliver curriculum and they’re trying to, you know, sleep. And it’s been D to try to do the proactive things, but it’s kind of like when you’re tired and you don’t exercise because you’re tired and then you eat potato chips because you’re tired.
Nicole Haire (15:21):
And then you exercise cause you’re tired. And it’s like a, a vortex of doom. I find that if you do the push and you get people rolling, the energy feeds the energy. And I think we, we were, it’s new also. There’s a little bit of a novelty attached to it here because we haven’t done it before. So people jumped in and were, were willing to get involved. And maybe I think in some schools, traditionally at home, the one person would be kind of tagged as you’re student advise, you know, the student council advisor and, and you’re stuck. It’s like a life sentence. And and other people might think, oh, that’s what they do. And there’s no room for me. And what I’ve always found with leadership is you have to sometimes ask, if you put out a, an email and say, anybody wanna be involved, you’re not going, you’re gonna get of crickets.
Nicole Haire (16:12):
Nobody’s gonna answer that. But when I’ve walked up to specific people and said, I’m just gonna tell you what I see in you. I see this, you know, trade in you. I think you have a lot to offer. Would you be interested? People are usually like really you see that in me because quite often they don’t see it in themselves and they would kind of like to, but they don’t really see themselves that way. And once they’re invited and once they get a chance to get their feet into it and, and the kids are, the kids are the energy. I mean, you can’t be in student leadership and not stay young for the rest of your life. You know, you go, you go to those leadership conferences and you just come back. Like the world is, is perfect. You know, you only took three kids with you and there’s always the crash, the crash that comes with, they go back to school and they’re like, ha, then the whole school’s like, , it’s always a bit of a downer. But then they, then they bounce back and they do great things. And it’s the same way that I think kids get other kids involved. It’s what adults do with adults, you know? And, and half the time it just takes an invitation.
Sam Demma (17:19):
Yeah. I love, I love that. Cause I think it applies to inviting anyone to do anything. Especially if you appeal to people’s your belief in their people’s abilities, especially like you mentioned when they don’t see it in themselves. Yeah. Have
Nicole Haire (17:33):
You, and to off and offer them support, I think is the other big thing mm-hmm , you know, like to just say to somebody, okay, you’re gonna do student council and take off and leave them with that big piece of, you know, the work to do. I think the, the scaffolding is important too. It’s sort of like a coaching mentorship gradual release, you know, you walk with them for a while and then they take off and do wonderful things without you. And that’s what I mean by working yourself out of a job.
Sam Demma (17:58):
Yeah, no, I like that. And it’s passing the Baton on really. You’re just sure.
Nicole Haire (18:03):
And building capacity, building capacity is huge.
Sam Demma (18:06):
You know, it’s like the relay the 4, 4, 100, you don’t just slap the Baton in their hand and just stop. It’s like you guys both run together and you slap it and then you slow down and they speed up.
Nicole Haire (18:15):
That’s an excellent analogy.
Sam Demma (18:17):
For sure. Yeah. And you know, this work is very transformative and sometimes you don’t see the transformation that a student or a teacher might have when being invited into student leadership. But I’m certain that over the years you’ve seen students change and transform and incredible, you know, you might be listening right now thinking that, you know, this year is different and you’re burnt out and you know, an educator listening might think, you know, they might, they might be thinking, what the heck did I get into if this is their first year teaching Uhhuh yeah. And a story of transformation might just be the thing they need to hear to remind them that this is really important work. And if it’s a serious transformational story that comes to mind you can change the name for privacy reasons, but I’m curious that you have any stories of transformation that you think are worth sharing with other educators to inspire them and remind the, then why they started teaching
Nicole Haire (19:12):
For, for teachers transforming or students,
Sam Demma (19:15):
Maybe one of each .
Nicole Haire (19:17):
Okay. Well, I can, I can tell a story about a teacher that was a first year teacher, I won’t say in which country. But that person came in sort of dear in the headlights, very, very fresh, very green and in a very challenging, you know, situation and was sort of thinking that she had to have it all figured out. You know, there’s some sort of false sense of, I don’t know what they teach you in teachers college, that if you show any, any weakness or any need or you know, need for support in your first year that you’re not gonna get your contract, or I don’t know what, but I never in my life have seen anybody start something new and not need that support. So I just keep, always saying to people, it’s smart. People who ask for help, like, don’t, don’t just take it on and try to do it by yourself.
Nicole Haire (20:07):
Let us know. And finally, she came to me in tears one day and she was just like, it much, I can’t handle, I’m gonna quit. I’m done. And I, we just sat down, we had a coffee and I told her the things that I saw that were strong and the things that I was willing to help her with. And I went into her classroom and I, I was in her classroom once a day for maybe two weeks and eventually still started extracting myself and she left her school because she was going to further her education go do her masters. And when she left, she was probably one of the strongest young teachers that I had. And she wouldn’t have said that about herself in the first year. And I think, I think we need to be kind to ourselves. Like I always say this to my children when they start, you know, talking badly, I’m always like, no, no, don’t talk about my daughter that way.
Nicole Haire (21:00):
Or don’t talk, you know, don’t say those things about my daughter to yourself. And, and I’ll just say, you know, you should treat your yourself and give yourself the same advice and the same cut yourself the same slack that you would your best friend, because you need to be your best friend. I think the biggest piece for teachers is to find some allies like Steven Covey says, you know, access your allies. And we’re not, we we’re in a very isolating profession in the sense that we surrounded by people all day. We have 150 kids on our rosters, but we go into our little silos and quite often we work in isolation. There isn’t great time for collaboration, you know, to get together, to talk things out. And I think it’s really important to carve time outta your day, to sit in this staff room, but only sit next to positive people.
Nicole Haire (21:50):
I’m sorry, I I’m, I everybody’s valuable, but if I only have 10 minutes to sit in the staff room, I’m gonna sit by someone who’s gonna feed my soul, not suck me dry. You know? So you have to be very strategic about who you talk to. And not just because not just likeminded people. I, I’m not saying not to open your mind a different points of view or, but some people are, are just negative because they’re negative. And you know, you can say a prayer for them and wish them the best, but you don’t have to allow them to steal your joy. And I always say, nobody gets to rent space in your head without your permission. So, you know, everything that happens, I choose how I react to it. I choose whether or not it ruins my day. I everything’s on a Richter scale of one to 10.
Nicole Haire (22:35):
I ask myself, is this a two or a 10? Quite often, it’s a one mm-hmm and just get on with it. You know? So I think we have to be patient with ourselves that our career is it’s a marathon, not a sprint. And the teacher I am today was not the teacher. I was in my third year when I thought I knew everything. Mm-Hmm I was just smart enough to be dangerous. Mm-Hmm so I think, you know, it’s possible to, to learn and grow if you open your mind and your heart and you just be kind to others and to yourself as far as students to transforming, oh my God, like, that’s why I do the work I do. I it’s like caterpillars and butterflies. And, you know, I think the biggest thing that I see with the students, both here and at home is a generation of kids that have been protected from struggle or are afraid of struggle.
Nicole Haire (23:29):
And I always tell the story and I’m sure you’ve heard it of, you know, the moth and the cocoon and the little girl comes by and she sees this moth and it’s struggling. And she takes the screwdriver and pops it open and the moth falls out and dies. And when her grandfather says, you know, what did you do? She said, I tried to help him. And the grandfather said, you know what? It’s in the struggle that it learns how to fly. Mm. And you know, so I have a student right now, who’s struggling. And we zoom once a week for 45 minutes and he just wants to talk. He just wants to talk about the things that he thinks about. And, and I, I see his struggle, but it’s good struggle, you know? And, and I think we’re afraid of this struggle. We think I don’t wanna be sad.
Nicole Haire (24:13):
I don’t wanna be challenged. I don’t wanna be disappointed. I don’t want to grieve. I don’t want to feel these things, but it’s through working through the feelings of these things that we build our strength, so that the next thing that comes, we’re ready for it. And I’ve seen students that thought that they were, you know, victimized by everything, around them, terrible things in their lives and, and realized that inside of them was this strength and this, you know, capacity to be happy to, to move through things and around things. I always say there’s many ways around a mountain. Like you, we don’t just have to keep slamming into the mountain. Like we can go off road, we can blow it up. We can, dig a whole under it. We can, you know, there’s, there’s always a way through. But I think it’s okay to embrace the struggle. Like I, I, it’s not supposed to be easy all the time. There’s gonna be happy days and sad days. And, and when I see a, a student learn that lesson and, and just embrace their journey, that’s when I know they’re gonna be okay.
Sam Demma (25:21):
I love that. So that’s awesome. And you mentioned a lot of educators right now are working silos, and that’s the whole reason I started this, this project, this podcast, and the hope that I’m so happy to hear this. Yeah. And, you know, you shared so much great ideas and advice, even just the simple ministries idea of someone’s listening and wants to turn their student council into many governmental divide and conquer. Yeah. I think it’s a really unique idea.
Nicole Haire (25:49):
Yeah. And, and I think everybody’s willing, nobody really wants to take on except for crazy people. Like the people I know love want to say that they’re gonna take on the whole student council. I mean, that’s a big job and, and only crazy people like Dave Conlan and marking Lynn that, you know, those people do stuff with joy. But if you said to, like we did at home the lady that was usually used to counting the money for the student council is like, would you like to be the advisor for the finance council? She said, absolutely. I can do that. You know, and somebody else was like, well, I have an interest in sports. I have no interest in, you know, running student activities, but we could do Dodge ball at lunch and, and do healthy living stuff. And it’s like, but then those people became the advisor for that council.
Nicole Haire (26:39):
Mm. And all of a sudden I had all these leaders in my school and they weren’t leaders before they didn’t have the opportunity to practice being leaders. And they just had their little poss of people and they, you know, so each, each just to finish that, what that is each council here, we have ministries, we have prime ministers here, there, we had presidents. So funny, I’m in no sense with prime ministers and in Canada, I had presidents. But anyway, we had a president’s council here. It’s called the prime minister’s council. And so each it’s sort of the nights of the round table. So each council has a prime minister, has a leader. And it’s chosen by the people who work with him and her. And they come once a month around the table. So this is how it would work. There would be like a, a student activity week coming up like Qatar national week, we celebrate the birth of Qatar.
Nicole Haire (27:34):
And the, the activities council would say, we wanna have like an activity every day. And the sports people would say, we’ll take one of the days. We’ll do Dodge ball teachers against do, okay. That’s done. The finance people will say, does anybody need to buy anything for this? You need supplies. You need money. They’ll do a proposal. And they’ll tell them how much money they can have. The communications ministry will say, do you need like announcements, posters? What are we gonna do with that piece? And the global citizenship kids say, you know, we should have a food drive. And at our school be like, we have a dance and everybody brings food and we do something and, you know, hunger for whatever. And it just, they just collaborate. Mm-Hmm , and it’s like a, it’s like a network and it’s so cool. And they support one another and they all have a different piece, but together they’re a whole student body ministry of the interior is the voice of the school, the elected council that deals with policy and meets with the PRI meets with the principal once a month to talk about student issues.
Nicole Haire (28:34):
And they’re the student voice. So if something happens at the school, it’s the prime minister of the interior who speaks on behalf of the students because he’s elected by the students or she is.
Sam Demma (28:44):
That’s so awesome. I love that. Yeah. Very cool. It’s like a mini society in the school. Yeah.
Nicole Haire (28:50):
It’s and, and everybody’s invested, right? So the more kids who are involved, the more it’s just like everything. Like, if you wanna do something, you say, you have to do this. I may or may not. Mm-Hmm , but if you get me involved and I’m part of co-creating what’s happening, and I have invested interest in it, when an activity happens, our kids are like, get involved because this is something that I’m passionate about and I’m excited about, and, and it’s contagious. It just, yeah. And you, you start with things that kids are interested in and over time they just, they start to realize it’s the culture of their school. And that’s what they want. A, a good school culture.
Sam Demma (29:29):
Nice. Yeah. And for all the keen educators listening, the keeners, I know you mentioned Steven Covey, I’m curious to know what are some books or resources that you’ve really enjoyed that have helped with your own personal development that you think another educator might, might fancy , you
Nicole Haire (29:46):
Know, I, well, and to be honest, I’ve read all the, you know, the Gladwell and all these types of books. But for me, the, the books that I have used, and I’m not doing this as a pitch to make money for anybody, but the Canadian student leader association has resources. Dave Conlin has been overseeing that they have books that I’ve used in my classroom called ones called activities that teach. And what I loved about them was we would have fun day Fridays, and you would just open the book and it would be like an activity. It tells you how many minutes it’s gonna take, what you’re materials are, how to run it, what the debrief questions are. My kids used to just my students, like when I was a teacher, they’d be like, is that fun day, Friday? , you know, like we would always do these leadership activities.
Nicole Haire (30:32):
And then we had climate days at school where we brought together a hundred kids and did sort of breaking down the walls, kind of fill void style stuff. Which completely completely changed the culture of our school, getting kids, talking to kids, they didn’t usually talk to. And just understanding that everybody has a story and it’s hard to hate someone whose story, you know, and you know, so that wealth of resources, I took those books. And when I got over here, I couldn’t carry them all. Also then I ordered them and Dave shipped them over and we’ve been using them here, spirit activities and just, you know, kind of fundamental values type leadership activities that are fun. But at the end of it, you go, whoa, I didn’t know. I just learned something. You know, kids, kids are having fun. They don’t know what’s happening until you hit them with the message. And then they never forget it. It’s, it’s sneaky, sneak attack
Sam Demma (31:27):
but it works,
Nicole Haire (31:29):
But it works. And those resources are fabulous. I’ll, I’ll be honest. I’ve used those the most.
Sam Demma (31:34):
Okay, awesome. I’ll make sure to link those in the show notes as well. And if anyone wants to get outta their silo and visit another farm, maybe talk to you a little bit and connect and have a conversation.
Nicole Haire (31:45):
Yes, absolutely. And I mean, we zoom like to me, we are, we’re blessed in a way this whole COVID thing has been, you can look at it one of two ways you can look at it as the, you know, the disaster that everybody talks about. Well, I wish it would get back to normal. I hope it never goes back to normal. I hope we go back to what we were before, because I think this COVID this big stop and think that we have had where it’s like everybody go to your room and stop and think . Yeah. Seriously, it gives, it’s given us an opportunity to reflect on what’s important in our lives about our own personal health and wellbeing. About, you know, I, in the COVID time where we were completely online, I started walking again. I started eating healthy. I was sleeping more there, you know, it was different stress, but there were other stresses that weren’t there anymore.
Nicole Haire (32:39):
My kids and I started zooming every Sunday. Nice. And I’ve been here for five years. We had never zoomed all of us together. Now we have religiously every Sunday, got it. We have family time and we zoom them to catch up my sisters. So we are in silos, but we’re in silos by choice. There’s there no excuse for us to be in silos. And I would love to talk to anybody that wants to talk. So, you know, I’m, I’m a few hours ahead of you right now. It’s almost 11, o’clock my time. But we, we seem to be able to make connections. And I, I keep in touch all the time through zoom and WhatsApp and we’ve, we’ve got all this technology and it’s like nuclear energy. It can be a weapon or a tool. And if we start using, I think the tools at our fingertips to stay connected instead of to keep us separate we have a hope of , you know, it’s like everybody together.
Nicole Haire (33:35):
I always say to my team at school sticks in a bundle or unbreakable, it’s like a Kenyon proverb. It’s like, you can’t break a bundle of sticks. You can break individual sticks, but you can’t break as if we’re a bundle. And I see it over and over every time someone’s, we keep in touch with each other, we’re checking in, you know, there’s perpetual chocolate in my office. People have places that they can go one other person a day just to check you in on you and say, they see you. I think having mentors is very important. And just, just to say hi, just to know that, you know, if I didn’t show up today, somebody would call my house and see where I was. you know, so it’s, that’s awesome. It’s about relationships. I think that’s, if we have those relationships, we have, we have hope.
Sam Demma (34:19):
That’s awesome. I, and if someone does wanna reach you and build a relationship what would be the best way for them to do so? Is there an email that’s best or?
Nicole Haire (34:27):
Or, yeah, sure. Yeah. I it’s it’s easy for me. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org and it’s H A I R E like hair on your head with an E, but yeah, they can just email me and then if they wanna chat further, we can and chat or share resources or share stories, whatever. But I think I think people should, I mean, I’m not saying don’t contact me, but I think people haven’t even tapped into the resources that are right beside them. Yeah. The teacher next door. I always, in my notes, I give a challenge each week to my staff and a quote of the week and the challenge this week was go find somebody, spend 10 minutes with them and ask them how they are. And just reach out to that teacher next door. And we don’t know what they’re going through, you know, and, and you’d be surprised sometimes you have things in common with people that you think you don’t. Take 10 minutes to talk. Yeah.
Sam Demma (35:22):
Love that. That’s awesome. Well, thank you, Nicole so much for coming on here. So much positive energy, and I know everyone listening can feel it as well. I really do appreciate it, and I wish you all the best and I’ll, I’ll definitely keep in touch. And I, you know, one day maybe I can come to Qatar and say, hello.
Nicole Haire (35:38):
But I would, I would pay to work with you, Sam. I’m really, I have to say that when I meet young people, that just, you can, when you say you see potential, I’m just sitting here going, I’m gonna keep track of Sam, cause someday I’m gonna say I talked to him in 2020, but I think you’re a phenomenal person and congratulations for the work you’re doing. Thank you. I appreciate it. You’re most welcome.
Sam Demma (36:02):
I’ll talk soon, Nicole. Okay. 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 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.
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