February 5, 2020

I had always taught full time, so when I left my tenured job and started again from zero at the board, it was it was interesting to get used to being a part time teacher. Last year, I started to get really busy. I couldn’t believe how easily I became a person who could work 24/7. I was loving every single thing I was doing, and I just wanted to do more of it. 

Things were really falling into place in my professional life. I got a permanent job teaching part time in York Region, with a Grade 8 Homeroom class for half of the day, and I had time to continue developing Building Outside the Blocks as the umbrella for all of the other work that I was doing and wanted to do including: consulting, project managing, writing, presenting, podcasting, building OEMConnect with Leigh Cassell (now under The Mentoree), doing small...

January 28, 2020

Following 15 years teaching elementary and middle school in the US, Peru, Malaysia, and China, Steve Sostak now specializes in working with schools, teachers, and students to integrate elements of the three Inspire Citizens' Impact Frameworks. He guides educators towards embedding compassionate empathy, deep thinking, and global and intercultural competence into relevant, action-driven learning outcomes linked to disciplinary, technology, and literacy standards. Steve facilitates best-practices in professional learning centered on the Global Impact School Self-Study: holistic, long-term, personalized, capacity-building experiences and reflections for administrative teams and preK-12 teachers and students.As a global TeachSDGs ambassador, Steve is committed to human and environmentally-centered learning that empowers st...

January 21, 2020

Glen Irvin Flores has been in education for over 20 years, and he currently works as an instructional coach in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. Glen was previously a Spanish teacher. Glen is well known by the Schoology community as a Gamification expert, Schoology Ambassador, and he was the 2016-2017 Schoology Educator of the Year. He is an avid gamer with a passion for gamification, playful learning and game-based learning. As a teacher his classroom was a gamified, quest-based, mastery learning environment where students were given the time and opportunity to succeed. Glen is the co-host of OnEducation Podcast whose goal is to have honest conversations about teachers, teaching and everything in between. 

Glen is the co-host of the OnEducation Podcast with Mike Washburn. That is how I was introduced to Glen as Mike was on this...

January 20, 2020


It all began with the OnEdMentors podcast, so it made sense to share and celebrate where we started and where we’re going on the 3rd Anniversary Radiothon on voicEd Radio. Having this special edition of OnEdMentors was a great way to transition OnEdMentors Connect under the umbrella of The Mentoree. You can listen to the audio from the episode when Leigh and I welcomed Helen DeWaard, Bernadette Smith and Greg Sykes to the panel. 

Some highlights from the Special Radiothon episode of OnEdMentors Featuring the Team Behind The Mentoree:

  • The origin story of OEMConnect

  • Leigh and dHL

  • How Helen DeWaard began as a critical friend to our collaborative inquiry and then became so integral to our growth by partnering with us through Lakehead University, first on her syllabus and now help us to become o...

January 14, 2020

Jeff Kubiak is the principal of Nelda Mundy Elementary School. He taught for ten years as an elementary school teacher in grades 4, 5, and 6 and has seven years of administrative experience. Jeff strives to connect with students by bringing real world experiences to them, getting to know their names, engaging in lessons and play, and becoming a part of the learning process with them. He's always looked at education from a different lens: from someone who hated and struggled with school. Jeff vows to always do his best to help increase opportunities for all students to feel heard, noticed, celebrated, challenged and safe. There is not a day that goes by that he is not looking ahead to improve teacher pedagogy, student engagement and digital access for all. 

Jeff works hard to push back against the old model of "Industria...

January 7, 2020

Kyle Kitchen has been teaching for almost 20 years with the District School Board of Niagara and has been one of the IT4 Learning consultants who specializes in infusing technology and pedagogy into classrooms, for the last 9 years.  He is a Makey Makey Ambassador and trainer, Google Certified educator, STEAM teacher, a Maker and Breaker and the creator of Kinders Who Code. He loves working directly with K-8 students and teachers to create curiosity for learning and is often seen speaking at many conferences about his adventures in design thinking, inquiry and making.  

Kyle got his job 9 years ago, and it was first called SWAT: Software, Workshops, and Technology Training Team. While the name changed (for obvious reasons), the work that he does really fulfills him. Kyle loves to learn and see how kids learn....

December 17, 2019

Jen Apgar is in her 6th year as the 21st Century Technology Coach with the Upper Grand District School Board. She taught in the junior gifted program for 10 years and holds her specialists in Integration of Information and Computer Technology in Instruction as well as Special Education. Jen is curious, connected, playful, passionate and purposeful, a hopeful optimist that strives to use the tension of reality to stay grounded while keeping the spirit of her 'What if?' 8-10 year old self. She used to imagine that she was a character from a lost Steven Spielberg movie, which could only be described as a Goonies-E.T.-Explorers-Gremlins-Cloak and Dagger-Stand by Me mash-up, and then Stranger Things happened. Now she is working on creating new characters that represent the the fun adventurous spirit of the 80’s more inclusi...

December 10, 2019

Geoff Ruggero has been teaching in YRDSB for 15 years. He began in the  junior division but has spent the last 7 years as Teacher-Librarian. In that time, he has transformed the classic library space into a modern learning commons. Geoff enjoys coaching basketball, soccer and track, and he is also into STEAM, Making, Coding, Lego, and Edtech.

Geoff and I met for the first time at The Youth Edtech Summit (YES) last year for YRDSB. We reflected on how amazing it was to watch our students lead and share their learning so effectively. Geoff fosters that space through his Learning Commons. “I have, actually,  zero computer science background, but I jumped full on-board with the coding and edtech part of the gig because students...know more than we do… they learn so quickly, and I learn alongside them…The celebration of learn...

December 3, 2019

Vernon Wright is an entrepreneur, speaker, leader, veteran educator, show host, associate editor, and consultant with 15 years of experience in large, urban school districts. He has served as a teacher, teacher leader, campus administrator, and central office leader.  Vernon has collaborated literally across the world with some of the biggest names in educational leadership and entrepreneurial pursuits. Vernon has shared his experiences numerous times over the years at the campus, district, regional, state levels and beyond garnering acclaim from recognized industry leaders. He espouses the three cornerstone values of Connect, Impact, and Scale as the foundation of his pursuits. Vernon welcomes you to the #ZeroApologyZone. 

Vernon, The Wright Leader, and the #ZeroApologyZone brand represent those people that take a...

November 26, 2019

Tim Cavey is an 8th grade educator teaching in Surrey, BC, Canada. He recently completed his Master’s of Educational Leadership. Tim’s Masters program re-invigorated his passion for education and led the way to the Teachers on Fire podcast, where Tim profiles agents of growth and transformation in K-12 education. Each week, he chats with an inspiring educator to bring his listeners their, “highs and lows, passions and goals, and the voices and influences that are shaping their thinking and inspiring their practice.”

Tim did his Masters to open doors for administrative opportunities, but he also really wanted to take his learning to the next level. He is in his 19th year of teaching, and he feels that it is a richer experience having teaching years behind him and knowing the profession as he did, although he wishes that...

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    Noa Daniel, MEd
    Teacher, Consultant, Coach and Chief Building Office at  
    Building Outside the Blocks
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