Reflection #17: Becoming the Mentor Kids Deserve with Noa Daniel

By Barbara Bray

Join Barbara Bray in conversations with awesome educators, leaders, and influencers as they talk about their passion and purpose for planting seeds for change. Each podcast has a link to a related blog post with more information and resources.

Noa Daniel is a part-time classroom teacher outside Toronto Ontario Canada. She’s a consultant and Chief Building Officer at Building Outside the Blocks, she’s the co-founder and executive director of The Mentoree, she hosts the weekly OnEdMentors Podcast on voicEd Radio. Noa is a TEDx and keynote speaker, a director on the board of Learning Forward Ontario, and the author of the newly released children’s book Strum and The Wild Turkeys.
How have things changed since we first recorded 4 years ago in 2017? 
Since we recorded 4 years ago, I have upskilled in terms of podcasting, writing, speaking, and presenting. When I listen back to my appearance on your show, I can’t believe how quickly I spoke and how much has changed. I continued to look back fondly on your appearance on The Personal Playlist Podcast. I loved that show, and even though I left on a high note, saying goodbye to all 159 guests continues to be hard for me. I have archived the shows on my website and some are still available on various platforms. If there is an educator you want to get to know, ask them about their nostalgia, identity and pick me up songs Better yet, ask your students through The Personal Playlist Project.
Why did you write Strum and The Wild Turkeys?
I was originally commissioned to write a book that told a story about a real event. I had turned it down because I was working on my TEDx Talk, but then the event date moved, and I took on the project. When I wrote the story, I realized there was so much in it for the classroom. I asked if I could send it to a publisher, and the only place that I wanted it to be was with EduMatch. Sarah said yes, and now I am part of the EduMatch family with you, Barbara. Here is the origin story.
What are the themes and why are they meaningful to you/reflect your WHY?
All of my work is about building skill, autonomy, community, and connection. It amazed me that there was so much of myself and my WHY is woven through the vividly illustrated pages of Strum and The Wild Turkeys. With themes of finding your voice, belonging, inclusion, and the transformational power of music, this book reflects everything I value as a teacher and all of the things I am tryin…