Episode #209: Rob Dunlop

Dana GoodierOut of the Trenches Podcast

Robert Dunlop is a middle school teacher and technology & assessment consultant. His experiences in the classroom and throughout his district have given him a deep insight into the importance of teacher happiness. He credits working with thousands of educators as paramount to his research for this book. Robert’s teaching journey has been one of peaks and valleys. His work in schools and his role in creating the Terry Fox Lesson Plans for educators around the world, led to him being honored with the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence. Although Robert has enjoyed many peaks throughout his career, he credits his valleys for his greatest learning. The message he shares in this book, online and through his speaking comes from his passion to reconnect to his love of teaching. Robert looks forward to inspiring many more educators to find Happiness in Education. Lives in St. Catherines, ON.

Trenches story: Was on the verge of leaving education several times. He talks about almost leaving the profession in his keynote. His admin was looking at making changes to his schedule. He felt like he deserved reign over his schedule. Was administratively transferred. Prior to teaching, was personal trainer around the world. Realized why he got into education. What he learned in the trenches is he wasn’t willing to change. Had to own behaviors. Then got tech consultant position. First seed of writing his book. He studied positive psychology/motivation. He does a timeline of happiness activity in his book. Other admin made a decision he thought wasn’t fair. Was almost hired by edtech companies. Wife came home w/ Book Before Happiness.  He saw relationships with students, impact, etc. It changed the way Robert saw things. Has a better way of looking at things. In his school, sub shortage during pandemic. Went in w/ a better attitude during subbing.

What was your role in creating the Terry Fox Lesson Plans? Day of recording was Terry Fox run day. here’s a 5K or bike ride next Sund. for foundation. This was back in ‘81. It was Robert’s source of motivation when he was a teen. Robert had a paper route, didn’t do it when it rained. Was touched by movie about Terry. The foundation suggested he should help make lessons. There are 4-5 million downloads now. The $ goes to cancer research.

How did that lead to you getting the Prime Minister’s award? He applied, got it and donated $ back to the Terry Fox foundation. Parent can nominate you for the award. Highlighted friend, Lee who also got the prime minister’s award.

Talk about your book, Strive for Happiness in Edu, published in 2019. It’s based off positive psychology in education. He was worried about demotivation in his job. STRIVE is an acronym (listen to recording to get what it stands for). Used a whiteboard to brainstorm. He also presents to ppl outside education. Design the book cover himself. “There’s nothing more powerful than an educator who loves coming to school every day”. Ever teachers deserve to be happy.  Connect to your why. Navigating valleys. Is fueling questions from Suzanne Daily w/ her book. (Teach Happier podcast). Part of his book is random acts of recognition.

Any speaking engagements coming up? He only wants to do 3-4/year. Did a lot more pre-pandemic, esp. in ON. Did even virtual presentations for pharmaceutical conferences. His book is like sprinkles on a Sunday. He wants to be in a school not touring all over. He didn’t set out to write it. His wife said it needed to come out. It’s all he talked about for 4 years.

Out of everything? Teachers deserve to be happy. We leave our happiness up to the world. There are controllable things. We need to practice gratitude daily. Click To Tweet– Happy Feet app. A small investment gets him through times in a positive way. Make happiness your priority.

Where can ppl find you online?  Twitter @robdunlopedu LinkedIn  www.motivatedu.com

He has a staff wellness section with media staff can use for meeting.

View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/XxQ6WhO7RH4


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