5. Educational Entrepreneurship with Garth Nichols

What do you teach? Most of us would likely answer this question with a subject or a grade level. But not Garth Nichols. His answer: I teach kids. 


Garth Nichols is the vice principal of student engagement and experiential development at Havergal College in Toronto Ontario. While he is initiating exciting opportunities to redefine learning by day with the students at his school, in his “off” time, Garth started from the ground up the innovative year-long professional development experience that is Cohort 21.


If you heard Justin Medved from episode 2, you likely have a solid primer of what Cohort 21 is all about. I was lucky enough to join this year-long professional development experience in its first iteration back in 2012. While this personalized learning model has grown over the years, it can best be described as four face-to-face sessions that help educators design their own action research projects in their schools to help address an emergent dilemma that they face. Garth will get into more about what the program looks like, but if you are curious, definitely check out the show notes for the link to the Cohort 21 main page.


Garth’s humour, zest for learning, and vision for education are what makes him a truly exceptional leader and a wonderful guest to talk with. So here is what we talked about around his dining room table:


A huge thank you to Garth for recording this episode not one, but two times. The first time we rolled tape, I played it back and realized the sound quality was less than ideal. His generosity and willingness to be patient with the learners around him is, I think, what makes Garth a really exceptional educator.


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