National Rural Education Association Official Podcast

S03E07 – Helping Kids be loved, seen, and heard in the classroom. An interview with Mr. Hamish Brewer

Episode Summary

In this episode of the Rural Voice, we interview Mr. Hamish Brewer, one of our scheduled speakers, for the NREA conference in Chattanooga in October 2023. Mr. Brewer came to the United States from New Zealand as part of a teacher-cultural exchange program. He talks about leaving people better than he finds them by keeping dialog “real” and honoring others’ successes. We should value others and what they contribute to our teams. These values trickle down to kids and change their lives. We discussed how culture plays a role in our performance. Culture should connect to the mission and vision overall. In other words, think about the journey, not simply the destination. When we commit to projects and education, how we own our role translates to others. It is all about accountability with no “shame or blame” to meet the needs of our fellow professionals. It is about expectation accountability. Expectations and accountability have become the culture of schools. We can make these connections to student needs by planning clear and measurable outcomes. Each teacher and staff member have a direct relationship to student performance. It is about the positive perspective of teaching kids and reminding them we are glad they are in the classroom. We discuss how polarization has been a challenge for educators. We have been in an unprecedented time, and we have had to grow as a result. The classroom is a different place, and we must consider the emotional value of positivity. Each day is an opportunity to help others. We have to adapt to this new normal post-pandemic. We want kids to be “loved, seen, and heard.”

Episode Notes

Recognized as the NAESP Nationally Distinguished Principal and Virginia Principal of the Year, he was also honored with the VAESP School Bell Award and ASCD Virginia Impact Award. Hamish was named a Northern Virginian of the year by Northern Virginia Magazine and Principal of the Year for the online national publication – Education Dive. Prince William County Public Schools named Hamish the school division’s Principal of the Year and Hamish was recently recognized by Omega U as the Principal of the Year. Under his leadership, his elementary school was recognized as a Nationally Distinguished Title 1 School, and Hamish has since gone on to turn around one of the toughest middle schools in the state of Virginia. Mr. Brewer is a highly sought-after international keynote speaker – motivating and inspiring audiences around the world, including being recognized as a TEDx speaker. Originally from New Zealand, Hamish earned his first degree from the University of Auckland. Mr. Brewer is currently a doctoral student at Virginia Tech University. Hamish is the best-selling author of “Relentless – Disrupting The Educational Norm, published in 2019. Mr. Brewer previously served at the state level as the Federal Relations Coordinator on the Board of Directors with the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals and was a lead fellow of NAESP’s Center for Innovative Leadership. He is a school turnaround and school improvement specialist, working with some of the most at-risk students in the United States.


This Episode is sponsored by My Credential