Teacher Chatter

Trevor Romain - Inspiring children in the toughest of times

April 17, 2020 Teacher Chatter Season 1 Episode 27
Teacher Chatter
Trevor Romain - Inspiring children in the toughest of times
Chapters
Teacher Chatter
Trevor Romain - Inspiring children in the toughest of times
Apr 17, 2020 Season 1 Episode 27
Teacher Chatter

Trevor Romain is an award-winning TV personality, best-selling author, illustrator, and motivational speaker. His books have sold more than a million copies worldwide, and have been published in twenty-two different languages. Trevor writes stories to empower children through life's tough transitions, and his Trevor Romain Company has created a program for schools to help kids become happier, healthier, and more confident.

https://www.trevorromain.com/

Show Notes Transcript

Trevor Romain is an award-winning TV personality, best-selling author, illustrator, and motivational speaker. His books have sold more than a million copies worldwide, and have been published in twenty-two different languages. Trevor writes stories to empower children through life's tough transitions, and his Trevor Romain Company has created a program for schools to help kids become happier, healthier, and more confident.

https://www.trevorromain.com/

Support the show (http://www.edquire.com)

Laura:   0:06
Hello everyone welcome to��Teacher Chatter,����an Australian podcast made by teachers for teachers about teaching. Today's episode is brought to you by��edQuire,��AI��for teachers!����I'm Laura��...

Rita:   0:21
and I'm Rita. Laura and I are both teachers currently living in Sydney. Today we're excited to chat with best selling American author Trevor��Remain. Welcome, Trevor.����

Trevor:   0:30
Hi. Thanks��very much. I've got to qualify one thing though I am��a South African who now lives in America,

Rita:   0:37
Right!��Terrific. Yes, yes,��even��more interesting!

Trevor:   0:42
Often people��say��"What? You sound a little different,��but that's why.

Laura:   0:47
Okay, so you are a best selling author and��a world-winning illustrator��as well. And your books have sold more than a 1,000,000 copies worldwide and have��been published in 22 different languages. What makes your stories reach��such a large audience?

Trevor:   1:02
I think it's because I tackle very difficult topics with a sense of humour and speak to��children in their own language.��I don't lecture to them. I don't don't talk down to them and I illustrate my own books as well. And I used whimsical illustrations too, to tackle some stuff that often people run away from. And I��try to make it easy.

Rita:   1:26
If you're illustrating your own books then you're probably better at getting the actual message that you wanted to get out, out. Is that..Would you agree with that?

Trevor:   1:34
Oh, absolutely, Yeah, I think so often when you are translating between an author and illustrator, it's their interpretation of your work��sometimes��...this just makes it, as you said, it's����a lot easier. And it's��a lot of fun too, because while writing I'm thinking What about what the illustrations would��be.����

Rita:   1:53
There'd��be a lot of stick figures if that was��me.����

Laura:   1:56
So what comes first? Is it the story or you've got an image in your mind? What happens?

Trevor:   2:02
Basically what happens is that I spend a lot of time talking to��children. I travel around the world and often times a child will��ask��me a question about something, and I think,��'Wow, that would be a great concept for a book'. So I'd normally think of the concept first. Then I just write down basic headlines of how I think it will work out and only do the illustrations afterwards. Although I am thinking about them while I'm writing,

Rita:   2:29
You mentioned that you like to tackle difficult topics. What sort of topics do you like to write about? And how do you choose��them?

Trevor:   2:36
I I'm basically listening again to what kids were saying. I've written about dealing with grief, about trauma, about bullying, which is a lot deeper than a lot of people realise, because oftentimes trauma is what makes a person bully. So we're trying to understand why they are bullying, as opposed to just giving information about how to be, you know? Okay, if you're a victim S o, looking at it from also or points of views,��and Dealing With Grief was for me, one of one of my favourite books. Because I was grieving at the time while writing the book, and it was cathartic, and I I was able to learn a lot while writing the book about how to deal with grief. I'm busy working on a book right now for understand what it's like for children who are on the spectrum. If you are not so, kids can understand why somebody might behave differently at school or why somebody doesn't respond or react the way that they would expect them to.��So��those��are the kind of topics that people are a little nervous, to address and get into.

Laura:   3:45
And that's exactly why we should talk about these topics and write about them. Because we cannot just pretend we don't have these problems����they are��there and we should actually yeah, talk about them. Yeah,��and feel comfortable. So you're not just a writer, you're also, a motivational speaker. And you've spoken to over a 1,000,000��children and the families and given talks at��UNICEF,��Make a Wish��Foundation and many more. What are the messages that you give to your audience? So you talk about the topics in your books. What messages do you talk about?

Trevor:   4:17
What I do when I do speak to��children is I listen to what kids are asking for instead of telling them what I think they need to hear. And my message is based on my own personal experience. I am dyslexic. I struggle with ADD. I was told I was an idiot. I was the dunce in the corner. And yet I ll ended up writing over 50 books. So what I do is I basically tell kids how I managed to work through some of the issues that were holding me back from my dreams. and success, and they're basically three things I tell kids.����

Trevor:   4:55
The first thing is that little by little, a little becomes a lot. It's Malawian proper, but it is so true you can't run a marathon in one day. You can't collect all your life savings in one day. You can't write a book in a day, so little by little, a little becomes a lot and how to actually work in small chunks to achieve your goals, as opposed to, you know, going out trying to be the best footy player in the world. But you can't do that on the day way. So that's number one.����

Trevor:   5:27
Number two. That failure is not permanent. I think so often young people, when they fail, they like, I'm just giving up because I'm not good at it.����

Trevor:   5:37
And number three is that nothing can grow��in your comfort zone.��You have to take a step out and be vulnerable to be able to see our strength and to see that we can do well. And despite some of the tough times. And I always tell when I speak to adults, I say my success rate of getting through a really bad day is 100% because I'm alive and if you are alive, you have a success rate of getting through tough times.

Laura:   6:09
a beautiful message,����

Rita:   6:12
There's a lot of maturity. I think for the you know, that last one where you said nothing can grow in your comfort zone.

Laura:   6:18
People are scared of��Yes, going outside.

Trevor:   6:22
We're scared of failure, we're scared of being judged. You know, there's there's always shame attached to something that you put out there that you're going to be criticised on or somebody is going to actually take a look at. And, you know, I've got to say I would imagine it would be very, very, very difficult to be a celebrity, especially at the moment, because there��is such an easy way now to put somebody down. You know��that kind of silent bullying, where somebody could tweet something about somebody. And it's really interesting because having interviewed quite a few people who have got success is that they can have 100 great messages and one person says something bad about them, and that's what they focus on. Yeah,��and it��hurts. Even if you're famous, that's what they tell me.

Rita:   7:12
Well, I would imagine, of course,. Trevor in 2007 you co created the Trevor��Romain company with the mission of service to help kids with their social and emotional health in order to become healthier, happier and more confident. How big do you see is the need to help��children And have you seen an increase over time?

Trevor:   7:33
I think it is very, very important. And I have seen it increase over time, mainly because what is happening with��electronic��devices is that families are on their own devices, and communication is definitely not what it could be. I have so many parents who come to me and��and��ask��me��'How can I connect with my child?' and I tell them,��'Put down your phone. Yes, you are a role model. Why are you getting angry with a kid on the phone If you're on the phone all the time?' If that thing is is with you, we're not. We're not connecting and I see more and more disconnection. Now,��on the other hand, electronic��devices being able to be part of the world group is wonderful, but it has to be moderated and there has to be time set up for kids. You can have your time being on social media because that's what that's life now. But it just has to have boundaries. And I think we have to really set those for kids because we're doing them a disservice in their future by not giving them��parameters to be able to grow themselves and just be surface kids where they were they surfing,��basically,

Laura:   8:55
that's very true and not just tell them not to use the phone��so much,��show that the we ourselves don't do it. Because otherwise, it's just preaching. Yeah,

Trevor:   9:04
it really is. A parent came to me the other day and said,��'You know, I,��my child will not read. My child doesn't read' And I just looked at him and I said,��'Do��you read?' He goes "No! I haven't got time!"����

Laura:   9:19
Yeah, exactly. Yeah,

Trevor:   9:21
There's the problem.

Laura:   9:22
That's very true. Trevor, your company's award winning animated series has been featured on numerous PBS affiliate stations throughout the U. S.��today, and the company offers a wide selection of family friendly content. Can you tell us more about what it includes?

Trevor:   9:38
Well that's good news! Trevor,����we're just going to take a really short break. We'll be back soon.����Take the mystery out of what students are really doing on their laptops and computers in your classrooms easily find out what resource is work for your students. What lessons are engaging them, and what other activities might be going on at choir works with you to give you a better understanding of what your students are actually doing. While you're not looking, it's like having eyes in the back of your head. Ed Choir's a Learning Analytics engine gathers data and present it to teachers in real time and in a colour coded form. So it's easy to visualise like a set of traffic lights. Good for schools, Good for teachers, good for students. Find out more at EDC wired dot com. Welcome back over Your latest book, I Believe, is titled Connecting With Kids in a Disconnected World, and it's about connecting with kids in more difficult situations.

Rita:   0:00
Well that's good news! Trevor,����we're just going to take a really short break. We'll be back soon.����

(message from our sponsor):   0:00
Take the mystery out of what students are really doing on their laptops and computers in your classrooms... easily find out what resource is work for your students. What lessons are engaging them, and what other activities might be going on. edQuire works with you to give you a better understanding of what your students are actually doing while you're not looking, it's like having eyes in the back of your head. edQuire's AI Learning Analytics engine gathers data and present it to teachers in real time and in a colour coded form. So it's easy to visualise, like a set of traffic lights. Good for schools, Good for teachers, good for students. Find out more at edquire.com.

Rita:   0:00
Welcome back! Trevor, your latest book, I believe is titled Connecting With Kids in a Disconnected World, and it's about connecting with kids in more difficult situations. Could you tell us more about the book, and where we could find it?es, what What we did was the first initial episodes were dealing with bullying. Grief cliques the title of the cliques��one is��"Cliques, Phonies & Other Baloney" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44Tw-oU_9zc)Also facing fear without freaking out. Another one is how to do your homework without throwing up. stress. Stress can really get on your nerves, so you know just the topics. And we've done them in in an animated style. Except that I am real life in the episodes... and now��I did that for two reasons. Number one, my ego... and��number two. I wanted to tie it back to reality because often you see a cartoon and you know that it's it's not real, but having a real person in there is like, Oh, hang on a minute, this guy's giving advice to these cartoon characters he's��real. So I'm helping them to keep grounded. And so that's��that's the��series is that we have, which is actually available on iTunes for for less than than a price of a cup of Starbucks. Actually,Well that's good news! Trevor,����we're just going to take a really short break. We'll be back soon.����Take the mystery out of what students are really doing on their laptops and computers in your classrooms easily find out what resource is work for your students. What lessons are engaging them, and what other activities might be going on at choir works with you to give you a better understanding of what your students are actually doing. While you're not looking, it's like having eyes in the back of your head. Ed Choir's a Learning Analytics engine gathers data and present it to teachers in real time and in a colour coded form. So it's easy to visualise like a set of traffic lights. Good for schools, Good for teachers, good for students. Find out more at EDC wired dot com. Welcome back over Your latest book, I Believe, is titled Connecting With Kids in a Disconnected World, and it's about connecting with kids in more difficult situations.

Rita:   11:47
Could you tell us more about the book and where we could find it?

Trevor:   11:51
Yeah, the book is basically case histories, and personal experiences��of, dealing with with connecting with kids. Basically, it'll sort of came about. I was very lucky to have gone to the Congo, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda with the United Nations helping former child soldiers and kids in refugee camps use creativity to help them work through some of the trauma that they'd experienced It was a wonderful trip and I learned something huge on their trip. I walked into a refugee camp, and for those people who have gone into one of these, all of a sudden you're there for one minute and you get swarmed with kids. They just want to hold your hand. They want skin they need attention. And these kids swarmed around me, and one of the workers there had a rolled up newspaper and he was swatting the kids away. He told them, to to, go away and there was one little boy who had his finger in my belt loop, and this little guy would not let to go. And so I said, It's okay, let him stay in All the others dispersed and this little boy the whole day was hanging on to my belt loop. I was drawing on the drawing board, and he was turning around and facing the other kids, and eventually later that afternoon, he tugged at my sleeve, and through an interpreter and through broken English and a little bit of French, he said he had a question for me. Now these kids parents had been killed in Rwanda, and they were orphans. So none of them had parents. And they were being looked after in this this refugee camp slash orphanage. And so I said Yes, What is your question?��And I kneeled down so I could be on eye level with him, which is something I do with children, because when you are talking to a child and you looming over them, it doesn't even the playing around. And I believe it's overwhelming for kids. So I got down on his level and I said, What's your question? And this little boy said to me, Can you help me find my mommy? I was about to answer him when another worker came up and said,��'I told you, we gonna find all your mumm's�� one day. You must just be patient.' And I went, Whoa, whoa, Well, hang on. And I put up my hand and had the guy stop talking. And I said to the little boy, Where do you think your mommy is? He goes, Oh, she died. She's in heaven, I said, Oh, I said. You know what I'm going to do tonight? When I say my prayers, I'm gonna pass on a message to please tell your mommy that you love her and that you miss her and you will never forget her And that little boy threw��his arms around me and looked up at me with his big eyes. And said, Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. And he ran off to play soccer with the other kids and kept on waving at me to make sure that I knew where he was. But all that little boy needed was validation. He needed somebody to listen to what he was asking for instead of telling him what they thought he needed to hear. And it really struck a chord with me. And I thought, Wow, I've had a lot of these experiences over my 30 35 years of working with kids, especially my stint of working with terminally ill children. I was the board president of the American Childhood Cancer Organisation and I learned so much about being in the moment and learning to listen, and I thought it would make a really interesting book just based on tips and tricks and case histories that I have personally experienced. And that's connecting with kids in a disconnected world.

Laura:   15:32
That message is very important like we should listen to kids to be able to talk to them, not just tell them what we think they need to be told. I believe you work with schools��to spread your message around the world. How can schools contact you?

Rita:   15:47
The same as for the book. If they just go to��trevorromain.com��That's my website. There's no "E" on Romain. A lot of people turned me into a lettuce head, but it is not so. Its ROMAIN and Trevorromain.com��This is the information about the book. There's information about how schools can get hold of us, and it��got everything that anyone would need. And this also links there to outside sources that may be helpful to people,

Rita:   16:13
And you��kindly��offered��Teacher��Chatter, listeners an��exclusive discount on your books and products. Would they also go to TrevorRomain.com��to access that?

Trevor:   16:22
Yes, that would be the best place to go.��TrevorRomain.com����and we will we will honour that and make sure that everybody gets what they need.

Rita:   16:32
Fantastic. So I guess they would just say that they heard about you through Teacher Chatter?

Trevor:   16:35
Yes, abolsutley.

Laura:   16:37
Thank you. Okay, so we're going to ask you two questions that we ask all our guests. One is, if you could go back in time and tell your younger, educator��self a piece of advice. What would you say?

Trevor:   16:50
I would say, Don't let somebody dim your light simply because it shining in their eyes. don't believe what people say. And I did as a child and especially being a child with a learning difference. I believe that I was stupid. I believed I was not talented enough and��it took��me many, many years to disengage with that. And so that's to me, that's one of the most amazing sayings. I don't know the source, but don't let someone dim your lights simply because it shining in their eyes. That's what I would tell me.

Rita:   17:30
Beautiful. Thank you so much.��And the last question that will ask you for today is if you could take on the persona of any superhero or if you could have just one super power, what would you choose?

Trevor:   17:41
Well, I and probably at��this time. The word I'm going to use is probably not the best word because the word is infected. But I would like to have the power to infect people with kindness.

Trevor:   17:54
That's nice.

Rita:   17:56
I would like them to be able��to��because we're in a very violent, very angry world. And I would like if I if I was��...Kindness, is a superpower on and people actually were kind. It releases endorphins. It makes your life more�� valuable. And it gives your life meaning if you're kind to other people. So we would we could change the world by just tapping people on the head and they could become kind,

Rita:   18:26
Disinfecting them��from horribleness.

Laura:   18:27
I think kindness is infectious. OK, well, that brings us to the end of today's podcast��Trevor, thank you so much for chatting with us. It was a real pleasure. Thank you so much.

Trevor:   18:39
Thank you so much for having me guys.

Trevor:   18:41
And thanks again to edQuire for sponsoring us.��Ciao for now!

(message from our sponsor):   18:47
��edQuire helps you find out what resources worked best for your class. What activities��engage your students and shows you their 21st century��ICT skills. edQuire��is your third eye that makes you aware of your students activities. It's��AI����learning analytics help you understand your students and manage your��class. Smooth your��teaching in real time with a simple map. Good for schools, good for you and your students. Find out more at��edQuire.com.��Thanks for listening. We hope you're enjoying the show. Laura and I are loving the feedback that we're getting. You can contact us��via TeacherChatter at Skype and leave us a message, and we'll feature your comment on an upcoming episode. Visit the TeacherChatter.com website episode transcripts, exclusive giveaways and show notes. Thanks again to our proud sponsor,��edQuire, Learning Analytics and��AI for teachers. You can check them out at��edquire.com. That's��e-d-q-u-i-r-e.com��And don't forget to give us a five star rating on iTunes so that we can reach��and��empower even more teachers.��We look forward to��you tuning in again!