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For returning guests, welcome back, and for those who are new here, I’m Andrea Samadi, author, and educator, originally from Toronto, now in Arizona, with a passion for learning, understanding difficult concepts, and breaking them down so that we can all use and apply the most current research to improve our productivity and results in our schools, sports environments, and modern workplaces.

Watch this interview on YouTube here

On this episode you will learn:

✔︎ The importance of Dr. Stephen Covey’s 8th Habit-Finding Your Voice and Helping Others to Find Theirs.

✔︎ A look behind the scenes of The Chey and Pav Show-Where They Began and Where They are Now.

✔︎ What they have each noticed with their personal and professional growth hosting their podcast.

✔︎ Their vision for their NEW book “The Magnificent Microphone”

✔︎ What they learned from working with an artist with this book.

✔︎ How they intend this book to be used to connect with students whose voice is often left behind.

✔︎ How they use Easter Eggs (personal insights) to connect to their long-time supporters.

With today’s episode, my goal is to show the importance of identifying, sharing and amplifying the voices that aren’t typically amplified. Dr. Stephen Covey reminds us that when he created the 8th habit, it was “not about adding one more habit to the 7, one that somehow got forgotten. It’s about seeing and harnessing the power of a third dimension to the 7 Habits (taking The 7 Habits beyond where they were before) that meets the central challenge of the new Knowledge Worker Age (requiring continual growth). The 8th Habit is to Find Your Voice and Inspire Others to Find Theirs.”  After seeing this quote I had to ask Greg Link, who worked and partnered with the late Dr. Covey if I understood the real meaning behind this quote as I sensed it was deeper than I was grasping, and he said “He is likening finding your voice (the 8th Habit) as a next dimension fruit or outcome of mastering the 7 Habits. It’s an outcome or next level, opposed to another habit” which left a profound impact on me with this episode that features 2 well-known podcast hosts from my hometown, who are on a mission to help others to amplify their voice, with their podcast and NEW book series. This means that their mission will inevitably create many NEW opportunities (or fruits as Dr. Covey put it) that will impact many people, around the world, for many years to come.

Today’s episode #215 is important to me (well, all the episodes are important) but this one touches the heart, mind and soul on a deep level, (as Dr. Marie Gervais reminded us to pay attention to in our last interview #214[i] on The Spirit of Work, to bring our whole selves to whatever it is we are doing) – and today’s episode does just that.

Today we will be speaking with Chey Cheney and Pav Wander, from The Chey and Pav Show,[ii] a weekly podcast that centers around teaching insights, reflections and growth of Chey and Pav, two middle school teachers from Toronto, Ontario.  They regularly comment on being JUST two teachers in a highly diverse community, who look to share best practices, favorite resources, mis-steps and setbacks from their teaching experiences.  I’ve told them often they are far from “just” teachers, but are exemplary, legendary leaders, who are paving the way forward for many who have previously not been seen, or heard and were at risk of being left behind. They did outline the highlights of becoming published authors (and all that they learned from this experience) on their most recent podcast episode #110[iii] that I encourage everyone to tune into.

Today’s episode we will look at their new picture book, The Magnificent Microphone[iv] that depicts a story of Chey and Pav, who in the picture book, are two keen and energetic elementary school students who often feel unseen and unheard at home and school. They always have vibrant ideas to share, but for some reason, they are always ignored! One lucky day, they find a Magnificent Microphone which helps them elevate their voices with the people that haven’t been listening.  I invite everyone to join Chey and Pav as they plunge into sharing their voices, learn about storytelling, and find ways to help others amplify their voices.

Let’s meet these NEW published authors, keynote speakers, successful podcast hosts, and legendary middle school teachers from Toronto, Canada, Chey and Pav!!!!

Welcome Chey and Pav!!!!!

How much fun in this going to be??? Thank you for joining me today on the podcast.

You know you’ve got a serious supporter of your work here, and I really do need to come back for a visit and meet up with you for coffee in the parking lot because the staffroom was never my thing.

Welcome, both of you.

So, I’ve got to say this is really cool for me to speak with you both, being a former TDSB teacher. It’s been a long time, but I was at Zion MS in North York. My department head was Jim Carson, who I had to look up and saw he’s now at Fairmount PS (I think)…I’m not sure where Rexdale is from North York and how many educators you get to meet across the District..

FOR CHEY: So Chey (am I the only one who has no idea who the Hurricane Cheney is??). I’ve heard of a few wrestlers, (my husband is definitely a fan–he has a poster of the Iron Sheik in his office)—and I’ve heard of some others but I wonder why you chose The Hurricane as your Superhero name? What’s so cool about this wrestler?

FOR PAV: And welcome Pav (Wonder-woman Wander)…I understand this reference much better than the wrestling one.  You definitely are Wonder-woman, teaching, raising a family and running the podcast. No explanation needed unless there’s more that I’ve missed?  Oh, expect baker as well, as I did steal one of your Christmas Cookie recipes!

Q1: So, it’s been over 2.5 years since you launched your podcast, (is that right??)  that’s now called The Chey and Pav Show, and I know so much has happened since you put your voice out into the world in this short amount of time that’s probably gone by like the blink of an eye. So many new opportunities are coming your way, and many more on the horizon, so I do want to first of all congratulate you both on the decision to do this work. Looking back now, Pav, you say this is “the most exponential growth you’ve experienced as a teacher.” Could you both go back to when you took your RSS feed and put it out to multiple podcast channels…what do each of you remember thinking back then and was exponential growth that would be chronicled for the world to see on your mind at all?

Q2: Let’s go to your 100th episode, which is a HUGE milestone (awesome!!) where you each went over your “most impactful” episodes over the years that impacted your growth. What is unique about this podcasting experience, is that the world gets to watch your growth (which I’ve seen with some other podcast hosts I follow-and I can see the growth in myself. I remember the first 50 interviews I did, I seriously look like I’m hyperventilating…I can’t watch them without thinking “just take a breath…breathe!!”  I know you have noticed your growth as well. Aside from the knowledge you have both gained, what have you noticed about your growth personally and professionally with hosting The Chey and Pav Show and putting your voice out to the world?

Q3: What I loved about your 100th episode is that you picked some episodes that were impactful, and stood the test of time. Over the years, I often draw back to past episodes for this reason, as I think they can inspire others for years to come. I know it’s hard to think ahead, and easier to look back, but what is your vision when you get to EPISODE #200? What are your next podcast milestones goals?

Q4: I’d like to move to your NEW picture book, The Magnificent Microphone, since this is a huge deal that you are now published authors. I actually wrote these questions BEFORE I read your book, and these questions have more meaning now, as I felt your story on a deep emotional level. Can you each share your vision for this book and eventual series?

Q5: I have to mention your art work, since we also had an artist create images for our Level Up program and book. We interviewed our artist on EPISODE #13[v], Sam Roberts, as her artwork actually gained her a 4-year, all paid, prestigious leadership scholarship at the University of AR. Who knew when she was 16 years old, and sending me back ideas based on what I was asking her to draw for me, where this would lead her in her future.

What did you learn from your artist, Shawnna Purkis, and I wonder what this experience uncovered for her as her voice was elevated being your artist?

Q6:  What’s next for you both? I know you are going to make this a book series, but I wonder if you have thought about the books having components that could be used for the ELL population? (I ask because I worked for Pearson ESL and many books to schools for Newcomer students). Have you thought about this audience as you are now working on translating this book into many different languages?

Q7: I’ve got to mention the Easter Eggs (not chocolate-but the personal insights) that you have noticed in your episodes. I didn’t notice I was doing that until I looked back when I got to EPISODE 100 and saw how intentional I was with the guests I asked to be on the podcast. The people I asked were ALL influencers in my life in some way. I quote them often, as I want to leave a legacy with what I’m creating to help others, by recording these moments of growth and it’s a lot of fun knowing there’s a creative side of me embedded in each episode. What have you both noticed?

Q8: Congratulations on your huge keynote presentation in Saskatoon! I loved watching you both prepare for that. I know there’s a lot of behind the scenes stuff that happens (let alone content prep). What stuck out to you from that weekend as memorable for you both?

Q9: Is there anything important I have missed?

I want to thank you both for the years of support with our podcast. I haven’t met you in person, (yet) but feel massively connected to you both. For people to learn more about your podcast, book series, and contact you, is the best place your website

Thank you!! I can’t wait to see what’s next for both of you and how many young leaders your book (and series in the future) will inspire. When I make it back home, I’ll be sure to let you both know!

Reflections After This Episode:

Some final thoughts:

Today I got to come full circle as a former teacher from Toronto District School Board, who had no idea of the impact possible when you put the 8th Habit into action.  Imagine how many young leaders Chey and Pav’s book series will inspire. This is only the beginning for them, but I see so much more. I do understand now why they refer to themselves as “just” teachers from Toronto (although I will always see them as legendary leaders). I can’t wait to see where these two teachers with a passion of  sharing their voices, through storytelling, and find helping others to amplify their voices end up in the next 5-10 years. Dr. Stephen Covey’s quote reminds us all that life is about getting to the 8th Habit—so whatever it is that you might be working on, I hope this episode has given you some insight of the importance of amplifying those often unheard voices—whether it’s in the classroom, workplace, or in the sports environment.

With that final thought, I’ll see you next episode, with an elementary school assistance principal, Dan Wolfe, who is just about to release a NEW book that takes the 5 SEL competencies we’ve covered on our podcast and shows us how to navigate through life with these competencies as our “moral compass.” See you next episode.


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[i] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #214 with Dr. Marie Gervais

[ii] The Chey and Pav Show


[iv] The Magnificent Microphone by Chey Cheney and Pawan Wander Illustrated by Shawnna Purkis Published April 14, 2022

[v]Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #13 with Sam Roberts on “Winning a 4-Year Prestigious Leadership Scholarship at the University of AR, Fort Smith”