I became a talk show junkie at an early age, something I blame firmly on my mother. Kathie Lee, Dini, Marilyn…if we were at home on a weekday, they were chatting in the living room.

As an adult, I’d be happy with the TV on all day long, whether I’m actually sitting and staring or (far more often) going about my business with background conversation, and my first choice is always a talk (or talk/news/entertainment) show.

In addition to interviewing several hosts for this blog, I’ve gone behind-the-scenes at many of my favourite shows: Regis and Kelly (yes, I said Regis – this was a long time ago, and by “behind-the-scenes” I mean I was generously invited backstage for a photo op), Cityline, The Marilyn Denis Show, Canada AM, ET Canada and The Social.

I love the talk show format of delivering information, and after I got my writing career rolling, I wondered how I could parlay that into opportunities to share helpful educational information for parents on screen as well as in print.

The first thing I did was invite our beloved first babysitters (who are sisters) to come over and help me with a mock segment – which took a ton of work and preparation. With one lovely young woman beside me reading the questions and the other behind the flipcam, we put together a demo video…but what to do with it? Well, why not start with a huge national show? I tried…and was very politely turned down.

I knew from the progress of my magazine writing that starting local is a much better bet, so I contacted an acquaintance who was on leave from Peterborough’s CHEX Daily (she now runs her own fantastic website, MichelleFerreri.com). She enthusiastically encouraged me to share my idea for an education segment for parents, so I emailed the show, and then waited. And then followed up…and received a phone call from cohost and coproducer Teresa Kaszuba. We had a great conversation, and I made my first appearance on July 31, 2014.

All day long, I felt sick to my stomach. I grossly overprepared (with pages of typed points for a three minute segment) and overanalyzed every aspect of my appearance (I shouldn’t have worried so much – they’re not HD yet).

The chat (on keeping learning going over the summer) went really well, and I was invited to return biweekly for a segment Teresa named “Teacher, Teacher!” Over the past year, I’ve been back 24 times, covering topics like navigating the report card, parent/teacher interviews, what teachers really want for Christmas, helping kids get organized, and getting involved at your child’s school (you can find links to every segment in the sidebar of my blog).

Teresa is a mom (and cohost Mike Judson is both a new dad and husband to a teacher) so they have great ideas to offer, but most often give me creative control to choose a timely/seasonal topic and prepare my points. Sometimes their questions throw me, but I’ve definitely learned how to think on my feet! While I love the experience, and I have learned SO much, I swear it’s not just about me – I truly to hope that I can help empower parents to support their children’s educations.

Also important: TV style! Here are some of my CHEX Daily looks (I haven’t repeated many outfits, but my hairstyles don’t change too much):

(I had recently done my hair donation when I made my CHEX debut – it won’t be this short again!)

I made it onto the chalk wall!

Once I had several months of TV experience under my belt, I pitched a segment idea to Canada AM. I was then invited to come in April and get my feet wet as part of a parenting panel (with Maureen Denis and Chris Boddy) sharing ideas and opinions about babysitters (funny to think that two of our babysitters actually helped launch me on the TV track!)

You can read all the early-morning details of my Canada AM segment here.

Yes, yes, but what’s the exciting news, you ask? Okay, here goes! You may have already seen this announcement on social media, but…I am going to be making my debut appearance on The Social on Friday, September 4th!

My dream used to be to host a Canadian incarnation of The View, and while I may be several slightly giant steps away from hosting, I have been invited to come on this show that I love so much and chat about how parents can support their children’s education now that the new school year is upon us.

Of course I’ll be posting about the whole experience right here afterwards, but if you want up-to-the-minute info be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – I’d love your support there too! The Social airs live on CTV at 1 p.m.

Here’s a photo of me on set of The Social and with the hosts from when I went behind-the-scenes a year ago. Can’t wait to share updated pics soon!

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