As an educator, surely you have resources being thrown your way on a daily basis. Some of these resources will be extremely helpful, while others might have to be stowed away for a later date. But one of the best, most current resources you can add is TED talk recommendations. If you aren’t familiar, TED (technology, entertainment, and design) is a non-profit organization with a mission to spread knowledge through brief, powerful talks. Transcribed into over 100 languages, TED talks are a valuable resource for anyone, but especially for teachers. There are thousands of videos on communication, hope, innovation, education, instruction, and society. As a teacher, you’ll be able to match up your specific interests to videos that are available. You can even implement watching TED talks into your morning coffee or planning period routines. Keeping them brief makes them easily accessible – anyone can make the time to engage with these.
Though there are literally hundreds of videos available to watch, there are a select few that are incredibly important for teachers. Ranging from improving instruction to staying motivated in a tough profession, the following 5 TED talks will ignite a fire under you; they’ll remind you why you became a teacher in the first place:
Bill Gates: Teachers Need Real Feedback
Bill Gates discusses our education system in terms of how we give teachers feedback in order to stimulate improvement. His statistics are mind-blowing and will spark your inner drive to become better at what you do. Gates describes how Shanghai ensures new, young teachers are mentored by master teachers, ensuring that quality instructional practices are passed on. The Gates Foundation’s “Measures of Effective Teaching” project has partnered with 3,000 teachers across the country, and, in this TED talk, you’ll see how the project is helping teachers learn from their actions through video recording. Your classroom performance will improve after spending just ten minutes watching this TED talk.
Rita Pierson: Every Kid Needs a Champion
Just a few minutes out of your day with Rita Pierson will inspire you; not just to become a better teacher, but to become a better person. She emphasizes relationships, and how important you are in each and every one of your student’s lives. Her humorous stories will easily keep you engaged, and her ideas will leave you wanting more. My favorite phrase comes at the end of her talk, “Is this job tough? You betcha. Oh God, you betcha. But it is not impossible. We can do this. We’re educators. We’re born to make a difference.”
Carol Dweck: The Power of Believing You Can Improve
As “growth mindset” classroom décor becomes more and more popular on various teacher websites, sometimes you might lose sight of what having and teaching a growth mindset really means. Dweck uses studies, science, and facts to detail how important it is to teach your students that life and learning are about moving forward. One of her most powerful questions asks society if we’re raising our students to make A’s or if we’re raising them to dream big. One thing is for sure: she’ll have you sitting back and re-thinking your daily classroom routine.
Kelly McGonigal: How to Make Stress Your Friend
Health psychologist Kelly McGonigal discusses stress in regard to perspective. Did you know that changing how you think about stress can actually make you healthier? Instead of dreading the stack of papers you have at home to grade, or feeling pressured to complete your professional development hours, view your quickened heart rate and increased body temperature as your body rising to the challenge. McGonigal also discusses how caring for others, spending time volunteering, and generally doing good for the world can greatly impact the effect of stressful events on your body. As an educator, stress simply comes with the territory. But after listening to Kelly McGonigal’s TED talk, you’ll know exactly how to handle the upcoming semester.
Astro Teller: The Unexpected Benefit of Celebrating Failure
One of the more common thoughts in the mind of a student is what happens if I fail? Because our society has made failing such a negative experience, it is often what people are most afraid of. Even adults in their “adult jobs” are afraid of failing, and therefore may resist a chance to explore a dream or a new idea. Astro Teller’s TED talk on celebrating failure will change the way you “fail” in your own classroom. Instead of wiping your slate clean and heading back to the drawing board, you’ll get out an eraser and tweak what didn’t work. Because failing is what drives us to improve,failing is celebrated. After watching, you’ll want to head into your classroom with the attitude that mistakes and failing are just another part of the learning process – there’s nothing to be afraid of.
If you haven’t signed up to receive TED recommendations, it could truly change both your professional and personal life. You’ll be intrigued at the number of topics people give talks on, and you’ll wind up yearning for a video more and more often. It’ll be good for you – especially as an educator.