Four Inspiring TED Talks for Educators

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 -- Sarah Cornelius

From time to time, everyone needs a little jolt of inspiration to keep the daily routine fresh. Teachers are no exception. TED Talks are one great way to take in a thought-provoking perspective and get that dose of motivation. And lucky for teachers, there are lots of great TED Talks devoted to the topic of education. Here are four of our favorite talks full of creative strategies and meaningful insights to keep educators energized!

Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion

Rita Pierson, a 40-year veteran teacher, calls educators to embrace the challenges of the profession and focus on building genuine relationships with students. Her talk is a powerful reminder of the academic success all students are capable of achieving when they are empowered to believe in their own abilities.

Cesar Harada: How I teach kids to love science

TED Senior Fellow Cesar Harada teaches citizen science (public involvement in scientific research) and invention at a school in Hong Kong. He encourages students to get interested in science by offering them opportunities in the classroom to explore and solve real environmental problems. With this approach, Harada teaches his budding environmentalists a lesson that he lives by: “You can make a mess, but you have to clean up after yourself.”

Christopher Emdin: Teach teachers how to create magic

Christopher Emdin, a longtime teacher, science advocate, and founder of Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S., makes the argument that teachers need to be taught more than pedagogy—they must learn to be storytellers. Emdin talks about the power of rap shows, barbershop conversations, Sunday services, and other social institutions to enthrall audiences, and he asserts that the kind of “magic” they create can be taught.

Linda Cliatt-Wayman: How to fix a broken school? Lead fearlessly, love hard

Linda Cliatt-Wayman was acutely familiar with the challenges facing Philadelphia’s schools, but in her first year as a principal in the district, she realized the deep complexities of the job. By setting clear, strict expectations while consistently reminding students of her love for them, she has been able to turn around three underperforming schools. In her compelling talk, Cliatt-Wayman offers important strategies for overcoming issues of poverty and inequality in education.

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