1. Every kid needs a champion – Rita F. Pierson
Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, “They don’t pay me to like the kids.” Her response: “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.'” A rousing call to educators to believe in their students and actually connect with them on a real, human, personal level.
Rita F. Pierson spent her entire life in or around the classroom, having followed both her parents and grandparents into a career as an educator.
2. Teach teachers how to create magic – Christopher Emdin
What do rap shows, barbershop banter and Sunday services have in common? As Christopher Emdin says, they all hold the secret magic to enthrall and teach at the same time — and it’s a skill we often don’t teach to educators. A longtime teacher himself, now a science advocate and cofounder of Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S. with the GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, Emdin offers a vision to make the classroom come alive.
Christopher Emdin is a science advocate who uses hip-hop to make better teachers.
3. Hey science teachers — make it fun – Tyler DeWitt
High school science teacher Tyler DeWitt was ecstatic about a lesson plan on bacteria (how cool!) — and devastated when his students hated it. The problem was the textbook: it was impossible to understand. He delivers a rousing call for science teachers to ditch the jargon and extreme precision, and instead make science sing through stories and demonstrations. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)
Tyler DeWitt recognizes that textbooks are not the way to get young people interested in science. Instead, he teaches science by making it fun and fantastical.
4. Math class needs a makeover – Dan Meyer
Today’s math curriculum is teaching students to expect — and excel at — paint-by-numbers classwork, robbing kids of a skill more important than solving problems: formulating them. Dan Meyer shows classroom-tested math exercises that prompt students to stop and think.
Dan Meyer is exploring the way we teach teachers to teach kids.
5. 3 rules to spark learning – Ramsey Musallam
It took a life-threatening condition to jolt chemistry teacher Ramsey Musallam out of ten years of “pseudo-teaching” to understand the true role of the educator: to cultivate curiosity. In a fun and personal talk, Musallam gives 3 rules to spark imagination and learning, and get students excited about how the world works.
As a high school chemistry teacher, Ramsey Musallam expands curiosity in the classroom through multimedia and new technology.
6. How to learn? From mistakes – Diana Laufenberg
Diana Laufenberg shares three surprising things she has learned about teaching — including a key insight about learning from mistakes.
For over 15 years Diana has been a secondary social studies teacher in Wisconsin, Kansas, Arizona and Pennsylvania.
7. How to fix a broken school? Lead fearlessly, love hard – Linda Cliatt-Wayman
On Linda Cliatt-Wayman’s first day as principal at a failing high school in North Philadelphia, she was determined to lay down the law. But she soon realized the job was more complex than she thought. With palpable passion, she shares the three principles that helped her turn around three schools labeled “low-performing and persistently dangerous.” Her fearless determination to lead — and to love the students, no matter what — is a model for leaders in all fields.
Linda Cliatt-Wayman is a Philadelphia high school principal with an unwavering belief in the potential of all children.
8. A girl who demanded school – Kakenya Ntaiya
Kakenya Ntaiya made a deal with her father: She would undergo the traditional Maasai rite of passage of female circumcision if he would let her go to high school. Ntaiya tells the fearless story of continuing on to college, and of working with her village elders to build a school for girls in her community. It’s the educational journey of one that altered the destiny of 125 young women.
Kakenya Ntaiya refused to accept the continued oppression of women in her Maasai village — so she built a school that’s shifting gender expectations in her community.