Looking to motivate and engage your students? Wanting to dive deeper into pedagogy? Keen to be inspired by a new idea? Feeling tired and in need of a mental pick-me-up?

May we suggest watching a TED Talk or 5?

TED is a not for profit that shares pioneering ideas through short, engaging talks. The TED website is a veritable treasure trove of interesting topics and ideas – you could easily spend hours watching videos there. However, we know educators rarely have that kind of time so we’ve put together a short list of some of our favourite TedTalks for teachers.

1. Bring on the Learning Revolution

In this poignant, funny follow-up to his fabled 2006 talk, Do Schools Kill Creativity?, Sir Ken Robinson makes the case for a radical shift from standardized schools to personalized learning — creating conditions where kids’ natural talents can flourish.

2. The Power of Believing You Can Improve

Carol Dweck researches “growth mindset” — the idea that we can grow our brain’s capacity to learn and to solve problems. In this talk, she describes two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard for you to solve. Are you not smart enough to solve it … or have you just not solved it yet? A great introduction to this influential field.

3. Every Kid Needs a Champion

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.

4. Teach Teachers How to Create Magic

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.

5. How to Make Stress Your Friend

Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.

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