playlist

Talks from inspiring teachers

A great teacher can change the trajectory of your life. Here, talks from teachers you'll wish you had.

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  1. 7:48
    Rita Pierson 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.

  2. 6:54
    Christopher Emdin 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.

  3. 17:07
    Linda Cliatt-Wayman How to fix a broken school? Lead fearlessly, love hard

    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.

  4. 11:20
    Tyler DeWitt Hey science teachers — make it fun

    High school science teacher Tyler DeWitt was ecstatic about his new 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.

  5. 11:39
    Dan Meyer Math class needs a makeover

    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.

  6. 6:29
    Ramsey Musallam 3 rules to spark learning

    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.

  7. 17:03
    Sakena Yacoobi How I stopped the Taliban from shutting down my school

    When the Taliban closed all the girls' schools in Afghanistan, Sakena Yacoobi set up new schools, in secret, educating thousands of women and men. In this fierce, funny talk, she tells the jaw-dropping story of two times when she was threatened to stop teaching — and shares her vision for rebuilding her beloved country.

  8. 13:59
    Stephen Ritz A teacher growing green in the South Bronx

    A whirlwind of energy and ideas, Stephen Ritz is a teacher in New York's tough South Bronx, where he and his kids grow lush gardens for food, greenery — and jobs. Just try to keep up with this New York treasure as he spins through the many, many ways there are to grow hope in a neighborhood many have written off, or in your own.

  9. 7:10
    Nadia Lopez Why open a school? To close a prison

    Our kids are our future, and it's crucial they believe it themselves. That's why Nadia Lopez opened an academic oasis in Brownsville, Brooklyn, one of the most underserved and violent neighborhoods in New York — because she believes in every child's brilliance and capabilities. In this short, energizing talk, the founding principal of Mott Hall Bridges Academy (and a star of Humans of New York) shares how she helps her scholars envision a brighter future for themselves and their families.

  10. 10:05
    Diana Laufenberg How to learn? From mistakes

    Diana Laufenberg shares three surprising things she has learned about teaching — including a key insight about learning from mistakes.