4 Inspiring TED Talks to Welcome the New School Year

I’ve been an avid watcher of TED Talks for many years. I treat them like tiny morsels of nutrition to feed and inspire my day not to mention, power my forward motion.

With the onset of the new school year across the northern hemisphere, here is a shortlist of five wonderful TED Talks that you just have to watch. And then when you have viewed them, find the time to squeeze them into your curriculum if you can. At the very minimum, invite your students (and other colleagues) to watch them in their own time – they are all worth every minute.

Fun Fact: Did you know that all TED Talks are mandated to be no more than 20 minutes? Why you might ask? Research shows that the average adult can only focus on one thing for a maximum of 20 minutes. Imagine then, how short the attention span is for young people, your students?


1. Taking Care of Yourself

The Real Reason We Are Tired & What To Do About It (9:34)

Saundra Dalton-Smith, a board-certified internal medicine physician, shares in less than 10 minutes some quick strategies that can help you stop feeling perpetually tired and restore your energy levels.


2. Addressing Biases & Inequity

Cultural Humility – Humbling Myself to Better Understand Others (16:49)

Certified diversity trainer and educator Juliana Mosley, PhD, draws the distinction between cultural competency – the ability to understand and respect the values and beliefs of people from other cultures – and cultural humility – the ability for a person to make unconscious prejudice, biases, or preconceived notions conscious. Aiming to improve the educational setting for all learners, Mosley will invite you to look at who you are, what you believe, and why—as well as how these perspectives can impact your relationships with students of different cultures.


3. Improving Executive Function

Emotional Intelligence from a Teenage Perspective (13:34)

It’s tough being a teenager. In this moving TEDx Talk, Maximilian Park shares his traumatic experience with rejection when he was a high school student. Park believes he struggled because he lacked emotional intelligence – something he was never taught in school.


4. How to Draw to Remember More

Ways to Make Your Lessons More Memorable (16:48)

Watch this fun presentation as Graham Shaw leads you through a simple exercise to demonstrate the power of drawing and its impact on memory. You will learn that drawing can work better than traditional note-taking because it allows your students to process new information in different ways.


Do you have other favourite TED Talks that could inspire educators to walk back into the school classroom this year?

Please share your suggestions in the Comments section below.


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