One of my favorite things about being a school counselor is classroom counseling lessons, or guidance lessons. It is my chance to interact with every child, and I get to do what I love, encourage. Some of my favorite lessons have been ones where I show a motivating video and have great discussions. If you search, you can find a TED Talk video to cover just about everything. Over the years, I have found some great, motivating videos to use in schools. I rounded up 5 of the best TED talks for educators to share with students and staff.
Here are a few age-appropriate TED talks to show students or use in classroom guidance lessons. These are great for starting wonderful discussions with your class.
Three tips to boost your confidence
Educators all over the globe are teaching mindset, or the beliefs about yourself and your qualities, lessons to children. This video explains the difference between growth and fixed mindsets. Use it to start a discussion about confidence and perseverance. “The excitement you’ll feel knowing that whatever the result you’ll have gained better knowledge and understanding- this is confidence.”
How do you define yourself?
In one of my recent counseling meetings with my school district, several counselors talked about this powerful video. Lizzie Velasquez was once called “the ugliest woman alive” and after hearing her story, you will know that is the furthest thing from the truth. In this 13 minute video, Lizzie describes her rare disorder, the hardships she’s faced, and how she defines herself. She challenges viewers to find out “what defines you?”
I showed this video to the 5th graders at my school and did an adapted version of Education World’s Positive Traits lesson. Before I showed the video, I explained that the person they were about to see has a rare disorder and may look different than what they were used to. My students have never been more attentive than when I showed this video. I wish I videoed the discussion afterwards, because it was beautiful. They talked about how Lizzie is “inspiring, has a great sense of humor, is courageous, beautiful” and someone they would love to meet.
After the discussion, every student wrote their name on a piece of paper. They dropped their name into a bucket and each pulled out a name of one of their classmates. Then, they had to illustrate a sheet of paper with 3 positive character traits about themselves and write one trait to describe the classmate they drew out of the bucket. Once everyone finished, each student shared “my positive traits are _____, _____, and ______. I drew ______ and one of his/her positive traits is ________.” Once students shared their 3 traits and heard their trait from their classmate, they had to pick a favorite and illustrate it to hang in the hallway.
Steven Claunch was born without fingers on his right hand, and his right leg was several inches shorter. In this animated video, he shares stories of overcoming obstacles and challenges viewers to do the same. This inspirational video is a great way to encourage students with and without disabilities. “If someone thinks you can’t overcome the obstacles- prove them wrong.”
Teaching, counseling, and working in a school is hard. Sometimes we can feel defeated, exhausted, and forget that the work we do every day matters. Here are a couple of motivating TED Talks to show at your next staff meeting, send to a coworker, or send to someone who may need some extra warm fuzzies.
Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion
If you have not shared this powerful video with every educator you know, please do so now. Rita Pierson reminds us that “every child deserves a champion-an adult who will never give up on them who understand the power of connection and insists they become the best they can be.” Whatever your role in your school is, you have the ability to be that champion to a child.
Drew Dudely “Leading with Lollipops”
In this Ted Talk, Drew Dudley describes redefining leadership in a way that is sure to make you smile. Your students may never tell you the impact you have on them, but “every single one of you has been the catalyst for a lollipop moment. You have someone’s life better by something you said or that you did.”
Please share this with friends in education who may need some inspiration.
What are your favorite TED talks for educators? Leave me a comment below.