Friday, February 27, 2015

Inspired: Christopher Emdin {TED Talk}

Education is arguably the number one thing on my mind these days. Do you ever look back on a decision and just feel so incredibly glad that you made it? That's how I feel about my decision to pursue education as a career. When it comes to applying for graduate school and approaching the end of your undergrad experience, a lot of thoughts pop into your head. Did I choose the right field? Am I going to be happy doing this for the foreseeable future? Will I make a difference in my career? Will this choice allow me to have x, y, z (a comfortable life, funds for traveling, fulfillment -- insert wish/hope/dream here)? I go back and forth between feeling like I'll never be ready to be an adult and wanting desperately to be independent. This kind of  big life change is exhilarating and terrifying, and it's happening really, really soon.

I'm just as anxious as the next graduate, but I'm also so incredibly excited to devote next year to learning more about being a teacher and to finally have regular hours spent in a classroom. I walk away from my education classes each day with the conviction that I am going into the right field, that I am pursuing the job that I was meant to have all along-- despite my foray into three other majors throughout college. Watching TED talks like the one I've posted here only get me more fired up about education and the big dreams I have for contributing something meaningful to the field. 

Confession: I actually listen to TED talks every time I do my laundry. I plug in my headphones, lug my giant laundry bag down to the washroom, and take that time to think about big issues while I sort my clothes into different loads. Usually, I get through about 2-3 talks with each laundry day, but sometimes I end up just listening to one of my favorites again. Today I listened to this one -- Christopher Emdin's ideas about teacher education and a new equation for intelligence. I make a lot of connections between this talk and the talk by Mac Barnett, because they're all about the ability to engage children in a way that's not happening in classrooms today. I am particularly passionate about reading (if you couldn't already tell...) and these two talks really tie together the need for teachers, parents, and communities to show young readers just how exciting reading can be -- and then to help perpetuate that enthusiasm in older grades, when our students are the least engaged in their studies.

For teachers (and aspiring teachers) this talk presents a great opportunity for us to dig deep about the kind of engagement that we want to have in our classrooms, and the ways in which we can bring that level of energy each day to create the best learning environment for our students.

Enjoy, and happy weekend!

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