3 reasons to be kind to educators


Any dedicated educator can tell you: A teaching job extends far beyond the classroom. Molding the minds of future leaders while simultaneously ferrying them across the rapids of childhood and adolescence — and dealing with the economics of the job — is not for the faint of heart. Here are three solid reasons to give teachers the love and support they deserve.

1. Being a teacher can be tough (just about everywhere)

Teachers from around the world often struggle with similar financial issues, no matter their longitude or latitude. Many teach for the love of education and to shape the minds of the coming generations; not for the love of money. ”I took a pay cut to become a teacher. It is a calling, not a job,” says one 6th grade teacher in the TED-Ed community. “The fact is, I wake up each morning excited for what the day holds for my classroom — the challenges as much as the triumphs.” To hear from more teachers around the world about the economics of the job, read this article.

2. Educators don’t just teach, they manage a flurry of feelings

As kids age into their late teens, they simultaneously embark on an emotional journey that often plays out during school hours. Heartbreak, arguments with friends, troubled home life, struggles with mental health and schoolwork, never-before-experienced emotions, and numerous other factors typically crop up during and in-between classes. Without a parent or guardian at hand, it’s left to the teachers and school staff to tend to the emotional well-being of students. The RULER program, which is used in over 1000 schools in the US and abroad, is currently one of the most prominent tools for teaching students these 5 important skills:

Recognizing emotions in oneself and others
Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions
Labeling emotional experiences with an accurate and diverse vocabulary
Expressing and
Regulating emotions in ways that promote growth

Educator Nadia Lopez (TED Talk: Why open a school? To close a prison) has her own tips for dealing with emotions that’ve already begun to bubble over. For her advice on how to dial down conflict with administrators, scholars and staff — applicable in situations far beyond the classroom — read this article.

3. Yes, teachers help kids, but sometimes they need help too

Teachers often spend hundreds of dollars on school supplies over the course of a school year. There are many options that allow parents and other charitable individuals to support classrooms near and far. Organizations like Donors Choose allow any interested party to choose an inspiring project and donate any amount.

Or, you can always take part in chiseling down fees in your own backyard. If you’re interested in doing more, here are some tips from the TED-Ed Innovative Educators on how to help a teacher out, if time and/or resources are available.

Let’s be honest, most people have at least one story about their favorite teacher that’s left a lasting impression, shaped a lifelong interest, or helped them get through a tough time. That educator’s compassion and dedication may have even brought you to where you are now. Love is a main ingredient in what makes those memories stick — one that helped principal Linda Cliatt-Wayman (TED Talk: How to fix a broken school? Lead fearlessly, love hard) successfully turn around three schools.

As she says to her students everyday and a mantra for many educators to their kids:

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Art credit: iStock

via TED-Ed Blog http://blog.ed.ted.com/2017/09/20/3-reasons-to-be-kind-to-educators/


Every student has a dream



As a child, TED-Ed Innovative Educator Jacqueline Fernandez-Romero used to cross the US/Mexico border daily to attend school. Today, Jackie is the principal of the Latin American Youth Center Career Academy in Washington, D.C., which provides both a rigorous academic model and career preparation in the healthcare and information technology fields. “Teaching students of color is something that I’ve always been passionate about, especially sparking their interest in the sciences and getting them more involved in STEM,” says Jackie. “As a Mexican American woman, I feel that my experiences are valuable to the population I serve.”


For her TED-Ed Innovation Project, Jackie set out to create a documentary about the lives of four students who grew up in the US without lawful immigration status. Many of these students, aka DREAMers, were brought to the US as children in order to escape violence in other countries. As young adults, these students have already overcome many obstacles. Today they dream of continuing their studies and starting careers in nursing, engineering, and computer science. “I have always believed in all my student DREAMers,” says Jackie. “I will continue to embrace my students in love, gather strength from their courage and resilience, and let them know they are not alone, now or ever.”


How do students feel about the current political turmoil over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program? Here’s what some young DREAMers told Jackie:

“Why can’t the President see that we are hardworking students who have earned the right to be in this country?” — student, 22 years old

“I want to live my life one day at a time. I do not want to think that I might have to go back to Guatemala.” — student, 17 years old

“I was really sad when I heard the news regarding DACA. What am I supposed to do? My life is in this country.” — student, 18 years old

“I did not have a choice as a child. I was brought to this country by my parents, who were escaping the violence in EL Salvador.”

“I’m a DREAMer, and I’m ok with that, because everything I have ever done is with integrity.”

“Undocumented students have been and will continue to be an asset to the United States economy.”

Below, read one DREAMer’s story about growing up in the US as an undocumented immigrant.

This student’s dream is to become a nurse:

“I moved to the United States when I was 13 years old. When I came here, I didn’t speak English, and my goal was to speak English after two years. I have been in many different struggles — bullying and discrimination and being made to feel that I was nothing in this country. But I learned English in two years! I have had a lot of experiences that make me strong.

When I first came to the US, it was very difficult. Every night I had bad dreams about monsters coming to kill me. Every morning I would wake up to hear a rat going around near my bed. But you just have to keep going, no matter what. I started to go to the church, and after I became Christian everything changed. Whenever I felt sad or lonely, I prayed. Thanks to God, whenever I needed something, He was there.

Sometimes I feel that my life is impossible, but then I realize that I have been working really hard, and that is what makes me keep going.”


This article is part of the TED-Ed Innovation Project series, which highlights 25+ TED-Ed Innovation Projects designed by educators, for educators, with the support and guidance of the TED-Ed Innovative Educator program. You are welcome to share, duplicate and modify projects under this Creative Commons license to meet the needs of students and teachers. Art credit: iStockPhoto.

via TED-Ed Blog http://blog.ed.ted.com/2017/09/12/every-student-has-a-dream/

Take project-based learning to the next level with “projects worth sharing”

Working Concept


Shameka Williams is the academic coordinator for Horizons at Georgia Tech, and a project-based learning coach at Charles R. Drew Charter School in Atlanta, Georgia. As a TED-Ed Innovative Educator, Shameka is frequently sought out for her innovative classroom solutions and excellent advice. Recently, she piloted a curriculum approach that helps teachers take project-based learning to the next level. Below, learn more about Shameka’s “projects worth sharing” — and find out how to try this innovation at your school.


Project-based learning can help students engage with important content in new ways, yet students are often left out of the initial project design. To increase student motivation, involve them from the beginning in creating hands-on projects that teach content standards.


In the spirit of project-based learning, Shameka developed “projects worth sharing” — student-designed projects that are driven by a current events and relevant content. Her students chose to create lesson plans and classroom activities for other classrooms around the question, ‘What is culture?’ Throughout the process of creating these projects, her students received feedback from peers, teachers, and TED-Ed Innovative Educators. Once complete, her students successfully implemented their lesson plans and classroom activities with a select group of younger students. To try Shameka’s student-created “projects worth sharing” in your own classroom, follow the links below:

Lesson plan: What is culture?

Shameka’s tips:

  • DO develop project norms with students to create an atmosphere of open communication, trust, and respect. (You may want to use a project group contract, like this one.)
  • DO help students incorporate content standards throughout the beginning, middle, and end of their projects?
  • DO be realistic about time. Project calendars can help students create an accurate timeline.
  • DO find opportunities for students to present their work to an authentic audience.
  • DO build in time for student reflection throughout the process.
  • DON’T give up!

This article is part of the TED-Ed Innovation Project series, which highlights 25+ TED-Ed Innovation Projects designed by educators, for educators, with the support and guidance of the TED-Ed Innovative Educator program. You are welcome to share, duplicate and modify projects under this Creative Commons license to meet the needs of students and teachers. Art credit: iStockPhoto.

via TED-Ed Blog http://blog.ed.ted.com/2017/09/01/take-project-based-learning-to-the-next-level-with-projects-worth-sharing/