Hello! I know it’s felt like forever since I’ve jumped onto the blog. The school year just got away from me and we were too busy having fun! I’ll make sure to recap some of my favorite moments and lessons from this school year.

Over the past year, I’ve been busy preparing for our first local TEDxYouth event. When I heard that others were thinking about bringing this event to our community I was hooked. I love to support opportunities that empower youth and give kids a platform to truly shine. Also, my sixth grade students create their own TED talks each spring and it was a great extension to what was already taking place in my classroom.

I had the opportunity to be part of the curation committee, and we worked through almost a hundred applications from amazing youth. We had a few rounds and finally settled on our final 12. We worked on editing their scripts, holding coaching sessions for their talks, and providing feedback as they prepared for the big day.

I loved working with these students. They were passionate, driven, enthusiastic, and most importantly, had extremely essential messages to share with our community. We had speakers who spoke about bigotry, body image, suicide, sustainability, volunteerism, alzheimer’s research, and a student who shared about her rare neurological condition called synesthesia (look that up right now!!).

As we got closer to the event I was so honored to be asked to be the emcee. I loved having the opportunity to introduce each speaker, and get our audience excited about these students. It was an absolute blast bringing these speakers to our community. There were phenomenal!

If you’re interested in taking a look at TED talks with your students, I would highly recommend Laura Randazzo’s graphic organizer.  In my classroom, we watch a variety or student TED talks and some adult ones when it connects to our curriculum. I try to stay mostly to kid or young adult talks because I want my students to see themselves in these students. I want them to know they can do this too!

Keep an eye out for local TEDx or TEDxYouth events near you! I would highly recommend supporting these programs that truly push our thinking and make a positive impact in our communities.

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