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6 TED Talks To Watch Before Going Back to School

Here are 6 TED Talks – all informative, impactful and inspiring in about 15-minuted or less. We thought it might be fun to gather up a few to help set the tone for the upcoming back to school season. Hopefully they’ll help you to jump into this next school year feeling prepared, positive and inspired.

We hope you, and maybe even your students, enjoy these before you head back into the classroom.

How to speak so people want to listen

Have you ever felt like you’re talking, but nobody is listening? Here is Julian Treasure to help you correct this. In this useful, witty, and interesting talk, the sound expert demonstrates the how-to’s of powerful speaking — from some handy vocal exercises to tips on how to speak with empathy and using pace in speech.

What children can teach adults about asking for help

It’s OK to ask, says YeYoon Kim, a former kindergarten teacher who learned from her students how powerful and courageous it can be to reach out for support. Sharing the story of one of the most difficult periods in her life, Kim explores the happiness and joy that can come from leaning on those you love in times of need, and encourages the rest of us to start asking for help more often.

Creative ways to get kids to thrive in schools

To get young children to thrive in school, we need to do more than teach them how to read and write. We also need to teach them how to manage their emotions, says educator Olympia Della Flora. In this practical talk, she shares creative tactics she used to help struggling, sometimes disruptive students. Suggestions include stopping for brain breaks, singing songs and even doing yoga poses – all with her existing budget and resources. “Small changes make huge differences, and it’s possible to start right now … You simply need smarter ways to think about using what you have, where you have it,” she says.

Online learning could change academia—for good

Higher education remains rooted in rigid, traditional structures and tracks, and it’s at risk of getting left behind in favor of expanded access, greater flexibility and tailored learning. Educator Tyler DeWitt explains how innovations in digital content and virtual reality are ushering in the future of learning, emphasizing why academia must adapt to this new reality and embrace an approach to education that works with students’ needs and not against them.

How your brain’s executive function works, and how to improve it

Of course, we use our brain’s executive function every day. It’s how we do things like pay attention, plan ahead and control impulses. Can you improve it to change for the better? With highlights from her research on child development, cognitive scientist Sabine Doebel explores the factors that affect executive function and how you can use it to break bad habits and achieve your goals.

My year of saying yes to everything

Shonda Rhimes, the creator behind Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, is responsible for some 70 hours of television per season, and she loves to work. “When I am hard at work, when I am deep in it, there is no other feeling,” she says. She has a name for this feeling: The hum. But what happens when it stops? In this moving talk, join Rhimes on a journey through her “year of yes” and find out how she got her hum back.


Did you enjoy watching these TED Talks? Explore our previous blog with 7 TED Talks to Help Educators in 2021 for you to watch.

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