SOMEWHERE BETWEEN MY TELLING students that they would be giving a TED Talk, and showing them TED Talks, a couple of my students seemed really surprised when I told them that we were working on our speeches today. “Wait? We are talking — Out loud?” Um, yeah. There is always a flicker of panic when you tell people that they have to give a speech.
I think it is interesting that often what I say in class, isn’t necessarily what my students hear. We started working on our speeches last week. Students met in pairs and talked about things that were important to them. “This is a good way for you to narrow down what you want to talk about in your speech.” I told them, and yet today, a few were stunned to discover they were giving a speech. Of course, maybe they were hoping I would forget or change my mind.
My reading students are farther along on writing their speeches than the rest of my students. Today a small squad of them were huddled around a computer doing research. They were stunned to discover how many children are homeless. They then went on to research the number of children who are homeless worldwide. Meanwhile, another group was trying to come up with ways to deal with all our trash and plastic waste. It is not a terrible thing to watch students dig in deeper to ideas, and questions that they carry with them. I love hearing about their different ideas. Some speeches are about really deep ideas like homelessness, global warming and education. Other speeches are about seemingly less significant things like sports, art or video games, but as I discussed one student’s speech with her, she said this, “Coloring might seem like it’s not a big thing, but it relaxes me. Lots of people get stressed out. Maybe they should color.” This is why I like hanging out with kids.
Tomorrow I have a 6 a.m. conference call with the TED Ed Club folks. We were supposed to have the call last week, but they had to reschedule, and 6 a.m. was the only opening that I could make. Here’s hoping I look like I am awake. What are your three biggest passions? Do you have an idea that is worth spreading? What is it? We are waiting, and want to hear from you.
Keep moving forward,