As graduation season rolls around once again, I thought I would compile a list of videos that I’ve found over the years that eloquently describe the hopes and dreams I have for my students in the future. I’ve placed the length of each video beside it. Not all of these are graduation speeches, but they all give one or more of the following messages: Be Kind, Work Hard, and Make the Most of Your Time and Abilities. Most of these videos (and many more) can be found on my “Inspirational Videos for Students” Pinterest Board. As always, please preview any video before you show it to your students.
Thoughts on Kindness from George Saunders (2:12)
Making It from StoryCorps (2:43)
If You’ve Never Failed, You’ve Never Lived (1:16)
Ashton Kutcher’s Teen Choice Award Speech (4:40), Ashton Kutcher on his Teen Choice Speech (3:15) – better for older students
The Time You Have in Jellybeans (2:44)
212: The Extra Degree Inspirational Movie (2:59)
Kid President Graduation Speech (4:12)
The Real Purpose of Your Life (2:18)
These last two are my all-time favorite videos to show departing students:
Jeff Bezos at Princeton (18:44 – his part starts around 6:27)
Mark Bezos: A Life Lesson from a Volunteer Firefighter (4:40)
For more resources, Amy Borovoy curated a wonderful list last May for Edutopia. You can find it here.