Tag Archives: inspiration

Engage

Engage is a two minute video from “Let it Ripple” Film Studio (also the producers of The Science of Character).  It’s a good reminder that we only have a short time on this planet, so it’s important to make that time meaningful by helping others.  Accompanied by the soundtrack of, “Give a Little Bit,” by Rodger Hodgson, Engage might be the little nudge of inspiration that your students need to become more involved in the world around them. A similar video, which you can also find on my “Inspirational Videos for Students” Pinterest Board, is “The Time You Have (in Jellybeans).”

H/T to @ibceendy for sharing this link on Twitter!

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from Engage by Let It Ripple
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What You Missed This Summer – Inspirational Videos

I know that my readership takes a dip June-August each year as many educators go on vacations or take breaks during those months.  Although I did not post as regularly as I meant to this summer, I did share some resources that I believe are worth repeating in case you missed them.  I am going to spend this week spotlighting some of those.

I already shared the Jennie Magiera video this week, but here are some others that I posted this summer that you may have missed:

As always, you can find hundreds more Inspirational Videos for Students and Inspirational Videos for Teachers on my Pinterest Boards!

What You Missed This Summer – Jennie Magiera

I know that my readership takes a dip June-August each year as many educators go on vacations or take breaks during those months.  Although I did not post as regularly as I meant to this summer, I did share some resources that I believe are worth repeating in case you missed them.  I am going to spend this week spotlighting some of those.

When I wrote about Jennie Magiera’s ISTE 2017 Keynote earlier this summer, I was hoping that there would be an official YouTube video that I could share with you by the time the new school year began.  However, that doesn’t appear to be the case.  So, I will refer you back to the Periscope I mentioned in my first post (Jennie’s portion begins at about the 25 minute mark).

Jennie spoke at ISTE in June when I still hadn’t had time to relax from the previous school year – yet I left her presentation wishing that I start my new school year right away.  I promised myself that I would watch her speech again in August to be sure that I would be energized when I return to work.

If you are interested in re-kindling the magic that inspires teachers to take their students on adventures, then you should watch Jennie Magiera.

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Storybooth

Storybooth is a website that gives students voice in a unique way.  Students who are registered can record stories and submit them.  The Storybooth team chooses submissions to animate and produce as videos with the original narration on the site.  It reminds me a bit of the StoryCorps animated videos – just designed for a younger audience.

As an elementary teacher, I would probably not assign my class to record personal narratives on Storybooth.  Instead, I see myself using some of the videos as a resource for inspirational stories to show my students.  I would urge you to choose carefully, as there is a wide range of topics from cyberbullying to dealing with getting your period for the first time.  If you are a secondary teacher, or a parent or educator who knows a particular student who has a story to tell, however, you might consider encouraging that child to make a submission.  Having your story chosen to be animated is surely a very validating experience!

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Advice from Storybooth on story submission possibilities

Below is an example of one Storybooth video that I think would be valuable to show students of any age.  If you are doing a lesson on Growth Mindset, friendship, or empathy, “I Wish I Was Invisible” would fit right in.

For more videos, visit the Storybooth website, or you can also check my Pinterest Board of Inspirational Videos for Students.

Be the Last to Speak

Teachers talk too much.  Even though I am aware of that, I still find myself speaking more than I should in the classroom.  I think that I am better than I was 20-something years ago when I first started teaching – but I definitely want to improve in this area.  The great Simon Sinek (author, consultant, and motivational speaker) gives advice about this in the attached video.  Even though Sinek is speaking in a business context, many top educators like Jo Boaler would certainly agree that teachers should be included in the group of leaders who would benefit from this following this guideline.  Instead of complaining that our students are too lazy to problem-solve, we need to ask ourselves how often we actually give them the opportunity to do their own thinking.

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image of Simon Sinek from http://www.amc.af.mil

For more inspirational videos for teachers, here is my Pinterest Board.  I also have one for students (some videos are on both boards).

Make Everybody Feel Stunningly Robust

As I posted last week, our family has been on vacation.  This is how our relaxing trip began (at 6 am):

“The Uber is here!  OMG why isn’t everyone ready?  I told you it would be here at 6, and it’s here!  We need to wait outside.  Where is the key?  You can’t find the key?  Fine!  I’ll lock everything and go out the garage door.  Take my stuff.”

5 minutes later in the Uber, “Where is my black bag?”  Assured that if it was with my stuff it got put in the trunk.

15 minutes later at the airport, “You didn’t put my black bag in the Uber?!!!!!”  Apparently it was not with my stuff.

And that’s when the Uber driver reassured me that he could quickly bring me back to the house to retrieve the black bag that basically had everything in it we needed for the trip and have me back to the airport in plenty of time.  My husband smartly did not point out that we would not have had this extra time if he hadn’t insisted we get to the airport early.  He knew, I am sure, that I would have snapped back that I wouldn’t have left my black bag at the house if he hadn’t made me get up at such a ridiculous time.

You might think that this was a terrible way to begin a vacation and you would be right. However, what could have become an escalating crisis resulting in a missed plane and a potential divorce actually turned into an enlightening car ride that made me appreciative of all of the amazing people we meet during life’s journey.  So, I have decided to dedicate this post to all of the awesome people I encountered during our vacation, beginning with the Uber Driver who volunteered to drive 30 minutes alone with a hysterical woman who placed ridiculous value on a “black bag” which no one but the woman seemed to believe existed.

Anh, the Uber Driver – Anh heard “Proud to be an American” on the radio as we traveled back to my house and confided in me that the song always makes him cry.  He is so happy to be in our country and that his daughter is able to go to school here.  He choked up as he spoke about the people who have died for our freedom, and vented his anger at his former homeland where they apparently spend a good amount of the school day teaching students to hate Americans.  Anh is the epitome of American patriotism.

Linda, Steven, and Nya at the Cellar Door Bookstore – Our travels began in Riverside, California where our daughter was competing in a tournament.  After a failed trip to Palm Springs (where it was literally 118 degrees), my husband and I despaired of doing anything but going to the local mall to watch movies.  (I don’t recommend 47 Meters Down if you are planning to ever swim in the ocean again.) . The Cellar Door Bookstore was a refreshing oasis in the middle of a blistering hot trip.  I adore independent bookstores, especially ones with resident dogs like Nya.  I bought a lovely book called, All These Wonders, which is stories from The Moth.  Linda and Steven were so friendly and full of advice that I seriously considered moving to Riverside just so I could work in their store.

Lisa at Game Seeker  – We finally got to migrate from southern California to Santa Barbara, where we discovered this delightful shop on State Street.  I love games, but usually end up buying them online.  However, Lisa reminded me why it is so important to patronize local stores like hers.  She is very knowledgeable and personable.  When she learned I had chosen the game Dog Pile for my classroom (gotta work on those spatial reasoning skills), she recommended something I had never heard of called Plus Plus, which she said would provide hours of building fun for my students.

Crystal at Stanford – My daughter and her friends wanted to tour Stanford while we were in California.  By the end of the tour, I was ready to auction off everything I own just so I could attend.  Crystal, our tour guide, was as enthusiastic about Stanford as Anh is about living in the United States.  She showed us her own Foldscope, a paper microscope that had been invented at Stanford, told us about all of the hands-on opportunities she has had since she began last fall, and passionately spoke about the dedication of her professors.  Crystal pointed out one science building on the tour where Stanford co-hosts a 24-hour live feed with MIT, stressing that Stanford believes in collaboration rather than competition.

What struck me about each of the people mentioned above was the enthusiasm and passion they brought to their work.  Through my interaction with each of them, I felt inspired and ready to embrace my life with more zest.

And so I leave you with an image and quote provided by Inspirobot, an artificial intelligence inspirational quote generator, that seems to perfectly deliver the message of this post.

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Nope.  Wrong one.

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Probably the reality check I need most of the time.  But still not the right one.

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This one hurts my head.

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Yep.  That’s it.

We’re Already Late for our Adventure!

Anyone who attended Jennie Magiera’s (@msmagiera) keynote at ISTE 2017 will be forever changed by her inspirational address.  It is not officially posted yet, but you can view the whole presentation on this Periscope provided by @1to1Brian. (Jennie’s part begins about 25 minutes in, but the beginning is worth watching as well.)

Jennie focused on stories – the ones we tell and the ones we don’t tell.  She took us back to when she encountered one of her most inspirational teachers, Ms. Buckman, who started the school year by encouraging her students to look for her lost pet dinosaur, Jeff, and eventually exclaimed, “Look at the time.  We’re already late for our adventure!”

Can you imagine the excitement your students would have in a classroom like that?

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Jennie compares those of us who attempt to be innovative educators to the wizard Gandalf in The Hobbit – always trying to encourage the reticent to leave the safety of “what has always been” to embark on adventures.  But, she reminds us with an ancient story of a dragon, that those colleagues have other concerns – and they may need to resolve some pre-existing challenges before they can consider taking new risks.

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We don’t really know each other.  We don’t know our students, and we don’t know our peers.  Social media tends to reveal only the better parts of ourselves – unintentionally intimidating anyone who is fearful of making mistakes.  We need to be better at telling the whole story, and about discovering it in others.  Technology can be used to amplify the voices of those who feel like they are never heard or understood, and to reassure others that while adventure is worthwhile, it is usually difficult and sometimes spawns unpredictable negative consequences – that we can make it through with the support of others.

I am not as eloquent as Jennie, so I encourage you to watch the Periscope linked above (for which she received a standing ovation). My hope is that every school will show her presentation to its teachers before the beginning of the new school year.  They will be energized and motivated to look for untold stories that must be shared, develop deeper relationships with colleagues and students, and to undertake new adventures.

If you are looking for more Inspirational Videos for Teachers, check out this Pinterest Board.