“We were created for significance and one of the most dangerous things that can happen to us as individuals, as organizations and as communities – is to get the feeling that we don’t matter.” ~ Angela Maiers
Angela Maiers, who is an author, speaker, writer, and teacher, gave an inspiring speech at TEDxDesMoines in 2011 called “You Matter”. It is about the power of noticing the positive impact of people, and of letting them know that you have noticed them. It is also about recognizing ourselves as people who matter.
For teachers, these are both powerful messages. We matter. We make a difference in people’s lives every day. And one way that we can make a positive difference is to communicate to our students how much they matter.
Her post on “The 12 Most Important Ways to Let People Know They Matter” is a wonderful reminder to all of us, not just those of us in the education profession. It also includes a great video of some teenagers who were motivated by her TEDx speech to investigate the ways that they matter, and their Skype interview with Angela about their project.
This would make a great project for a Student Council or other after-school club. I plan to see how my gifted students will respond to the question, “Why do I matter?” I think that they will have some interesting answers!
It is quite obvious from looking at my blog stats that a lot of people on the internet are searching for inspirational videos for teachers. During this time of year, when many teachers are returning to the classroom to begin a new school year, there is, perhaps, a desire to find some material that will help to motivate and invigorate these educators.
One source for inspirational teacher videos that I discovered recently is a YouTube Channel for DC Public Schools. On this channel, there are several videos that spotlight Washington D.C. teachers who have won D.C.’s “Excellence in Teaching” Award.
Watching each of these teachers in their classrooms, and their obvious dedication to their students, reminds me of the reasons I went into Education – not for the glory of winning an award, but for the absolute delight exhibited whenever I help a child to reach his or her goal.
From what I can tell, every one of these featured teachers embody the principles of Universal Design for Learning, making them shining examples for teachers all over the world.