How TED Ed Changed My Life and How it Will Change Yours!
My initial involvement with TED Ed began in the fall of 2013 when the organization piloted TED Ed Clubs. Being one of 125 schools worldwide to participate in this pilot was transformative for me as an educator and the impact TED Ed has had on my students at Burlington High School is difficult to articulate. This was when my TED Ed journey began and it’s been an incredible ride ever since.
After participating in the first pilot of TED Ed Clubs, I received an invitation to attend the TED Active Conference where I connected with and learned from other inspiring TED Ed Club facilitators as well as TEDx organizers throughout the world. Our common goal was, and still is, to amplify the voices of both teachers and students. It was after my TED Active experience that I had the opportunity to collaborate with my former Help Desk student Nikhil Thakkar to take on the challenge of organizing the first ever TEDxYouth@BHS event in Burlington. The event, which was an incredible professional learning experience, shattered our expectations and to say we were proud of what we accomplished is a tremendous understatement (I’m thrilled to announce we have just been granted a license to host our second TEDxYouth@BHS event this coming Spring!). Fortunately, my TED Ed journey didn’t end there. In fact, it was just the beginning.
This fall, I was fortunate to join the first cohort of TED Ed Innovative Educators and my affiliation with this group of 28 passionate, creative educators has been life changing. After several virtual professional development sessions over the summer, I met face to face with my fellow TIE’s in New York City in November where we engaged in workshops about innovation in education, discovered animation resources, and shared our TED Ed innovative project ideas. We even had the chance to provide feedback to Chris Anderson about TED Ed resources which was definitely a highlight of the weekend.
The best part of this professional development experience was collaborating with other educators who share my energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to providing meaningful learning experiences for students. This is why I would encourage my colleagues to apply to be considered for the second cohort of TED Ed Innovative Educators. The application deadline is January 29th and it is absolutely worth your time and energy to apply right now!
Often times teachers experience burnout, and can feel isolated in this profession, but being connected with my fellow TIE’s serves as a constant source of motivation and drive to continuously improve my practice as an educator. I have yet to meet a more genuine and student-centered group of educators in my career. These colleagues, many of whom I now consider friends, have clear intentions. They are commitment to constant improvement for the sake of their students. They have laser focus on bringing meaning and purpose into their classrooms, teacher professional development, and their communities. They inspire me to be a better educator and it’s an honor to know them all.
In addition to the TIE’s themselves, the TED Ed team, directed by Logan Smalley, is the most supportive, positive, and encouraging group of educational leaders you will ever meet. I can’t advocate for the TED Ed Innovative Educator program enough and if you are looking for a life-changing professional development experience, and you care deeply about impacting the lives of students and teachers, don’t let your chance to become part of this group pass you by! Best of luck if you have already submitted your application, and should you be accepted, get ready for an incredible ride!