Ted Talk Fan Club

If there is one thing that can make me stomp my foot and say “Yes! This is why I want to teach!” it is watching a kid talk about what they believe in. I honestly can feel my smile creeping onto my face, and a laugh bubbling inside me because it makes me so excited. Logan LaPlant’s speech did this, and so did Jacob Barnett’s.

Daniel Pink has a great video as well about the puzzle of  motivation. It focuses on intrinsic motivation and the three things that lend themselves to this are…

Autonomy- the urge to direct our own lives

Mastery-  the desire to get better and better at something that mattes

Purpose- the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.

The carrot and stick of extrinsic motivation does not work, it will not get the full results we so badly want as teachers. Intrinsic motivation is how we will have successful, happy, passionate kids who are driven from within. Isn’t that the kind of people we want in our world as well? People who dig in for the things they care about and make a difference. I understand that we have a lot of content that we must “get through” by the end of the year, but that is not an excuse to dismiss a child’s autonomy, and help them to discover one’s autonomy as well.

Any of the videos I talked about here can be used in a classroom to get kids to start thinking about their own autonomy, their own dreams and the possibilities that could unfold if they go for their goals.  I will use Ted Talk videos in my classroom whenever they are appropriate because they are so inspiring. Also if I am ever in a principal position I think they are a great way to get teachers to think outside of the box and get their reasons behind teaching fired up again.

Watch  The Video Here


7 thoughts on “Ted Talk Fan Club

  1. Reading your post made me smile. (:
    Not only as a future educator, but also as a future parent, it makes me so glad to know that their are individuals like yourself who are willing to go the extra mile for their students.


  2. This was an OUTSTANDING talk. I started watching it, just this morning, and eventually noticed that my children had started gathering around me to watch, as well. Jacob demonstrates just how important “play” is, although he doesn’t use the word play. He says to “stop learning” and to start thinking. So many children do their most important thinking while playing. I also appreciated your commentary on extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation. This recaps the importance of knowing each of our students and understanding what their interests are, how they learn best, and how to best facilitate their environment. Great talk. Thanks!


    1. I think I am still in awe of Jacob,and you are right, his whole message is “play” and becoming part of what you are trying to understand. I am adding “tools to my teaching bag”. everyday and some really important ones will involve incorporating play into understanding.


  3. I watched a Ted Talk about motivation for a communications class I took last semester and it was very interesting. The speaker talked about autonomy mastery and purpose. If people feel that their work has a purpose, it is their own, and they can do it really well than they will want to to do the work. The same goes for kids and school. Extrinsic motivation only works for so long. As teachers we need to focus on intrinsic motivation and getting kids to learn because they want to learn.


  4. First off, I love this kid, so, so much. I hope he decides to teach someday. It’s very plain to see that this is a special interest he is incredibly passionate about, and I think his overall message of learning to think in your own way is a very powerful message. Some of us just don’t think or see things the same way, and that’s great! As a teacher, this is especially powerful knowledge and something that should not be forgotten. Just because it may seem unorthodox or unusual, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t let a child do their own thing.


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