Dealing with the fear of being a boring teacher.


My TEDx Experience

This is probably going to come off a bit vain, but hey, I had the vanity to start a blog, so I suppose you knew that coming in.

I recently got to give a talk at TEDxEastsidePrep. This was by far one of the most surreal things I’ve ever done. They treated the speakers like royalty, which is not often how teachers feel. Super cool.

The whole idea of a talk bothers me a bit. It’s really flattering that people will sit through 18 minutes of me frothing about school, but none of that matters if we don’t try to solve some of the specific concerns that are unique to each of us and our classrooms.

So, next Friday, when these videos drop, I want to have a conversation. I intentionally played iceberg with my points so that we could have a lively debate about how we can change school (right effing now). To get things primed for the Friday the 27th (Eeeeee!!!!), let me ask you the following:

  1. What do your students do with the little (or lots) of free time they get during the school day?
  2. By what criteria would you judge your love of Star Wars (or Tolkien, if you’re not as nerdy), how would you give yourself an A-F?

Oh, and by the way, Eastside Prep is probably the best school in America. I’ve never met a more invested, motivated faculty in my life. If I lived in Seattle, you bet I’d be throwing my application at them (along with chocolates, home-cured bacon, and a few eyelash bats)

What really struck me was the positivity that the TED label brings. Everyone was super-pumped to be there, and even more excited to talk about something worth doing.

I promise you’ll get to see me flipping out about assessment, motivation, narratives, and Star Wars. I managed not to swear, and I even wore a jacket.

This is my serious face


Finally, I’d like to thank every one of you that fights the good fight everyday at school. Without your emails, comments, and tweets I don’t think I would have had anything worth saying, let alone at 1080p HD. This talk is really just all of you (averaged and distilled down to one number out of 4; I kid, I kid)

Answer those two questions, and let me leave you with a challenge. What does this acronym stand for?

Tayh D. Be

Shawn Cornally • May 19, 2011

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  1. Ryan McClintock June 7, 2011 - 5:27 pm

    * Technically these setting were dominated by moons.


  2. Anthony June 6, 2011 - 12:18 am

    Is the video on the web yet?

  3. Terri Street May 31, 2011 - 9:19 am

    Okay, I admit I’m stumped. What does the acronym “Tayh D. Be” stand for?

    • Shawn June 1, 2011 - 8:43 am

      The talk should be on Youtube before 6/3/11!

  4. Anthony McGrann May 22, 2011 - 9:41 pm

    Was at the event, and even though you say talks bother you, it was inspiring. It was an effortless 18 minutes. Thanks!

    • Shawn May 23, 2011 - 7:50 pm

      Thanks! It was real honor and, like i said, totally surreal. Let me know any specific details (email?) if you want. Feedback is always more helpful than grading.

  5. Sam May 21, 2011 - 7:27 am

    to all you haters… then i get stuck.

    congrats on your tedx talk (superstar! loves it!)


  6. rob mcentarffer May 20, 2011 - 8:48 am

    Congrats! Excited to see it!

  7. Elissa May 19, 2011 - 11:20 pm

    By Death.


  8. Dan Meyer May 19, 2011 - 10:39 pm

    I know this one.

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