Speak from the heart and everything takes care of Itself

Hey John,

First, I’m glad that you had a chance to try out a TED talk. Even if you didn’t do as well as we had hoped, you probably said your piece with conviction, calm […]

Hey John,

First, I’m glad that you had a chance to try out a TED talk. Even if you didn’t do as well as we had hoped, you probably said your piece with conviction, calm, and an honesty that suits a man who works with kids no taller than his knees. While we wait for video evidence of this, just know it’s probably not your last shot at this, and, if anything, you’ll get lots of practice with your kids.

See, something you said here triggered a few thoughts of my own:

I love TED Talks because I believe there is a spark that happens when human beings enter a learning relationship with each other.

I am here to talk about how we can create the education students deserve by the year 2030. The first thing we need to do is acknowledge that education already changed.

You just can’t tell from our standardized tests.

We can critique TED Talks as another way for people to just listen to someone talk at them for 8-15 minutes at a time, something truly progressive education rejects. You get, however, to the heart of the matter in that TED Talks often provide opportunity to people who have a great idea a platform where they can just speak from their true nature.

When I did mine, I found myself getting super-creative, looking at some of the successful ones from years prior, then blowing those examples apart. I wanted my voice to come through. No silly interruptions from people who need to alpha-dog everyone else in the room. No smarter-than-thou-art people who’ve barely been in a classroom. No sidebars from people without a general vision of what they actually want schools to look like.

Instead, what the audience got that night was me speaking from the heart. Sure, I prepared, but I hoped to convey the passion and love I have for teaching as I do in conversations with you, or in my own writing. Sometimes, while striving for perfection, we forget the delicate balance between divinity and humanity. What makes any “talk” we give isn’t knocking out the “umms” and “errs” from our speech, standing up straight, or speaking in a slow and steady tone.

It’s the connection we make with people who listen to us. We have an opportunity every day to speak to people and make an impact one way or the other about them. These young people will have an idea they’d like heard, and you might be their first audience member.

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