17 Inspirational Videos to Help Remind You Why You Teach

Inspiration is just a click away!

It’s May and we’ve heard a rumor that you might be running low on fuel. You’re not sure how you’re going to make it to Friday, much less the end of the year.

That’s why we’ve rounded up our favorite videos to reference whenever you need a little extra motivation. The ideas in these clips will help reignite that special spark that makes you so good at what you do.

1. The Dot by Peter Reynolds

Help your kids make their mark!


2. Caine’s Arcade

All it takes is a cardboard box and little bit of imagination.


Be sure to watch Caine’s Arcade 2 for even more inspiration.


3. Taylor Mali’s poem “What Teachers Make”

Look for other teacher inspired Taylor Mali poems, such as “Like Lilly, Like Wilson,” “Miracle Workers,” “Any Language, Much Less English.”


4. “The History Teacher” by Billy Collins

This one is not a video, but take a moment to read this poem by the US Poet Laureate dubbed “the most popular poet in America.”


5. Sir Ken Robinson’s TED Talk: “Do Schools Kill Creativity?”

A classic videotaped talk that inspired a radical shift in the way we think about education.

Here is Ken Robinson’s playlist of 10 more TEDtalks about Education


6. Susan Cain’s TedTalk on “The Power of Introverts”

Introverts should be encouraged and celebrated.


7. “What Teachers Do” Speech by Lily Eskelsen Garcia, President of the National Education Association

Insider called this the #1 Best Thing that anyone said in 2015. We agree, darlin’!

[Note: she received some backlash for one phrase in this speech where instead of saying “chronically tardy” she tripped up and said, “chronically tarded.” She totally owned the flub and apologized. She also acknowledged that her made-up phrase medically annoying, meant to be funny, missed the mark as it could have offended some. I still think the speech is great and worth sharing. Your call.]


8. Brene Brown: Empathy vs. Sympathy

“Connection is why we are here. It is what gives purpose to our lives.” Also watch her TEDtalk on The Power of Vulnerability.


9. How to Be an Amazing Teacher

Steve Spangler, America’s Science Teacher

10. The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us All

Daniel Pink animates his thoughts about the latest research on what motivates us all.


11. Brain Rules

Don’t skip recess and be sure to let your kids get up and move around in class. John Medina has defined 12 Brain Rules, backed by research, that help us understand how kids (or anybody) learns best. Watch the videos. Read the book. Share with colleagues.


12. Rita Pierson: Every Kid Needs a Champion

“Because getting a -18 on a 20 point test sucks the life out of you. Getting a +2 says I’m not all bad! … Every child deserves a champion—an adult who will never give up on them. Who understands the power of connection. And insists that they can become the best that they can possibly be. Is this job tough? You betcha. But it is not impossible. We can do this. We are educators. We were born to make a difference.”

13. Born to Learn

It’s never just play. Darwin’s father said he would never amount to much because he spent too much time playing with insects.


14. Reshma Saujani: “Teach girls bravery, not perfection”

A TED Talk by the founder of Girls Who Code for anyone who has or teaches girls.


15. “Kid President’s Pep Talk to Teachers and Students”

If you liked that one, here’s another Pep Talk from Kid President.

And a whole lot more Pep Talks from Kid President.

16. 12+ Must-See Teacher Movies

If you are up for a feature length film, TeacherHub.com recommends these classics. Also check out The WeAreTeachers A-Z Movie LIst.

Be sure to put To Sir With Love at the top of your list!


17. “Unstoppable Learning”

This last one is not a video. It’s a 50-minute podcast from NPR’s TED Radio Hour, so you can look up at the clouds while listening to these incredible stories from educational experts about the infinite possibilities that exist in the realm of teaching, learning, and the human brain.


Do you have a favorite video that always picks you up after a long day of teaching? Please share it in the comments!
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