Top 5 TED Talks for new FE teachers

Published: 14 Nov 2016

Getting into FE teaching or thinking about a career change? We’ve got the preparatory playlist for you. We’ve collected the top 5 TED Talks for new teachers.

These aren’t just talks about eye contact and being prepared with slides, because teaching isn’t just about having the knowledge to teach. These TED talks all highlight how to improve your approach and develop your classroom into a positive learning environment.

Understanding how to be a great FE teacher is a combination of sparking learning, better communication, managing stress, teaching students to try, and fail, then try again, and be who they are.

1. Be the Learning Spark: 3 Rules

Being a teacher in FE is about engaging students and continuing to get them to ask questions about their favourite subjects, rather than relying on a one way speech to teach.

As Ramsey Musallam says in his TED talk, ‘the student questions are the seeds of real learning’. As a new teacher, you can set a premise from day one to help students learn better.

2. (Our Brains Think) Great Communication is About Telling Stories

Engaging with students is about being able to conveying information. If you can tap into how students brains communicate, by telling stories, you can better engage all you students at once. This will help you to create a more effective learning environment.

3. Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection

The role of FE teachers can be a varied one, with many elements that make a lecturer great. But at this formative stage for students, as Reshma Saujani points out in her TED Talk, women especially need to be encouraged to take risks in the classroom, striving for excellence instead of perfection, failures and all.

Your role as a new teacher is to provide equal opportunity representation and opportunities for the women in your classroom, encouraging bravery, not perfection.

4. Create a Safe Space Classroom

Building a better classroom often means making sure that you are creating a learning environment where everyone can feel able to speak. Open communication is one of the foundations for growth and learning. For LGBT students, their sexuality can create a barrier to open dialogue, one that teachers can break down by ensuring their classroom is a safe space.

5. Make Stress Your Friend

New job means new stresses. Getting to grips with a new career in FE can cause extra pressures, not to mention learning to speak in front of tens or hundreds of students on a daily basis.

Kelly McGonigal talks about how those who viewed stress as harmful were damaged by it, but those who didn’t view stress as harmful were less likely to be hurt by stress. Even if they experienced more stress than other people. She argues that not fearing stress is your key to a healthy life in and out of the FE classroom.

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