I love alliteration, I don’t know why, I always have.  There is something about the way alliteration sounds when spoken aloud that puts a smile on my face.  Throughout my career I have used my love for alliteration to sprinkle in a little community building into a very busy schedule, whether it was building my classroom community as a teacher or staff morale as a principal we had a theme for each day:

Monday – Memorable Monday
Tuesday – TED Tuesday
Wednesday – One Word Wednesday
Thursday – Things I Can Do Thursday
Friday – Focused Friday

Each day was a little different, we would have a discussion, post to Padlet, draw a picture, write a paragraph, etc. all related to our alliteration of the day.  As a principal, I would email our alliteration activity out or post it in the staff lounge as a way to spark conversation, build relationships, and promote lifelong learning.  Regardless of my audience, students or teachers, their favorite days were TED Tuesdays!!!

TED Talks are perfect, there are thousands of topics for every audience and are the perfect length of time to keep almost anyone’s attention!  

I thoroughly enjoyed the discussions and activities that sparked after viewing the weekly videos.  Some like, “I think we all need a pep talk”, led to us creating vlogs about who encourages us and why, while other videos, such as “How many verb tenses are there in English?” kicked off our unit on verbs and provided great background knowledge.  

Please don’t get me wrong, there are some TED talks that would not be appropriate for students and some that, in my opinion, missed the mark but for the most part they are an excellent resource!  

I used them as a way to intentionally embed the 4Cs into every Tuesday!  The critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity that sparked from a simple video was shocking.  It came to the point that the students had to watch the videos the night before because our discussions and activities were literally taking over every Tuesday!

As a building principal I would send out the weekly TED Talk via email and would hear the discussions in the hallways, by the coffee machine, or receive the thoughtful “Thank you” email back, my staff LOVED this weekly video!  Many of the TED Talks are very inspirational, we all need to be reminded of why we do what we do and given a “pat on the back” for all the hard work we do each day for our students.

If you haven’t explored the world of TED, TEDx, edTed, or TEDxYouth I implore you to do so now!!  Don’t procrastinate like Tim Urban discusses in his TED talk, “Inside the mind of a master procrastinator”.  The time is now, we can make a difference with our students and staff, it only takes a matter of minutes to find the video and make a difference.

Check out one of my favorite TED talks below, lets use TED to build relationships, make a difference, and be a champion!


Katie Algrim – Director of Innovative Professional Learning

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