Creating Magic

We were to choose a TED talks video of our own, view it, and learn from it. I decided to watch a video titled “Teach teachers how to create magic” given by Christopher Edmin. I found this talk to be truly inspirational. In this talk he gave examples of classroom situations where students were engaged and when students were not engaged. He would talk in the sense of “right now.” What is happening in classroom today, what are aspiring teachers learning, how are they being prepared to teach? Some kids are pretending to be sick so they would not have to sit in a classroom and listen to a teacher ramble on. Others are at the edges of their seats, waiting to hear what comes out of their teacher’s mouth next. Edmin stated that the difference between these types of teachers is where they choose to surround themselves. The teachers who have a powerful impact and a strong message are not cooped up studying decades old education theories. They are in a setting where they are being engaged like rap concerts, barbershops, or black churches. In these settings, there is rarely a dull moment. He spoke in detail in particular about black churches. I have not been to one but, from what I have seen in movies, they are very enthusiastic. He would talk about how the preacher would often see people begin to wander off and then would shout “can I get an Amen?” over and over until their attention is brought back to what he was saying. He would speak in a low voice to make them aware that what he was saying was important. Teaching is not only about content but attitude and enthusiasm. Anyone can stand in front of a classroom every day and give hour-long lectures, but the students will not learn if they are not engaged. I have learned a lot about education in my two years at Chadron State, however, I was always waiting, and still waiting, on how to truly teach a class. I have made numerous lesson plans and have been taught how to manage a classroom, but I still feel disconnected. I agree with Edmin that we should teach aspiring teachers how to create magic. We as future educators need to be exposed to people who have this magic and learn from them. Edmin suggests that we go to rap concerts, we go to barbershops, and we go to black churches, and take notes on what they do that engages us. Without magic, all that content and learning is lost.

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Photo-CC By Matt

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10 thoughts on “Creating Magic

  1. I feel that you got some pretty good insight from the TED talk you watched. As I was reading it, I was thinking, “What, as a PE teacher, can I do to engage my students?” Obviously I probably won’t be doing daily lectures, but I also don’t just want to do a different team sports unit every month. What can I do that engages the students and offers them ideas on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle as they become adults. Pretty good stuff here.

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    1. I think P.E. is the most engaging curricular area. You do still have those kids that don’t want to participate and I think further research could help with knowing how to handle this.

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  2. Your comment “I have made numerous lesson plans and have been taught how to manage a classroom, but I still feel disconnected.” Is exactly how I feel as well. Yikes! Honestly, I know I am more prepared than I feel, but I can connect with you. How can we feel the magic and make sense of it enough to teach with it? I think it is also important to keep in mind that that level of engagement and excitement needs to be carried on throughout college classes as well, but I don’t feel like it is. We are taught to “sit and get” and this could be why you feel disconnected. You, nor I, do not feel the magic needed to constantly encourage and inspire us. We don’t have the sense of “readiness”, but I assure you, you are more prepared and connected than you think!

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  3. So true! I don’t think we truly know how to engage a class until we are doing it hands on. That’s why I’m so excited for student teaching and even that first year of teaching on our own! This video will be a great tool to use in the future to keep students engaged! Great choice!

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  4. I think this was a great post! The topic is fresh and interesting and you explained it quite well. I would like more detailed information on how to use his techniques in the classroom.

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