This week, I shared two TED Talks in my classes and watched a third that I found kind of brilliant but doubt I find a way to share in class.
Children’s book author and illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka shares the story of how he became an artist in this moving and often funny talk. It’s one that I love to share in my Children’s Literature class–both as an introduction to Krosoczka’s work and as a reminder of the impact that teachers can have on their students every single day. I’m always especially struck by the story Krosoczka shares of a visit Jack Gantos made to his classroom and how powerful Gantos’s two words were in determining Krosoczka’s future.
Dan Gilbert’s “The Surprising Science of Happiness” is truly surprising. It turns out that we’re actually happier when we DON’T get what we want. Boundaries, constraints, and limitations are all very good for our brains. Gilbert is a very lively presenter and manages to make data fun.
After watching this TED Talk, I’m pretty sure that Mac Barnett is a genius. He has a really provocative idea here about breaking the fourth wall of fiction and using literature as a secret door to wonder in the real world. He claims that children are the best audience for serious literary fiction. After sharing his most recent Caldecott Honor book, Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, with both children and adults, I’m inclined to agree.