How one teacher learned to let go and trust her students to lead their learning

While we’re all over here recovering from the epic spectacle that was this year’s Code Camp, please enjoy Shelly Wright’s TEDTalk, on her journey as a teacher.


They’re all excited and they’re telling people, and texting and I’m thinking this is gonna be awesome, you know? We’ll raise a couple thousand dollars, the kids’ll feel like they’re important, this’ll be great.

And so, the next day we come back to school and my students come back to the class and they say, “Mrs. Wright, we have decided on a goal…We have decided that we want to raise ten thousand dollars.”

Inside my head I’m thinking, “Oh. My. Gosh. Do you have any idea how much money ten thousand dollars is???”

And my outside voice said, “That’s awesome! How do you propose we do that?”


Featuring social justice work, community connections, and all the cats in
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, this 15-minute video is worth every second.

(Entirely related, Wright’s blog post on the power of student-driven learning is every bit as good.)

Audrey Homan

Audrey Homan is a Vermont-based digital media producer, and producer of The 21st Century Classroom podcast. She's worked in non-profit communications for more than a decade, and in her spare time writes tiny video games and mucks about with augmented reality and arduinos, ably assisted by five dogs. Interviewing students and yelling in PHP are the best parts of her job.

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