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SXSWedu 2014

Remember That One Teacher?

You hear it when students spill into the hallway after another class taught by a nameless substitute: “Man, remember that one teacher - the one who brought class to life, the one who cared?”

And there wasn’t one specific thing each one of them did to make it work; one teacher had a knack for turning ideas on their heads, another had this tone in their voice that notified the classroom when they were talking about the important life stuff.

The influencers we’re talking about didn’t necessarily understand their material better - they understood the unspoken desire each student has to be heard and to belong. This perspective is often overlooked because it’s difficult to measure and create, but we intend to show how such an environment can be deliberately curated.

We’ll discuss ways you can prove your commitment to your students, we’ll experiment with forming a community with the people in our room - then we’ll do something different - we’ll keep forming community after you leave.

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  1. What keeps us from community? Sometimes students feel there’s an answer out there, which will make sense of their lives - but it’s just out of their reach. They wait for the right book or experience to show them how to live. The truth is the answer is there to be found, students only need to know how to begin the journey. We believe reflective teachers can help jump-start a life of purpose and self-awareness for some of their students. This requires teachers to be vulnerable first.
  2. Why does community matter? Community matters because it never happens by accident. We all want it, but rarely have we reordered our lives to make it a reality. As teachers, if we ignore culture in our classrooms and campuses and risk engaging our students minds and not their hearts. We risk being busy and not at all productive. When we think about our best days, the ones where we felt on top of the world, they’re mostly in the context of community.
  3. What happens after the session? The purpose of the session is to begin a conversation. When it’s over, we intend to make you a promise. We’ll invite each participant to continue the journey with us after they leave SXSWedu. If you attend our session, then we’ll help you form a community with your fellow attendees. The process is neither complicated nor time consuming, it only requires a mutual commitment from both parties. We’ll use the core conversation to begin a conversation.



Hudson Baird, Executive Director, PelotonU

Meta Information:

  • Tags: community
  • Event: EDU
  • Format: Core Conversation
  • Track: Leadership & Inspiration
  • Level: Intermediate
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