Whether you and your child are feeling triumphant, defeated, or just plain exhausted from finals during this winter break, we’re sure you can use a little year end inspiration. This week we’ve compiled the top 5 TED talks of 2013 that inspire educational excellence. This round-up of creativity sparking, mentorship strengthening, and empowering speeches are sure to leave students, parents, and educators renewed and motivated to start 2014 as their most positive, grateful, and authentic selves.


1. The Student Must-Watch

This spoken word poem by Shane Koyczan is a powerful piece that sheds light on the cycle of bullying and empowerment. Both poignant and hilarious, Shane is sure to move you and your child, and inspire all to combat bullying.


2. For The Burnt-Out Educator

Rita Pierson tells us that every kid needs a champion in this hilarious and impassioned speech. After hearing a colleague say, “They don’t pay me to like the kids,” She responded, “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” This call to educators to believe in their students, and connect to them as human beings not only teaches us how to teach, but also how to parent and mentor.


3. The Parent-Activist Address

One of Rainbow’s favorite educational philosophers, Sir Ken Robinson takes to the stage again to shed light on education’s biggest problems and what we can do to combat them. He outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish — and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational “death valley” we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.


4. A Guide to Creativity for The Not-So-Creative

In this talk, Chemistry Teacher Ramsey Musallam gives 3 rules to spark imagination and learning, and get students excited about how the world works. He also touches on the importance of an educator’s true role: to cultivate curiosity.


5. Our Video Of The Year

We’ve already given a great deal of praise to Angela Lee Duckworth in a previous post; however, if you missed it, we encourage you to watch it here. Angela explains how her experiences in the classroom and research have shown her that IQ isn’t the only factor separating successful students from those who struggle. Here, she explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success.

What were your favorite education related videos/articles this year? Join the conversation on our Facebook and Twitter!