TED ED "Why are you so crazy about TED Ed?"

"What's TED Ed?"--pretty much 95% of everyone I know.

My answer to that question is usually something like, "The educational component of TED talks that creates original animated, educational videos, as well as teaches students how to identify their original idea, research and develop it, and then use video as a platform to share it with the world."

That's a little vague, but it gets the point across if they don't stop listening after the first three words.

Or I refer them to the

which has everything they need to get started on the journey themselves.

But, what is TED Ed really? I mean what does it really mean to me, if I didn't have to worry about who was listening to my answer?

TED Ed has given me FREEDOM. A freedom to express and explore my interests, and a freedom to acquire education from access points located around the world. To be able to share this with my students is truly mind boggling. There have been so many times I have felt the world at my fingertips, as my students and I learned alongside club members from different countries and cultures.

After years of searching for a landing pad for my career, I was somehow fortunate enough to stumble upon TED Ed, after searching for programs for elementary students that did not come with a huge list of requirements or fees. I could not believe how perfect TED Ed was. It seemed almost too good to be true and I kept waiting for the catch. But it was true, and it just keeps getting better and better. TED Ed took off for me and my students, and it gave me the focus in my career that I had been searching for.

If my TED Ed life encompassed just me and my little Club, that would be just awesome. How could I have know that things could even more amazing? In May of 2015, I received the Innovative Educator invitation, and that's when my life with TED really took off. As with most things in life, you have no idea how massive the potential for change is when you jump in with both feet, but faith takes you past the fear and uncertainty.

The application and acceptance to the Innovative Educator's cohort group has immersed me in a year-long professional development program that is unparalleled. I have been challenged, inspired, and changed. Being a part of something so big and so dynamic, and at the same time so close and personable, has been a life changing experience. I have found new voices that I did not know I had, and have found a bravery that has benefited the students that I work with. I truly enjoy each person that has come into my life through this program, and was blessed to meet most of them during a sponsored trip to New York City in November of 2016. The friendships we have formed are an awesome and unexpected bonus to my unbelievable journey with TED Ed.

"I'm no longer afraid to fail."

One of the greatest gifts TED Ed has given me is the freedom to succeed through failure. Believe me, over the past year, I have been plagued with doubt, almost to the point of panic with fear, and riddled with questions of worth....but I have found the cure for all of it--

Just put one foot in front of the other....and then repeat.

....and eventually you will get through.

This is TED Ed's greatest lesson, and one that I am teaching my students. Not only will you get through, but you will shine.

So, what does TED Ed mean to me?

freedom, focus, faith, friends, failure...FUTURE

Whatever I do, wherever I land, I know TED and TED Ed will be a part of my future. Once it is in you, it really does become a part of you. You become a part of a community that you value, and you are valued by. Understanding the importance of continued learning comes to the forefront, and TED Ed becomes a partner in that endeavor. I look forward to a lifetime of learning and growing with TED, and continuing to partner with them to grow the TED community.

Love to all- Shannon Brake- McPherson, KS

Innovative Educator buddies on the subway in NYC.

At TED headquarters in NYC.

Hanging out with the man, Logan Smalley.

My awesome clubbers. 

That look is priceless.

Our first club meeting of the year - they are off and going strong.

Telling the world what we know - TED Ed Club Connect.

The guidebook.

Ideas worth spreading. 

My animation team of Innovative Educators in NYC!!

I know exactly what she is saying.

Life goal accomplished. Rives.

TED Youth conference.

US on the stage!

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