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'ED Talks' Get Bay State Teachers Inspired for New School Year

Cambridge school librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro is one of eight Bay State educators who gave an "ED Talk" this week in hopes of inspiring local educators for the new school year. (Mass Teachers)
Cambridge school librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro is one of eight Bay State educators who gave an "ED Talk" this week in hopes of inspiring local educators for the new school year. (Mass Teachers)
August 5, 2016

BOSTON - Most of us have heard of Ted Talks, in-depth discussions of life and current issues, but Bay State teachers just concluded a series of ED Talks meant to inspire fellow teachers to network on new ideas as we head toward the new school year.

Liz Phipps Soeiro is a school librarian in Cambridge and her ED Talk was centered on the need to get students involved in civic engagement early on. She said it follows the idea of thinking globally and acting locally.

"I reach out to a lot of local politicians and district administration to work with the kids; because I want students to understand their role as citizens," she said.

Eight educators offered their "ideas worth spreading" at ED Talks: Big Ideas About Education at the Massachusetts Teachers Association summer conference this week at U-Mass in Amherst. Soeiro also hosts coffee events at her library where parents also engage with decision makers. That way, she gets the whole family involved in civic engagement.

Franklin school psychologist Chandler Creedon gave a talk on Horace Mann. He said Mann was way ahead of his time, warning 178 years ago about the dangers of a system that allows charter schools more than a century before they were invented.

"If you have a two-tiered; where education public funds are being used on different tiers, then you end up having gatekeepers, and gatekeepers keep people out of systems; and that if you don't have a variety of students, we're going to begin to destroy the whole democratic process," Chandler said.

Soeiro said it's not exactly the same as the more famous "Ted Talks" but for educators of all levels, from Pre-K teachers through adjunct professors, she believes it accomplishes similar goals.

"When I go to such things, I am looking for inspiration and ideas; and then afterwards, we're all able to talk with each other and just play off of that, and network," she added.

Learn more about ED Talks at the MTA website.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA