Teacher Talks

Learning  |   Educating  |  Delivering

There’s incredible power in sharing ideas and experiences. James Ford, a former CMS teacher and 2014 North Carolina Teacher of the Year, knew this when he proposed the idea of TED-like talks by and for CMS teachers.  Based on James’ idea and inspired by the world-renowned talks shared by TED, Teacher Talks provides CMS teachers with both a platform and forum to exchange ideas, share experiences and inspire each other as they nurture talent and cultivate the minds of tomorrow.


Register to Attend Teacher Talks 2018

Registration for Teacher Talks 2018 is now open to all CMS educators. Join educators from across the district for an inspiring evening of learning and sharing. There is no cost to attend this event.

Date: Thursday, March 8, 2018
Location: McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square
Time: 5:30 PM

Click here to register

For questions or additional information, email talks@cms-foundation.org.


Recent Teacher Talks

Check out the talks from our spring 2017 live event, presented by Wells Fargo and Blumenthal Performing Arts.

To enlarge a video, click on the title of the talk.

Grit: Passion and Perseverance

Katie Weed

When Katie Weed was 18, doctors discovered a lemon-sized tumor in her brain that would change the course of her life. Inspired by Angela Duckworth’s book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Katie explains the power of saying “Yes, I will try,” and encourages educators to nurture passion and perseverance in their students. Katie is now a Talent Development teacher at Park Road Montessori in Charlotte, NC.

Independent Learners in the Classroom

Mary Soliman

Teachers light the way, but they should not be the sole source of illumination in the classroom. Mary Soliman argues that teachers must help students become independent learners so that students can manage their own learning and be better prepared to respond to challenges. Mary is a mathematics teachers at South Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, NC.

Creating Active and Healthy Schools

Doug Smith

Physical activity not only supports a healthy body, it also stimulates the brain and has a positive impact on learning. Physical Education teacher Doug Smith challenges teachers to incorporate more physical activity into the classroom and to rethink the role of physical activity in education. Doug teaches at McKee Road Elementary in Charlotte, NC.

I Teach Screenagers

Melissa Ligh

Technology has become an integral part of everyday life and has changed the way students learn. In this talk, Melissa Ligh discusses the “screenager” and encourages teachers to embrace technology in the classroom. Melissa is an English teacher at North Mecklenburg High School in Huntersville, NC.

Finding Your Joy in Education

Peter Panico

For Peter Panico, building a strong support network helped him find joy in teaching. In this talk, Peter shares his experience of becoming a Discovery Educator and encourages others to find community in education. Peter is a fifth grade teacher at Rama Road Elementary in Charlotte, NC.

Light in the Heart

Jordan Todd

In education, doing the “head work” is important, but it’s the “heart work” that can really change lives. Jordan Todd explains why she teaches and what can happen when educators become a light in the hearts of their students. Jordan was named Teacher of the Year for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in 2016. She now teaches third grade at Idlewild Elementary in Charlotte, NC.

Teacher Talks 2017 Live Event

Thank you to our 2017 Presenting Sponsors