Teaching Students To Stand Up To The Mic

A superintendent's promotion of public speaking in schools

I sat down with progressive-minded, Dr. David Miyashiro, Superintendent of Cajon Valley Union School District and ACSA 2016 Superintendent of the Year to discuss new advances for his district and discover more about his path to becoming a superintendent. Miyashiro mentions frustration above all else, as the motivating factor behind every career rung up the educational ladder. Action rather than excuses and a belief that things can be done better has inspired Miyashiro to think outside the box, reaching out to an international community of best practice educators, as well as, top CEOs of Business. Technology has allowed for far greater influence, and Miyashiro is a believer.

A few years ago, Miyashiro attended a tour of the Google campus and was forever changed. Google obsesses over the livelihood of people who work for them; they want their workers to have easy access to everyday needs, and they have developed their campus around that model. Miyashiro asked the question, "Why not do the same for schools?" Why not put the same efforts toward teachers and make schools the very best place to work?

As Miyashiro set out to change his district's approach, he found himself drawn to Ted Talks and the motto "The best ideas in the community to improve the human condition."  After watching a Ted Talk by the highly esteemed Sir Ken Robinson, Miyashiro was hooked and became so inspired that he made it his goal for the kids in his district to learn the value of public speaking to a global audience, not to fear the "stage" and learn about presentation. The results have been astounding with one of his 1st graders already being flown to Ted Talk headquarters in NY to help polish his talk, "Math is Everywhere." Miyashiro is undoubtedly an inspirational superintendent preparing kids for success in the future.

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