10 Inspirational Videos for Teachers

10 Inspirational Videos for Teachers

We're not here to teach, we're here to change lives. We're here to change minds. We're here to shout encouragement. But we can't do those things if we quit. We can't do those things if we give up and wait for retirement. We can't do these things with our feet up on our desk or doing time in the teacher's lounge. We have to do these things in the thankless, lonely, hard working trenches of the classroom. We don't have anyone cheering us on or even seeing the epic accomplishments we make. But in the end, we change lives. It is what we do. We change lives.

Noble teacher, get out there and do it today. The kids need you to believe in yourself. The kids need you to believe in them. You need to understand that you make a difference. Maybe in some of these clips, you'll find your hope again. And if so, pass it on.

10 Inspirational Videos for Teachers

  1. Lord of the Rings: The Good in this World is Worth Fighting For

The great stories, the ones that really matter full of darkness and danger they were and you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy…

The people in those stories had lots of chances to turn back only they didn't… They kept going. They were holding onto something…

That there's some good in this world and it's worth fighting for.

[callout]Teachers get tired. We get sick of fighting the fight. Make no mistake about it, teaching feels like a battle. Not because we're fighting students or each other but because of the intensity, focus, and persistence required just to make it through one day of this work. But, dear friends it is worth fighting. These kids are worth it. Keep going. [/callout]

2 – Where does the power come from? Chariots of Fire

I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure.”

[callout]When I am writing books, every single time, I want to quit. I want to give up. Writing and doing everything else is so hard. But, I just put on Chariots of Fire. This scene comes on, and I often drop to my knees in tears. I can put the word write in there. It is my DNA; it is who I am. Who are you? What are you made to do? Are you doing it? [/callout]

3 – I don't want you giving up when you get to a certain point – Facing the Giants

“Don't stop… you've got more in you than that. Keep moving. You've got more in you than that. Your very best. Keep going. Don't quit. Your very best. Don't quit till you've got nothing left…. He's heavy; I don't have any more strength.

You are the most influential player on this team. If you walk around defeated, so will they. Don't tell me you can't give me more than I've been seeing.”

[callout]When I'm carrying a burden with a child or struggling with a problem, I feel myself doing the death crawl. I remind myself that in that classroom, I am an influential player in that class of kids. If I walk into that classroom with my head hung or not giving my best, neither will my students. My life is a death crawl, dear friends, and so is yours. Let's give our best [/callout]

4 – For the Love of a Child- Every Child is a Gift-  Dick and Rick Hoyt

“The doctor's said put him away, he's going to be nothing, put him in an institution… we said no.

We knew Rick was smart, we could tell by looking in his eyes. So we wanted to get a computer built so Rick could communicate with us.”

“Dad, when I'm running, I feel like my disability disappears.” says Rick.

“You can do anything you want to do as long as you make up your mind you can do it.”

[callout]Every child is beautiful. Every child is a treasure. Oh, that we will love them and unlock their genius! Oh that we will do all we have in our power and even more to unleash their greatness upon the world. This father reminds me of the lengths that great women and men go every day to help children fly. Many of you are like Dick Hoyt every day. You sit beside a child and help him communicate. You see the victory of a young lady interacting with her family the first time. Rick Hoyt's communication with his family via computer reminds me of how Jennifer Cronk and Lanie's mom helped give her voice again or John Lozano's work to let a young man tell his story of autism. People who give the voiceless voice, they are my heroes. [/callout]

5 – Mr. Blaine, the Gym Teacher, helping Mattie


“Here comes Mrs. Blaine the Gym teacher” written on the screen makes me cry every time.

[callout]Gosh, you gym teachers and all of you out there who help kids do it just one more time. Do you know how important you are? While indeed the ending when everyone comes to encourage Mattie is fantastic, I see the lone gym teacher walking with him and supporting him because that is you and that is me.

There are so many times after school when a child is struggling, and we're the one person say, “you can do it.” There are times on the playing field when a child wants to quit and your “you can do it” is the only thing that keeps them going. Do you see the power in our encouragement? Do you see the effort that it took Mattie to run that? The other kids ran and may have finished first, but the effort required by this young man was an Olympic effort. It was Herculean. It was impossibly hard.

And this my friends, is nobility. Encouraging a child to be great even when we're the only one beside them. Everyone sees the impressive finish but what most people don't see is that there was first a teacher or parent walking alongside humbly saying, “you can do it, keep going.” Whew! Not sure I have any more tears to keep going. [/callout]

6 – Dancing Guy and Leadership Lessons

“It takes guts to be a first follower. It takes guts. The first follower transforms a lone nut into a leader… then there's a second follower.

Have the guts when you find someone to do something amazing to be the first follower and join in.”

[callout]I needed something to make us smile after those tear jerkers. This lesson is an awesome one on the making a movement. If you want to do anything on social media, this is a must-watch video. But also, you have leaders and first followers and movements in your classroom. Teachers must nurture a movement in their classrooms.

I also love the importance this short clip makes on the first followers. On cultivating leadership through following. This hidden gem is a little talked about leadership skill that many neglect. Many great movements die for lack of a first or second follower. What a fantastic movie to discuss with your leadership team. [/callout]

7 – The Difference a Commitment to Fitness Makes


[callout]OK, so it MIGHT be an advertisement for the guy who helps him, but I don't care. The transformation in this man is amazing. It cannot be disputed. Yoga changed his life in a very short time, and you can't even recognize him at the end. When I fall off my fitness train and get out of the habit, I watch this video and get back on.

You are a product of your habits each and every day. If he can do it, you can too and so can I. We must be committed to fitness and exercise. Kids are watching us, and when we choose to let ourselves go without a fight, we're teaching the wrong thing. [/callout]

8 – You Gotta Dream, You Gotta Protect It -Pursuit of Happiness- Will Smith

“You want something, go get it. Period.”

[callout]Watch this clip and see how fast a dream can die. A few words can do significant damage. Watch this movie clip. Remember the importance of your words and how hard it is to undo your careless sentences. Words can hurt kids. Words change lives. Words alter the course of history. Don't let your words be careless. Help kids pursue THEIR dreams. These are THEIR dreams, not yours. [/callout]

9 – Don't You Care What People Think? Rocky's speech to his son

“Watching you, every day was like a privilege. But somewhere along the line you changed, you stopped being you. And when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame.

Let me tell you something that you already know. The world is a mean and nasty place. It's not all sunshine and rainbows. And I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.

You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.

But it ain't about how hard you're hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winnin' is done… ”

“Until you start believing in yourself, you ain't gonna have a life.”

[callout]Life hurts. Some people get bitter. Some people blame others. Some people blame their parents. This speech from Rocky to his struggling young adult son is one that needs listening to over and over. Life hits so hard. Don't have a pity party about it. Fight back. Keep going. The great battles of this world are hard; that is why they are called battles. Great victories must first be won in our mind before we can win them in the physical world.

Listen to this whole speech. Some of you need it. You don't need to be reminded how hard life is — you know — but you do need to remember that you're not the only one hit by life. It happens to us all. But what happens next is up to you, and that is original and different. Get up. Get moving. Keep going. Your work is important. You're needed. [/callout]

10 – Do you Work on your Dreams? I need you to invest in your mind.

[callout]This video is an amazing compilation of quotes, many I had never heard before. I came across it as I was embedding the videos above. I love it because it isn't praising athletic pursuits – it is praising the investment in yourself by improving your MIND! It has the same epic feel of the best football highlight reel but about the search for a dream and that dreams happen when you invest in your mind. What a great one to end on for us teachers out there.[/callout]


If our profession of teaching needs anything, it needs hope. We must re-grasp the nobility of who we are and what we do and grab it in both fists and stand on the mountain and yell — “I am a teacher and my work echoes from the mountains of eternity.”

For that is who you are, and this is what you do. Re-find your nobility today. Re-find your purpose. Be incredible. You can do this.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Sarah November 2, 2015 - 11:30 am

What an amazing post! Thank you so much for sharing. These are great to watch even when I am feeling motivated and especially when I’m not. I think sometimes we forget that we need inspiration everyday and can find it, if we have an open mind and heart. Blessings!

Vicki Davis November 2, 2015 - 5:53 pm

Awesome Sarah! I am so glad you find it inspiring!! I showed the death crawl video today to my 10th graders with encouragement to do their best.

Beth November 4, 2015 - 8:54 am

Thank you!
This was an amazing way to start my day!
Thank you!

Vicki Davis November 4, 2015 - 6:02 pm

So glad it helped, Beth!

Victoria November 4, 2015 - 1:15 pm

I would love to make a change to your fabulous introduction for all of online teachers out there!

“We’re not here to teach, we’re here to change lives. We’re here to change minds. We’re here to shout encouragement. But we can’t do those things if we quit. We can’t do those things if we give up and wait for retirement. We can’t do these things [if we step away from our devices for extended periods of time and do not respond to our students or head to the beach, or the mall when we should be leading a LIVE lesson]. We have to do these things in the thankless, lonely, hard working trenches of the [online] classroom. We don’t have anyone cheering us on or even seeing the epic accomplishments we make. But in the end, we change lives. It is what we do. We change lives.

Noble teacher, get out there and do it today. The kids need you to believe in yourself. The kids need you to believe in them. You need to understand that you make a difference. Maybe in some of these clips, you’ll find your hope again. And if so, pass it on.”

Vicki Davis November 5, 2015 - 5:42 am

Nice spin for online teachers. Online teachers are so important too – they are TEACHERS! Thanks for this cool twist on the intro!

Noureen Jabran December 5, 2015 - 12:42 pm

What an amazing post! Thank you so much for sharing.These are really thought provoking videos both for novice as well as experienced teachers.It could also provide food for thought to those teacher trainers who want their teachers intrinsically motivated for this profession and give their best . Blessings!

Noureen Jabran December 5, 2015 - 12:53 pm

Thank you so much for sharing such an amazing post.It is a thought provoking post both for novice and experienced teachers and especially for those teachers’ trainers who want to motivate their teachers to give their best in this profession. blessings!


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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere
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