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Erik Palmer

Erik Palmer is an educational consultant from Denver, Colorado. Drawing upon 21 years of classroom experience, he focuses on showing teachers how to improve the oral communication of our students. He has developed a proven framework for teaching in all of its forms—one-to-one, small group discussion, formal and informal presentations, and digital communication—in order to give students (and teachers!) skills needed to speak well in school and beyond. Erik has given keynotes and led workshops for districts across the US and Mexico. Palmer is the author of Well-Spoken: Teaching Speaking to All Students (Stenhouse Publishers, 2011) and Digitally Speaking: How to Improve Student Presentations with Technology (Stenhouse, 2012).

Some of Erik's Webinars

Q & A with Erik Palmer

Twitter changed my life because:

Twitter changed my life because it made me realize how egotistical humans are.  Many of us seem to believe that the entire planet needs to be aware of everything we think and do.  We give out updates every five minutes about our locations and editorial comments as if it is important for the world to know these things, but the truth is we are not as interesting as we believe and not everything we think is worth a tweet.

The biggest problem with K-12 education is:

The biggest problem with education is our habitual nature.  All of us are creatures of habit.  We fall into routines and continue to do what we have always done.  Living in Colorado, someone gave me a ski analogy for this: when it has just snowed, the mountain has infinite possibilities of ways down.  On the first run, you put tracks in the snow.  If you go down the same way again, the tracks get deeper.  Eventually, you get so deep into the same tracks that you cannot go another way and you miss the entire mountain.  Teachers are exposed to new and better ideas all the time and we say, "Wow! That looks great!" but we fall back into the same tracks and teach the same lessons the same way year after year.  The world is a lot different than it was in 1980 but our schools and lessons and methods and tests look about the same.

Do you have a motto you live by?

I have always been a big baseball fan.  In fact, I still play.  Some years ago a little league for old guys was started and the National Adult Baseball Association has lots of us playing in over 30, over 40, over 50, and over 60 leagues.  (I won't reveal my league at this time!)  I don't know that I have "a" motto, but I was impressed by the words of one the heroes of the game when I was young, Roberto Clemente: Any time you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don't, then you are wasting your time on Earth.