Tatiana Poladko
“Education’s Well-Intentioned People’s Problem”
TEDxWilmingtonED: Education Possible
Thursday, February 9th, 2018
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With the TEDxWilmingtonED event fast-approaching, I am both excited and increasingly anxious. I continue to tweak my talk to ensure that it clearly communicates the idea I wish to spread. Communicating complex ideas in a storied way and under a time constraint is an incredibly difficult task as I am finding out first hand. As I seek to discuss a critical problem in education and share my views on it, I want to convey my ideas both intellectually and emotionally. Such a balance is a difficult one to achieve.

Besides, education is an inherently emotional field. As educators, we work with children and we connect deeply to the children we teach. This means that the problems our children and their families face become our own. In this way,  the emotional job of an educator never ends. In my talk I point out some of the hidden flaws of education and in doing so, I critique the job that educators do. How does one convince their audience that as a passionate educator and a colleague who desires for our field to be a successful one, I am not doing so with malice in mind?! This is another challenge that I am facing at the moment, a challenge that stems from the political climate in education where educators are extra sensitized to professional attacks and often fail to see an important piece of feedback, advice or perspective due to the defensive stance they adopt.

Memorization of the talk and becoming natural at delivering it is the next task. Over the next week or so I will present it to different audiences to obtain critique and grow comfortable with my delivery, body movements etc. I will also share the talk with students and parents of TeenSHARP, a community that I care deeply about and that informs my viewpoint and urges action every day.


Tatiana Poladko is a founder and CEO of TeenSHARP, an organization on a mission to catapult exceptional youth of color into their future as powerful leaders affecting lasting change. Launched together with her husband as a college prep mentoring program in the basement of a church in 2009, TeenSHARP now serves hundreds of students and parents across the state of Delaware, in Philadelphia, and in South Jersey helping prepare them to thrive at our nation’s top colleges and beyond. READ MORE

TEDxWilmingtonED: Education Possible // Friday, February 9th, 2018 // HOTEL DU PONT