Teachers bring themselves into the classroom, and their classrooms into their lives. This year’s opening keynote will kickstart SXSW EDU 2018 with an exploration into this intersection of teacher identity and inspire listeners to find and share their own stories. Educators Micaela Blei, Chris De La Cruz, Crystal Duckert, and Tim Manley will take us on their journeys, inside the classroom and outside of it, sharing stories from their lives that are both personal and true.
About the Speakers
Micaela Blei is a former third grade classroom teacher, two-time Moth GrandSLAM winner, PhD candidate, and Director of Education and Community Programs at The Moth. She has facilitated storytelling workshops and directed performance programs in schools across New York City and nationwide, as well as giving keynotes and professional development workshops at SXSW EDU, Lincoln Center Institute, Columbia University Reading and Writing Project, School of Visual Arts, and others. Micaela has regularly appeared on The Moth’s Mainstage across the country and on The Moth Radio Hour, and her solo storytelling show, “The Secret Life of Your Third Grade Teacher,” was a sold-out FringeFAVE at the 2016 NYC Fringe. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Education at New York University, focusing on personal narrative performance.
Chris De La Cruz is a regular host for the Moth High School Slams. He is a comedian, storyteller, and social justice educator originally from Dayton, Ohio. Originally trained as a teaching artist, he later received his MA in English Education from New York University. He is a founding Learning Coach at South Bronx Community Charter High School where he teaches a social justice / media class titled #FIGHTTHEPOWER and Freestyle Comedy based on MTV’s Wild N’ Out. His focus is designing and consulting for curriculum that centers student voice and culture.
Crystal Duckert is in her 13th year of teaching after receiving her degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Literature and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Trinity University. She is in her third year at the Greenhill School in Dallas, TX where she teaches Narrative Non-Fiction and Contemporary Hip Hop Poetry to 11th and 12th grade students. As an avid reader and storyteller, Crystal believes that the stories we read come secondary to our life experiences. Because she values the power of storytelling, she works to inspire her students to use narrative writing as a way to find their voice and deepen their understanding of humanity.
Tim Manley is a former high school English teacher in New York City. His true stories have been featured on The Moth Radio Hour, Gimlet Media’s Surprisingly Awesome, and very briefly in HBO’s Girls. His web series The Feels, about a teacher with way too many feelings, has been covered by BBC World Service, TeenVogue, and Slate. He is also a teaching artist with National Book Foundation’s BookUp, Catapult, and The Moth’s High School SLAM program.
SXSW EDU 2018 Opening Keynote from The Moth, Stories of Schooling and Being Schooled. Speakers include Micaela Blei, Chris De La Cruz, Crystal Duckert, and Tim Manley.