TED Talk: The Boost Students Need to Overcome Obstacles

This week I watched the TED talk by Anindya Kundu called, “The Boost Students Need to Overcome Obstacles.” This TED talk first introduced two different kinds of students; both that had tough circumstances both growing up and furthering their education. Kundu talks about how he had a student that was colored that had a hard time on campus because he felt like he stood out from his classmates. Kundu helped this student by supporting his education and promoting his life struggles to help his future. In times of trouble Kundu explained his students having “grit” which he defined as, “perseverance and passion for long term goals.” He drove his students to focus on their future and push past obstacles that occur whether that be isolation or even a teenage pregnancy.

Kundu explained that students who have baggage that can affect their education have factors constantly pushing them in one direction and Kundu helps create other opposing factors that push them in the opposite way. Through educational opportunities these students have the chance to reflect of their circumstances that are opposing them and to reflect negative influences. Being involved in educational opportunities can help them create simple lifelong skills like how to network with people and how to ask for help. These might seem like skills everyone should have but not everyone is this fortunate. It takes certain life decisions like college or higher career options to learn lessons like this and to be comfortable to do so. Having the courage to ask for help or to network with people comes from a inner belief that we are good enough ourselves to do this. Kundu helps his students find this inner belief by promoting further education and having his students use their inner “grit” and character make their future dreams possible.


Photo by Eepeng Cheong on Unsplash

Kundu ends his speech with promoting the idea that we should not look at these unconventional students as “exceptions” but consider them as “exceptional.” Helping to encourage the support of every student, even if they are more unconventional than others, creates a more motivated and impartial learning environment for everyone. This is important in education because often these students can feel misplaced in their learning environments and that can hinder the overall schooling. The overall theme of this TED talk was to increase the awareness for the need of a safe, obtainable learning environment for everyone. Without this environment, learning can become discouraging and that is the opposite thing I want for my students as having a meaningful education is one of the most rewarding things in life!


Kundu, A. (2017, June). The boost students need to overcome obstacles [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/anindya_kundu_the_boost_students_need_to_overcome_obstacles#t-406575