Eighteen years ago, Alex Kajitani was a struggling new teacher in one of California’s poorest neighborhoods. He’d left a potentially lucrative career in restaurant management to pursue his teaching dream, and now his inner-city middle school students seemed unmotivated, unengaged and uninterested in the math he was teaching. Demoralized and desperate, he set out on a journey to turn his class, and his life, around.
Today, Alex holds the title of California Teacher of the Year and a Top-4 Finalist for National Teacher of the Year, 2009, and is lauded for his innovation and “real talk” as a teaching and leadership speaker and trainer nationwide.
Alex’s journey — from frustrated new teacher to being honored at The White House — is one he now shares with audiences across the country, to inspire them to new heights and fresh ways of thinking.
From creating rap music to teach fractions (and landing on The CBS Evening News for it), to getting past the discomfort of talking about race and ethnicity, Alex shares his secrets to meeting students where they live and turning his teaching around – secrets he also innovatively applies to all situations that require motivating others to step into their highest potential.
Alex Speaks To The Heart of It
Now a highly sought-after speaker and an authority on teaching, motivation and leadership, Alex travels the country speaking to educators of ALL levels and subjects. He also speaks to organizational and corporate audiences of all kinds, offering fresh insights about the necessary links between effective teaching and effective leading (hint: there are more similarities than we realize between middle school and middle management!).
Alex delivers powerful keynotes and insightful breakout sessions that are honest and real, fresh and funny, and capture the essence of what it means to be a teacher and a leader today, in any setting. Through heart-touching stories, thought-provoking ideas and immediately implementable strategies, Alex inspires us all to teach and lead, not only for the world as it is, but for the world as it can be.
Alex Embodies Both Impressive Expert and Down-To-Earth “Real”
The author of three books, including Owning It: Proven Strategies for Success in ALL of Your Roles as a Teacher Today (named “Recommended Reading” by the U.S. Department of Education), Alex is praised by education guru Dr. Harry K. Wong, as well as teachers, administrators and managers nationwide. Also known around the country as “The Rappin’ Mathematician” (his first break-out project), Alex created hip-hop math CDs and books that are used in classrooms worldwide to “make math cool” – which is the topic of his popular TEDx Talk.
A mix of charismatic and mellow, quick-witted and sincere, Alex always says the core of his success comes from building authentic relationships with the people he works with and speaks to. He seeks to listen first, pays attention to others’ needs and perspectives, and views himself as a life-long learner (traits that helped make him a respected manager and award-winning teacher leader!).
Alex lives in Southern California with his wife (and editor), Megan, and their two children. When he’s not wearing suits and motivating audiences, you can find him at home hanging out with his family or at the beach surfing.
For more information in booking Alex Kajitani, please contact Executive Speakers Bureau at 901-754-9404.
Leadership Secrets That Work: From the Classroom to the Boardroom
Fifteen years ago, Alex Kajitani was a struggling new teacher in one of California’s poorest neighborhoods. His middle school students were unmotivated, unengaged and uninterested in the math he was teaching. Demoralized and desperate, he set out on a journey to turn his class, and his life, around.
Today, Alex holds the title of California Teacher of the Year and a Top-4 Finalist for National Teacher of the Year, 2009, and is lauded for his innovation and “real talk” on what it takes to effectively lead any organization.
In this keynote address, Alex shares the four leadership secrets that he has used throughout his career, first as the manager of a successful restaurant, and then as an award-winning middle school math teacher. Yesterday’s students are today’s employees, and today’s students are the employees of tomorrow. Thus, Alex connects the often awkward lessons we all experienced in middle school, to the profound challenges we face in leading our companies and organizations — and how both require a similar skill set and belief in our employees to be successful.
From pimples to payroll, and from class management to risk management, this session offers fresh, easy-to-implement strategies and proven results to ignite your organization’s professionals to return to work and make a difference to the employees and teams they serve.
Owning It: How To Be Highly Effective & Love What You Do
Eighteen years ago, Alex Kajitani was a struggling new teacher in one of California’s poorest neighborhoods. His students seemed unmotivated, unengaged and uninterested in what he was teaching. Demoralized and desperate, he set out on a journey to turn his class, and his life, around.
Today, Alex holds the title of California Teacher of the Year and a Top-4 Finalist for National Teacher of the Year, 2009, and is lauded for his innovation and “real talk” as an educator. His journey — from frustrated new teacher to being honored at The White House — is one he now shares with educators across the country, to inspire them to new heights and fresh ways of thinking about the students they serve and the subjects they teach. Alex tells refreshingly honest stories of what it truly takes to succeed as a teacher today, and interweaves them with real, easy-to-implement teaching strategies, which can be used the very next day, to create the world as it can be.
Creating a Culture of Compassion
From the classroom to the boardroom, creating a culture of compassion is essential to the success of every student, teacher and administrator. Join California Teacher of the Year, Alex Kajitani, for a bold and honest look at why some schools and organizations flounder, while others thrive. Attendees will leave with real, practical strategies that address:
· How leaders can drive the culture of their organizations.
· How social-emotional learning and proactive prevention are the keys to stopping bullying at all levels.
· Why educating the “whole child” means educating the whole school, district and community.
Throughout this session, Alex will present the latest cutting-edge research, and weave in effective teaching and leadership techniques with stories of triumphs and failures, so that can you return to your school or district with strategies that work.
The TurnAround Teacher: Real Classroom Management for Real Students
After eight years of successful teaching, one of the country’s top teachers found himself with a class that left him frustrated, helpless, and wanting to quit.
Instead of quitting, Alex dedicated himself to mastering four principles of classroom management that revolutionized every aspect of how he ran his class. In this presentation, Alex weaves stories of raw honesty and hope with classroom management strategies and solutions. This talk will inspire new teachers, reinvigorate veteran educators and motivate mid-career educators to teach with passion, courage, and a determination to succeed.
Rap & The Gap: Why Understanding Our Students Is The Key To Helping Them Achieve
Let’s be honest: We can’t teach our students if we don’t understand who they are, and how they’re motivated. The key is to stop trying to force our curriculum into our students’ lives and, instead, fit our students’ lives into the curriculum. Alex connects his own desperate attempts to connect with his students to the lessons he learned along his journey to becoming one of America’s top teachers. Be prepared to laugh, to cry, to return to your school ignited with fresh strategies that can be immediately implemented.
How to Teach Procedures So You Stress Less & Teach More
Harsh Reality: Without solid classroom management, teaching core content is often frustrating and ineffective. This breakout session, designed especially for new teachers (and veteran teachers who need a brush up!), focuses on the three critical steps to teaching students how to follow procedures, until they become a routine part of the class. Participants will leave this session with a real, personalized plan for success, and will return to their classrooms ready to implement one of the most essential skills critical to being a highly effective teacher.
Founding Director of the Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation (CSLi) at the University of Texas
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