The Little Things Do Count Teaching is indisputably one of the best ways to spark social change. As Swaminathan suggests in his Tedx Talk, if even some of the children who he teaches are inspired by his actions, they may go on to become teachers themselves, and hopefully they too will inspire their students. And the education provided to each of these students, present and future, who are reached by this chain of teachers, will arm each student with the skills they need, at the very least, to escape poverty, but hopefully to thrive.

And so, what action can we take? How can we stimulate social change with the little time we have?

Srini Swaminathan begins his speech with a fable of hummingbird that tries to put out a forest fire, drop by drop. The hummingbird, of course, has no chance of putting out the fire in this way, but the gods, inspired by his ambition and devotion, cause the clouds in the sky above the forest to rain down. Like the hummingbird, we may not be able to make much of a difference ourselves, but we can use our actions, both here at home and elsewhere, to inspire widespread change.

It is the little things that make the biggest difference. Swaminathan’s tiny classroom innovations, which by themselves are quite minor, add up to create a unique classroom experience that engages the students into the curriculum, and it makes all the difference. Not only did the children begin to learn, they began to enjoy learning. Before Swaminathan had come, they were afraid of school, beaten by their teachers. But with this new environment that Swaminathan created, it became something much more than just a classroom. --Jordan