Our annual education storytelling event is back for a fourth year this March. Do you have a story you’d like to share with students, teachers and fellow readers? Tell us about it.

Share story

No two educational experiences are exactly alike. Whether it’s how you prefer to be taught, the teachers you connect with most, or the way you approach an assignment, your education is unique. And we want to hear about it.

We invite you to share the story of your education with us and the world at Ignite Education Lab.

Some true stories told at this year’s event: A teacher lost her cool and called a student an idiot early in her career — and she never forgot about it; a special-education teacher of 20 years recalled her hardest day, which included her spending three hours under a table to calm a student down; a woman who now works for Gov. Jay Inslee stressed the importance of a support system after being told to be “more normal” by teachers because of her disability.

We learned new lessons from each of these stories. Now we want to learn from you.

Do you have a story you’d like to share with students, teachers and fellow readers? Do you know someone else who might? To start, all you need to do is leave us a voicemail at 206-464-2300 describing the talk you envision.

What is Ignite Education Lab?

Since 2006, Ignite Seattle has held nearly 30 events that bring together Seattleites for speedy talks on a variety of topics. We borrowed this format (with permission) to allow educators, parents and students to share their stories about schools and schooling. Ignite speakers use presentations with 20 slides timed to appear for just 15 seconds each.

Check out the presentations from this year’s Ignite Education Lab and Ignite Project Homeless events to get a better understanding of the format.

Ignite Education Lab 2019 will take place Monday, March 11. Tickets are free but limited, and you can get yours here.

What are the requirements to pitch?

We accept pitches from people of all ages, employment and educational backgrounds. Our general prompt has been: Tell us about an experience that illuminated a larger truth to you about education.

To pitch, call 206-464-2300 and leave us a voicemail. Your ideas do not have to be completely fleshed out — we’re just asking for a general concept. No business pitches, or stories promoting a brand/company. Make sure to spell out your first and last name, and include an email address.

If you want to be extra sure we received the message, send a follow-up email to edlab@seattletimes.com with “Ignite Education Lab” in the subject.

Are you looking for stories about any specific topics within education?

Nope! Your story just has to be related to education, whether that’s K-12, college, home-school, or anything else you’ve experienced. School is the focus.

That being said, we are especially interested this year in stories about special education.

What’s the deadline for pitching?

January 18, 2019. Better hustle!

Why should I pitch a talk?

As a presenter, you have a unique opportunity to share your personal truth and encourage those with similar experiences to do the same. Stories engender empathy. We’re looking for stories that will speak to people from a wide range of economic, racial and gender backgrounds.

If you happen to work in education, this is also an opportunity to share what you’ve learned over the course of your career. If you’re a student, it’s a chance to help those like you understand that although their experiences may be unique, they’re not alone in navigating them.

If my talk is accepted, will I get help along the way?

Of course. If your pitch is chosen, you’ll receive coaching and advice on how to mold your storytelling style to Ignite’s format.

I don’t want to give a talk, but I know someone with a good story to tell.

Send them to us! We can encourage them to apply. Leave suggestions in the comments, or email edlab@seattletimes.com. Make sure to share this callout with them, too!