Keynotes are primarily for large groups of 100 or more. They are mostly an hour long and are meant to equip, encourage, and empower the listeners to take action through reflection and rejuvenation. 


Creativity, Courage, and Change… & The Real Reason I Hate Squirrels

This keynote speech blends humor with inspiration and challenge in a dynamic exploration of educational practices. As we navigate the dichotomy between ineffective and exemplary teaching methods, this presentation encourages educators to embrace creativity and courage to drive meaningful change in the classroom. Through interactive elements, participants will be empowered to identify and eliminate detrimental practices, replacing them with strategies that nurture and promote exceptional learning environments.

Designed to invigorate and inspire, this speech is perfectly suited for a mid-year conference, offering a timely boost for educators looking to refresh their approach and impact. And yes, to add a touch of whimsy and provoke curiosity, I might just be delivering this address in full squirrel attire! Discover the humorous backstory to my aversion to squirrels and how it intertwines with our mission to transform educational practices for the better.

Keynote Objectives

Inspire Innovative Teaching:

Equip participants with the tools and mindset to embrace creativity in their teaching methods, encouraging them to think outside the box and implement innovative strategies that enhance student engagement and learning outcomes.

Cultivate Courageous Change:

Motivate educators to be bold and proactive in challenging and changing outdated or ineffective educational practices. This objective aims to foster a culture of continuous improvement where courage plays a key role in evolving the educational landscape.

Enhance Professional Reflection and Action:

Engage participants in a reflective process on their own teaching practices, inspiring them to actively identify and eliminate the 'bad' while championing and multiplying the 'good'. This interactive approach ensures that educators leave with a clear action plan for implementing best practices in their classrooms.


You All Get An F

In the heart of education, beyond the confines of grades, tests, and homework, lies a deeper mission. This keynote delves into the essence of teaching, exploring the profound impact educators have beyond the daily grind of paperwork and meetings. True educators understand their pivotal role and exert monumental efforts to elevate their students. My personal journey, shaped by such dedicated teachers, illustrates their boundless love, fierce passion, and transformative influence on both my life and career as an educator.

In a narrative that revisits these profound relationships, I recount the stories of those who educated me, reflecting on their enduring impact and ultimately, grading them as they once graded me. Discover why they all received an 'F' in an unexpected twist that promises to invigorate and inspire. Ideal for boosting morale and rekindling the passion for teaching, this speech is perfect for any occasion, highly acclaimed, and fervently requested. Join me in a celebration of the unsung heroes of education.

Keynote Objectives

Reignite Passion for Teaching:

Participants will reconnect with the core reasons they chose the education profession, inspiring them to transcend routine tasks and rekindle their passion for making a difference in their students' lives.

Reflect on Impact:

Encourage educators to reflect on their personal impact on students, understanding that their influence extends far beyond academic achievements and can profoundly shape their students’ futures.

Foster Empathy and Understanding:

Equip participants with a deeper empathy and understanding of their role from the student's perspective, promoting a more compassionate and supportive learning environment.


The Power of Play for ALL Ages

In this dynamic and memorable keynote, we delve into the transformative power of play for learners of all ages. As we emerge from a global pandemic, the need for healing, connection, and unity is more pressing than ever. This presentation explores how play can bridge divides, foster empathy, and encourage risk-taking in learners poised to tackle society's most significant challenges.

Prepare to experience a keynote like no other. This session isn't just about discussing the importance of play—it embodies it! Participants will engage in games, art-making, and interactive experiences that inspire laughter, provoke thought, and evoke genuine emotions. It's an immersive experience that brings to life the joy and educational value of play.

We'll explore the recognized role of play as a vital human right and a powerful educational tool, endorsed even by the United Nations. This speech will not only reflect on the historical role of play in education but also provide practical insights into incorporating play into teaching strategies to unify and empower communities. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of how play fosters community and collaboration, strategies to incorporate play into educational settings, making learning more engaging and effective, and inspiration to harness the power of play to drive change and bring about unity in increasingly divided times. Join me for a keynote that celebrates and leverages the power of play for an unforgettable, fun-filled learning experience that resonates with educators and students alike.

Keynote Objectives

Enhance Connection and Empathy:

Participants will explore how play can serve as a powerful tool to build connections and foster empathy among students, facilitating a learning environment where collaboration and mutual understanding are prioritized.

Empower Educators with Playful Strategies:

Equip educators with innovative, playful strategies that not only engage learners but also encourage them to embrace risk-taking and creativity. Educators will learn how to integrate these methods into their teaching to enhance educational outcomes and student well-being.

Inspire Community and Unity Through Play:

Inspire participants to leverage the power of play as a unifying force within their educational communities. This objective focuses on the broader societal impacts of play, emphasizing its role in healing and bringing together diverse groups in a post-pandemic world.



Step into the world of joyful self-care with Embracing The Playful Life—a transformative keynote speech celebrating the power of play in our everyday. In this invigorating session, educators will discover how integrating play into their lives can nurture well-being and enhance their ability to support students effectively.

Explore the neuroscience of play, uncovering its impact on cognitive function, stress reduction, and overall well-being. Through interactive discussions and experiential learning, gain insight into the transformative benefits of play for educators.

Join us as we embark on a journey of self-discovery and renewal, embracing the playful spirit within us all.

Keynote Objectives

Grasp the Neuroscience of Play:

Understand the neuroscientific research behind play's benefits, enhancing cognitive function, stress reduction, and overall well-being.

Implement Practical Self-Care Strategies:

Discover innovative approaches to integrating play into daily life, promoting joy, relaxation, and rejuvenation.

Craft Personalized Play Plans:

Develop tailored play plans to prioritize self-care, empowering sustained well-being in personal and professional realms.



Embark on a journey of transformation and growth with this inspiring keynote. In the ever-evolving landscape of education, every educator undergoes a personal and professional metamorphosis, often experiencing this cycle of renewal multiple times throughout their careers. This speech delves into the stages of change educators face, drawing parallels to the transformative journey of a caterpillar into a butterfly, to emphasize that our ultimate goal is not just to change, but to soar.

"Metamorphosis" is designed to invigorate and motivate educators at pivotal times, making it an ideal message for the beginning or the end of the academic year. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on their current stage in the growth cycle, recognize the strengths they've developed, and identify the opportunities ahead. This presentation will provide strategies to navigate these changes effectively, ensuring that every educator is equipped to rise and thrive in their roles. Key takeaways include: Understanding the natural stages of professional growth and how to harness them for personal and career advancement. Strategies for fostering resilience and adaptability in times of change. Inspiration to embrace the challenges and opportunities of transformation, aiming not just to succeed, but to excel and inspire others. We all grow and transform in the profession. Some of us go through this cycle of growth and change multiple times. The end goal… we all need to fly! Great beginning or end of the year message.

Keynote Objectives

Cultivate Self-Awareness and Growth Mindset:

Participants will develop a deeper self-awareness of their personal and professional growth stages. This objective focuses on encouraging educators to adopt a growth mindset, understanding that each phase of their career is an opportunity for renewal and advancement.

Enhance Resilience and Adaptability:

Equip educators with practical strategies to enhance resilience and adaptability during periods of significant change. This will help them navigate their professional journeys more effectively, maintaining their focus and enthusiasm even in challenging times.

Inspire Transformational Leadership:

Motivate educators to embrace their roles as leaders in transformation, not only in their own careers but also in influencing their peers and students. Participants will learn how to lead by example, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and inspirational change within their educational communities.



Celebrate the extraordinary impact of educators in this vibrant and uplifting keynote inspired by China McClain's song, "Exceptional." This presentation is a tribute to the remarkable dedication and talent of teachers who shape futures every day. Through a lively mix of singing, dancing, and reflective discussions, we will delve into the many ways teachers are truly exceptional.

Perfect as a morale booster, "Exceptional" is designed to energize and affirm educators, highlighting their invaluable contributions and the profound difference they make in the lives of their students. Participants will leave with a renewed sense of pride in their profession and a deeper appreciation for their role as educators. Key elements of the keynote include: IInteractive segments where participants can express themselves through song and dance, embodying the joy and passion of teaching. Insightful reflections on the unique strengths and successes of educators, fostering a positive self-image and professional identity. Strategies to maintain this exceptional mindset and carry the energy forward into their classrooms and school communities. Join me for "Exceptional" to rediscover the joy and pride in teaching, and to celebrate being part of a profession that changes lives for the better, every single day.

Keynote Objectives

Elevate Self-Esteem and Professional Pride:

Participants will celebrate their unique contributions and achievements in the teaching profession. This objective aims to boost educators' self-esteem and reinforce their sense of professional pride, recognizing them as exceptional individuals who make a significant impact.

Foster Community and Shared Enthusiasm:

Create an environment where educators can express joy and enthusiasm for their work through interactive segments like singing and dancing. This communal experience not only enhances morale but also strengthens connections among colleagues, promoting a supportive teaching community.

Inspire Continued Excellence and Innovation:

Motivate participants to maintain an exceptional mindset in their teaching practices. This involves exploring innovative strategies to engage and inspire students, and encouraging teachers to continually seek opportunities for personal and professional growth.



Discover the essence of what it means for educators to "sparkle" in this vibrant and captivating keynote. "S.P.A.R.K.L.E." stands for a very unique set of qualities that we will dig into throughout this keynote speech. These are the qualities that enable teachers to shine throughout the academic year, impacting their students and the broader educational community.

This presentation is not just about defining these attributes; it's about bringing them to life. Prepare to be dazzled by a display of fancy sparkly wings and other engaging elements that embody the joy and magic of teaching. Whether it's the beginning, middle, or end of the school year, this keynote is designed to inspire educators to maintain their sparkle and enthusiasm all year long. Key elements of the keynote include: Explorations of each attribute represented in "S.P.A.R.K.L.E." and how they contribute to a teacher's success and vibrancy.Interactive experiences that allow participants to experience and reflect on these qualities in fun and memorable ways.Practical tips on how educators can integrate these attributes into their daily teaching practice to remain motivated and inspire their students. Join me for "S.P.A.R.K.L.E." to ignite your teaching spirit, enhance your professional identity, and learn how to shine brightly in your educational role.

Keynote Objectives

Cultivate Essential Teaching Qualities:

Participants will deepen their understanding of the key attributes that make up the S.P.A.R.K.L.E. acronym—Support, Passion, Attitude, Resilience, Knowledge, Leadership, and Enthusiasm. This objective focuses on helping educators recognize and cultivate these qualities within themselves to enhance their teaching effectiveness and personal fulfillment.

Enhance Classroom Engagement and Morale:

Equip educators with strategies to integrate the S.P.A.R.K.L.E. qualities into their daily interactions and teaching methods. This will help create a more engaging and supportive learning environment, boosting student morale and classroom dynamics.

Inspire Continuous Professional Growth and Positivity:

Motivate participants to consistently apply these sparkling attributes in their professional lives, promoting ongoing growth, positivity, and leadership. This keynote aims to inspire educators to not only maintain their sparkle but also to encourage it in others, creating a ripple effect throughout their schools.

2014-15 SC Teacher of the Year Finalist,
Top 5 Finalist

Jed Dearybury is a former 2nd grade teacher and Teacher Leader at Woodland Heights Elementary School in Spartanburg School District Six. Teaching was a childhood dream for him and he began teaching in 2001. He has received much recognition for excellence in teaching; most recently he received the SC State Award Winner for the 2013 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching.

— South Carolina Department of Education

Invite Mr. Dearybury To Your School!