Roxanna Elden speaks to audiences around the country about teaching, writing, teaching writing, and writing about teaching. This has included a wide range of speaking engagements, from keynote speeches at national conferences to humor writing workshops. A more complete list of past speaking topics is below.  To see an example of Roxanna’s speaking style, watch this TED-style talk on The Myth of the Super Teacher. To inquire about speaking availability and fees, please email roxannaelden@gmail.com.


Writing Workshops

  • Funny U: Humor Writing 101
  • Learning, Then Burning – Or at Least Overturning – the Writing Rule Book
  • Using Behavioral Science Research to Craft Better Scenes and Characters
  • Writing About Work

Communication Workshops

How to Talk about Teaching

Teachers communicate for a living. Yet the same communication skills that help in the classroom can hurt in more public discussions about education. This workshop helps teachers adapt their skills so they can speak confidently and effectively in front of a microphone or TV camera.

LeNOIWTA: Let’s Not Overdo It With The Acronyms (and Other Secrets to Teacher Buy-In and Retention) 

This is for companies and organizations who want to improve their communication with educators. There are many catchphrases and buzzwords that land differently on the ears of educators, and this can have long-term consequences for those whose success depends on building real relationships with teachers.

The Myth of the Super Teacher 

This presentation, adapted from the TED-style talk of the same name, addresses the common stories we tell about teachers – in movies, in politics, in the media, and even in teacher training – and how those images affect real-life teachers.

Keynote Speeches

Stronger Than Chicken Soup: What the Souls of New Teachers Really Need (For Mentors and Administrators)

This keynote addresses the unique challenges of mentors and administrators who work closely with beginning teachers. It discusses how to help rookies on their worst days and how to keep the great teachers of the future in the classroom long enough to become great. Past audiences have included mentoring and teacher support programs around the country as well as the New Teacher Center National Symposium.

Becoming THAT Teacher (For Future Teachers and Education Program Graduates)

This keynote is for future teachers. It addresses the expectations teachers have going into the profession, the trial-and-error learning process, and how beginners can make it through their first years with their passion and sanity intact. Past audiences include commencement speeches at schools of education, teacher training programs, and the national conference of the Future Educators Association and Educators Rising.

New Teacher Orientation Keynote (For Teachers Heading into their First Year on the Job)

This keynote is specifically designed for those getting ready for their first day of teaching. It addresses information overload, learning through trial and error, and preparing for inevitable bumps in the road. There is also a very specific focus on the first day of school. Audiences include school districts around the country. (And, warning: slots fill up fast!)

Mid-Year New Teacher Orientation Keynote (For New Teachers in the Middle of the First Year)

This keynote is for teachers who have between one day and one year of teaching experience. It’s popular with school districts who hold mid-year “bucket filling” events for new teachers as well as districts providing retroactive orientations for mid-year hires. A version of this speech is also available as a presentation for smaller audiences.

Teaching Workshops

When Good Lessons Go Bad

This workshop provides strategies for managing your classroom and your sanity when a lesson doesn’t go as planned.

Build Your Own Teaching Workshop

There are workshops available for every topic in the table of contents of See Me After Class: Advice For Teachers, which you can find here. Multiple topics can be combined in the same workshop.


“Roxanna rocked the house at the Education Writers Association’s 2012 National Seminar in Philadelphia with her witty, wry portrayal of the life of a teacher. Her talk received some of our best reviews and is — by far — the most popular video from the meeting. And when she spoke at a previous conference, she carefully tailored her comments to the audience’s needs.”—Lori Crouch, assistant director of Education Writers Association
“At the end of Roxanna’s keynote speech at New Teacher Center’s 15th National Symposium on Teacher Induction, she received a standing an ovation. The audience not only loved the stories and anecdotes Roxanna told, they fell in love with Roxanna too. Her willingness put everything out there; her mistakes, her vulnerabilities, and successes; the highlights and the lowlights of her early years as a teacher combined with her candor and humor endeared her to the audience. From an event management perspective, she always responded to emails and requests for information in a timely fashion. Roxanna is a delight to work with and I’m happy to recommend her as a speaker.”—Kathy Raymond, Meeting and Events Manager for New Teacher Center
“(Roxanna Elden) should write more books about teaching and should also have her own sitcom, or at least a guest appearance on Glee.”—Elena Silva, Education Sector

Interviews, Panels, and Other Media

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