Alex Kajitani not only has a truly compelling story, but he knows how to tell it in a thoroughly engaging way – and apply what he’s learned to offer real and immediate strategies for effective teaching and leadership (skills needed in every organization and school!). Whether he’s presenting virtually or in-person, Alex’s audiences have been known to laugh and cry, and they always leave with tangible ways to begin making their own shifts toward their highest potential as teachers and leaders.
Alex Shares His Secrets
Twenty 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. In addition, he is widely recognized as someone who is as engaging virtually as he is in-person! 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.