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Keynote Speaker | National Board Certified Teacher | Equity Champion 


James has been a champion for the forgotten from the early years of elementary school when he found himself always helping his friends succeed.  That passion has now evolved into a man on fire for the cause of equity and mastery for all. His delivery is thoughtful, inspiring, entertaining, and just honest.  He has prided himself on being in the trenches with educators so he knows what the needs are. With his 12 years committed to educating youth, James has demonstrated his success in poverty-stricken communities to working-class/middle-class communities.  He has learned that all kids need the same thing; love and respect. His passionate and yet humorous delivery leave audiences impacted and charged to rally the call that is on their lives as change agents. James’ heart is that he gets to serve!


All Keynotes can be turned into workshops upon request


The Keynote that will empower your educators in their boss moves as they seek to empower all students towards mastery!  This keynote features 4 boss moves that educators can do to change their classroom culture into one that students want to be in.  The cultures of praise, belonging, competence and autonomy have proven proven by research to increase student engagement and support mastery teaching.  Participants rave about the innovative ways James reaches students and yet they are practical in practice. 

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Expectations for All.

In this keynote, James shares his story of growing up in Eastern North Carolina without too many options.  There were not a lot of expectations for him. He had always had a passion for learning but without expectation, the passion slowly began to simmer away.  It was in eight grade where Mrs. Simmons changed James life forever. This keynote is the signature message that most of James other messages and workshops are built upon.  You will cry, laugh, ponder, applaud, but most of all activate your inner superpower of expectation.

Be A Door,

Ensuring Access To All!

Open the door to a world of limitless possibilities with James O'Neal Jr.'s transformative keynote, "Be A Door, Ensuring Access to All." In this enlightening presentation, James, empowers fellow educators to become gateways to success, not barriers. Explore the profound impact you can have by dismantling biases, championing grade-level work, embracing student voices, and being a steadfast advocate for every learner. This keynote is not just a talk; it's a call to action – to believe, to empower, and to transform. Are you ready to be the door that leads to bright futures? Join James in this pivotal journey towards educational excellence and equity. 

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Motivating & Inspiring Hard to Reach Students

Unlock the potential in every student! Join us on an inspiring journey to reignite the fire of learning in even the hardest-to-reach students. In this engaging workshop, you'll discover the transformative power of motivation and the key strategies to engage and empower every learner. We will explore how addressing the four psychological needs of competence, belonging, autonomy, and praise can lead to remarkable transformations in student motivation and success. Get ready to turn challenges into opportunities and pave the way for student success. This workshop is a game-changer for educators and leaders committed to making a difference.

Culturally Responsive Teaching 101

(Can be tailored to math or all subjects)


Culturally Relevant/Responsive Teaching (CRT) has been a movement in education for the past couple of years.  Many teachers have heard of this but do not know how to do it.  Math, especially, offers many challenges because of the lack of text that is adapted in math curriculum.  This workshop will:

  1. Allow teachers to identify who their students are

  2. Give teachers tools to craft/tweak lessons that they already use to be more inclusive

  3. Provide examples of how to effectively lift all student voices within a lesson

  4. Challenge teachers to think through a new lens when picking resources to put in front of students

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Why Black Boys Do Not Like Your Class 

This class is not for the faint of heart!  It is a real conversation that will take place for those who are open to hear truth.  In this workshop, I bring together what research and black boys say themselves concerning the classroom environments of many of their schools.  This workshop challenges attendees to lift their level of expectation through praise, promotion, and perseverance. Put on your seat belts, because it’s time for someone to tell the truth!  

Teaching The Why of Mathematics  

Gone are the days where we stand in front of our students and give them formulas and expect them to learn math.  Our students are constantly asking why in order to make connections with learning. In this powerful and collaborative workshop I will: 

  1. Give educators/administrators tools to support teaching the “why” in the classroom.

  2. Provide strategies and example of ways students can discover the “why”

  3. Provide lessons that I’ve developed to help support the teaching of the “why” in mathematics

  4.  Challenge math teachers to free themselves from lecturing to facilitation 

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Creating a Culture of Mastery.

In this highly interactive workshop, attendees will receive an abundance of ways to inspire students to mastery.  Our job as educators is not only to teach but inspire the love of learning. What does mastery look like? It is different for each child, but all children know when they have reached it!  This workshop will challenge teachers to come out of their comfort zones and inspire their students to adopt what educators model.

Integrating Technology to Support Mastery Learning (Math Centered).

In this workshop I will provide attendees with the following:

  1. Free websites that support digital integration with math

  2. Cost efficient websites/platforms that integrate math and technology

  3. Simply ways to get immediate feedback/data from students

  4. Efficient ways to use data in class

  5. Games, games, and games to engage 21st century learners.

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