TED Talk – Rita Pierson | Every kid needs a champion

From the Youtube Information: Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, “They don’t pay me to like the kids.” Her response: “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.'” A rousing call to educators to believe in their students and actually connect with them on a real, human, personal level.

This video must be required viewing for all teacher candidates, or if not, should be viewed yearly, at the beginning of the school year, as your reminder of the great task that you have the privilege and responsibility ahead of you. The central tenet of this video is that fact that students do not learn from teachers they do not like. Students may disagree with your teaching practices or grading or opinions on material, but teachers should still be approachable and available to support all students. One must strongly caution teachers that in trying to be liked, that should not be confused with trying to be a student’s (best) friend. There is a difference.

This video will leave you with some laughs, some tears, and some insights or “A-ha”s. I remember first viewing this video and my first take away was the portion around 5:00 into the video where Ms. Pierson puts a +2 out of 20 on a quiz. The student is shocked because of a smiley face next to the grade that is an F. ” ‘-18’ sucks the life out of you; a +2 said, ‘I ain’t all bad.'” It gives your students the mindset that with review and reteaching that would be necessary on a “-18,” that perhaps, a +2 and a smiley face on a paper shows to the student to celebrate what they can do and then do it better with teacher guidance.

TED. (n.d.). Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion. https://www.ted.com/talks/rita_pierson_every_kid_needs_a_champion/transcript?language=en

Published by

Trevor A.

Social Studies Teacher / Librarian, Educational Technology Specialist, M.Ed Candidate Educational Technology (CSULB)

One thought on “TED Talk – Rita Pierson | Every kid needs a champion”

  1. Hey, Trevor! I completely agree with your comments that this video should be reviewed before or at the beginning of the school year. Your blog looks great. The tags look good and attaching your Twitter makes it look professional. For this entry, I’d say add in more graphics and resources to strengthen it. Besides it, it looks amazing!
    – Cecilia Lemus

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