TED talk: Every Child Deserves a Champion

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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.

R. Pierson says: “Every child deserves a champion — an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”

Why you should listen to her:

Rita F. Pierson, a professional educator since 1972, has taught elementary school, junior high and special education. She’s been a counselor, a testing coordinator and an assistant principal. In each of these roles, she’s brought a special energy to the role — a desire to get to know her students, show them how much they matter and support them in their growth, even if it’s modest.

For the past decade, Pierson has conducted professional development workshops and seminars for thousands of educators. Focusing on the students who are too often under-served, she lectures on topics like “Helping Under-Resourced Learners,”“Meeting the Educational Needs of African American Boys” and “Engage and Graduate your Secondary Students: Preventing Dropouts.”

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