Every student asks three questions about their teacher every day:
- Can I TRUST you?
- Do you BELIEVE that I can succeed?
- Do you CARE about me?
Tom Loud — Grade 1 Teacher
If you’ve never seen the TED Talks presentation from Rita Pierson (Every Kid Needs a Champion) you haven’t experienced one of the best short videos on the importance of cheering on kids. She’s an American teacher from a long line of teachers who talks passionately about showing kids that you believe in them.
It is well worth the 7 minutes.
So … go get a cup of tea or coffee and come back to enjoy this beautiful and passionate call for all educators to be loud and proud when we show our students that we believe in them:
You see … I think that being a believer in children is actually the easy part. As teachers, we’ve all entered the profession with a keen desire to make a difference in the lives of the kids we teach — making their ‘today’ better than their ‘yesterday’ and preparing them for that ‘uncertain tomorrow’.
However, I’m not sure that we always communicate that intention to our students in a way that is always accurate.
HOW we say something is WAY more important than WHAT we say
The tone of our voice, our body language, our facial expressions, the words we write on an assignment that is returned to them, the time we make for them — they all have an effect on the message received. We need to be careful HOW we show our intentions.
In terms of increasing student success, students believing in themselves is light years ahead in its importance over the subject matter they actually learn.
Course content will definitely fade over time, but the way our teachers made us feel lasts a lifetime
I encourage everyone who has contact with kids — teachers, support staff, administrators, parents, community organizations … and YES, even superintendents … to be that person who makes an indelible impression in the life of a child. Be that person who is remembered as a caring adult.
After all, who wouldn’t want to be viewed as a Champion of Kids!
6 thoughts on “Be A Champion of Kids”
Dave, thank you! I had one of those days today…you remember? The kind where you seriously question whether teaching is the correct profession for you? Where you go home and all you can remember is nagging, scolding and “talking to”? I needed a reminder about why I teach and Rita’s TED talk is one of my absolute favourites. So despite the fact that I am absolutely mentally and emotionally exhausted, I at least feel that I can get up and try harder tomorrow…..
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Hi Cari. Thanks for the nice note. I also need to remind myself sometimes — especially when we get so busy down in the weeds some times. Sticking our head up above them, taking that breath and realizing why I’m here is just as real for me as it is for you. You’re a great teacher with a big heart.
Her message is a powerful one, and I believe can change children’s lives. But what I also find interesting is that those same three questions were discussed as part of a leadership session I attended several years ago. The focus was on leadership in the workplace, and the facilitator explained that those are the three questions staff ask themselves about their “boss”. Hearing this message again, I feel very fortunate to work for an organization where, despite our role or title – Principal, Teacher, Superintendent, or Manager, providing leadership and making a difference to others is at the core of our values..
Thank you, Diana. It means a lot to hear others valuing those same ideals. We are a stronger educational community when we all pull in the same direction around the importance of building strong supports and understanding towards each other and our students.
Thank you for this, Dave. There is plenty of research that shows that a positive supportive relationship with at least one adult in the school can change the academic and social trajectory for an at-risk student. And yet, the Provincial MDI data indicates that there is a significant portion of children who do not identify having an adult who they feel connected to at school. Good, evidence-based instructional strategies are essential, but so are good relationships. So thank you for this reminder!
You are someone I look up to in this regard, Maureen. You consistently remind us of the importance of strong relationships. I truly believe its the foundation to student success. Thanks for taking the time to write a comment back to me.
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