How You Can Be a Champion for Your Students
If you’re a teacher or educator than you’ve likely seen this video of Rita Pierson giving a TED Talk in May 2013. Like her mother and grandmother before her, Rita was involved in education her entire life, serving as a teacher, a counselor, and an assistant principal. Her talk is so inspiring that it now has almost 3 million views on YouTube.
You may think she discussed test scores, teaching techniques, or tricks of the trade, but instead Rita talked about something else that she believed was fundamental to the field of education: “the power and importance of human connection”.
Not what you were expecting? Well go ahead and give it a listen.
In this talk, Rita highlighted something that most educators have in mind when they go into teaching or subbing. Whether you recall it or not, the reason you chose a job in education is likely due to a teacher or sub that inspired you. Ponder that for a minute. Are you picturing a particular person that made an impact on your life?
What Rita hoped to do in this talk is encourage YOU to be that person for another child. While teaching skills is absolutely important, often times, the best learning happens in relationship. After all, how can you expect students to get the most out of your lessons if they don’t feel like you believe in them? They may not have someone in their lives who reminds them of their capabilities and potential. Like Rita pointed out, the goal of education, then, is to simultaneously raise a child’s academic achievement and self-esteem.
That is where you come in. You can help them achieve this goal. In other words, you can be their champion. Remember how she gave her students a saying: “I am somebody. I was somebody when I came and I’ll be a better somebody when I leave”. Will you make every student you meet feel like “somebody”?
That is why at Tagg we call our subs “community champions”. To us, you are more than disseminators of information. You are role models, mentors, and heroes. No matter if you have been teaching for 30 years or if you have been in the corporate world until now, each of you has the ability to make a difference in at least one child’s life.
Even if you are subbing for just one day, you have the opportunity to show students that they are important and powerful. At Tagg, we believe in Rita Pierson’s call: “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.”
Will you be a champion for the students you meet? Tell us how in the comments!