Although I no longer spend my days in one classroom or teaching a specific subject area, I still search for ways to make a connection with the students I encounter daily. Whether it’s through the implementation of a new program that makes learning more engaging or simply giving a “high five” to students passing by in the hallways, making that connection is at times even more important for me than it is for the students.
No one enters the field of education looking for fame or fortune. Some of us may have always felt the desire to teach and inspire, and knew long before entering the workplace that this was where we belonged. Others like myself, entered through the back door – unsatisfied with an alternate career choice and looking for a chance to make a difference. Regardless of how we arrived, the objective remains the same — make a connection with students, inspire the leaders of tomorrow, be a champion to a child.
One of the greatest champions to children for over 40 years was Dr. Rita Pierson. Her belief that “every kid needs a champion” continues to be a mantra for teachers everywhere and reminds all educators of the real reason we go to work every day. Sadly, Dr. Pierson passed away in June, 2013 – but her spirit and inspiration remain thanks to a TED Talk that has been viewed over four million times. Her Ted Talk can be viewed below. If you’re a teacher, I know you will feel inspired and perhaps even recognize yourself or your students in her meaningful words. If you are not an educator, you will still feel that connection, knowing that teachers everywhere continue to strive to be a champion to a new generation of learners.