Rita Pierson is a professional educator who brings a special energy to her job and a desire to get to know her students, to show how much they matter and to support them in their growth. Rita teaches for 40 years following in the footsteps of her grandmother and both parents that is why she had a chance to look at educational reform from three different perspectives. In her ted talk, she explicates that every single child deserves the champion in her or his teacher’s face.
The speaker begins her speech with the reasons for dropping out that we already know – poverty, low attendance or negative peer influences. However, supporting by the statements of two famous Americans, she claims that one of the almost forgotten things at schools is the significance of human connection between teachers and children. She gave one example of her colleague who said: “They do not pay me to like the kids. They pay me to teach the lesson and the kids should learn it. I should teach it, they should learn it. Case closed”. I liked Rita’s answer to her statement: “…kids do not learn from people they don’t like”. Actually, it is a completely true thing. From my primary school experience, I always modeled my favorite Math teacher on behavior, dressing and way of talking. As I liked her, primarily I tried to complete home tasks given by her and amusedly went to her classes. I enjoyed everything about her. Eventually, I have completed Math school course with an excellent mark because I was keen on Math and knew almost everything about it. In my opinion, the reason for that was my inspiring teacher. So I can conclude that good teacher’s attitude towards children and vice versa reflects children’s learning.
Seeking first to understand in order to be understood and apologizing are the next point of Rita’s claim about good relationships between teachers and children. Most children read their teachers like a book. They see teacher’s intentions and desire to teach beyond skin and bone. In her speech, she gives one more example of her own, which explicates the mistake she did with Math lesson. She taught the whole lesson wrong. However, next day she made an apology to children and they said: “That is okay… You were so excited, we just let you go”. It is so wonderful. Her children understood her and could not even interrupt because of her teaching handicraft. Children did the reflection towards her, maybe because she did the same or because of her enthusiastic teaching process. Also, she showed her inspiring teaching skills giving an example of the class with low academic achievements and her meticulous attitude towards the class. She tries not only to evaluate the student’s work but to encourage them to get higher mark by showing that they deserve better.
Rita’s speech impressed me with demonstrating sincere affection to children without any exceptions. I remember from psychology lessons that the first rule for all teachers is to love them. Without love, it is impossible to teach efficiently. She knows her staff well; and I hope it will fill with enthusiasm other educators.