Ted Talk : Every Kid Needs a Champion by Rita Pierson

Learning is a part of our everyday life. We learn from everything, about everything, and how to do everything. However the things we learn is not always by ourselves but learnt by many other people. Teachers are people who teach. Everyone is a teacher in a way, but the ones students associate the most with, are the people who teach the different subjects at school. Teachers are people students interact with on a daily basis, usually more than hours a day. A teacher and a student have a relationship, sometimes good and sometimes bad. But because these are frequent interactions, they affect our life a lot. Our teachers, my teachers affect me greatly? Why? They are my role models, they teach me so much more than what is in the books, but on the other hand teachers can be someone I dread to talk to or ask for help from. Teachers can be all the good and the bad and the in between. It is extremely important to build good relationships as,” a teacher never knows when his/her influences stop.” Through the course of seven minutes Rita Pierson is able to inspire me and so many others with the message she has to share: Every Kid Needs a Champion. Her talk focuses on the exact point on how to be a good teacher. It’s true, every student needs a hero to save them. And that hero can be a teacher. She talks about the connection she makes with her students so that they know that their teacher counts on them and believes that they can succeed in whatever they may want to do. Her examples of the many things she does to encourage her students is incredibly inspiring. For instance, whenever her students fail an exam, she still praises them, not for what they did wrong but for what they did right. She encourages them and tells them that she believes that they will do better next time. Students actually work better when someone is there to cheer them on rather than a teacher who reprimands them for what they may not understand. That’s the difference in a student’s success and failures. It’s when students have the assurance that there is someone who believes in them, and that they’re not fighting a battle by themselves. She brings on to talk about a colleague that isn’t such a great teacher. She quotes from her friend, “I’m hired to teach and that’s it.” Many teachers, she explains, think that the only duty they have is to teach and nothing else. She says that this shouldn’t be true, teachers need to do so much more, and they need to build relationships with their students because their success should mean more than anything. She closes off by discussing how even though there are times she doesn’t like certain students, she sucks it up and still acts nice to them, because teachers are actors/actresses and so much more. If no one’s going to support the students, then who will? She recalls one last memory of her mother who was also a teacher that passed away recently. She says that even though it’s been years since her mother retired from teaching, so many of her past students showed up at her funeral because of the relationships she built with her students. She helped her students achieve so much more than achievement at school but also success out in the real world. She gave them hope, and her faith in them. They still thank her till this day even when she has passed away. They will always be unable to pay back the debt of having a great teacher who has changed their lives. This presentation has touched me and was extremely effective. Ms. Pierson is able to connect with the audience with her loud clear voice and eye contact. She moves around comfortably and seems at ease by throwing in some jokes while telling the audience of her experiences. She also emphasizes and changes the tone of her voice to add significance to what she is saying, drawing attention to some parts, and also keeping us intrigued to what she has to say next. This presentation is extremely effective mainly because she is able to connect the audience to what she has to say. She allows us to join her journey and understand it by connecting her ideas to us. All of us have had a teacher, yes, well in the context of the presentation that is true. This is the bridge between us and her, which connects us to her speech. She also brings up memories of her interactions with her students which brings us to realize that at one time or another we have seen another fellow peer/student do the same thing. The connection and the truth to what she says, is what truly draws me in and stop to listen closely to what she has to say. In conclusion, I advise anyone to watch it. It isn’t for any specific age group or any interest topics. It’s quite general and everyone can relate to it. The message is extremely clear and draws attention to the relationships in our lives, especially the ones with our teachers. This presentation will greatly benefit teachers and students, in the fact that teachers can learn how to help their students succeed, and become a better student. Students on the other hand will benefit from the fact of nodding along to knowing exactly which teachers are good and which haven’t been so good in their life. When I, myself, was listening to this presentation I began to really nod my head at the parts where she described a good teacher. I’ve had a teacher who turned my whole life around and I wouldn’t be where I am today without her. This teacher was one who really cared about building relationships with everyone in my class, and treated everyone equally. A teacher who cares about me, makes me want to work my butt off to tell them that they were not wrong in ever believing me. This presentation neatly fits with my perspective on how students should be taught, as personally having a teacher who really cares about you and wants you to succeed has drastically changed my attitudes towards subjects and how hard I work. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the fact of learning and how it goes hand in hand with building relationships.

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