“Every Kid Needs a Champion”

Rita Pierson, a veteran teacher, discusses the importance of relationships between teachers and students in her Ted Talk “Every Kid Needs a Champion” video. I have always found that human relationships are an intregal part of teaching. As Pierson states, “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” Students often want to learn from and impress their teachers when they have formed a positive connection and relationship with them. Pierson also says that teachers should “seek to understand instead of being understood.” When teachers take the time to understand students and their backgrounds, cultures, learning needs, and personalities, they are showing how much they care and value them as an individual. According to Northouse, “The relationship-oriented person finds meaning in being rather than in doing.” Those who are relationship-oriented, value making connections with other people. I find that when I simply show up to a students’ football game or chorus concert, their attitude positively changes in my classroom as they view how much I care for them and want to see them be successful. Pierson also discusses the importance in “living a legacy with your relationships.” As a teacher, I’ve always believed this quote by Theodore Roosevelt, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Students need to trust and believe you before they will learning anything from you as a teacher. As Pierson states at the end of her Ted Talk, “Every student deserves a champion.” Sometimes, as teachers, we are the only champion a student will know.

Ted Talk link


Northouse, Peter. (2015). Introduction to Leadership Concepts and Practice. Los Angeles: Sage

Pierson, Rita. (2013, May). Every Child Needs a Champion. (Video File) Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/rita_pierson_every_kid_needs_a_champion?language=en#t-268329


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