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Every Kid Needs a Champion

By Jimmy Chu, 5th Grade Classroom Teacher

Some people have a song they play when they need a boost. A song they could listen to over and over again. Rita Pierson’s TED talk, Every Kid Needs a Champion, is that song for me. Rita Pierson was an uplifting educator who believed forging personal relationships with students unlocked personal growth. Recently discovered, I turn to her talk when I need a boost and a reminder of purpose.

Growing up is hard. For some kids more than others. Each young person is an evolving amalgam of ideas, experiences, hopes and fears. Each young person traverses through complex environments during which an abundance of forces shape the way they see themselves and the world around them. The destination is to be determined.

Teachers are a colossal force along this journey. They also need to be a compassionate force. 

See. Hear. Value. Respect. 

Teachers, it’s important for us to constantly think about what that looks like. It’s important for us to constantly imagine what happens when we do these things with intentionality. 

Rita’s words are inspirational; I strongly encourage you to check out her talk and deeply consider her message: Kids can determine their destination if they have a champion in their lives.