DAILY INSPIRATION: Rita Pierson was a powerful inspiration to many students and teachers around the world, not just those she taught daily in class.
Rita was a teacher for over 40 years but a teacher like no other; to this day she is referred to a gift to education. Right up until her sudden passing in 2013, Rita was a champion for children and treated every kid in her class with the individual respect and honour they deserved. For sure, the 1000s of kids who were fortunate enough to attend one of her classes have a lot to be thankful for.
She once heard a colleague say, "They don't pay me to like the kids." She replied: "Kids don't learn from people they don't like.'" A short yet accurate retort that we all need to remember.
Take a look at this TED video and the article below, published by Huffington Post (back in 2013, but still so relevant and engaging today).
For every student that finally “got it,” for every rookie teacher that said, “you inspired me to stay,” I get the raise that never quite made it to my paycheck. — Rita F. Pierson
Excerpt from Rita Pierson's article, published by Huffington Post.
Read the full article here.
"I made it my business to know everything I could about my students. Where they lived and with whom, how often they changed schools, how many siblings they had, whether or not they lived in a house or an apartment, whether there was trauma or drama in the household. I went on home visits and shopped in the neighborhood stores so I could be certain to run into my students and the folk they lived with. (Some of my best parent conferences were held on the produce aisle at the grocery store). Many may consider my actions extreme. I called it “preparation for what might lie ahead.” Teaching and learning is often hindered by the details not found in school records. There is an African proverb that states: “The best time to make a friend is when you don’t need one.” I was being proactive. It is advice I always give to others."
Taken from Huffington Post article, by Rita Pierson, published 5 February, 2013.