I’d heard about Rita Pierson’s TED Talk, but I had never listened to it. I decided to watch it this morning and I am so glad I did. Rita reminds you in such a beautiful way that we all need relationships, and you may never know just how much that kid in your class needs you. Be their champion, they may not have another one.
I once taught a memorable class with a wonderful colleague and friend. The kids were hand picked for us (they hadn’t chosen to study music) and we were to teach them. We thought of a whole course for them, worked on it, sat them down, explained what we aimed to do, thought we were off to a promising start, asked if anyone had any questions and one student asked, “How am I here?” It was a good question, one we had not anticipated! Telling them they hadn’t been welcome anywhere else was not the answer, and so we stumbled around and came up with a few reasons. I don’t remember exactly, but I know it wasn’t as inspiring as Rita Pierson’s response to her class!
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I told all my students, “You were chosen to be