Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, "They don't pay me to like the kids." Her response: "Kids don't learn from people they don’t like.’” A rousing call to educators to believe in their students and actually connect...
BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO!
Any teacher worth his or her salt knows the truth Rita Pierson shares in this absolutely inspiring talk.
I found this video on this page where the title in giant letters was
WATCH: How A Teacher Encouraged Her Students With An 'F'
I was a bit off put by my assumptions based upon the talk's title. I immediately flashed to an experience I had with a high school math teacher in a local district who told parents at a back to school night that he purposely made the first test of the year so hard that every student would start the year with an "F" in the gradebook.
When asked why in the world he would do such a thing, his response was, "Because I want every one of them to think they need me."
Unfortunately, by the time kids get to high-school they have, like it or not, developed a belief that there are subjects they just "aren't any good at."
And, many high-school kids who believe they "aren't any good at" ________ have already developed mechanisms for dealing with "failure." One of which is to give up at the first sign of "Here we go again. I knew I wasn't any good at _________."
Literary study is no different. By the time they get to high school, many kids who just can't "see" what those crazy literature teachers are telling them is "between the lines" just sort of give up on believing it's even worth the effort to try. This is particularly true when reading works like those of Shakespeare where reading and understanding what's "on the lines" is challenging enough... or perhaps too challenging for more than we suspect is true.
But, turning the frustrated into the encouraged is an art that we all should take as a highest level professional skill.
It takes practice, particularly when, as Pierson reminds us, teaching isn't always easy.
Loved this line...
"And while you won't like them all, the key is, they can never, ever know it. So teachers become great actors and great actresses, and we come to work when we don't feel like it, and we're listening to policy that doesn't make sense, and we teach anyway. We teach anyway, because that's what we do."