Sunday, May 5, 2013

"Kids don't learn from people they don't like."

Dr. Rita F. Pierson, a teacher in Houston for more than 40 years, gives the kind of TEDTalk that makes TED rightly and spectacularly famous. Watch it here: Rita Pierson at TED

If she isn't the "my favorite teacher" that you remember, well, I hope your favorite was close to her level of sparkle….

She gives lots of believable advice on motivating young children, the kind of stuff you'd like to believe that teachers say to each other in the teacher's lunch room.

She remembers a colleague whose mantra was "they don't pay me to like the kids." Pierson's rebuttal: "kids don't learn from people they don’t like."

She recalls, with a smile, a youngster who muffed 18 questions on a 20-question quiz….Pierson marked "+ 2" on the quiz and handed it back.

She explains to the TED audience: "you know, a 'minus 18' sucks the life out of you…a 'plus 2' says you ain't all bad…."

This TED talk is so short you'll feel like you want to watch it again, right now. It's a rousing summons to educators to believe in their students and actually connect with them on a real, human, personal level.

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