Inspiring TED Talk By Rita Pierson – Every Kid Needs a Champion

Kumar Gauraw

In a guest post at my friend, Bill Butler’s website, today I shared about the power of stories and why you should share your stories. If you haven't seen that post yet, I encourage you to do so before you proceed further because you are going to enjoy this TED video much more then.

Incredible TED Talk by Rita Pierson Inspiring Educators To Give Their Best

This TED talk by Rita Pierson is not just powerful and inspirational, but also applicable in every endeavor of our lives where we have to work with people. I am not a school teacher (although my parents are both retired from that profession), I found this TED talk appealing to me.


That's because of two powerful components of this TED Talk:

1.    Rita, an educator by profession, shares her message through her own life story. Stories are very powerful tools we all have in plenty. We all can leverage its power if we choose to make an incredible impact and she does it very well.

2.    The message, although crafted from an educator’s perspective to motivate other educators to love their profession and to give it their very best because it matters – is not limited to only educators. We all have that kid within us and we all have the same need.

But first, I don’t want to steal the thunder from the talk. Let me share the video so you can enjoy this incredible TED talk right now as much as I did:

Rita Pierson’s Background & Highlights Of The Talk

Educator by background, she describes her background as, “Both my parents were educators, my maternal grandparents were educators, and for the past 40 years I've done the same thing.”

Now, that says her family has been in the educational profession for generations. What a credibility Rota brings to the table, right? Rita herself has been a professional educator since 1972, taught elementary school, junior high and special education. She was a counselor, a testing coordinator and an assistant principal.

Some of the highlights of her talk which got the most applause from the audience, and what I also enjoyed the most, are:

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

Teachers become great actors and great actresses. … 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.

Every child deserves a champion — an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.

The Message – Your Attitude Makes A Difference

Rita closes her talk asking  (and I paraphrase), “How powerful would our world be if we had kids who were not afraid to take risks like a champion?”

She says in the end that every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them. Every child deserves to have an adult who insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.

Quite a powerful message, isn’t it?

Now, if we adults take the message, it is important to be that adult for those who look up to us as their guide/mentor. That also means that we must do what’s right whether or not we like doing it. We must give our professions the best we are capable of because it matters. Because it can make a profound difference in someone’s life.

Your Turn – Share Your Thoughts

What did you enjoy about this TED Talk by Rita Pierson? How did her style of sharing the message through per stories influence you? What is the one message you take home from this talk?

Please share your thoughts through your comments as I would love to know what you think. Thank you kindly!

Kumar Gauraw

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Kumar Gauraw is a Personal Branding & Social Media strategist helping entrepreneurs and skilled professionals achieve personal and professional success by developing leadership and leveraging the power of the Internet, Blogging and Social Media.

22 Awesome Thoughts So Far, Add Yours Now...

  1. Her conlusion is so powerful,amazing sweet and encouraging to to my best to become a championof someone ! !!! Thank you for sharing.I may say that all educators must act ethically,too.

    • Hi Charmant,
      Glad to hear from you. I am also very happy to know you enjoyed this video.
      Thank you for dropping by and sharing your thoughts.

  2. Hi Kumar,

    That video was surely a powerful one πŸ™‚

    Just like your parents, I’ve been into the line of education too for a long time before I went into blogging or writing, being a teacher for the young ones and we even had a small school of our own for a while, so one could relate a lot to what she said.

    I think her lines – Every child deserves a champion β€” an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be. – is what really do stand out because that’s what real educators do – build a child with so much of confidence that they reach those heights, which speaks itself for how good the teacher is, isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing this inspirational video with us. Happy Monday, and have a nice week ahead πŸ™‚

    • Hi Harleena,

      You said it all. That’s exactly what she conveys to fellow human beings who are in the profession of education. Yet I enjoyed the fact that I can take those teachings and apply at my job, I can apply that same principle in dealing with my coworkers or my business associates.

      Have a successful week!


  3. Hi Kumar,

    This is a wonderful video. What an excellent encourager Rita is. To want the best for the very least is is very wise, compassionate and humane. This lady is a hero! Even in declaring her purpose, in conclusion, is affirming to all those who teach.

    I know that you have teachers in your family, as do I. It’s wonderful when that legacy goes hand-in-hand with being kind-hearted.

    Warm Regards,

    • Hi Bill,

      Indeed Rita has done a tremendous job in this TED Talk. Thank you for sharing you thoughts and I am glad that you found this of value.
      Like you always say (and I paraphrase), with love everything is possible. What she does and teaches needs a heart with love for others.
      What an incredible example!


  4. Excellent message here, Kumar.

    It’s so true that children don’t learn from people they don’t like. As I was thinking about this as I read, I thought, that I’ve never learned anything worth remembering from the teachers I didn’t like, indeed. On the other hand to this day, I remember things from the only two teachers I ever like in school.

    I think that anyone in the teaching industry should read this.

    Thanks for the great informtion and have a great week ahead!

    • Hi Sylviane,

      Thank you for the words of appreciation. I am glad you enjoyed the video.

      You are so right. None of us learn anyghing “good” from people who we don’t like (or didn’t like) let alone the teachers we didn’t like πŸ™‚
      You have a productive week as well. Thanks again!


  5. Well amen to her message Kumar!

    I honestly believe that if more kids had someone like Rita or her mother standing in their corner then they would go on to do great things. As she pointed out, you’ll never like them all but they all deserve to have that chance.

    It’s all about the relationships that you’re able to make, the things you can impress upon people and give them the belief that they can do wonderful things in their lives. They hear that enough times and they’ll find themselves excelling.

    I love this message and thank you so much for sharing it with us. Great way to start a new week if I say so myself.


    • Hi Adrienne,

      Thank you for dropping by and yes, it is a great way to begin the day with a little motivation. It has helped me to do the tasks I don’t like to do on Mondays πŸ™‚

      Have a great rest of the week!


  6. Kumar,

    I love the message that “kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” It is all about the relationship of teacher and student. Now it is not the student’s job to build that relationship, but the teachers’ because that is what they are getting paid for. They are the “authority” and as one, must take the responsibility to be empathetic, sincere, and know how to communicate.

    Hey, a lesson is a lesson but the teacher makes the difference by teaching it and keeping a sharp eye open to each and every student that they “get it.”

    It’s a shame when a teacher is just going through the motions because of the paycheck! That’s what I loved about this video.


  7. Hi Kumar,

    Its rare to see the passion that emanates from Rita’s voice and person anywhere…but it’s understandable – she lives and literally breathes education (or so I believe).

    The lesson: if you love what you do, you’ll be enjoying it better than your ‘past time’ (that means no ‘work’ right?) as well as impacting a whole new generation. Talk of using one stone to kill two birds!

    This woman has greatly inspired me and I thank you for making that possible…

    Do have a supercharged day!

    – Terungwa

    • I wow! Thank you for this enthusiastic comment. You just helped me remember the message one more time!

      You have a wonderful day as well!


  8. Jeevan Jacob John

    Great talk, Kumar πŸ™‚

    I do love the message, and I completely agree with it (I think one of the other problems with education industry is that they force the students to focus on the numbers, instead of on innovation and learning). The world needs better teachers – teachers who aren’t afraid to connect with their students, teachers who encourage their kids to love learning, to love life πŸ˜€

    And of course, relationships. The power of relationships is just amazing (I suppose when kids have good, positive relationships in their life, they grow up to good adults who in turn, teach others – their children, their friends – about relationships).

    Anyways, thank you for sharing the video, Kumar πŸ™‚ Appreciate it! And nice to meet you πŸ˜‰

    • Hello Jeevan,

      It’s nice to hear from you and I am glad to know you enjoyed this video so much. Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts about it.

      You have a great rest of the week and I look forward to get to know more about you.



  9. Wow, just wow. So many takeaways from this post Kumar, thanks for sharing. I’d never heard of Rita until now, and the point she makes about kids not learning from people they don’t like is powerful. I guess they carry it into adulthood too.
    There’s a lot teachers can learn from this talk, and not just school teachers.

    • Absolutely Sarah! You really said it right. All teachers can learn from this. Business coaches, professional trainers, life coaches, business leaders and everyone can learn a bit. I certainly learnt πŸ™‚

      Thank you for stopping by!


  10. Hey Kumar! We all remember that great teacher that we had Right? Yeh this one was our champion! Great video. Thanks for sharing Chery :))

  11. Sebastian

    So so so true!!!

    Most of the learning I’ve done has been from reading auto biographies of people I admire. No joke!

  12. Great speech!! And I think, that not only the teachers should do that, the parents should do that as well, because parents are the teachers in the first place.

    • That is the idea Aistis. Everybody has something to learn from Rita πŸ™‚

  13. Building Science Teachers Improving Teachers ‘Day theme Morals Year 2015. The purpose and theme of the Teachers’ Day 2015 is the result of proposals for educators nationwide are invited by the MOE to contribute ideas before.

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