My mom told me that Hattie Brown Burch started her teaching career with her graduating class at Rosenwald High School before integration. Ms. Burch never caught me herself, as she had already moved up to administration, by the time I was at one of her schools. But Ms. Burch made more of an impact on me than all of the teacher that I had because she was the first person to ever tell me that I had what it took to go away from P.C. to a 4 year university/college. This was the end of my Junior year. By the end of my Senior year I was accepted into FAMU and had a couple of small scholarships to start my journey.
Rita Pierson is the kind of teacher you wish you had. An educator for 40 years, she is funny, sharp and simply has a way with words — so much so that today’s talk feels a bit like a sermon.
[ted_talkteaser id=1728]In this talk, Pierson shares the secret to teaching students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds — make personal connections with them.
“I have had classes so low, so academically deficient that I cried. I wondered, ‘How am I going to take this group in nine months from where they are to where they need to be?” says Pierson, in this amazing talk. “I came up with a bright idea … I gave them a saying: ‘I am somebody. I was somebody when I came and I’ll be a better somebody when I leave. I am powerful and I am strong. I deserve the education that I get here’…
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