“Kids Don’t Learn From People They Don’t Like”

Posted: August 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

This morning I received a message from my high school band director, Suellyn Stenger, with this Ted Talk below.

It has a great message about relationships with students. Rita Pierson shares stories about her life as an educator and how building relationships with students is the key. I have to agree.

As I said, I was given this Ted Talk by my high school band director. I never attended high school in the 21st Century. I’ve kept in contact with her through the years and the jobs that we both have had. See, she’s not at my high school anymore. In fact, she left a years after I did, but the relationship that I’ve had with her is amazing.

She was there when my grandparents have passed, she’s been there as I graduated college, she’s been there when I need someone to talk with about a rough day at school or to celebrate the great things at school. She’s one of the best people I have ever met. I know I’m not the only one who stays in contact with her. I know others do as well. Why? Because she cares and she builds that relationship with you.

Another teacher who built that relationship was my 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Annette Owens. When I graduated college she sent me a gift. It was the scrapbook that she put together to remember my class. In fact, I looked through it just the other day when unpacking my classroom. I remember going and seeing her after school during elementary years. When she moved to California we would write each other. I know she moved back to Wichita, but I have lost contact with her.

See, schools don’t have to be just about learning. Many students come to school to be loved. If you can’t love the students, then trying to teach them isn’t easy.

I really like what Ms. Pierson has kids say in class:

I am somebody. I was somebody when I came. I’ll be a better somebody when I leave. I am powerful, and I am strong. I deserve the education that I get here. I have things to do, people to impress, and places to go.

I hope she doesn’t mind, but I’d like to use this during the school year.

Remember to go out there and build those relationships with students so they want to come and learn and be successful.

In the comments please share how you build relationships with your students.

  1. Jody Maxey says:

    One of my favorite TED talks. It’s true, kids don’t respond or respect if they don’t like you. You get what you give.

  2. I really make an effort to attend extracurricular activities. I’m making this a priority this year, especially at the beginning of each season. Last year, another teacher and I drove to an away 9th grade football game because with my coaching schedule it was the only one I could attend. With the coach’s permission, we stood on the sideline and took pictures for yearbook. I had kids asking me for days why I came to an out-of-town game. Plus I had great conversations about football for the rest of the semester!

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