Thank Your Champion...

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 they can possibly be.
-Rita Pierson

During an impromptu meeting, my mentor posed a question I had never pondered.

"Lisa, what was the turning point for you?"

We talked about professional growth and career goals often, but this question was focused on the distant past instead of the future. I had never shared the pivotal failure that occurred during my fifth year of teaching.

Envision the last day of school before break when teachers and students are putting the final touches on semester details. I was conferencing with students to review final grades...in this instance three boys had gathered at my desk because they were inseparable (or should I say competitive?!?). I informed one student that his final grade was an 88%.

He replied, "Not bad."
I rallied, "True. Not bad. But you could have done better."
And his gut-wrenching statement that I will never forget, "Why didn't you tell me that sooner? I would have worked harder!"

Seriously. What had I done? I was so focused on the challenging content and making it accessible to my students that I had completely lost never gained sight of my students. Please notice the difference. I had great rapport with my students. I was involved in their world. I never gave up on them. And I truly believed they were capable of great things. I just never told them. In that moment of realization, I vowed to be a champion for students.

When I watched Rita Pierson's TED Talk this past summer, I immediately thought back to this discussion. I wholeheartedly agree. Every child deserves a champion. Not just someone who silently believes in them from the sidelines, but an adult who is in the game for the sole purpose of ensuring they reach their fullest potential.

Do you have a champion?
Yes. YOU! The educator.
The one who works tirelessly for the students you serve.
Who never gives up on you?
Who is it that understands the legacy of relationships and insists you become the best you can possibly be?

Be sure to thank your champion for asking the hard questions!