The teachers who inspired us, and even changed the trajectories of our lives

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Originally posted on TED Blog:

Rita-Pierson-at-TED-Talks-Education
Rita Pierson leads off TED Talks Education, our first televised event, which will air on PBS on May 7. Photo: Ryan Lash

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…

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