Every Kid Needs A Champion

Hi INFO 250, I came across Rita Pierson’s TED talk titled “Every Kid Needs a Champion, which has been seen over 11 million times during my research for topic 1: Ed Theory. I have seen it countless times as a teacher since the TED talk came on the scene in 2013. Usually it is shown at the beginning of the school year when the administration wants to motivate us teachers, or again halfway through the year, when we have hit a wall and need a little inspiration. But this time it felt different. Going through distance learning for the last 12 weeks of school was beyond difficult on so many levels. Ms. Pierson talks about connection and relationships and this time it hit the heart a little differently. She so poignantly says, “kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” The power of building relationships with not only our students but also the teachers we are serving. She says it’s important for us to remember to, “seek first to understand as opposed to being understood.” And she is so right. So much of what I learned in my first year as a teacher librarian was in listening and observing. This TED talk is simply a great listen to ground us in the work. 


Pierson, R. (2013, May). Every Kid Needs A Champion. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/rita_pierson_every_kid_needs_a_champion#t-2178

For your consideration: An Outlier

Solomon, Samantha

Ullman, R. (2018). No, Teachers Shouldn’t Put Students in the Driver’s Seat. Teacher Teacher. Retrieved 26 September 2018, from https://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2018/09/05/no-teachers-shouldnt-put-students-in-the.html

Summary: This opinion piece is written by Richard Ullman, a 29 year veteran of teaching in public high schools. In the piece Ullman defends the practice of teachings using direct instruction to communicate complex skills and concepts to students. He feels that the pendulum has swung too far towards a pedagogy based on “equat[ing] cosmetic engagement with actual learning.” He argues that educational trends are dictated and propelled by people who are removed from actual classrooms, and that as a result, the current trends around game-based learning and student driven learning actually don’t improve student outcomes. He points out that “even though the classroom looks dynamic, students appear to be busy, and the right boxes get checked during classroom observations, achievement gaps don’t close.” Ullman argues that traditional, teacher-centered instruction does work, but that confirmation bias causes experts to ignore the merits of this style in favor of chasing educational fads.

Evaluation: It’s not that I agree with Ullman’s strong preference for teacher-centered instruction, but I do think it is important to acknowledge what people who might be out of this moment’s mainstream might be thinking. I absolutely feel that there is a place for more traditional, direct instruction in classrooms and school libraries, but I also think that it has to be blended with more engaging, student-centered techniques to fully resonate and connect with students and truly enhance their learning.

Finding inspiration in the Common Core: An uncommon opportunity to refine the role of the school library and technology planning committee

Inna Levine
CO-Collaboration Strategies
Cravey, N. (2013). Finding inspiration in the common core: An uncommon opportunity to refine the role of the school library and technology planning committee. Knowledge Quest, 42(1), 18-22. Retrieved from https://dialog.proquest.com/professional/professional/docview/1651857306?accountid=143640

This article talks about the implementation of the Common Core State Standards for all areas of curriculum and motivates school librarians to change their roles in the school to be better “curators of the school library collections, innovators in the use of instructional technology and leaders in curriculum planning. The author explains that by focusing on these aspects, teacher librarians can rebuild (or continue building) a library program that best accommodates the school and focuses on long-term goals. The article was particularly insightful as it provided concrete examples of how teachers librarians and classroom teachers need to work together in the redesigning of the curriculum.