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A Legacy of Relationships

I have watched many videos but this one is the best! I must have been living under a rock. I had never heard of Rita Pierson before this video. Please take 7 minutes to watch this powerful video.

I'm going to be using Rita's quotes on a motivational wall in my supply closet. 

“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 that they can possibly be.”
“I gave [my students] a saying to say: ‘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.’”

Pierson quotes others in her talk as well:

Stephen Covey had the right idea…’Seek first to understand as opposed to being understood.’”

“James Comer says that no significant learning can occur without a significant relationship.”

George Washington Carver says all learning is understanding relationships.”

What are you doing to build relationships with your students and parents? Leave me a comment and I'll pick 2 winners to win a pack of smiles, happy notes and behavior badges/beads 

Ways I'm building relationships- I try really hard at building relationships. I love this quote.


  1. For the last year we started having "morning meetings" 10 mins or so for kids to chat,share,socialize. For parents I've been on a team that got grants for family nights. We did 2 nights ayear for literacy and math. We showed parents fun stuff they can do at home with kids.
    The parents really enjoyed the casual atmosphere and it was a chance for us to interact with them without the conference setting!

  2. LOVE this post! You are always so positive, inspirational, and motivating! Thanks for sharing and passing it on!!!! p.s. LOVE the multi colored seeds:))) Fun!!

    4th Grade Frolics

  3. Love these last two posts. Being the school counselor, relationship building is a huge goal for me with all my students. It was easier for me when I had my own classroom, but now I have 11 classrooms. I am implementing "minute meetings" with my students this year. Every quarter, is my goal, I will go and check in with each student in the classroom one on one. Some students I see much more during the year, but I also want to talk to those students who I don't always get to interact with one on one. Love the happy notes, can't wait to start spreading these around our school. Thanks

  4. I have used Remind101 to stay in connection with parents, as well as creating a classroom blog. The students and parents love to see work showcased on the blog...it empowers them to do more! I have also kept a "kit" in my room (washcloth, soap, deodorant, etc.) for students who come to school dirty or smelly. (I had a student 25 years ago who had no form of soap in her home. The school nurse visited the home regularly, to no avail. This child also had lice 10 times that year! I worked it out with her to come to school early, get the kit from my room, find an outfit (I kept extra clothes in my room as well) to put on that was clean, freshen up, then return for class. This child was so thankful to me at the end of the year that she didn't want to leave school or 5th grade! I love to form relationships with my students. I connect

  5. I am loving the Seeds of Happiness! What a wonderful tool to use in the classroom. Last year I started our day with "Tell Me Something Good..." We spent 10 minutes or so letting students talk about something good that happened to them or around them. I began the year modeling this for my students and then it just took off. I would attempt to get everyone to share at least once each week.
    Thank you for such motivating and positive posts!

  6. I was able to watch this wonderful speech at my TNCore training a few weeks ago and loved the message coming from it! Every child needs a champion! I teach at the Middle School level so it is different trying to build relationships with parents, but with my students that is one of first things I try to do! This year I am going to use a blog for parents and students to stay connected to whats going on in the classroom. I love everyone's advice about building relations with students, and your cute badges!

    Math Madnes

  7. I have never been a big "show & tell" girl, even though I know it gives kids a chance to share about themselves and speak in front of others, but this past year my students and I have intentionally held Morning Meetings where a child was spotlighted each day. Of course this was a great a time to practice LA skills, but it turned into a great opportunity for each child to shine....especially the ones that sometimes were "under the radar", so to speak.I would pick a stick with a students # during our morning routine, ask that student something exciting/good about the night prior and include it in our message. The kids loved seeing who I might be writing about!

  8. I watched this video a few months ago. It was part of a PBS show called TED Talks Education. It was a great show.

  9. What a WONDERFUL video. I am sending it to my principal and asking her to send out to staff. I have always worked hard to build relationships with my students. ANd it definitely pays off. I remember once, years ago, a little girl in my third grade class, passed ina report that I knew she hadn't done. I asked her and she said her sister did it. I tld her that I would give her sister an A but she had to redo it. This child lived in a motel most of the year, in a neighboring town where I lived, so I picked her up each day and took her to school. At the end of the year I knew she wasn't ready for fourth grade and I asked her about it. Together we decided she could repeat third grade. Every teacher had tried to do this since Kindergarten but the parents had refused. When I expained it to them, they said they wanted their pediatrician to agree, which he did when I spoke with him. 10 years later that same student found me in a different school and asked me to attend her graduation. She was president of FTA (future teachers of America) and she said it was due to the fact that I taught her to believe in herself. Now, how powerful is that? One of my fondest memories in 30 years of teaching. I adore your blog and all that you share. Thank you.
    Diary of a Grateful Teacher

  10. I do Remind 101 and I have a class website to stay in contact with parents. I've even been using it over the summer to keep them informed of registration dates, school supply lists, etc. This is in addition to the newsletters that I send home weekly. To build community within the classroom we have a morning meeting everyday that focuses not only on our objectives for the day, but more importantly focuses on their interests outside of school.


  11. Two words: Pre-school planning. Or is that three words?
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  12. I love this post. Children need to feel comfortable, feel that they are important and feel that you genuinely care about them succeeding in your classroom. Now that I have a teenager who has been through middle school and now a junior in high school I see the importance of this. If a child feels comfortable in their classroom they learn more. It is our job as teachers to read their personalities and make adjustments in ours to connect with them. When my little ones need confidence boosts, I will send them to previous teachers to share their work, they always come back with stickers or treats. It makes such a difference in their day. I have a teacher next door who teaches the next grade level and she will have them come to her room to share their work with "the bigger kids". We also come together as a group to share about themselves. Thank you again for such a positive post. The seeds of happiness are precious.
    Primary Paradise

  13. I LOVED that video! Thank you!!

    One thing that I try to remember to do is to slow down and listen to my kids - truly listen. To stuff that's not necessarily school-related. What's going on at home, what sports they're playing, who is - or is not - friends with whom, etc. We are so busy teaching and planning and documenting that creating those relationships can be left by the wayside. I think that relationships can only be built with time and respect, and truly listening to our kids is one simple, yet profound, way to do that.

  14. Thank you so much for sharing this video. I had the honor of spending the ENTIRE day listening to Ms. Pierson. She was the guest speaker for the entire school district. After teaching for 30 some years, videos like these remind us of the importance of relationships. Unfortunately there are so many negative people these days. And some of the complaints are legitamate. However, this reminds us that every day we have a choice...positive or negative. I am the behavior management leader at our school. I am going to use this clip for all of our teachers...veteran and new. And Cindi, BRAVO! What a sweet story! Congratulations. You never know the impact. I heard from a student who is about to RETIRE! (Oh boy...I am that old.) But he found me on facebook to thank me and tell me he is going to be a career switcher and become a teacher! You just never know. Thanks so much for the post...now I have to go and investigate these seeds of happiness!

  15. What would life be like without the wonderful relationships we build with everyone around us??

    Thanks for sharing! :)

  16. Rita Pearson is amazing!I send home a weekly newsletter to keep the parents connected. However, I believe that the families appreciate occasional notes about their child (had a great day, super friend, hard worker today...) that is personal and specific. I purchased your happy notes and can't wait to use them!

    The Resourceful Apple

  17. That was the BEST 7:48 minutes of my day!!! One of my favorite aspects of teaching in the relationships I get to build with all of my students and yes there are students I am grateful I don't have to take home (i.e. they are not my kids. But even those kids NEED that relationship.

  18. I am so glad I found your blog! When I found out that I would have my own classroom for the first time next year I knew immediately that I wanted to create a positive, encouraging and motivating classroom for my students and myself. I am so thrilled with the ideas you are sharing here. I really want to create a room that encourages my students to believe in themselves, and facilitates kindness. Thank you so much for sharing your talent and creativity.

  19. Great blog series! I really try to have a positive atmosphere for my kiddos. We praise each other and give high fives when we accomplish goals or participate. I greet my kiddos each morning at the door as they enter and say goodbye to each one as they point out their parent at dismissal. I try to do the same with my parents. I think it's so important to have parents feel like they're partners in their child's education. Thanks for sharing the video :)
    First Grade Dual

  20. I just ordered some seeds of happiness for my classroom. When you give a child one do they get to keep it? That would be a lot of seeds for a year.


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