Most of you have heard of this saying or seen this sign even if you are not a Notre Dame fan. This sign hangs at the bottom of the stairwell that leads to the Notre Dame Stadium. Before each game, players hit the sign to remind them of the their goal for the game, to “play like a champion.” Click here to learn more about this tradition & how it started.
I grew up watching Notre Dame football, rich with tradition. I loved the simple uniforms, non-flashy field, “Touchdown Jesus” overlooking the end zone, and the tradition of the band marching to the stadium. As a first-year teacher, I incorporated the “Play Like a Champion Today” theme in my classroom. I made a sign that said “Learn Like a Champion Today.” Each year, as a class, we would discuss what that phrase meant, which was to do our best, the importance of overcoming hurdles and obstacles and striving to meet our goals. If you stop by my office, I still have a sign similar to the one that I had as a teacher. It says “Teach Like a Champion Today.”
This is something that every educator should strive for; to be the best they can possibly be each and every day. Teaching is a difficult profession. Educators have the difficult job of reaching each child at their level. We can’t use their upbringing or background as an excuse. We can’t say that a student just can’t learn because they don’t have support at home. It is our job to be a champion for all students.
I was inspired to write this blog post after watching Rita Pierson’s “Ted Talks” video. This video is appropriate to watch at the beginning of the school year. Please take the time to watch this inspiring “Ted Talks” video from Rita Pierson, a life-long educator. She discusses the importance of each child having a champion: http://on.ted.com/RitaPierson.
“Every child deserves a champion: an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and who insists they become the best they can possibly be.” – Rita Pierson
Have a great week and teach like a champion today.