For the past 3 years I’ve traveled around the country talking with nearly 25,000 teachers, parents, and students about respect. I’ve been surprised to see how this basic human courtesy is so misunderstood and even ignored. I define disrespect as "coming into another person’s space and failing to value who they are or what they do." The culture of disrespect has significant detrimental impact in our educational system creating hostile, unproductive, and toxic work environments.
I recently watched a TED talk by Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, on the topic, Every Kid needs a Champion. She said that she once heard a colleague say, "They don’t pay me to like the kids." Her response: "Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.’” This talk is a call to respect and evidence of the power of the words, "I believe in you."