I am convinced that my current job at The New Moyer Academy in Wilmington, Delaware is a gift from the Universe.
You see, in all my other executive positions, Director of Public Relations, Corporate Officer, Director of Training, not one of these jobs or titles comes close to what I do now. Sure, I used to be the boss. I had a job to get done and I learned how to manage teams of Information Technology experts spread across the country, flying from city to city, not seeing my family for months at a time.
I drive to this job every weekday morning. I sit at one small desk in one small school. I am the school secretary.
And in my job, at my small desk, I have a chance to make a difference in the lives of children in my school — a school that works with an under served population of children. A school that has brought me into the lives of these most wonderful, most challenged and most beautiful spirits I have ever spent time with.
Are some of them hard to handle? Yes. Are some of them angry? Yes. Are some of them sad, afraid, lonely? Yes, yes, yes.
But each and everyone of them is special; each is a child with hopes, dreams and desires. Each of them deserves my respect, my trust and, frankly, my love.
These small ambassadors of life have seen hardships and sorrows most of us will never know. And they have come through. They have found a way to patch themselves together, to keep putting one foot in front of the other, to come to school against all odds, to come to learn. And I get the chance to reach out and tell them, every day, how special they are, how glad I am to see them, how very much they can do and be.
I have never been a teacher. I have been taught. Grade school, middle school, high school, college, and graduate school have exposed me to some wonderful teachers and some lousy teachers. I wish Rita Pierson had been one of my teachers not because of her subject matter expertise or her curriculum.
Rita Pierson teaches so much more than lessons, words and numbers. She teaches about the heart, the spirit and the opportunity that every adult in every school, from janitor and secretary to teacher and Principal, has every day to reach out and touch one child’s life.
Listen and learn and maybe take a chance and build some relationships, too.
Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion | Video on TED.com.