“Wherever I go, I get to carry the words of my students. And that’s not something that I take lightly.” – Pernille Ripp, USA
Negative experiences – especially when you’re an impressionable elementary school student – are hard to forget, and can shape the person you become. This was the case for teacher and Daily Edventures alum Pernille Ripp, when a teacher pegged her as “different” at the age of 10.
Ripp is originally from Denmark, but learned English at the age of six while her mother was on a Fulbright scholarship in San Francisco. “We went back to Denmark and I went back to my regular classroom,” says Ripp. “For some reason my classroom teacher thought I was different, and not in a good way. She decided that instead of embracing this difference, she was going to make life as difficult as possible for me, and started pointing out all of my flaws and mistakes.”
Luckily for Ripp, she also had extremely positive role models, including her mother and grandmother, who helped foster her love for teaching – and for being courageous, even in the face of negativity.
“When I finally realized that I wanted to be a teacher, I realized that we need to have teachers in the classroom that really care about kids, and that won’t ever make a kid that’s different feel different in a negative way,” she says.
So Ripp instead aspires to inspire. To make a difference. Whether it’s through her blog, her book, “Passionate Learners: How to Engage and Empower Your Students,” or her extremely popular Twitter feed (over 28,000 followers!), Ripp is not shy about sharing her opinions on how to best engage kids in learning — including using Skype, Kidblog, Edmodo, Prezi, Animoto, Google Apps, and Twitter, “but more importantly we function in a no punishment, limited homework, limited grades classroom focused on hands-on learning,” says Ripp.
And Ripp has not forgotten the feeling of being a student herself. “The kids are the reason we do what we do,” she says. “The kids are the reason that we fight…to change education, we fight to be better teachers.”
Here’s today’s candid and moving Daily Edventure with Pernille Ripp. Enjoy!
Seventh Grade Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin, USA