Being a “Charismatic Adult”

Brooks & Goldstein (2001) talk about the need for a “charismatic adult” in each child’s life.  They quote Julius Segal, defining a charismatic adult as “a person with whom children ‘could identify and from whom they gather strength'” (Brooks & Goldstein, 2001, p. 88).  They later quote Segal again, saying that “in a ‘surprising number of cases that person turns out to be a teacher'” (Brooks & Goldstein, 2001). This charismatic individual can be the difference between a resilient child who succeeds in spite of difficult circumstances and a non-resilient child who does not.

I think it’s easy to forget that the classroom just might be the best, safest part of a child’s day.  It’s easy to forget that many students are struggling in school because they’re not getting the right kind of support at home.  Going that extra step and the one after that might just make all the difference in a child’s future.  Teachers cannot save every child that passes through but they will not save any if they do not try.


Brooks, R. B., & Goldstein, S. (2001). Raising resilient children : fostering strength, hope, and optimism in your child. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Sullivan, R. (2001). What Makes a Child Resilient?. Retrieved from,9171,999479,00.html

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