Co-Founder of Speaker Slam: North America's Largest Inspirational Speaking Competition
A Must-Read Book for Those Struggling with Self-Doubt!
As someone who has experienced bullying, it took me back to those moments of emotions but your insights helped not only process it better but it helped plant new seeds of empowerment!
Rachel's writing style is both engaging and thought-provoking. Her words are both raw and honest, and her vulnerability is truly inspiring. I found myself deeply invested in her story!
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has experienced bullying or struggles with self-doubt. It's a powerful reminder that we all have the strength within us to overcome our challenges and grow from our struggles.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Therapist, RSW
"Miss Rainbow Fairy aka Rachel Weinstock’s book is a book about HOPE. By speaking about her own experiences of being bullied as a child; people will find themselves immersed in a world which starts out as a place of despair and helplessness – and which triumphs in an outpouring of promise and hope. By living an example and, by “being who you needed as a child”, Rachel tackles the seemingly impossible, overcoming the often unspoken and dark side of bullying. She shares stories and insights into her personal experiences, and transforms her negative experiences into this beautiful way of holding space for young people. Ensuring that their voices are heard, that their experiences are validated, and leaving us with a feeling of wanting to do and be better as humans overall. Whether you yourself have been bullied, know of someone who has been bullied, have a child who is bullied, or even if you know a bully yourself, this book is for YOU".
8th grade teacher
I wish that when I began my teaching career that I had access to a book like “Be Who You Needed”. Without a doubt it would’ve helped me feel more comfortable in making my class a safe space for kids. All too often, we adults tend to take schooling too seriously while leaving the joy of learning and discovery behind in order to meet certain goals that we have for children without realizing that the one true goal is to empower kids to be the best version of themselves. Rachel has taken her trauma of bullying and turned it into a tool to help countless numbers of children worldwide. Even today in my school I will hear someone discount bullying behavior as a “teenage thing” which it most certainly isn’t. Miss Rainbow Fairy is someone we all need right now to remind us that our inner child can lead us each day to make our world a better place for all.
(PÉZO the poet)
"Be Who You Needed" is essential reading for anyone who works in education, has children or cares about children.
Rachel's deeply personal stories on bullying are not only moving, they are changemaking, just through the mere act of reading them. This book is filled to the brim with effective strategies to prevent and dissolve bullying by creating from the context of every child being meaningful and magical.
Written from a place of experience and powerful simplicity, this book will transform your idea of the classroom. Invite 'Miss Rainbow Fairy', Rachel's sparkly persona, into your heart and feel the love of your inner child.
For the sake of all of our futures: please read this book.
Be Who You Needed blew me away. As a psychotherapist, Rachel’s personal stories opened up my eyes to what some of my young clients are going through, and I’m so grateful for that. “There is a fine line between working on resilience and breaking someone’s spirit” This sentence reminded me to help these kids come up with other options and alternative ideas in all aspects of life rather than forcing themselves to continue doing something that causes them pain. Never give up and there is always light are strong takeaways for me from this book.
I absolutely, 1000% would recommend "Be Who You Needed" for anyone's must read list! The chapters made me feel like I was listening to my childhood best friend talk, like her family and friends were right there with me the whole time. I loved that she allowed us to have personal insight to her life, to her world, even showing us little glimpses of her childhood and growth journey. I felt like Rachel took me on a journey back into my past, reminding me of things that I personally experienced. I felt sheltered by her words and encouraged to take her insight, the way she she's the world, through her lens, and utilize it for my own children. I suffered massive childhood trauma in a lot of the same ways that she did and even in other ways, our journeys similar but so very different, and yet, I felt heard. I felt seen. I believe this book should be read by anyone who has children, who teaches, counselors, you name it, everyone. I have 3 kids of my own and they all face trials that are similar to the ones Rachel discusses even in just the first few chapters. It breaks my heart to know that we are all humans, with goals and dreams and positive attributes, ways to change the world and make it a better place, and yet one person, one year of your life can change that for the rest of our lives. If everyone took the time to listen to what Rachel and her Cohorts have to say, this world would be a shining light, a beautiful place. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!! 5 Stars!
The first thing that stood out for me that you do so well and that I really admire about you is how open and vulnerable you are with the students you work with about your own struggles. Kids are not used to the adults in their lives sharing such personal stories and struggles with them. I imagine that they're not used to teachers, especially ones they recently met and are just getting to know, being so vulnerable and opening up their hearts to them in that way. It shows that you trust, value, and respect them as humans, which is not always the case in schools. It also helps them to feel comfortable to share their emotions and challenges with you, knowing that you are a safe person who is there for them and can relate to what they're going through. Schools need more teachers like you
I love the concept of being the adult that you needed when you were younger. It is so inspiring to see how the traumatic experiences of bullying from your childhood empowered you to be the kind, safe, vulnerable, loving, and committed educator you are today. Your own struggles in the school system could have easily turned you off of being involved in the system in any way. Yet, they only fueled your fire and desire to make sure children don't ever have to endure the pain that you did as a child. That is beyond incredible! I also had a difficult time in elementary school, and didn't have the support and guidance from a loving, empathetic teacher like you. When I became a teacher, I made a vow to myself that I would be the adult I wish I had when I was younger. I often find myself gravitating to and immediately connecting with the child that reminds me of me at that age. Not only are we helping all these children by being the adult we wished we had as children, but I also think we are healing our inner child, one day at a time.
The impact you have on children is very apparent. I think it's important to note the impact you have on other teachers and educators. This is especially true for student teachers and new teachers who aren't yet set in their teaching style or ways, and are more likely to be flexible and open to new ways of connecting with and supporting students. When I met you, I was a student teacher in a kindergarten class. You showed me that it's okay (and even encouraged!) to play with the kids, be silly, and be myself. I was trying out different teaching styles and seeing what clicked and felt the most natural for me. I had felt pressure to be a strict, "professional", serious teacher, but that wasn't me. You're the first person who made me feel safe to be myself and allow the playful, creative, silly side of me to shine through in my teaching style. Fast forward 8 years, and that is a huge part of who I am as an educator and how I impact kids in the way I do. Thank you so much for showing me that I can be myself, and not succumb to the pressure of others to act a certain way to fit in.
— Lara Munro, Educator
As a parent of a teenager who experienced bullying from a young age, this book touched me deeply. In the introduction we meet Rachel and her family who share their journey. It is a great help in understanding the same situation from different points of view. It felt like a reflection of our home for the past 8 years which means we are not alone in this struggle.
Rachel’s ability to share her journey with such vulnerability allows us to gain perspective and meet our children where they need us to be. We can all be that person in their lives. This book is a must read!
— Julie Sczensy, Parent
"The name, "Miss Rainbow Fairy", a moniker Rachel has been called by both students and personal contacts for years, makes more and more sense as you delve into her book “Be Who You Needed”. Rachel Weinstock’s heartfelt story of her childhood has the ability to touch each and every one of us, regardless of whether we currently have children or were once children ourselves. It delicately reminds us of the deep-rooted pain many of us experience in childhood and reinforces the notion that we have the ability to not just move past it, but help those currently struggling with such pain presently. Very readable and easy to connect with the content."
— Erin Balaban, Real Estate Broker
Rachel’s book embodies the spirit of Mister Rogers’ famous quote, ‘look for the helpers’. Through Rachel’s childhood hardships with being a victim of bullying and being let down time and time again by the adults in her life who were supposed to protect her, she vowed to become the person she needed to be so that no child would ever have to experience the pain she did. In this courageous and vulnerable journey, Rachel illustrates the power of just one person believing in a child when no one else will. Sometimes, it’s the line between life and death. My niece was identified and tested for learning disability a few years ago. The process with the school system was tedious and took longer than it normally would because of covid-19. But finally my niece got a transfer to a school with an integrated IEP program and she went from feeling worthless and hating going to school to someone who is now confident in her ability to read and finding school fun!
I know that our teachers are over worked and are under valued. But I urge those of you in education to read this book and reflect on why you chose to be an educator in the first place. No matter how challenging the work or the kids can be, please try to create a little bit of space for children to be their true, most vulnerable selves. Listen to them and believe in them. You are literally shaping the future.
— Emily Law, Senior Project Designer
The pages burst with emotion, vulnerability, hope, and inspiration. The stories are so relatable and are carefully written. For anyone who works with, teaches, or even encounters children, this book is like a magic wand that shows the reader ways to encourage and empower young people.