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Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Power of Encouragement

I was recently sorting through a box of stuff my mom kept from my school days. How fun to look back over old Young Authors books, Book It Awards, and writing journals. I decided to open up my old report cards that were in the box too and I found myself reading through the teacher comments from each grading quarter.

Writing was definitely something I enjoyed when I was younger (especially in my fifth grade year for some reason), but I don't remember feeling like I was necessarily gifted in writing, and I don't recall so many of my teachers noticing my writing and encouraging that talent. In fact, I remember my sister being a Young Authors winner one year and I think I decided that she was the gifted writer in the family (If only I had known about the wonderful Bronte sisters at a younger age!). I wonder if maybe I gave up a little on writing somewhere along the way, despite the fact that my teachers seemed to all notice a talent and interest in that area. I wonder if back in my school days I assumed that the encouraging things my teachers told me were just the typical teacher-y things they say to students, instead of recognizing it as genuine praise.

It made me a little sad to read through their notes and realize that I kind of let the writing passion go somewhere along the way. I didn't keep with it like maybe I should have. But perhaps their encouragement was what kept my writing interest alive and kicking during so many of my school years?

I am grateful to have these notes to look back on and see that my teachers saw something special in me. I am grateful that I had teachers that noticed and valued my interest in writing enough to record it in ink! And maybe it's all the encouragement I need to take up an old hobby and get to some writing again!

Teachers, keep on encouraging those little ones! You never know the power your words will have. Even if your students don't appreciate or recognize your praise of their talents now, I bet they will someday!

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