Teachers have a profound impact on us. The right words at the right time can make all the difference in making, or shaking, our young lives.
Years ago, one teacher dramatically changed my life—because of four simple words offered at the right time in the right way.
My teacher simply said, “I believe in you.”
She said it by giving me a small book of poems by Langston Hughes—The Dream Keeper. This book changed my life. It was the first time I’d ever held a book where the words sounded like words that came out of my mouth. Where the words had the swing & sway of the kitchen-table talk I heard in my own home. Where there were pictures of people who looked like me, who had lips like mine. For the very first time in my life, I saw images that reflected my world… my rhythms, my life. For the first time, someone in a position of authority who did not look like me affirmed my presence, my value, my person.
I still have that little blue book. And I still feel the glow sparked by my teacher, Ms. Mary Jane Gillespie, who offered this thirsty, languishing soul a long drink a water when I most needed it. When she reached out to say, I believe in you.
I’ve been blessed with many wonderful teachers in my life—in the classroom, at home, & beyond. Have you? If so, tell me, who has made a profound impact on you. Tell me about a teacher who made a difference in your life.
The truly wealthy are those who give until it feels good.
Pass It On!
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