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Teachers Often See What We Can’t

When I asked beloved author Natalie Lloyd to share her thoughts on why teachers are important, she had two stories to offer:

“My third grade teacher, Mr. Watson, read to my class every day after lunch. He was famous for his book choices: students in upper grades still remembered the stories he’d shared during their year. So it was a big deal for me when I told Mr. Watson that I wanted to be a writer someday. He told me, most sincerely, that he believed I would. I’d already shared that dream with my parents, but having a teacher affirm that it was possible meant so much to me. Many years later, when my first novel was released, Mr. Watson came to my book signing.”

“In 4th grade, these things were true: I loved to read. I loved to write. And I was painfully shy. So I was surprised when my teacher, Mrs. Sexton, told me that I had a knack for public speaking. As I entered 4-H and countywide speaking competitions, I thought Mrs. Sexton was giving me advice simply to help me fare better. Make eye contact with people as you talk. Speak clearly and more slowly. Remember: you have something important to say. In retrospect, I realize that experience wasn’t so much about learning to give a speech. She was helping me find confidence in my voice. I’m forever grateful for the impact she had on me as a writer and as a person.”

Natalie Lloyd is the author of A Snicker of Magic. Check out this post about her “visit” to my classroom on Monday.