Thank a Teacher

I was in a requisite college English composition class when life handed me one of those moments that make such an impression, it never leaves you.

The professor _ a tough, well-regarded wordsmith who had her own successful writing career _ was handing out graded papers from an assignment I don’t recall. She didn’t suffer fools, and she was a bit stingy with praise. So I noted it when she made eye contact and gave me a subtle nod as she dropped my paper on my desk. I’d gotten a rare “A” and a note scribbled beside it in the same red pen.

“So, the question is: What are you going to do with your ability to write?” it asked.

The thrill of that validation has never gone away.

There are maybe a handful of other moments I remember, although none as vividly. My sixth-grade teacher, noting my love of reading, was the first to encourage me to consider writing my own words. My first high school English teacher did as well. My high school senior English teacher went so far as to suggest writing might be my calling.

Tomorrow kicks off Teacher Appreciation Week. If, like me, you ever had a teacher who pointed you to a path you’re so thankful to have taken _ now would be a good time to let that teacher know what an impression she or he made on your life.

Keep writing, friends.

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