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Believing In Them…

I’ve been going back-and-forth over e-mail with one of my former fourth graders for the past week.  She started sixth grade last week — middle school.  I can hardly believe she has a locker & a free period!  After all, it feels like just yesterday that she was sitting in the front row of the classroom rug during a minilesson.

This student forgot about the book Ruth and I are writing.  (I wasn’t offended in the slightest.  After all, she’s 11!)  So, our e-mail conversation went like this the rest of the rest of this evening:

FORMER STUDENT:  i think it’s cool that you’re writing a book. i want to (in the future) draw anime or write manga’s.

ME:  What is a Manga? (I know, I should’ve googled it!)

FORMER STUDENT:  it’s a japanese comic book…manga means comic in japanese.

you’re writing a book.  i wish i could write a famous book…but i want to draw anime…and move to japan after college…i wonder if that can happen?

ME:  Of course it can happen.

Watch this 16 minute video on the bottom of this NY Times Webpage and then tell me what you think is possible.

FORMER STUDENT:  you believe! yay! i have to watch it tomorrow =( i have to go to bed soon. i’ll get back to you on the speech ok?

I do believe she can write a book, draw Anime, or do anything because she’s a talented girl who knows the meaning of hard work.  As her former teacher, I realize it’s [artially up to me to remind her of that, especially as she heads into middle school, where self-doubting thoughts often abound.  Regardless of what kind of writing hope or dream they have, we must remind our students, past and present, they can do anything, if they work hard.  (I figured a little pep talk from the President couldn’t hurt her either!)