As the end of the year approaches, some of my colleagues have taken the time to acknowledge my efforts as their literacy coach. You see, I will not be returning to the school I have called home for the past fourteen years. I am embarking on a new adventure in teaching and coaching next year. Today, I found two Thank You cards in my mailbox. The first said, “Your constant encouragement and positive advice has made me a much stronger and confident writer…” The second card read, “…I’d also like to thank you for helping me see the writer in myself.” These words are the highest compliment a teacher could have given me. I worked to support our teachers in many ways. I have reminded them of important assessment dates, helped them look at student work, gathered resources for them, planned lessons with them. However, those things seem insignificant if, in the end, I helped them see themselves as writers. To me, there is nothing more important.
As your school year winds down, take a moment to think about the people who have impacted your writing life. Who has encouraged you? Who has pushed you to put words on paper, even when you didn’t believe you could? Who has read your writing and given you honest feedback? Who believes in you? Take a few minutes before the school year ends to say thank you. Send a handwritten note, an email, a Facebook message, or stop someone in the hall. Don’t let the school year slip away without saying thanks. You can’t exist as a writer without the people who believe in you. That’s what us writers thrive on – the community we build for each other.
To M. and J., thank you for the cards and the kind words. I will carry them with me on my next journey. Keep writing.