There are people who impact our lives in major ways with seemingly small actions. My kindergarten teacher is one of those people for me.
I was incredibly shy as a child. All the way into college, I rarely ever spoke out in class. So when it was time for the annual recitation contest, my kindergarten teacher did something kind and thoughtful. She told my mother that I seemed to have some aptitude for writing and could write something for the school writing contest instead of reciting a poem if I wanted.
Of course, I did.
I sat down at the dining table and wrote a little essay about raccoons—something about how they looked and what they ate and that they were a nuisance for farmers. That writing went from my school, on to the county, and then earned me a first place trophy in my school district for writing.
From that moment on, I believed I was good at writing. When I made a bad grade on a math test, I believed I wasn’t good at math; but nothing ever made me feel like I wasn’t good at writing. I already believed writing was my talent—because my kindergarten teacher said so, and my first real writing won me a trophy.
I studied journalism in college and set off to be a writer. I’ve served as managing editor of two monthly magazines, and I’ve contributed articles and blog posts to print and online publications on a wide range of topics for the past 10 years.
Then I decided to pursue the title of “author.” For years, I’ve thought about writing and illustrating a children’s book. Now, with my own children starting school and with a move across the ocean, I’ve decided finally to make that dream a reality.
I’m not sure if my kindergarten teacher knows the impact she’s had on my life, but it all started with her—her kindness.