Slice of Life Story Challenge, Day 28 #sol19

Hallways now filled with students passing to their next classes, I ventured out into the stream.  There she was.  Our eyes met.  “Oh,” she said, “there you are.  It’s just the person I was looking for.”  Silently I wondered what this interaction might bring.  Making my way through the throng of book-laden middle schoolers, I approached her, a seventh grade English Language Arts teacher from my building.  A colleague.  A friend.  She stopped, waiting for me.

“Hi,” I said.  “What’s up?”

“Well,” she began, “I wanted to tell you something.”  My mind raced with possibilities, as likely anyone’s would.  I nodded, focusing my entire attention on her.  Her face exuded seriousness, but this is her way.

“Okay?” I said.

“You and I have spoken a few times about this year… about how I feel I’ve been struggling in some areas of my teaching, right?  Like conferring, for example.”  Briefly, she cast her eyes down to the floor, but then right back to mine.  “But last Friday, you said something that was so helpful.  Remember in our meeting, you mentioned a few specific things that we as teachers could focus on in our conferring?  For some reason, when you said that, I felt like I could do it.  And now…well, I’m excited to confer in this unit.  I just wanted you to know that what you said really helped.”  And she was gone.

I stood, silently feeling the smile forming on my lips.  I could feel these words taking hold, warming me inside like a hot cup of cocoa on a cold winter day.  And although I knew I couldn’t bottle this moment, I returned to my office knowing I could live off of it for at least the rest of today, if not this week.

How much of a difference can a kind word can make.

Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 23 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy and reading consultant in Northwestern Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops, twowritingteachers.org.

14 thoughts on “Slice of Life Story Challenge, Day 28 #sol19”

  1. We teachers, although we generally care about each other, do not often take the opportunity within our busy day to share kind words with each other. Your reminder of their importance here is valuable.

    Like

  2. Yes, kind words do matter. It sounds like you, give great advice and your advice was just what was needed. I am sure her next conferring session will be a success.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Good to read. It can sometimes be difficult to continue to encourage throughout the entire school year, but your slice is a reminder that students and teachers alike need these words of hope that change is possible.

    Liked by 1 person

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