Tonight was a big night. I took my oldest daughter out to a high school open house. It wasn’t just any school. This open house was at the school I went to. As soon as we pulled up, a flood of memories rushed over me.
As we entered through the auditorium door, I remembered the last day of Junior Year. It was dismissal time and we juniors were anxious to start our summer vacation, when we heard the words “Seniors, you may now leave the auditorium.” It took us a minute and then we realized the speaker was talking to us. We broke out in cheers and began our summer vacation.
As my daughter and I made our way into the cafeteria to wait for our tour, memories of friends, dances, and warm cheese reminded me of high school days.
However, the highlight of the night was the tour. Our group entered into the English department in Room 107. As soon as I saw the classroom, chills ran down my arms. This was THE room. This is where it happened. It was the first time someone ever called me a writer! In Senior Year, we worked what seemed like an entire semester on an essay. We worked in groups and critiqued each other’s work There were rewrites and more rewrites. Finally, we were ready to turn in our papers. A few days later I got my paper back and it said, “Great job, you little writer you!” I’ve never forgotten those words and I wished she was there tonight to tell her that her words helped give me the courage I needed to become an author.
The words of a teacher can shape a child. As a teacher and an author I try to remember that. As my daughter and I made our way home tonight, I left the school cherishing the memories and honoring that little encouragement I received so many years ago. Now as my daughter embarks on her high school journey, I hope she finds the same support.