As I continue my NaNoWriMo journey, I am reminded of a couple of teachers in my life.
Mrs. Morrison was my second grade teacher. If I remember correctly, we were all a little afraid of her. She was pretty strict and a lot no nonsense. But, in second grade, we started writing stories. Around St. Patrick’s Day, we were given a story prompt and we were tasked with finishing the story. Mine turned into some leprechaun story with 17 little leprechauns making mischief in my house, my parents were dismayed, but no worries (here comes the happy ending), they were the leprechauns who guarded the gold at the end of the rainbow and they agreed to share it with my family. Oh, and they promised to clean up their mess, too. A literary gem of a story, no? Probably not, but Mrs. Morrison liked it and commented on how well thought out of a story it was. She praised it so much, my English teacher aunt framed the story for me and it hung on my bedroom wall for years.
Ms. Solem was my fourth grade teacher. She was a bit more of a free spirit. We had to write and perform several skits portraying historical scenes and mythology that year, if I recall. Anyway, at the end of the year, she signed my little elementary school yearbook suggesting I become a playwright. I was on cloud nine all the way home. Where I promptly looked up what a playwright was and then deciding that yes, I wanted to be one.
I had several other teachers along the way who encouraged my writing, but I have to say, these two early educators planted a seed that continues to grow. When I sit down to put pen to paper, or fingers to keys, it is the little girl that they knew and taught every day that takes my place – the insecure, unsure, novice full of hope. And it is their words of encouragement that I hear that keep me going.
I have no idea what happened to Mrs. Morrison or Ms. Solem. I would like to tell them how important their confidence in me was and still is. I would like them to know that the influence they had on me wasn’t relegated to the year they had me in their class. I would like them to know that decades later, I still think of them and wish to thank them.
So, Mrs. Morrison, Ms. Solem and all the teachers who ever truly believed we, their students, could be something, thank you.