Mrs. Diller made me feel like I could do anything. It was first grade and we had class pets, peanut butter cookies, and lots of granola because nobody seemed to have allergies or be afraid of carbs back then. We had tables set up in each corner of the room. There was a red table with velvet cloth, a blue table with blue cellophane and a green table filled with plants in macramé holders. We had plenty of time to read and use crayons and imagination. We stretched during our morning circle. My teacher helped me to embrace myself and others. It was the best school year of my life.
Early teachers shape who we are. I see that now, and take my responsibility as an elementary school librarian very seriously. If my students love books, love to learn, and love each other, I will have helped shape who they are for the rest of their lives. It’s no small task and honestly, the responsibility scares me sometimes!
But it is a good reminder of how influential adults can be on young children. Remember that next time you speak with someone small.
Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a nurturing moment of your childhood. Maybe it was a favorite teacher or a family member. Notice how it feels to be encouraged and nurtured. Sit and enjoy that feeling for at least 5 minutes.
Who was your favorite teacher? Write her a letter telling her how she shaped your life. Think about a favorite moment in school. What would have happened if it were otherwise? Who would you be if you didn’t get that early dose of confidence and love?
Play a song that you enjoyed as a child. Dance around the room like you did as a kid. Make sure you laugh, sing and skip along. When you are done, sit quietly and notice if your body feels a little bit more youthful!
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