The Power of Words

When I was in high school, I was involved in theatre.  Sometimes I worked stage crew, but I also enjoyed being on stage.  I never got very big roles, though; I rarely got cast in a play (excepting the one role of Bridget in M*A*S*H), and in musicals I was almost always put in the chorus.  I liked the chorus, but I really wanted a bigger role sometimes.

One day, I went to talk to the teacher who directed a lot of the musicals I was in, and I asked her what it was that prevented me from getting these larger roles.

She replied, “You’re just not loveable enough.”

Over twenty years later, I still remember those words.

As a teacher, I try to keep this moment of my adolescence in mind.  May I remember how the words I speak to a student can stick with him for decades.  May I never say something that makes a student feel bad about herself.  May I always speak truth with kindness.

May all of my students feel — at least in my classroom — that they are loveable.

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One thought on “The Power of Words

  1. Ooh that makes me so mad!! I remember a moment in 4th grade when I was bubbling over trying to tell my teacher why I hadn’t come back from my doctor’s appointment with glasses (they weren’t ready) & she shut me right down because everyone was taking a test & I needed to be quiet. As an adult I can see her perspective, but there was something in the way she did it that made me feel as if she just didn’t care about me & my little problems. Gave me a pang for years!

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