Writing Wins and Woes: Kudos to Great Teachers

This is my third installment of Back to School with Writing, and I just realized that my first two blogs were really “downers” on teachers. I’m not anti-teacher. I went to school to be a teacher (although I dropped out) and I’ve been a proud Sunday school type teacher since I was 16 years old. I really enjoy teaching and am thankful for some of the best ones in my life. Teachers shape who we become in many ways.

That’s why I’m sharing this blog. It’s my writing story. My desire to become a writer was definitely spawned by my sixth grade teacher, Miss Stehman. Miss Stehman and I had a lot in common. We both loved reading, and writing, and we both disliked math. Every Friday was Math games. We didn’t even have math class that day. Instead we played board type games. Miss Stehman fostered learning through singing songs while she played guitar, story telling by one of my favorite classmates who was the class clown and writing stories.

I wrote tons of stories in her class. Miss Stehman liked them and asked me if she could keep some of them. I was flattered. Never had a teacher shown me any attention, at least not in a positive way. I started to think, “Maybe, I’m a good writer.” I’m sure my stories back then were mediocre at best. I’ve had a chance to read one or two and they’re funny in  a childish kind of way but don’t seem to be evidence of a great author in the making. Somehow, though, she saw potential in me, and that fanned the flame. I never stopped writing after that. In Seven and Eighth grade, I told stories to my friends at overnight sleep overs. I remember writing stories that I shared with some of my friends, too. And in ninth grade, I won second prize in a speech contest for a patriotic speech I wrote.

I wrote story after story and kept writing but never got a thing published until about three years ago, when I decided to send some stories in to magazines. I tried a venue called The Kids’ Ark and was accepted. Thus, a writer was truly born. But it all began sixth grade with a teacher who thought a little nobody in her class was a pretty good writer. And for that I’ll always be grateful.1268



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