When I spotted the pink heart-shaped Post-it note in Will's binder, I didn't know what to think. I admit my first thought was "Oh no, he's too young for girls!"
However, when I plucked it from his notebook, I was floored. Delightfully floored.
It was a note from Will's teacher. A simple note complimenting him for being a team player.
The thing is: There is nothing simple about it. Words are important. And encouraging words can have a profound impact on a child.
These days teachers are weighed down by a litany of required tests they must administer. They are often overworked with large classes to teach and with little resources at hand. Who could blame them if they're tired and simply trying to get through the day?
But, if you step inside any classroom, I think you'll find some amazing teachers who have an endless supply of energy and passion. They believe in what they do and they are trying mightily to give each student the opportunity to succeed.
That passion ... that desire to make every child matter and make every child feel like he or she matters ... that is what that pink heart-shaped Post-it represents to me.
Will was so proud of that note, he hung it on the wall in his bedroom. I have no doubt the words will serve to inspire him to work even harder and be an even better team player. And for that, I say thank you to his teacher ... and all the teachers.
Julia is the mom of a grade schooler and a reporter for WRAL-TV. She writes monthly for Go Ask Mom.