"Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof." (Proverbs 18:21)
Yesterday morning, I posted this little story on my Facebook page. It brought seven comments within thirty hours. I have been very busy (TOO busy!) over the past few days to post my my blog, but I decided to post this one on the blog, too. It reminds us that we really need to stop and think about how we impact young children, and about the people who teach young children! Incidentally, my first-grade teacher left that particular job after that year (1960-1961). Over twenty years later, her son was tragically killed. After reading the story, I got her address (I don't remember how I got it) and I sent her a condolences card and note. I never received any response from her. I guess I was not too surprised. Here is my story of a memory from first grade:
When I was a first-grader, I was a very skinny and very shy little kid. At the November parent-teacher conference, my teacher, Miss A. expressed concern that I NEVER raised my hand in class. My father later gave me a big "pep talk" about this. He COULD be very strict, but on this one, he wasn't. He gave me a really encouraging talk about the need to raise my hand in class. This was very difficult and very challenging for me. The next day, the teacher was giving a lesson which called for a LOT of class participation. Many kids were raising their hands and responding. This was my big moment. At one point, it took all I could muster to get my hand in the air, and then to give my response when called upon. At the end of that lesson, Miss A. said the following, "You ALL did VERY WELL with that- EXCEPT Bobby! He only raised his hand once; he might as well have NOT raised it at all!!" Something happened recently which brought that memory flooding back to me. It's one of the most stark memories of my childhood. Bottom line, we need to really THINK about what we say to people and how we react to them. There is a Bible verse which speaks of "life and death" being found in the tongue...in the words we speak. In a way, sharing this is almost as hard for me as was raising my hand on that 1960 day, but it's just something I felt I needed to do today...
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