A Real Author


I met Jennifer at a park where she stopped to eat a sandwich and read a book during her lunch break. Although it had been forty years since she was in third grade, she carried vivid memories of her teacher, Mrs. Rosen.

I loved picture books as a young child. I remember the book displays in my third grade classroom, which Mrs. Rosen would change according to topic or season. She even had a special shelf where she would display several books by the same author along with the author’s picture and personal facts. It was the first time I realized books are written by people, seemingly ordinary people, like my mom and dad. I was amazed to discover that the authors of the books I loved had pets and plants and lived in houses.

In the spring, our class learned about poetry, and poetry books filled Mrs. Rosen’s displays. When it was time to write our own poems, I wrote about ants. Mrs. Rosen loved my poem and asked me to write it on a big piece of poster board. She let me draw an illustration on the bottom. I was thrilled when she took a picture and included it in our class newsletter. I was a real author, and my poem had been published!

I still love books and proudly call myself an author. Several of my short stories and poems have appeared in literary magazines. While it is always exciting to see my work in print, nothing will ever match the excitement of seeing that ant poem in the class newsletter. 

Jennifer’s story made me think about the importance of role models. When we show children the artists behind the art, they begin to see possibilities. We help dreamers discover their dreams. When did a teacher help you pursue your passion? Share in the comments below.

Wishing you an endless supply of chalk and chances-


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