It’s not uncommon for kids to have a hard time finding themselves, especially in middle school. Sometimes, all it takes is for one peer to say something mean to break a child’s self-esteem. There’s also a flip side to this, one adult going out of their way to let a young student know how great they are, can completely change the way they view themselves. That’s exactly what one teacher did, then years later he learned how much of a difference his kind words made.
This chance encounter will bring you to tears, what an amazing story!
Teacher changes his student’s life without knowing it, years later, he learns how much he helped her
According to the CDC, approximately 3.2%(almost 2 million) of children ages 3-17 suffer from diagnosed depression. Many kids don’t know where to turn, it can be difficult for their undeveloped brain to realize how many people care for them.
This is a story of one former teacher, and how he made a girl in his class see herself for the beautiful person she is. It all started when he decided to peek over her shoulder to see what she was jotting in her journal, the words he saw broke his heart.
“I suck, I’m ugly. I’m stupid. No one likes me.” The teacher read as he peaked at her writing.
He instinctively grabbed her journal and started writing the opposite of all the bad things she was writing about herself
“You’re great. You’re beautiful. You’re intelligent. You’re are loved.” Wrote the teacher.
Little did he know, he had just changed the young girl’s life. For the rest of the year, the student opened up to him and transformed from a depressed and dark kid to a happy and jovial student.
The teacher eventually quit teaching and joined the Navy, never knowing what happened with that young girl
Now across the country, he was on his normal route driving patients back and forth to the VA hospital and making small talk with his passengers when something miraculous happened.
He ran into a lady who was from the same area as him, they began chatting when the woman brought up the girl he had helped all those years ago. The ex-teacher told the woman the story of the girl who’s notebook he had snatched to write nice things in place of her own bad feelings about herself. After telling him that girl was her cousin, the woman replied:
“No. Freaking. Way! It IS you! She STILL HAS that notebook. She looks at it time to time to get her through the tough times.”
He couldn’t believe what he was hearing, the man didn’t realize how much he had impacted that girls life and to hear it brought him immense joy
In an interview with Bored Panda, the ex-teacher(who chose to remain anonymous) said:
“My initial reaction was stunned. Why would I tell that story about the one girl? I honestly don’t know. I retell that story often because honestly, it had a big impact on me. It showed me the value of positive self-talk and how small acts of kindness can yield extraordinary results. It reaffirms my belief that there’s never a reason to be mean to each other. There’s more than enough hate in the world; why would I ever want to add to it?”
What a compassionate man, it’s a shame teaching didn’t work out for him, we really need teachers like him in our schools. As adults, it’s extremely important for us to shower children with positive reinforcement. Not just our children, but all children!
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