While I may be the educator in the family, it was my 19-year-old daughter, Meghan, who yesterday provided me with a valuable lesson, a reminder of the power a few simple words can possess.
Meghan is in her university's choir, and yesterday she and her fellow vocalists traveled to another college a couple hours away for a choral festival. Late last night, Meghan texted my wife to let her know about something that happened on the bus ride home. Here’s the text she sent.
Dr. Jackson is the Chair of the Music Department at Meghan’s university. I’m sure it had been an extremely long day (notice when Meghan’s text was sent). It was nearly midnight, and I have little doubt Dr. Jackson was tired after a busy day of leading his students. But instead of putting his head back and resting his eyes on the long bus ride home, he chose to strike up a conversation with my daughter -- a freshman, one who isn’t even a music major. He chose to offer up a few simple words of encouragement.
“It’s so great to have you in choir. We love having you here.”
Thirteen simple words, words he may not even remember saying. Yet they were powerful. They made Meghan feel special. They were so meaningful she wanted to pass along her positive feelings to my wife. Thirteen simple words. That’s it. But those words will buoy my daughter for weeks, if not months.
It was a great reminder of the power we possess when we use our words to speak life into those around us. As was the case with Dr. Jackson and Meghan, it doesn’t take much. In this case, just 13 words.
Here’s my challenge for you (and me) -- how can you encourage those around you this week? What words can you speak to those in your classroom, in your school, to build them up?
“I’m so glad you’re in my class.”
“You’ve been working so hard, and I’ve noticed. Keep up the great work!”
“I’m proud of you.”
“I believe in you.”
I guarantee there’s someone around you in need of a few kind words like these. The good news? You have the power to provide them!
Brent has worked in the field of education as a teacher and administrator for 25 years. He is currently Principal of Alta Murrieta Elementary School in Murrieta, California. Read more about Brent here.
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