Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


A Teacher's Precious Gift

I have been blessed to know many great teachers during my life, from my high school English teacher, Ms. Stitham, to our own Stephanie Bodeen, who (along with Kirby Larson) mentored me during a summer residency at the Whidbey Island MFA program several years ago. In addition to providing insight, expertise, guidance, and valuable feedback about my work, the most important thing these teachers gave me is encouragement and a belief in my own abilities and potential. I believe all great teachers instill confidence in their students via their passion, knowledge and support. They also inspire by sharing stories of their own struggles and insecurities and, ultimately, success. And so, for all those who have given me – and countless others -- hope: a heartfelt thank you!


Edie Hemingway said...

I didn't know you met Stephanie through the Whidbey Island MFA program, Mark. And Kirby Larson, too, is a great writer! I agree that giving encouragement and instilling confidence is a huge part of the teacher's role.

Stephanie said...

It also helps that you are a terrific student:)

David LaRochelle said...

I whole-heartedly agree that one of the most important things a teacher can do is give his/her students confidence and encouragement...and it's also one of the most important things an editor can do as well. Something no one has mentioned yet is how editors can be important teachers. I just received some revision comments from one of my editors, and she's definitely helping me to become a better writer.

Christy said...

I also didn't realize this Stephanie connection. You are both lucky!

I agree that teachers sharing struggles and vulnerability is valuable. Creative work is hard and requires stick-to-it-ness. I love it when classes allow time for students to share revisions based on feedback from earlier workshop sessions. Everyone benefits from seeing how others employ criticism to refine their work.