Life. Literacy. Learn. Lead.

Life. Literacy. Learn. Lead.

Monday, March 23, 2015

#SOLSC15 Day 24

Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers and the Slice of Life writing community for providing this opportunity to share our "slices." Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy for creating a place for us to share our work. Check out the other slices and join in the fun!

"Hi Marcie,

My name is Colleen Clark and I’m the editor of Reading Today. It’s nice to “meet” you! I loved your answer to our question on Facebook about advice you’d give to a new teacher, and I’d like to include it on the next In Your Words page of the magazine. Do you have a headshot you can send me?

Please let me know as soon as you get a chance. Thanks!

Colleen Patrice Clark

Managing Editor, Reading Today | International Literacy Association
800 Barksdale Road | Newark, DE 19711"

To say this message caught me off guard is an understatement. I guess I had forgotten that I had even thrown my "two cents" into a Facebook discussion question from the ILA. How many times have we all responded to questions on Facebook? I typically only respond to legit organizations and I had vaguely remembered responding to something from ILA, but I couldn't recall any details. 

Upon opening this email, several things ran through my mind.

What did I say?

Was it the advice about three positive calls home? (Always my #1 go-to.)

Headshot? Do I even have one?

                                                                   Is this spam?

I responded back to see if this was a scam. She responded within the hour and I received confirmation that it was indeed the real deal. So I did what any teacher would do when you are looking for answers. I went straight to the school secretary. 

"Do we have a photo that is has just a headshot of me?" Our secretary looked at me kind of looked at me funny. "Like a school picture or my ID badge photo?" I figured I should elaborate a bit. I went on to explain (in a whisper voice) and she responded in a not-so-whisper voice. "Marcie! That's really awesome! You have to bring it in when you get it," she proclaimed loudly. "Shhhh!" I told her. She was beyond excited about the possibility of my comment being featured in the Reading Today magazine and electronically sent my photo to me. So why was I whispering? I actually don't know why?! Maybe because it felt kind of insignificant on the grand scale of life- I mean, it isn't like I wrote an article, submitted a story, or featured a new strategy. 

It was just a small piece of advice. 
Just a few words of wisdom. 

Words of wisdom that had been passed on to me over 15 years ago from my mentor teacher in my first student teaching placement:

Be sure to contact a family 2-3 times with positive news before you have to contact them with an academic or behavioral concern.

Reading this page of advice, I couldn't but say "Oh good one!" or "Yes, that's so true!" There's so much advice to give new teachers. Narrowing it down to just one piece of advice can be kind of tough. It makes me think about all the advice we once received at some point in our career. 

Those words from my mentor teacher from over 15 years ago have rung true each and every school year. Not only did she pass that advice on, but I've followed it every year and have always felt so good about taking time to call for positive pieces of our school day. I'm thankful she passed that and other tidbits of advice on to me. Words are powerful.

I also know...
Our words can stick. 
Our words can sting. 

Note to self:
Be positive.
Be kind.
Be encouraging.
Be realistic.
Be understanding.

How will your words linger one day?


  1. Congratulations! That is exciting. I think that being positive is such a "day-maker" for everyone around us. Thank you for sharing your news.

  2. Congrats! That's so awesome and exciting!

  3. Oh Marcie, how wonderful! God continues to encourage and help others through your words.