Quick, the baby’s asleep! I gotta write this before she wakes up. (Yes, that’s a recently emptied baby bottle in the background). I was thinking today about all the wonderful teachers I’ve had over the years, and what a profound influence they’ve had on my life. This lovely apple figurine sums up the concept perfectly. A third grade girl gifted it to me when I “taught” a girl’s group on Wednesday night at church for a few years. I didn’t feel “qualified” to “teach,” but I was willing to invest the time, energy and preparation into these girls’ lives and it was a privilege to see them grow emotionally and spiritually between September and May. I was grateful for the privilege of being part of their lives.
Maybe that’s how dedicated teachers and professors feel. Margot Galt, a fantastic University of Minnesota creative writing professor, gave me a big boost when she suggested that perhaps the material I’d written for her class could become the nugget of an idea for a novel. The suggestion resonated. I chewed on it, joined a Rochester, MN writing group, and over the course of a few years wrote, revised, and heavily edited a novel with the help of several writers groups in Minnesota, Iowa, and online. Now I’m writing the next novel and searching for an agent who’ll take a chance on me. It’s an adventure.
All because of a little encouragement from a professor–encouragement that fanned the flame of something I’d wanted to do but hadn’t yet verbalized. Margot Galt is one of many educators over the years who’ve shaped and inspired me. It’s been a while since I took her class so I looked up her website – http://margotgalt.com/ She’s still writing, teaching, and sharing her wisdom with eager students at several universities and online.
We all have opportunities to teach something. Whether it’s teaching a class, or simply teaching a child how to brush their teeth, it’s a source of joy that makes the world a better place. Baby’s crying, I better post this and warm a bottle.