Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Life Is Baeutiful.

--by singlestep, posted Oct 29, 2008
Do you remember the name of your kindergarden teacher? I do, mine. Her name was Mrs White. And I remember thinking she must be some older relation of Walt Disney's Snow White, because she had the same bright blue eyes, short dark hair, red lips and fair skin.

I don't remember much about what we learned in her class, but my mother once told me that we used to write a lot. And I would bring back what I wrote and she would look at it and see there were so many mistakes. But no red corrections. And always a star. Sometimes even a Good! scrawled in that would make my heart soar with happiness. But it worried my mother, so one day when she went in to meet Mrs White for one of those Parent-Teacher meetings, she asked her why she never corrected my mistakes. Why she never red-pencilled in the right spellings of words or pointed out grammatical errors.

And my mother says Mrs White said-The children are just beginning to get excited about using words, about forming sentences. I don't want to dampen that enthusiasm with red ink. Spelling and grammar can wait. The wonder of words won't... And maybe she didn't say it Exactly like that. It was a long time ago. And what my mother gave me was the gist of what she could remember. The rest I added in. Because I grew up learning to use words with loving confidence like that.

And it occurs to me that if Mrs White had used her red pen more precisely I probably wouldn't be telling you about this now. Which is kind of obvious but also kind of not. I look back now and think she must have been a rather extraordinary teacher- to exercise such red-pen-restraint. To allow the joy, wonder and excitement of expression flower- however faultily- like that. Because to bloom is better than not to bloom. And a bud once nipped never opens. May we all be so kind...

I used to misspell beautiful a lot. Never could quite remember that the e went before the a. It exasperated my teacher in high school no end. If I was going to employ the word with such lavishness she figured the least I could do was spell it right. Eventually the e's and a's settled into their right places of their own accord. Am glad I didn't wait on them though. Pretty is easier to spell but it doesn't hold as much as you mean sometimes.

And thanks to Mrs White I had no qualms about writing what I meant even if couldn't quite spell it out. Because Life isn't Pretty. It's Baeutiful.
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Readers Comments

sandra wrote: Thank you for sharing your memories and the lifelong ramifications of the early experience - yours is one of the most heartfelt, touching messages i've read in a very long time. I'd be speechless if that were possible for me; your teacher went way beyond her job while instilling a love of words and their impact upon the flexible minds of young children.
sd507439 wrote: Butyfull❣️
Marie wrote: I have just come across your wonderful story. It just reinforces how precious those early years are, and how we as adults influence them! I'm not a teacher but i will take this away with me.
Thank you for sharing. πŸ’•
Christine wrote: Thank you so much for this beautiful story! I wish i had read it 30 years ago, when i started to be a language teacher and did the same, but always with a bad consciousness. What could be interpreted as lazyness (not correcting, only praising and expanding) was meant to develop the student's gist for writing with the big trust of the teacher (in this case - me), that correct spelling will follow, once the joy of creative writing is deeply established. It did not always follow, however - to the worry of the parents. But at least the confidence of the children did not drown under red corrections. And, who knows, maybe some of them are successful authors right now with a lousy spelling corrected automatically by the spellchecker.
kathyneuens wrote: Beautiful story. My kindergarten teacher's name was mrs. Lotz and everyone loved her as she was so kind and pretty. She also wore red lipstick was always dressed up and had her hair done. Most of her students remember her fondly. She was one of many kids favorite. Teachers are so important in children's lives, and it seems like the best ones are always so kind and caring, giving of themselves.
Joann wrote: This is a great story. It reminds me of my 5th grade teacher, mrs. Johnston, who let me write a novel during read-aloud story time, unlike any of my other teachers. It was the only novel i ever actually completed. I have a very special place for her in my heart. I didn't end up writing a novel as an adult, but that doesn't prevent me from cherishing her encouraging policy, i grew up loving to write, especially to others through note cards, holiday cards, and long, long letters to my cousin, who doesn't have a computer, and who recently sent me an 117 page handwritten letter. We live a thousand miles apart, and are shy regarding airplanes!
May Zin wrote: Great! I have never read this story and never heard it before. Is it a fiction. ? May be the encouragement. ?
jberrymadrone wrote: How important encouragement and praise are. What a skill to be able to restrain from criticizing. Thanks for sharing.
grace_ful_ring wrote: It's deeply touched as i am teaching children at elementary school. Thank you shearing the story.

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