Now that I’m a full-time teacher, one of the greatest pleasures I have is supporting the talent of my students.
When I was in college, I often wondered if my writing professors could tell which students would “make it.” I thought it was connected to raw talent—and that professors could see the shape and size of this talent.
I was wrong.
I can’t tell which students have more talent than others. In fact, I suspect that a few of my most talented students aren’t putting in the effort required to succeed. They’ve succumbed to the demons of ambivalence and apathy. I don’t really know why that happens, it just does.
I can tell which students have determination and persistence, and that speaks more to me of success than anything.
- Here is Brandon Kisker, who dreams of a career in hockey broadcasting. (Visit his blog on hockey.)
- Here is Brett Valls, a content maven.
- Here is Rachel Saiger, passionate about knitting and yarn bombing.
Do other students have as much talent and promise as them? Sure. But I see these three putting in the work, day in and day out.
Recently I was contacted by a graduating high school senior, Rachel Geisel. I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone so young with the amount of determination and focus that she has. She already has a tagline, professional business cards, and a book that she completed for her senior capstone.
She currently has an innovative Kickstarter project to self-publish that book, The Wonder of Writing, that runs through April 30. She’s 21% funded so far.
I hope you’ll consider supporting her effort, even if only with a $1. If every reader of this blog gave $1, she’d be funded 25x over!
Even if Rachel doesn’t meet her Kickstarter goal, I know her determination will win out, and her book will be produced one way or another. We could all learn a few things from these students—something about attitude, enthusiasm, and innovative thinking about our careers.