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You’re Good!
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Good fortune is mine because I enjoy teaching at an age when few do. I started receiving my Social Security checks 20 years ago, when I turned 62. Though I planned to ever write, I didn’t realize that I’d start teaching writing after so-called retirement and still be doing it all these year later.

My good fortune about this isn’t that I make a lot of money, in fact, I barter a lot. The payment I acquire is developing writers. To see a wanna-be start--and evolve into a published writer is exciting. This is so with any age writer--but to teach youth how to carefully craft words, in turn, sets back my clock and invigorates me, at least mentally, to feel young again.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the American President of my childhood said this about us and the youth, “We cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” I realize I’m building by teaching the kids. Yet I’m not alone. Most of us can do this with whatever talent we possess. It’s amazing how the youth rubs off on one. Do you notice if you’re around young people for any length of time, that you pick up their lingo? One two-word phase that I’ve latched on to is, “You’re good!” It means that whatever you’re doing you’re doing it right. I like to be able to tell a student, “You’re good!” because that means we’re both succeeding.

Pass On

When I teach writing skills I know that these students—even those of mature age—are going to pass on worthwhile thoughts for others through their articles, stories, poetry, and books.

I’m currently teaching a homeschooler, age 12. I can be feeling every minute of my age, but when she walks through the door for another hour of her writing and literature classes I’m rejuvenated by her creativity. She’d never written a story before a few weeks ago—and already she’s received acceptance of a short article for publication in a kid’s venue. When she squealed for her acceptance, I squealed too. The kid that still lives inside me, came to the fore. Though I’m handicapped, I felt like skipping through the rest of that day.

And guess what? I know I’m helping in building that future for youth of which President Roosevelt spoke; writers who can influence readers in a positive manner. Perhaps their wisely chosen words may even lead other to Christ.

Roosevelt’s wife, Eleanor, wasn’t at a loss for wisdom either. She lived an iconic life as a woman of capability; I’ve looked up to her as a role model all my life. One quote of hers stays with me, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” I’m staying young by dreaming for the future of my students. I want the editors with whom they plan to submit their work to say to them, “You’re good!”

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By Betty Kossick. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines

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