Magic – We all Have the Power

2013-07-18 06.37.44“Write the way you talk.”

That was what she said to me, and I never forgot it.

Her name was Nancy Peterson (Mrs. Peterson to the seventh-grade version of me) and in that moment – for me – I felt it: magic.

The light bulb went off; the lesson made sense; my confidence grew.

In that moment, Mrs. Peterson literally changed my life, and that is the type of magic that happens daily at Hilliard City Schools.

Who influenced you?

Who helped mold and shape the person you are today?

My bet is, among the parents, grandparents and family members who played a paramount role in your development, you too have a Mrs. Peterson in your life – a teacher (or two, or three) who connected with you in that magic way. It doesn’t have to happen inside the classroom – perhaps you were influenced by a coach who pushed you to go the extra mile, a cafeteria worker who always remembered your favorite dish or a custodian who made sure to ask how your day was going as you walked down the hall.

We are the product of our collective experiences, both positive and not so positive.  As we begin a new school year our students have the tremendous opportunities to interact with dedicated, wonderful and talented teachers and staff.  For each student they may be just getting to know their Mrs. Peterson.

Mrs. Peterson gave me the confidence to simply be myself as a writer.  Every time someone tells me, “I can hear you speaking when I read your blog,” I think of Nancy Peterson – and I smile; she transformed me as a young writer.

As adults, we may very well be that life changing influence in a student’s life.  The task is awesome and message is powerful . . .  we are preparing our students to be tomorrow’s leaders.

Think of who helped you; thank who helped you; pay it forward.

The results can be magical.


  1. What a great post and a wonderful tribute to Mrs. Peterson. We all have those people in our lives who push us to be our very best. I especially appreciate that she helped you find your voice as a writer. I believe that is so important for our students.

    August 28, 2013
  2. Bill Pelan said:

    Thank you to all the ‘Mrs Petersons’ I am now 77 and still very active and loving my voluntary ESL teaching.
    I have had numerous folk like Mrs Peterson–at school, Mr McCullough, Mr Piggot; at Highschool, Mr McIvor; at University, numerous Lecturers.
    All these great teachers and friends were able to make the subjects they taught come alive for me. I only hope that I can do the same for my students!

    August 30, 2013

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