I believe in the power of words. Words that are read, words that are written, and words that are spoken have the power to change lives. Reading, writing and speaking are intimately connected and dependent upon one another. When a child first picks up a pen or crayon, makes marks on a paper and shows that paper to another person that child has begun the writing process. If the person looking at the paper responds with a smile, that very lucky child learns that when we put pen to paper we can share thoughts and ideas with each other. As those marks become more refined into letters and then words the communication is clearer. Becoming aware of the marks we make on paper and beginning to notice patterns and symbols is also the first step of learning to read. As a teacher of young children it is my responsibility to help children discover the power of words. It is through encouragement, motivation, a strong curriculum, quality instruction and perseverance that this is possible. My most precious moments as a teacher are when a struggling student walks up to me with a scrap of paper in hand and says “Read my story” or they show me a book and ask “Can I read to you?” In a perfect world my answer would always, always be yes. But with close to twenty children to care for, yes is not always immediately possible. So I continue working everyday sharing the gift and the power of words with my incredible first grade students.