The Teacher Whose Post-It Note Lifted Me

As most people would attest, highschool is not particularly anyone’s favorite experience. It certainly wasn’t my favorite experience.

I was insecure. Thoughts in my mind were continuously filled with “not good enough.” I wasn’t pretty enough. I wasn’t smart enough. I wasn’t fun enough. To the outside world, I thrived as a star student. I got good grades. I was the salutatorian. However, internally, I sunk myself in self-loathing. But I had this teacher, Miss. Susan Weaver. She was my English Literature teacher. She saw my weakness which was covered with insecurities and timidity. But she also saw a strength that was clothed in the uniqueness of my voice.

In an essay I wrote but no longer recall the content, she left a post-it note. The note said “you have a powerful voice, it’s just a matter of believing in that. Take pride in who you are and the amazing insight you have. You are worth it.”

It’s a simple act to write a note and leave in a student’s essay. Yet, the content of the note had such a profound impact on me. It warmed my heart. I took the note and I’ve kept it with me though my highschool days are long gone. Receiving and reading that note still has the same impact on me as an adult that it did when I was a teenager. It made me feel seen. Not just seen for my strengths but also seen for what I was hurting from.

Receiving that post-it note also made me feel connected at a time when I was drowning in loneliness. Reading it was having a hand reach out to me and say, you matter. At times, that’s all we need. At times, that’s all we want. We just want to feel seen. We just want to feel as though we matter. That sort of encouragement is what can fuel us in our moments of failure. That sort of encouragement can fuel us in our moments of feeling inadequate.

I’m no longer the girl that only prefers to hide in her books but I still keep that note from Miss. Susan Weaver in my journal. It continues to lift me. That simple act of kindness is proof that we impact each other in this life. That simple act of kindness is also proof that words matter. Words permeate through us. Words can fill us. Words can ignite a spark in us. Words can give us hope. Words can make us feel seen.

What’s one of the kindest act that you remember someone doing for you?

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Isioma Ononye

I'm a blogger, freelance writer and news enthusiast. I love having deep conversations about life, personal development and books. I care deeply about feminism. My bliss is found in words that move me, nature and chasing my dreams.

2 thoughts on “The Teacher Whose Post-It Note Lifted Me

  1. That’s a beautiful story, Isioma. When I was working at McDonald’s as an undergrad student, an elderly lady randomly told me “you’re a beautiful young lady, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.” Her words were really heartwarming.

    1. Thanks for reading. Your moment is so sweet. I love it when we can connect with strangers and offer kind words to each other. 🙂

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