My theme this year for my 7th & 8th grade ELA classes is “RISK verses REWARD”. I’ve been pushing them to “go for the gold”, a fitting saying for this Olympic year. Is the risk worth the potential reward? So often, the answer is yes. A resounding YES! Setting challenging, yet attainable goals keeps us dreaming, striving, and reaching new potentials.
While pushing them, I have been practicing what I teach. My six-year-goal has been to publish a children’s book. My son Christian unintentionally inspired us with an idea one afternoon when he was six years old by simply drawing ice cream cones with yummy, colorful scoops on top. I jokingly said, “Wouldn’t it be so cool if instead of money growing on trees, ice cream could.” Our minds started dreaming…and didn’t stop. It was a week before our church’s talent show, and we took that idea and dove in full force to produce a story to perform. After hours of writing, drawing and painting, we were ready to present “Isaac’s Ice Cream Tree” for the first time.
The kids enjoyed it, so we branched out and shared it during story hour at our local library too. That got me hooked on writing and was actually the beginning inspiration for this blog.
In August, I sent one of my first manuscripts to a publisher and have been waiting for a rejection letter to hang in my classroom as an example of a risk worth taking because failure is a step in the journey. BUT, Rather than receiving a rejection letter, I opened my e-mail to a congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And now I’m excited to share that soon we’ll have our very own book to share with YOU as a publisher has accepted “Isaac’s Ice Cream Tree” for publication. I had to read the response several times to make sure…and didn’t rejoice too much until after talking with my publisher. NOW, we are excited as it is a reality! The publisher’s goal is to have it in e-book and print form within a year’s time!
Sharing this moment with Christian, now a 6th grader, and my students whom I have pushed too, means a great deal to me…The REWARDS have been worth the RISK.