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Teacher's surprise discovery inside student's pencil case: 'Lit up his whole day'

By Merryn Porter |

We all know the power words have on young minds. A kind or positive word can set a child up to be happy and do well in life, while a negative comment or nasty word can have long-term detrimental effects.

A post on popular question and answer website Quora has received a big reaction for the heartwarming way a mum is instilling confidence in her school-aged child.

A Quora user took to the platform last month to share a post he said came from a teacher.

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A post about the positive comments a mother wrote on her son's pencils has gone viral. (Quora)

"Today I was running low on pencils so I asked all of my kids to pull out any of my pencils that they had in their desks," the post began.

"I had one student ask me if he could keep his pencils that his mum gave him for school. Of course, I said yes. He then said, 'Well, I guess I'll give you a few so my classmates can have them too.'

"I thought nothing of it and took the pencils that he handed me. When I was sharpening them, I noticed writing on a few of them. I then realised that my student's mother took the time to write on his pencils.

"I asked him if he would mind showing me the rest of them. What I read melted my heart," the teacher continued before rattling off a long list.

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A teacher has shared the messages written on her student's pencils by his mum. (Getty)

The pencils carried the messages, 'You are so talented', 'This will be a great year', 'You are creative', 'You are phenomenal', 'Never give up', 'You can do this', 'You are knowledgeable', 'You are a math whiz', 'You are intelligent', 'Proud of you everyday', 'I love you', 'You have a brilliant mind', 'You are wonderful', 'You are a problem solver', 'Follow your dreams', 'You are perfect', 'I am proud of you', 'You will change the world', 'You are amazing', 'You are the best' and 'You are important'.

The teacher continued, "This probably took his mum a few minutes to do yet it lit up his whole day at school. He wasn't embarrassed that his mum wrote on his pencils. Thanks to his mum, he was reminded of his self-worth and wanted to share the same feeling with his classmates.

"These are the things that we should be reminding our kids (both parents AND teachers). Imagine the look on a child's face when they are reminded that they are important, talented, loved, knowledgeable and so much more.

"Help them know that someone believes in them and is proud of them in everything they do. Even if you think it is cheesy or you don't have enough time or that you will have little impact, remember that you may be the only one telling and reminding them these things and EVERY kid needs to know their value," before ending the post, "This is why I teach."

The post had a big reaction, with some commenters sharing similar experiences.

"I put a little note in my son's lunch every day. No long letters, but tiny simple things. When he was in high school his group of friends would often wait to hear the note before eating each day. A few years later I found six quart mason jars stuffed full containing many of those notes," said one.

Parents sometimes write notes to leave inside their children's lunch boxes. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

"My niece hated Math class. One year after she went to bed I booby trapped her Math textbook with random Post-it notes with similar messages to the pencils. She got a C in math that year which may not sound like much but it was her highest grade in Math ever," wrote another.

"As a cafeteria manager, I have done this on bananas for students when I have time. If you see the looks on their faces, so worth it!" said another.

Another commenter wrote, "If this kid has ADHD, ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), epilepsy or other neurodivergences, then the small things mean a lot, especially things like this. People with those issues see the world as challenging, frightening and even get singled out/bullied for 'being different'. I'm on the autistic spectrum, and these kinds of things mean more to me than the person doing it realises."

"It's not just for children on the spectrum," wrote another. "Children and adults need positive reinforcement. There are many adults who do regular 'affirmations'," said another.

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