'Later doesn't always come to everybody' These were the words that Shaquille O'Neal's mother said to him when he returned from a basketball camp feeling that he didn't quite have what it took; that he would take it easy for a while and put in the hard work later. The words of O'Neal's mother jolted him into action to work hard to achieve to his potential. Years later look what the guy has achieved.
A close friend of mine who had a love of art at college was told by an art teacher that art would never be any more than a hobby to her. These words from a teacher; someone who should be inspiring and encouraging us, were enough to kill the dreams of a person who could have gone on to follow a tertiary education and a career in an area that she loved.
As teachers we need to think carefully about what we say to our students. One careless comment could kill the dreams of a child. Conversely; a carefully though out piece of feedback could lead a child onto the path of fulfillment as they follow their passion to achieve their dreams.