Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Two Aidan's and a Grace

Ok, one more entry about my visit to Lakewood Heights and my attempt to remember all the grade 5 students that welcomed me. I forgot Aiden , Aidan and Grace.Sorry ! My daughter cautioned me this morning that if I was going to do this for twenty more years I couldn't expect that I would be able to remember all the student's names. Of course she is right(and usually is) .I certainly can not remember all the students I taught in my 29 years in the classroom although some are unforgettable. I will however continue to try to learn kid's names when I present to a class, especially if I spend a full day, morning or afternoon with them.But next time if I tell the kids that I will mention them by name on my blog ,I think I will cheat a bit and take a copy of the class list with me. That way no one will be left out.

Monday, October 21, 2013

My House on the Hill

Today I spent the afternoon with eleven, bright,intuitive, funny, compassionate and beautiful young women at First Steps School. I walked out the door onto the street afterwards and said to myself right out loud, "What a lucky duck I am".At my age I don't worry any more about people thinking I am crazy if I talk to myself. These girls opened their classroom and themselves and welcomed me. They have been reading Ten Thousands Truths with their wonderful teacher Kathy on the recommendation of a fellow staff member Sharon. Thank you Sharon and Kathy.I was invited to read to the girls the last two chapters of the book. What an honour for me. We had a great afternoon talking about the book, my writing ,my life, their lives, challenges,joys and sorrows. I did not want to leave. On Thursday they are going to start reading The Year Mrs. Montague Cried so I hope to meet with them again , next time maybe as was suggested in a field and I invited them to my house. I love my house . It is not perfect but it is mine and a place that above any other I find myself wanting to be. In the book it was Zac's house and just as the house does that I imagined to be Amelia's, it has it's imperfections but it is home.And what better thing can a house be ,than a home.

Sorry Girls

Just a quick entry to acknowledge that yes I did forget a couple of kids from my visit to Lakewood Heights. I forgot to mention Julie and Sophie.Sorry girls! Can't wait to receive the letters the kids wrote to me. I am writing this morning and then have a school visit this afternoon where I have been asked to read the last chapter of Ten Thousand Truths with them.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Turkeys, Planes and Classrooms

I am catching my breath. Since last writing on my blog, I have hardly had a chance to do just that.This morning I sit in my very quiet office with the sound of rain on my tin roof and take a deep breath. Emma has gone home. Echoes of "Monkey, Monkey" are a fading memory and I miss her but Monkey is so happy to be alone. I have a book to finish and writing business to attend to. I took a week to go take Emma home and visit Meg, Cody and Paige. I flew all night Sunday night and arrived home at noon on Monday.Sunday I cooked a turkey dinner for my Alberta family and when I got home I cooked one for my New Brunswick family ,another reason for wanting the family to all live in one place.Tuesday I wrote all day and was thankful for every minute. Wednesday I visited Rothesay Park Middle School. In the morning I presented seven ,half hour sessions seeing I believe every student in the school and repeating myself seven times. Luckily what I say is true so I don't have to worry about keeping my lies straight. The kids were wonderful . In the afternoon I did a writing workshop with about 20 kids.What an impressive group of kids. I was in awe of the writing they did with a prompt and only twenty minutes to write. Very tired at the end of day but I came away having had another extremely rewarding day enjoying the best of what it means to be a teacher and a writer. Thank you RPS!Thursday I got up bright and early again and headed to Lakewood Heights Elementary. Just stepping inside the building took me back to the days of being an elementary school teacher. My former self would be thrilled to be dropped in to that building and become a part of the excitement of each new day there. I would have been pleased to join the staff and take over one of those classrooms as my own. But those days are done and now I enter those buildings as an author. And what a thrill that is. Miss Buckley's Grade five class welcomed me warmly and I set about the task of learning their names. Only one name stumped me but it was the name I kept forgetting not the interesting , dark haired boy, full of personality and wonder that possessed it. I met Andrew ,Stephen, Sharbel,Kyle ,Maddie , Jenna , Coleby,Cole, Lexie, Ryan, Casey,Rebecca, Brooke Jade, and Jadyn. I really hope that I didn't forget anybody. If I did please forgive me and let me know and I will talk just about you in my next blog entry.We had a wonderful morning together.The class had just finished reading Ten Thousand Truths and I was more than happy to answer their questions and hear their comments. I read from my other two books , we did a couple of reading/writing activites and before we knew it the morning was over. I got to see them again for a few minutes at the end of the day. In the afternoon I got to meet the other grade five class and had new names to learn. I believe that class was made up of Mya, Sydney,Isaiah,Jack, Haven,Sarah, Kiara,Heather,Casey, Taylor Kennedy,Tyler, Danielle,Emma,Kaleb,Jessica,Ethan, Ryan,and Alyssa.I apologize if I forgot anyone or mixed any of the students from the two classes up.I had another very good session with the second class They have not read any of my books yet but will hopefully get to do so later in the year and I probably could be convinced to come back for another short visit once they do.The school bought my three books for their library and I left feeling like I had been so welcomed at Lakewood Heights. I now look forward to reading the letters the kids wrote to me. So after this Thanksgiving time I give thanks for family, for turkeys, for schools, kids and teachers and again as I so often do for having a chance to be an author.