A Day at Hampton Elementary School

Mar 2, 2016

Yesterday I spent a delightful day at Hampton Elementary School. From the moment I walked in the door I felt nothing but the warm and enthusiastic welcome of staff and students. I was met by the welcome team of Hillary and Colton, two grade five students. They had my day covered in every detail. The responsibility of showing me around , taking me from place to place, making sure I had water, briefing me on each group and then introducing me was put entirely into the student’s hands and they did an amazing job. They were friendly, helpful and as efficient as you could imagine anyone being. I felt like a real celebrity. I also felt the positive energy throughout the entire school and was so impressed with the student centered atmosphere. I did my practise teaching in that school thirty six years ago and the values and vision that school possessed back then under the direction of principals like John Hooper and Neil Scott, and teachers like Barb Foss and Meg( can’t remember her last name but I named my daughter, Megan because of her) is alive and well today. I did not know any of the current teachers but I came away feeling that the students of 2016 are in excellent hands. I presented to every grade level and also conducted a Writing Workshop for 25 students. The interest and enthusiasm was wonderful. I often say I am able to enjoy the things I miss about teaching when I do an author visit and yesterday was no exception. The students were engaged, polite, respectful and excited. It is fun to watch them descend in a throng to get their bookmarks signed after my presentation. If I wished for more from the day it would be to wish I had more time to talk to the kids one on one. There were as usual budding writers looking for encouragement and advice. I hope I was able to provide that in some small way. The best question of the day was a grade three student who asked ‘ How dull does your pencil get when you write?’ Another great question that ended the day was ‘How long are you going to write books?’ I always answer,’as long as I can. My goal is a book a year for the next twenty years.’ Perhaps I should change the answer to ‘ as long as I can find a sharp pencil’ Thank you students and staff of HES. Thank you for the bottle of jelly beans and the feeling I came away with, that having the opportunity to do what I love to do and being invited to share it with students does indeed make a difference.


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