Did You Know…

Feb 7, 2020

For twenty nine years I filled bulletin boards with themes, kids writing, artwork and so much more. For teachers bulletin boards are a thing. We try to create colorful impressive ones in our classrooms and to line the halls of our schools. Bulletin boards are definitely in the tool box of most teachers. On this Friday morning storm day I reflect on the bulletin board that greeted me when I entered Belleisle Elementary School yesterday. I love/ hate school visits. Just ask my husband the cascade of emotions I experience before a school visit. I moan about having to get up so early. I despair at my choice to accept an invitation. I obsess about getting ready and usually spend a sleep deprived night before the visit. I leave determined to present myself in a professional manner and remind myself just how lucky I am to be entering a school as an author. I go over my presentation in my head and get myself to the building in lots of time. I enter , meet the secretary , and the administration and begin my day. Sometimes the welcome is huge, sometimes the welcome is pretty low key . I remember the range of welcomes when I did the TD Canadian Children’s Book tour. The welcomes varied from banners and being treated with celebrity status to finding my way blindly to the gymnasium and then having to go back to the office to get someone to call the students down to me. Yesterdays’ greeting was great. I felt a familiarity arriving at BES although I’d never done an author visit there. I knew a couple of the staff members and even taught one of them in grade four. But it was the bulletin board that sealed the deal. The front lobby bulletin board was filled with information about three local authors Heidi Stoddart , Kelly Copper and Sue White, celebrating Literacy Week.Did You Know? Did you know about Sue White. Did you know she is thrilled to be visiting each and every student as an author? Did you know that every moment she spent as a teacher comes flooding back when she enters an elementary school? Did you know she imagines one of these classrooms being hers? Did you know she fills with happiness seeing the covers of her eight books displayed? Did you know that when she looks at the covers she remembers sitting at her desk crafting each story? Did you know she is nervous and wondering why she left the comfort of her home this morning?Did you know she still feels like the little girl who dreamed of being a teacher and an author? Did you know… Then the magic begins. Eager faces look up at me. I am the ‘author ‘ and they are pretty impressed.Then I enter a grade four classroom where their teacher has read The Year Mrs Montague Cried. They tell me of the tears and the overall experience of hearing my words being read aloud. They embrace me in a real and meaningful way. They ask questions and hang off my every word. Their EA brings cookies and cake and we celebrate words and connections. Did you know I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing these visits are? My husband knows when I walk back through the door with the day behind me that I will be euphoric. I am exhausted and completely drained but I am thankful that again I was invited and again I said yes.I am thankful for the lovely e mail that comes from a grade five student who didn’t get to see me but has read The Year Mrs. Montague Cried three times. Did you know that days like yesterday keep me writing and appreciating days like today?Let’s get back to work. Books don’t write themselves you know!


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