School Visits

Weeks before I was sweating bullets about the all day visit to an elementary school in Houston area. I felt like I do when I know I’m going to the dentist. It’s not so much being in front of the kids or reading my books. Someone was now paying me to speak. To talk about a subject that would entertain each grade level for an hour. Could I do it? Could I do it for an hour? What if I sucked? Teachers talk. Schools talk? I’m doomed. pencil-04

I got up and I still had a lot of worry. What if the kids started yawning in my face? What if they announced they’re bored? Eek! I got some caffeine in my system and a muffin for endurance. I got to the school and was welcomed by the staff. The librarian positioned me in the music room. My schedule was back to back classes from K-5th grade. The teacher said, “No bathroom breaks. It is literally back to back classes. Go now.” All of a sudden I have bladder issues.

Once the fifth graders came in, three classes worth, my nerves disappeared. I felt like I was back home. Back to my teaching days. One class after the other. Boom, boom, boom. I had so much material I had to run through some of my items. bookworm

While the thought of a looming check was coming my way it wasn’t what drove me through my day six hours. I LOVED being in front of the kids. I loved inspiring them. I loved the look in their eyes. If I inspired one of them I did my job. Before I left the teacher said, “This was awesome.” I scratched doomed off my credentials.

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Book Store Visits, You Never Know

I love them!

I arrived to find my picture poster plastered in the children’s section of the store. I couldn’t believe it. Me, in Barnes & Noble.I felt like a movie star with the red carpet and all. My books displayed across the table. The manager had a plate of cookies at the corner for my little guests.

The store manager greeted me. Chris spoiled me and bought me my morning latte. Hey, it didn’t hurt that my gig had a Starbucks attached to it. And it wasn’t just any old Starbucks. It was the gourmet ones that carry cannolis!

The children started to arrive. Barnes & Noble was my opening act. They are required to read a book from their shelf before you go on. Then it was my turn. A dad helped me bring my supplies to the stage.

I wasn’t nervous and dived right into my book My Big Tree. My teaching background kicked in and it felt like second nature. I was addicted. I read my second book, Step One, Step Two, Step Three and Four and got a chuckle from the audience. That made my day. Afterwards my second love kicked it up a notch and I was in craft mode. I wanted to stay and do more with the kids. But in a blink, it was over.

Afterwards, I stationed myself behind the table and waited for my first signing. The dad, from earlier, came to my table with his wife and two boys. He said, “I was very impressed and loved the books.” I thanked him.  He then introduced himself. “I’m an elementary school principal and my wife is a junior high teacher. Do you do school visits? I’d really love to see you in my school and get the other surrounding schools to book you.” I thought, Can this really be happening? Internally, I thought, Wow, you never know who you might be talking to. So I learned to always be on my “A” game, be polite and open for anything. Who knows, next time it could be a film agent. Ha!