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School Visit

I don’t do as many school visits as children’s authors and YA/MG authors do, but I occasionally get to stop by and chat with a class or a school. Today I got to go back to my old elementary school — the same school I attended in the late seventies and early eighties — and talk to two of the 4th grade classes.

We talked about the process of writing and revising and getting feedback and submitting your work. We talked about practice, and how nothing is ever perfect, and none of us are born knowing how to write. We made up stories about mummies that came out of the TV and a memory-sucking vampire that had lived in the ceiling of the school for the past thirty years. (In both stories, tragically, the teacher was the first to fall victim to these threats :-) )

It was a great deal of fun. I love talking writing with kids. There’s so much energy and enthusiasm and excitement. And sure, classrooms now have these weird Smart Boards that I never quite figured out how to use, but that’s okay.

Both classes had kids who were talking about wanting to write more of the stories we talked about, either rewriting them with their own ideas, or doing follow-up stories. And if a bunch of kids came out of those sessions feeling excited about writing and storytelling and creativity, I’m counting that as a win.

The box of chocolates they gave me as a thank you is a nice bonus ;-)

Thank you to Mrs. Huss’ and Mrs. Fulk’s classes for letting me spend some of the afternoon with you!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 20th, 2014 12:43 am (UTC)
That sounds fabulous! Lucky classes.
Nov. 20th, 2014 02:32 am (UTC)
This brings to mind a kids' tour of the local observatory that I helped lead over the summer. They were getting so enthusiastic and so into it, even at the part where I was just explaining gravity. Granted, I might have had an easy topic, but in my experience kids are as enthusiastic about the subject matter as the person teaching them. Good for you for doing this - anything that gets kids away from associating learning with "boring" is a good thing in my opinion. :)
Nov. 20th, 2014 03:22 pm (UTC)
So you're saying School is Like a Box of Chocolates? E-school in late 70s and early 80s = my college years. Yikes! The kids these days...

Dr. Phil
Nov. 20th, 2014 05:36 pm (UTC)
That's sounds great. I wish I'd had even one teacher or speaker encourage me to write when I was young.
Nov. 22nd, 2014 04:24 pm (UTC)
I had a very weird experience a month ago or so. My dad, a retired plumber, and 500 miles away in Phoenix, was out doing a small job. Turns out that the woman for whom he was working was my 3rd grade teacher. 3rd and 5th were, by far, my favorite years.

Long story short, my wife and I will be meeting with her for lunch Friday or Saturday when we're in town. We're not getting our normal week in Phoenix for Thanksgiving as I started a full-time job at the start doing database development for a school for the blind and visually impaired.
Nov. 22nd, 2014 06:21 pm (UTC)
Very cool! Sounds like a fun coincidence :-)
Nov. 26th, 2014 08:32 am (UTC)
That sounds so fun! :) I love how kids are so enthusiastic and happy about books. I had the best fun learning to write stories in my primary school years.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


Jim C. Hines


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