Yesterday, I had the privilege of visiting San Tan Jr. High School and speaking to several different classes, both seventh and eighth graders. The first thing I want to say is Teachers-you rock, especially those of you who teach with passion and conviction. Last night, I was so dog-tired and all I could think about is, how do they do it?
Now that I got that tidbit out of the way.
So, there I was with 35 or so students listening to my writing as I read aloud and you could’ve heard a pin drop they were so quiet and still. Remember they are in Jr. High, still is not usually their thing. Anyway, when I finished, I looked up and I could see the wheels turning. I could see their bright minds working through my story, through the emotion it evoked and whatever thoughts were connected to that emotion. There were some that wanted to become an author and some that enjoyed learning about the photography and graphic art that comes into play when making a cover. Those were the ones that raised their hands again and again firing questions that ignited conversation. Those were the ones I hoped I could reach. Then there were those students who were quiet, but watching, taking it all in. Those students were the ones that made me reflect on my own work. As I struggled to reach out them with my words and my writing, I found myself scrutinizing the quality of my writing and what I had to offer these students. It was good; it was like looking in a reflecting pool and seeing what I could improve. All in all, it was an amazing experience. I met very cool kids and left expecting more of myself. Later that night, I received three emails from students that I’d spoken to earlier that day. I couldn’t help but feel this corny swelling of gratitude as these amazing girls who will probably grow to be successful writers , told me that I had inspired them. Me, little ordinary, just trying to survive and establish myself as a writer, me. It was at that moment, I realized that my dream of writing as well as teaching had come to fruition and I was absolutely amazed. To my new friends at San Tan Jr. High School, thanks for hanging out with me. It was fun!