Back in 2015, my main goal was simply to finish my children’s fantasy novel, Queen Bee, and get it ready for publication by any means necessary. I was exhausted and tired of eating pizza and having no free time for myself or anyone else. In my mind, I saw my readers clearly: young kids, probably between 9 or 12 years old, who, like me at that age, were dying for a really good adventure that would whisk them away from the world they were in and immerse them in a new world filled with excitement and wonder. This was no pink princess story filled with petty squabbles but a true quest that would push them to see what was possible in themselves as they witnessed the grit and determination of my characters while they tackled formidable obstacles and villains.
At no point during this struggle was I considering that ultimately I’d be helping teachers teach or narrating kids stories in a video series or even how incredibly rewarding all that work would be.
You can go ahead and laugh, because, as an educator, you’ve known for a very long time how amazing it is to work with kids.
A couple of weeks ago, during “March Reading Month”, I was delivering a live presentation to an assembly of several hundred second through fifth graders at a local grade school. When I got to the section where I talk about how imagination is a gift you can take with you into adulthood and I was showing a picture of “Bing Bong” from Disney’s Inside Out, I asked the group: “What would you say if I told you I never had to let go of my imaginary friend?”
Before I could say another world, a tiny little girl in the second row, screamed in a pixie voice: “I’d be happy for you!”
The cuteness and sweetness of a child wishing me well simultaneously knocked me over and transitioned me into a new phase as a writer. I am now different somehow.
What is it about working with kids? Yes, that’s a serious question. You already know the answer maybe. I’m just at the beginning of finding out and I can tell you I’m finding it to be wonderful.
And though I’m not an educator, I do love to share and spark new ideas that help others see their situation differently. Fiction is an excellent way to do that. Maybe helping you reach your students is an even better way.
So, getting down to what I offer, my sessions range between 30-50 minutes and tend to focus on what my story, Queen Bee, is about, why I chose honeybees (spoiler: it’s because I’m fascinated by them) and how I protected my imagination and used it to bring the story to life. My presentations often include a reading but they can be tailored to talk specifically about story structure and character development (in the basic sense). It all depends on what each teacher needs and, believe you me, I’m here to tailor my work to help you because, let’s face it, we need to support our teachers in every way we can.
So, there you go: I’m here to help you help them. I don’t know where this part of the adventure is leading but I know it’s headed to a very good place. It’s a land you already live in every day with its own obstacles, rewards and wonder. You know a lot (whether you realize it or not) about what your kids need. The rest of us on Digital Human Library are here to help you deliver that.
This post is also available in: Français (French)