Middle schoolers are their own unique breed. I’m convinced. But after teaching them for over six years, I have to admit that they are far and away my favorite people to talk to and teach. I can talk to a huge group of seventh graders and keep them quiet and engaged without a problem. Give me the same room full of adults, and I get a little twitchy.
So when it came time to start actively promoting my book, school visits seem like the best fit for who I am and what I’m good at. Unfortunately, Edge of Extinction came out at the very END of the school year when everyone is scrambling to wrap up grades, finish standardized testing, and generally keep things in some kind of order until summer. Not the best time to contact people about visiting their school. BUT I did manage to visit my old grade school/middle school this week, and it was awesome.
I left the babies behind with my parents and cruised down I65 listening to my audiobook for the very first time.
It was surreal. It was amazing. I got chills.
Emma Galvin did SUCH a fabulous job bringing Sky to life, and before I knew it I was pulling into the parking lot where so many of my middle school memories were made.
To start with, I was greeted by signs like these as I entered the building. Nothing makes you feel like a minor celebrity like a poster board with your name on it. Am I right?
Unless it’s a whole stinking bulletin board. In which case, you beg someone to take a picture of you with it and pose shamelessly.
I got the opportunity to talk to the entire junior high as well as the 4th and 5th grade.
The coolest part of the day though was sitting down with the creative writing class and discussing how to turn an idea into something more.
I started off by reading this brilliant book.
I just adore it. I think it should be a staple in EVERY creative writing teacher’s arsenal of teaching tools. Kids are NEVER too old to enjoy and get something out of a picture book. Especially a picture book as phenomenal as this one.
But back to the school visit. It was such an odd feeling to be back in the halls that I used to walk when I was a middle schooler myself. In some ways, it was exactly the same, but in others it was so changed. For one thing, I remember everything being a lot bigger!
I wandered the halls after my presentation and found my old class picture. Ahhhh memories.
I drove home after the visit with a grin on my face and a halls cough drop in my mouth. (While my teacher’s voice still works great, it’s not used to talking for that long anymore! I’m officially a wuss!) Despite my sore throat, it was so nice to slip out of my “mom” shoes and back into my teacher shoes. Even if it was only for a little while.
Also, the fact that these guys are part of my job now is pretty darn cool as well. Who else gets to tote a bag full of dinosaurs around and call it work?
I’m so blessed that I get to do this. Thank you Highland Christian for the opportunity and the memories.