Friday, 14 November 2008

Teacher! Teacher!




I lay in bed last night so nervous that my heart kept skipping beats. To the point it scared me. Deep breaths, girl, stop being so silly. It’s only an hour of your time each week. How hard can it be?

Upon waking, it all crashed back into my mind. Where I had to be at 11.30. What I had to do. Nerves slapped me once again. I hadn’t made any notes. Didn’t know what the first session would even be about. Oh, Lord. Could I do this?

11 a.m. rolled round. Pooping one’s pants—not literally, thank goodness—I scurried to the school. Signed in, took a visitor’s sticker, walked to the IT room where my class would take place. A little early, I busied myself sorting out the children’s ‘Author’s Toolbox’, a clear plastic wallet with different coloured paper inside for each section of the course. The story outline, the character’s traits, cool words, and notes on what we’d discuss each week.

The children, all girls, walked in, and one asked, “Are you Mrs. Ellis?”

“Oh, hi!” I said. “Yes, that’s me.”

And they sat at the table with me. And I told them the news that Marci had kindly agreed that if they wrote stories and we compiled a book of well over 50K that she would print it.

Their faces! The gasps! Made my day. Hell, my entire week, month, and year. (Thank you, Marci! You made a difference over here to those girls.)

I read one of the girl’s tales. Oh my. She is good—and I mean good. For an 11 year old, well, she’s got some talent. Amazing. She writes like an adult.

So, I’ll be working with these girls every Friday morning at the school, teaching them how to expand, tighten, hone their craft and stories, and then, when we’re as close to the best they can get them after weeks of revision, I’ll work with them via email on edits.

These girls are wonderful, determined, clever young ladies. And they’ve given me a new lease of life—a focus. To have made them so excited they grabbed at one another, to know they will be in a published print book, really touched my heart. I’d made a difference, let them know that writing stories isn’t just about writing stories. That it’s an outlet for their emotions as well, and that they can do this. Hopefully this experience will inspire them to become our authors of the future.

The school has a Gifted and Talented thing going on, where everyone is gifted and talented in something, no matter how small. Makes the kids feel special. So I have the T&Gs that write, and I’ve asked that the T&Gs in art each create a stunning picture (and man, these kids can draw) to be chosen as the cover art for the book.

From the sample I read, I’m betting this book will be astounding when it’s finished. I’m so excited I could squee!

5 comments:

Adelle said...

That's so wonderful, Emmy. I look forward to reading the end result Those kids are lucky to have found a mentor in you at such a young age. Kudo's to you.

M.E Ellis said...

Bless you.

They are so enthusiastic, it's great.

:o)

Anthology Authors said...

I can't wait to read them, Emmy. :)

Marci

KelRhiasMum said...

I can imagine how wonderful this kind of thing would have been for you at their age.

W xxx

Faith said...

Aw, how did I miss this post? This is so sweet!