When I arrived, VP Amazing was there to greet me. She walked me into the library and introduced me to the librarian. We all chatted merrily for a few minutes about the book, and I might have rambled something about how I liked that the library was decorated with books and shelves.Next thing you know, the students filed in and I began to feel slightly nervous. I had read the book to my younger son’s class at his school, but he is only in first grade, so it is an easier crowd to please. These were much older students: second graders. I immediately felt at ease when I saw Vice-Principal Amazing walk back into the library and sit in the back row, listening and observing.
I read the book, the kids clapped, and I answered some questions. Then I gave one of my books as a present to a child who had the soonest upcoming birthday. Turns out, there were two kids with that birthday, but being the hyper-Virgo that I am, I had actually brought a few extra copies just in case that might happen, so it all worked out. The two children who “won” the books were thrilled.The kids left, and I sat there basking in the glow of being a real author.
Vice-Principal Amazing, who I now noticed had her camera with her (!), took me aside and told me what a great job I did. Then she did the most amazing thing: she gave me a few pointers for the next group.“Focus on the cover art of your book, MOV, before you even start. Get them thinking about predictions for the story based on the cover. And you might want to tie in the ‘Learner Profile’ traits as well.” (The Learner Profile traits are 10 qualities that the school instills in the kids, things like being a risk-taker or being open-minded.)
I nodded, pretending I knew all 10 of the Learner Profile traits, instead of just two. Luckily, I happened to glance up and notice there was a giant poster on the wall with all the traits listed.“And MOV, remember, you can stretch this out. Don’t rush. The kids are here to see you, they are excited, and you can slow down and really take your time.” VP Amazing was positive and encouraging, a true cheerleader. She made me feel like I did a good job the first time, but that I could do an even better job the second time.
And you know what? She was right. I followed all her tips, and the next group was better. They loved the story, and the birthday child who won the book acted like he won the Lottery. It made me wish I had brought 25 books to give away.I am so grateful to Vice-Principal Amazing. Grateful for her awesome advice for my reading, but even more grateful that she is an everyday presence for my older son and all the other children who attend the school.
I never use real names in my blog, but if you have a child at this school, you already know who VP Amazing is. She is the cheerleader who makes us all feel smart, important, valued, and heard. She makes us live up to our potential.The children are lucky to have here there, and so are the parents.
**This book is illustrated by the insanely talented Haley Wolfe at Haley's Comic.