Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Traveling Like a Rock Star

rock starI raced into the school bath­room and dashed into a stall, pass­ing two small girls at the sink. Phew! I had just moments before I had to be on stage in front of a large assem­bly of kids, but this was a nec­es­sary stop.

Then I real­ized that there was com­plete silence from the area of the sink, although I could still see the girls through the gap next to the stall door. I heard the out­er door push open, and anoth­er girl joined the first two.

She’s in there,” one of the sink girls loud­ly whis­pered. “Who?” asked New Arrival.

The author lady. She’s right in there. We saw her.”

Next thing I knew, a pair of eyes were fas­tened to the oth­er side of the gap, as New Arrival took her oppor­tu­ni­ty to catch a glimpse of me — the “famous” per­son vis­it­ing her school.

I may not have to fight off paparazzi like a movie star, but I’m still spy-wor­thy when my knick­ers are down. And road­ies don’t load my car, but often­times I feel like a rock star before the day of a school vis­it is over.

That’s because kids make even writ­ers of rel­a­tive obscu­ri­ty feel like vis­it­ing roy­al­ty. I’ve been sung to, prayed over, hugged, pho­tographed, and begged for my auto­graph. I’ve received thank you notes that tell me I’ve changed somebody’s life.

Just one vis­it like that can keep me moti­vat­ed to write for weeks. Which leads me to some pret­ty sim­ple advice: make writ­ing a stand­ing ova­tion accom­plish­ment in your class­room. Talk about authors as super­heroes. Turn stu­dents’ writ­ing mile­stones into major cel­e­bra­tions. Encour­age your stu­dents to cheer for a friend’s well-writ­ten sto­ry or poem.

Treat your stu­dents like rock stars when they write well, and who knows what writ­ing results you might inspire.

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