It was a beautiful fall day in Wisconsin, one of those Indian summer days we look forward to in the Midwest. Asian beetles were pelting me in the head as I made my way through the doors of Rawson Elementary School. This would be the first of many author visits coming this season after writing my book (Superhero Kid in Training.) AND boy did I feel prepared after combing Google and Pinterest for different ideas on how to present to the world of 1st grade.
I had worked on my superhero craft for many hours and I was hopeful that the students would enjoy the project. As I finally finished gluing my last eyeball on the Popsicle stick it was time to go. I had written out a carefully planned agenda hoping to impress the teachers and the students… in a geeky sort of way. When I got to the school my stomach was filled with butterflies because I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. One thing was sure… I was right!
The classes welcomed me with smiles and lots of questions. I was invited to sit-down in the “special teacher” chair that commanded attention. I started out by asking, “What do you want to be when you grow up.” I was overwhelmed with all of the hands, as every single student stretched their hands to the sky. This was the point that I had set my agenda to the side, because this class had other plans for my visit. I realized all of my planning had been thrown out the window with the Asian beetles… and I loved it.
I had a variety of answers to my questions and some of my favorites were a veterinarian, police officer, and a dentist. The future generation already has such high hopes and I was impressed. I saw one young girl in the back that waited calmly to be called on. “I want to be an author,” she said. This struck a chord with me and I was filled with hope. I wondered to myself if her parents read to her daily, or what made this girl aspire to write at such a young age.
I began reading my book out loud and didn’t get far without one of the kids telling me that they couldn’t see a page, or different questions about the book. These kids were engaged, and it sent energy through me knowing I was living out my dream.
When I wrote this book I had one purpose. I wanted to give children the ability to face their fears, and believe they can do anything they set their minds to do. I wished I could go back and be a first grader all over again. I wanted to be the girl in the back who was so confident about being a writer. It wasn’t until I learned how to tackle my fears as an adult that I was able to succeed.
Imagine what these children could accomplish if they learn this life lesson in first grade! This world would be such a beautiful place.