I Love my Job #2

(photo courtesy of Amy Glendinning – The Heywood Advertiser)

It occured to me that in all the times I’ve mentioned school visits and workshops and such I haven’t ever really gone into much detail regarding what actually goes on when I do them. So, here goes…

I arrived at Woodland Community Primary School at ten o’clock. This was good; I was on time.

I was welcomed by a very friendly member of staff (this is important – it’s far nicer to be welcomed by a friendly person than a misery guts!) who signed me in. (Which has reminded me – I didn’t sign out at the end of the day. I hope they don’t think I’m still there.)

Then I was greeted by Janet, the teacher who’d organised the event (brilliantly) and the head. I think it’s always encouraging when a head takes time out to meet me because, amongst other things, I think it shows (s)he cares about who’s coming into the school.

Janet then took me to the new library (which I would officially open later) and sorted me out with a nice cup of tea.

The library is terrific. Seriously. It’s the size of a classroom and filled with books. It’s clean and open and airy and not intimidating and brilliant. And it puts the children’s sections of some public libraries I’ve visited to shame. It really is that good.

I was then taken up to the first class where I ran a workshop. We were a little short on time so we weren’t able to finish planning stories but the work we were able to do was very impressive. When eleven o’clock came I had to say goodbye and head down to the library for the official opening. It was at this point I was told that the class I’d just been in with had missed most of their break. Sorry! But there wasn’t even the slightest hint of discontent at the time, which is reassuring for me (ie it must have been at least a little interesting) and also a testament to the class’s behaviour.

So then it was on to the library. I met the head again and chatted with some governors and other teachers and children.

And then a brief interview with Amy Glendinning, the reporter from the Heywood Advertiser, who was great – professional and warm and well, just very good. (I have had some, ahem, rather dubious experiences with local papers so this was a Very Good Thing.)

Then followed the opening ceremony where, after the head had made a speech, I was called on to say a few words. I hadn’t prepared anything so I said what I thought (things about why I think libraries and having the access to books is important and how I wish I’d had something like that at my school, and about how many different worlds and opportunites there are on libraries’ shelves…or something like that), which I think (erm, hope!) sounded okay. And then I was able to say (feeling truly honoured) that the library was officially open.

Then there were a few photos before I was whisked away to a Year 6 class for a forty minute (I think) Q&A which I enjoyed very much.

After lunch it was up to work with a Year 3 class, where I read from my book as well as an unpublished story. Then we wrote a story as a class (it was great, it was about a hairy spider and a girl who loved singing) and then the children showed me their favourite books. This seemed to be the one they all agreed on.

Then on to a Year 4 class and another workshop, which I enjoyed very much. Much Very Good work was done there.

Then the bell rang and school was over. I spent twenty minutes or so signing things before I left. And then that was it. My day was over. And I was a little bit disappointed (and quite tired) because I’d been having such a great time.

A couple of hours later when I got home and switched on my computer I was really happy to see that Amy (fab reporter person) had done as she’d said and mailed me a picture of the opening. (Thanks!)

So there you have it. My splendid day.

I’d like to say a big thanks to all involved. You all made me feel very welcome and you all worked really hard (and that includes Janet whose planning made everything run so smoothly).

Most of all though, I’d like to thank the children. I hope you enjoyed Friday as much as I did.

I really do love my job. Very much.

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