Just before “My Colourful Chameleon” came out, I was sure I would have a good few months to properly plan what I was going to do in my school visits. I knew I wanted to do them but had no idea what I could actually offer and what I was willing to do at this early stage.
So it was a bit of a shock when I was contacted even before the book was published by TWO schools asking if I did school visits. I tried not to completely freak out and responded with “Yes, I can offer a range of school visits – what were you looking for?”
Of course I wasn’t going to miss out on such fantastic opportunities to share my debut book with real children. After all, children were who the book was for! So…before I knew what had hit me, I had agreed to do a WHOLE SCHOOL ASSEMBLY and numerous writing sessions with large classes of children ranging from Reception to Year 2. It didn’t take long for me to start to panic. What had I done? What on earth was I going to talk about during a half hour assembly and what was I going to offer in these writing sessions???
Luckily, I had about three weeks to get my act together and was able to talk to a few authors about what they had done at school visits. I created a Powerpoint for the assembly (thank goodness I remembered vaguely how to do this from my teaching experience) and I figured out some chameleon related class activities that would be suitable for the children I was going to be working with. I was sorted (or so I thought).
I have to admit that as I was setting up for the WHOLE SCHOOL ASSEMBLY at the first school I was REALLY nervous. My nerves weren’t helped by the fact that I couldn’t log on to their laptop. Then I panicked some more when I couldn’t even find the Powerpoint I wanted, never mind open it. I grabbed the first adult passerby to help me with only ten minutes before the kids were coming in…
With the Powerpoint finally up on the screen and the classes starting to be led in to the hall I realised that I had never used one of the huge projector screens and didn’t have a clue how to move from one slide to another. OMG I was just about to have a huge melt down in front of A LOT of children and their teachers. Thankfully a smiling teacher came to my rescue (perhaps sensing that I had a problem from the panic in my eyes) and she offered to move the slides on for me so that I didn’t have to stand by the laptop for the whole half hour. Now ALL eyes were on me….