I had a fantastic day today. Exams are on at Lester B Pearson Collegiate Institute where my wife and I teach, and our principal very generously gave us permission to spend the day off-campus so that we could respond to invitations from Earl Grey Senior Public School and Cosburn Middle School to talk about Backward Glass. When I told teacher-librarians Alice Te and Kate Tuff that I could make it, I had no idea just how much fun the whole thing would be.
In short: amazingly awesome fun.
Ms. Te and Ms. Tuff had prepared their brilliant students really well: students knew who I was, had heard the prologue of the novel, and in each case, they had even created artwork based on the book’s cover — at Earl Grey we saw a poster, and at Coburn, another poster and even double doors chalk-decorated with the book’s iconic “mirror-and-creepy-hands.”
I can’t express how enjoyable it was to be in a school in a different role. After more than twenty years of teaching in the high school, I’m pretty used to my place in the classroom. Being a guest (especially one who gets treated so well!) at someone else’s school is a fantastic. Students asked great questions, participated enthusiastically in a game we had designed, and were generally charming, brilliant and kind of heartbreaking. (When one student at Cosburn was so forlorn at not winning the extra copy Ms. Tuff had bought for me to give away, I had to relent and give her my own copy. Once again, I’m out of Backward Glasses.
But I’m ecstatic. Thanks, you brilliant students at Cosburn and Earl Grey. You made my day.