Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Author Day at Ellenboro Elementary School

 What a blessing!  This morning I had the privilege of visiting Ellenboro Elementary School.  From the moment I entered this beautiful school, I was met with smiling faces and helpful folks that directed me to Mrs. Sarah Tisdale's second grade classroom.  Upon my arrival, her precious second graders warmly welcomed me.  Mrs. Tisdale graciously assisted me in setting up my powerpoint presentation on her MAC computer,  (Gotta love Apple products!) and we were ready to begin.

The students were so attentive and respectful.  They listened intently and asked pertinent questions as we discussed the writing process in regards to my "My Days with Nell." We talked about the Pre-Writing, Drafting, Revising, Editing and Publishing phases of the process and I was amazed at how these young, emergent writers understood these concepts. We briefly talked about their perception of a story's  setting, characters, plot and what it means when a book is classified as historical fiction.  We discussed the idea of asking questions and using their five senses to improve and make revisions to their rough drafts.  I have no doubt they are ready to be authors now!  These smart young people can do it!

After my "Writing Process" presentation, we talked about some of the wonderful Christmas traditions at the Biltmore house. I love sharing how the workers at the Estate maintain the 119 year tradition of bringing in the "big tree" for the holidays. I love telling the students how the Vanderbilts generously cared for those that worked at the estate, as well as how kind they were to family and friends who came and stayed at the house, sometimes for extended periods.

We ended my visit with  question and answer time.  I couldn't believe what thoughtful and creative questions they asked.  I was impressed! I hope I persuaded them, informed them and entertained them this morning.  That was after all, this author's purpose! ;)

I am grateful to Mrs. Tisdale for allowing me to come and share "My Days with Nell" with her students.    She is an extraordinary teacher and wonderful person. It was obvious from the moment I stepped into her classroom that her students are valued, respected and are being educated in a caring environment. How fortunate for those second graders to have her as their teacher.  I also enjoyed visiting with Mrs. Tisdale's mother, Mrs. Robyn Elliott.  She is a retired educator and I have known her for years.   There is an old saying; the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Well, like mother, like daughter.  There is a rich tradition of educating excellence in this family!

Christmas is right around the corner... But I received a great present this morning! Visiting Mrs. Tisdale's class was a lovely gift to me... and I am thankful.

Merry Christmas!