Wednesday, April 14, 2010

High School visits and other mis-adventures

Yesterday I was at the high school to talk to the students in three different English classes. I talked about the new Summer Reading Program theme (Make Waves @ your library), the services the library has to offer, all the different kinds of materials you can check out of the library, and about various books I have read over the last few months.

The books were: The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman; The Juvie Three, by Gordon Korman; The Tree Shepherd's Daughter, by Gillian Summers; 42 Miles, by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer; Scat, by Carl Hiassen; and Chains, by Laurie Halse Anderson. I was going to discuss Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series and also Soul Surfer, by Bethany Hamilton, but I was unable to obtain copies on time.

Sadly, not too many of the kids were attentive. Some chatted with each other, some stared vacantly into space, some unabashedly closed their eyes and went to sleep. I was quite discouraged, let me tell you. Is this how y'all treat your teachers? If so, I'm sad for them. How disheartening.

The title of this post includes "other mis-adventures," and I have plenty to relate, but I'm beginning to sound whiny. I think that means it's time to stop.


hloy said...

Unfortunately, that is a typical classroom. However, I wonder if the classroom teacher couldn't have minimized this behavior. A "good" classroom teacher would have ensured that the kids paid attention, didn't sleep, didn't socialize, and actively participated.

Sorry your experience wasn't a pleasant one.

Heather Loy, LMS Wagener-Salley HS

Christine Deffendall said...

Heather, thanks for the empathy. The teacher on duty that day was a substitute, and the entire school had a weird vibe due to a standardized test which was being administered that day. I should have mentioned that in the post.

hloy said...

Must have been HSAP. Our school gets crazy that week, too!

What surprises me is that the teacher didn't reschedule the visit since he/she was going to be out.

Regardless, I hope this experience doesn't deter you from speaking at a school again. We really need more partnerships with the local libraries.

Christine Deffendall said...

I am a frequent visitor at the elementary and middle schools. This was my first venture into the high school, and I just didn't know what to expect. I've been wondering if I should remove the post...

hloy said...

Nope. Leave the post. It is a recording of an event and an honest reflection of what happened. I hope you continue to partner with high schools despite this one "failed" visit. I use quotes because you never know what impact you may have had on the kids you saw. Yes, some were not ideal students, but I bet there was at least one who was interested and/or learned something from you!