Now that my contract for Spitfire is signed, sealed, and delivered (it should be there by tomorrow, I think), I decided I wanted to share the news with my 7th grade students at SMS. Here’s how it went:
Me: (holding up the cd with the digital version of my manuscript on it) Before we start class, I have some really exciting news. Guess what’s on this disk?
Student A: An ultrasound?
Student B: You’re pregnant?
Student C: She’s pregnant?
Student D: Whoa! She doesn’t even look fat yet.
Me: No, No, NOOOOOOO!!
Student A: It’s not an ultrasound?
Student C (ready to try a new idea): Did you star in a music video?
Student B: Cool!
Student C: Wicked!
Student D: Awesome!
Me: No. No video.
Students A-D: Oh.
Student B: Did you write a book or something?
At this point, my students were friendly and kind enough to express various levels of joy at my news (even though it wasn’t a music video). A couple classes clapped. (Yay!) In every class, someone asked if I was going to make a lot of money. (Well, no…) And in every class, at least one person wanted to know if they could come back next year to have their copy signed (Absolutely.)
Aside from being a lifelong personal joy, writing has been great for me as a teacher. I know how mad and lazy we can all feel when we have to revise something (“But I want to be DONE….), so I understand how my students feel on draft six. I understand how much more fun it is to slog along through the revision bog when you’re not slogging alone (thanks to my online critique group and two local writer friends), and so my students often collaborate in class or through online forums to revise their writing as well. We get by with a little help from our friends….