Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Authors are my Rock Stars!

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This weekend I met a legend. He did not disappoint! Kwame Alexander, a Newbery Award winning author, was signing books at a local Barnes & Noble. Since The Crossover was one of our favorite read alouds this year, I shared the information with my classes. The signing was on a Saturday afternoon and many students told me that they had games or plans already. I told them that I would be there getting our classroom copy signed.

Traffic was terrible. Sitting on Route 50, I was afraid I wouldn't get to see him. It was almost 11AM and the signing began at 11:00. I worried that the line would be too long and I would miss him. You see, authors are my rock stars. I'd much rather get to meet an author and talk with them than I would any other kind of celebrity. When I arrived at Barnes & Noble, there was plenty of time. I got into line and noticed the people in front of me. One was a teacher from the graduate class I taught, another was a close friend and colleague and the best...one of my students!! 

I got a chance to watch one of my students meet an author they admire. Listening to him discuss the book, with the author...the AUTHOR...the NEWBERY AWARD WINNING AUTHOR...I was speechless. We got pictures. 

When it was my turn I was nervous! I shook his hand and asked him to sign my book. Classroom books always get signed to Ms. Haseltine's Students. I was spelling my name and he stopped and said, "Michelle?" I nodded. He smiled and said, "I know you from Twitter." WOO HOO!! I got so flustered that I forgot to tell him to add "Students" to the signature. 


I blabbered on like a crazy fan for a few minutes. I don't even remember what I said. 

Oh, how I made a complete fool of myself over meeting him. His book is so wonderful and it meant so much to me and my students this year.

The story could end there, but it doesn't! I was in a bookstore, so of course, I shopped. As I was looking around, I heard, "Ms. Haseltine!" Another student ran up to me and said, "I just met him!! I'm still shaking." A kindred spirit, for sure. She brought her writer's notebook for him to sign. He signed her WRITER'S NOTEBOOK. 

An author, a Newbery Award winning author, signed her notebook! She told him that she didn't used to like reading, but now she loves it. He asked her to repeat it and he videotaped her. So cool!!

As I left the store with my signed books, I drove home and I started to cry. This day will be a priceless memory for years to come. This is my evaluation. This is my report card. Not some state test! Not some meaningless number! NO! These two students got their parents to drive them to a bookstore to meet an author. They lit up when they met him and talked with him. He changed them. They are readers. They are writers. He is a ROCK STAR!

17 comments:

  1. How fabulous, Michelle! An outstanding report card!

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  2. WOW!!! So very, very cool. What an awesome experience for both you and your students who were able to meet Kwame. I would be babbling too. :)

    Jennifer

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  3. When I got to the words "I started to cry," I was crying too. The value of reading aloud is evident in your students' reaction. I wish he would come down south. I would be there in a heartbeat. I did finally get a hard copy. Our B&N was out of them for a long time.

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  4. So very special for all of you! Starstruck with authors is what I call it! What a great report card for you and your love of reading that you have passed on to your students! REAL LIFE connections - so powerful and motivating for ALL of us! <3

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  5. love, love, love this post! Kwame Alexander is amazing---and what a moment having him sign the writer's notebook. YES! This is your evaluation and your report card. This is why we do what we do! AWESOME!

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  6. This post made me cry. We are kindred spirits. I was overjoyed and loved your photos! Crossover was a most amazing book. Writers are my rock stars as well!

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  7. I'm sitting here reading this and squee-ing on the inside! This is just amazing! I Loved Crossover. Loved it. And I don't have any students to share it with. I crashed our Librarian's Book Talks so I could gush about it with some kids. I'm so happy for you! He is totally a rock star! What a great day.

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  8. What a marvelous time, Michelle. I love that not only did you get the autograph, but your students were there, too. You're right, it is your report card, outstanding student! Also, I'm jealous that you did get to meet Kwame Alexander. Perhaps he'll be in Denver some day?

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  9. What a fabulous experience for you and your students! My favorite part of our weekend section of the paper is checking the authors in town column. There's nothing like meeting a favorite author and Kwame Alexander! We read the book last fall in our Newbery Book Club.

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  10. How completely cool. I am speechless! AND that he knew YOU fromTwitter. Love this man and I'm showing this to my kiddos. Just yesterday, I had three VERY reluctant readers swept up in his book. Amazing writer. Thanks so much for sharing this!

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  11. Oh, my gosh, you are so LUCKY!!!!!!!!!!! I'm dying to meet him! Your experience made me think of the time I met Aaron Becker. I was a huge fan of Journey, and was absolutely thrilled that he made a video for my class, answering their questions last year. When I got a chance to meet him at ALA last summer, I was shaking, too, and looked/acted like an absolute fool. The picture I have is terrible because I look like a giddy little kid. Ha. Most people wouldn't understand that at all, but we in this community do! And how fabulous that your students were able to meet him. Wonderful!

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  12. What a completely cool experience!

    I heard Kwame Alexander speak at KSRA in 2009 or 2010. He'll be speaking at PCTELA this fall. Hoping to get a book signed by him. (I'm sure I'll say something ridiculous when that happens. Because, like you, authors are my rock stars too!)

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  13. I just LOVE the energy and enthusiasm in this recant of a wonderful day. I wish I had been there.....but then I almost feel like I was there with you!!!!!!!!!!

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  14. Everything about this post makes me want to do a happy dance right here, right now...and great pictures,too.

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  15. Everything about this post makes me want to do a happy dance right here, right now...and great pictures,too.

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  16. Oh, Michelle, this gives me goosebumps!! You're right - this moment speaks everything there is to know about who you are as a teacher. What. A. Moment.

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  17. Such a great experience! I am kicking myself that I didn't meet Kwame at NCTE last year. Since he'll be at ALAN, I'm assuming he'll do NCTE too, in which case, a meeting must occur!

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