Back to School by Darlene Beck Jacobson
I enjoy opportunities to share my books with the world. What author wouldn't. But there is something about author visits to schools that really ramps up the excitement. Maybe it's because of the fond memories I have of my own life as a student. Or maybe it's because of the many books I got to share with the students I taught during my own tenure in education. Spending face-to-face time with the kids who read my books is an author's dream.
When these warm, welcoming, wonderful in person opportunities to connect with students disappeared these last two years, it felt like a black hole was created in the author/reader universe. Talking about and sharing our books with thousands of other authors doing the same via Zoom did not have the same spontaneous feel. Reaching out to teachers and classrooms became its own challenge. And trying to spread the word for my book WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY - which debuted in 2020 - seemed impossible and exhausting.
For many teachers, adding another "online" event to an endless list of things to do with students during virtual learning seemed challenging and unfulfilling. So, right or wrong. I stayed away from online visits for 2020 and most of 2021.
But, as 2022 began, and kids returned to their classrooms, a funny thing happened. Teachers began to reach out to me, asking if I was able, willing to visit their classrooms. Virtual visits, yes, but ones with real connections since these same teachers had read the book with students. Students who were once again excited to meet the author of a book they enjoyed.
One visit occurred on WRAD this year with a class of fifth graders in Kenosha Wisconsin who had just finished reading my book.
I have another such visit on May 10, 2022 with third graders in Pennsylvania. The teacher in that classroom was so excited about sharing WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY with his students, he bought copies for everyone so they could read it together.
Author visits are fun again!
Darlene wasn't lucky enough to meet a book author when she was in school, but she's met many since then and still enjoys watching kids get excited when they talk to authors. She is grateful for all the classrooms she's visited and hopes to be in a lot more next year.