Today I visited a small inner city school in Ottawa full of working class immigrant parents and teachers that were some of the nicest I’ve ever met!

And talk about dedicated!

I visit a LOT of schools and you can always tell how effective a school is by the atmosphere in the office and the staff room.

The secretary is remarkably important! She often helps set the tone of the school and then there’s the principal, and the third, as far as I’m concerned, is the teacher/librarian. If those three get along, then chances are the rest of the staff will get along.

So many times I go into schools and the teachers are conscientious enough but they don’t give that extra, if you know what I mean.

In the case of today’s school the teacher in charge of my visit had seen me years ago at some sort of storytelling event. After that she’d acquired ALL of my books and read them all too! Seems a simple thing to do but you’d be surprised at how few teachers take that kind of initiative.

They really are overworked–there’s an incredible amount of preparation that goes into running their classrooms. I know a LOT of teachers and believe me when I say that I don’t take it personally at all when they can’t keep abreast of my work!!!

And then there were the student teachers at the school.

Just lovely all around.

And did I mention dedicated???

Sometimes I ask the kids if they come from another country. Usually they don’t put their hands up because it’s not them who’ve immigrated it’s their parents. But in this school, three quarters of the kids put their hands up!

With such a small inner city school where the parents are working two or three jobs, you tend to expect the kids to have disciplinary problems.


They were lovely!

Eager and well prepared for my visit because the teachers had taken the time to familiarize the kids with my books.  (Again you’d be surprised at how often that doesn’t happen–and again I don’t take it personally.)

As long as there are such dedicated teachers out there, kids will be into learning!

Someone donated the cost of my presentations at this school.

It’s funny, but I think out of all the schools I go to, these are the types of schools I love the best.

I feel most comfortable in these circumstances.

And I feel like I do the most good!