She was dropping her kindergarteners off for the presentation while she had to attend a professional development workshop, and as she got the kids settled telling them repeatedly to sit on their bottoms and face forward, eyes on me, then she turned to me and said, “Good luck!”

Like I was really going to need it.

And yup, it turned out she was right.

Okay, I’ve dealt with antsy kids!

I’ve dealt with LOTS of antsy kids!

I’ve even dealt with VERY antsy kids!

But these kids were just over the top!

And it turned out the vast majority of them were kindergarteners, and because it was raining they had indoor recess…uh huh. Recipe for disaster!

So what do you do when you feel like you’re losing an audience???

You change course.

Arrrr, heel to port, or starboard, or what have you, do what you  need to, to regain their attention.

I was doing my presentation Picture the Story which involves my two chicken books: Ruler of the Courtyard and Silly Chicken but I changed tack after Ruler of the Courtyard and decided to stick with storytelling. Started telling Dajan Tigh but quickly realized it wasn’t going to work, so I chucked that, just completely changed tack again and did a good kindie story, with LOTS of action to it! The Little Rooster, which is technically a Hungarian tale but it has a Turkish sultan in it and what the heck, it’s a great story!

And then of course I did Big Red Lollipop!

In sixteen years it has never failed me! And it didn’t exactly fail me this time, but there were a few kids that were just two rambunctious and yet, by the end of the story, I realized hey, they’re silent.

They’re actually listening!

And they were.

It was so funny! The teachers who were supervising came up to me and told me how fantastic I’d been! She said that how despite the kids who were being disruptive, there were rows of them that were completely engaged!

And one of the teachers said they’re not normally like this! And I could believe it.

It was just one of those ‘perfect storm’ kind of moments.

But alhamdu lillah, made me learn a lot.

And I realized that actually there were only about five kids, scattered through the crowd of a hundred kindergarteners and grade ones, that were the disruptive ones.

And unfortunately I was focusing on them instead of all the other kids who actually were listening.

Isn’t that the way of it?

I told the teacher that I had been planning to go to the gym after the two presentations, but after that experience! I felt like I’d had my workout!