On Wednesday I visited Westwood Elementary School in Thompson as a guest author. When I arrived, a little after 8:00 AM the parking lot had only one car in it. I knew I was supposed to do my first presentation at 9:10, so school must start at about 9:00, at the latest, so I wondered if maybe I had the wrong day...
(teachers are notoriously early & well prepared, even at the end of the year. Typically, teachers will be at school 90 minutes before the kids arrive, photocopying, planning, getting stuff ready, marking or just enjoying those early-morning peaceful moments before the students come. So where were they?)
Only the principal, Bryan Wagner, was there, answering the phones. He welcomed me and offered me a coffee and we had a great chat, being of similar age and years in the teaching business. It turns out Bryan is retiring this week. From what I could tell, he is the kind of principal I would have appreciated very much. He was very relaxed and looking forward to the change.
When the school entry bell sounded the staff suddenly appeared: it had been a joke on he principal - the teachers were pulling pranks all week and this was the one for the day. He took it all in stride.
The Grade 6 students were attentive and asked much about the disaster stories, of which we read two. The Grade 7 and 8 students were equally good listeners and were, predictably, more interested in the novel. I was surprised at their excellent behavior, particulary since it is the last week of the school year.
I am really pleased with the Northern Lights B&B. Rick, the host, is a former miner and had lots of answers for my questions and some interesting stories to tell. I also visited Don Belton, who lives just behind the B&B and has done pretty much every job related to the mine.My stay is becoming very worthwhile.