For World Read Aloud, I followed a link to a page of authors volunteering to read aloud to students by Skype. I selected Nikki Loftin to contact because I had read Wish Girl over the summer and loved it. All set…until…I checked the calendar. World Read Aloud Day was set for February 24th which was a WOW day. We do a project with our gifted 6th graders and meet once a month. No problem, said Nikki. We rescheduled for Friday, February 26th.
Then Monday last week, my students informed me the state Beta convention was happening on Thursday and Friday, and they would be out. Quick email to Nikki. No problem, said Nikki. We rescheduled for Monday, Feb. 20th.
I thought all would be well, but when it comes to technology, one never knows. On the morning announcements, “Teachers, the internet will be shut down today.” What? You’ve got to be kidding me. In a panic, I called the school board office. Transferred to tech department, no answer. I resorted to email, hoping someone was out there listening. He was. The tech director came into my classroom. He promised to hold off disconnecting my classroom until 10:30.
Scrambling off a triumphant email to Nikki, we were all set.
The visit was a complete delight. Not only is Nikki personable and engaging, she also loves narwhals. Let me explain. My student, Erin, has a borderline obsession with narwhals. She wanted to ask Nikki if she liked narwhals. Against my better judgement, I let her ask the question.
This is where Nikki won all our hearts. She started reciting the words to the narwhal song. And then she turned around and came back as a unicorn. Look closely at the image and you can see Erin’s amazement.
Authors are my heroes. I’ve said this before, and I haven’t been proven wrong yet. They bring a love of story, an enthusiasm for writing, and love narwhals, too.
I’ve ordered Nikki’s other two books because my students can’t wait to read them. And it’s the least I could do for her for being so accommodating and entertaining. When we came back to school on Tuesday, Nikki had left a Skype video (since we had been so rudely disconnected at exactly 10:30) to tell us how much she enjoyed meeting us. What a thrill!