FUN: Surprise!


Move on over BonQuiQui – I’m a You-Tube  star! And this is how it came to be.   

This past school year I had the privilege of teaching creative and expository writing to 6th, 7th and 8th graders at a public magnet school for the arts. I knew I was having fun. Sometimes I wondered if the kids were but I figured unless they all withdrew from the school, they were probably alright.   

It was my first real year of teaching and I had 7 sections of 3 different classes in 3 different rooms. Fortunately, the multitasking experience I have from raising two sons paid off as I was able to navigate my schedule most days – plus it helped that the rooms were all within 30 feet of one another. I mostly managed being in the right place at the right time. I think I was only tardy several times and the students forgave me!   

So one of my classrooms, originally designed as a small teacher work room, was big enough to have 12 students. I know what you’re thinking: Lucky Duck. I’d give anything to have a class of 12 students. No you wouldn’t. Not in this “closet.” But anyway, there we were doing what writers do, writing, printing and trying to be on game sites when the teacher is watching the other 11 students.   

My closed door flings open and one of my favorite co-workers sticks her smiling face inside.   

“Mrs. Lemine,” she says in her eternally cheerful voice (upon which I depend), “there’s a surprise for you!”   

“I love surprises,” I say aloud. “I could use one today!”   

I seriously meant that too as I was still reeling from lack of sleep and chaperoning a trip of 30 advanced middle school writers to Savannah, Georgia for an overnight reward trip just several days before. Jackson Browne’s “Running on Empty” would have been my anthem for the day.   

Next I see a local news reporter with video camera in hand appear and then one of my sweet 6th graders (they’re all my favorite and they’re all sweet). The student – Ally – (her real name)  had taken her writing skills and nominated me for recognition by the TV station.   

While Ally grinned with glee I stood there stunned. I think the camera started rolling after I returned my jaw to its upright position.   

This was not a dream.


“Am I hallucinating?” I asked myself. I knew I was severely tired after taking in ghost tours, sightseeing and getting to see Captain Jack Sparrow at Savannah’s famous Pirate House restaurant.   

I figured this was real as the reporter prepped me, She told me she’d be taping me interacting wtih the students and then asking me a few questions at the end.   

We were working on students’ end of the year portfolios, a cumulative notebook presentation of their writing projects. It’s quite an amazing process and product when it’s complete.   

“So why do you teach middle schoolers?” the reporter asked.   

“Because God put me here,” I said with honesty and conviction.   

It’s impressive how much classroom behavior improves when the press appears. The students giggled and tried to make sure they had my attention for various reasons – any reasons.   

When all was done, I felt honored – first that a student would think kindly of her instructor, that she would do this thinking after school hours and then act upon those thoughts by writing a nomination on my behalf. It was humbling.   

Take a look at the following link to see sweet Ally and you might see me, too! 

Just wondering: Why do you think words are so powerful?


6 thoughts on “FUN: Surprise!

  1. Connie Brian

    Thanks to Facebook, I was able to catch your appearance when it was posted since I do not get home in time to catch the news.

    I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this honor…..


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