Monday, April 7, 2014

Career Day: Updating My Toolbox

Career days provide young learners a glimpse into professional life. It gives them an opportunity to see what life could be like when they grow up. I was honored to participate in one of our local elementary school's career day events. Talking about writing is almost as fun as writing. But then, I have an extensive early childhood background, so I enjoy interactively entertaining groups of children. And the atmosphere in a creative teacher's elementary grade classroom is invigorating. Not only do I impart bits of wisdom from my experiences, but I learn from the children as well.
Career Day Toolbox | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
Books, thinking cap, and toolbox all set
up for career day presentations.

After this year's career day, I will be adding to my Tools of the Trade toolbox. I already had to add something new to it while I was preparing for my visit. The last time I did a presentation, social media was not as prevalent. Yes, it's been several years since I presented. The ever-changing world of writing now requires more images than ever before. While the professional photographers are busy taking front page newspaper images and brilliant photos for the glossy pages of magazines, a writer who wants to increase readership among her social media connections must also be an amateur photographer. Therefore, I had to add a camera to my toolbox.

In addition to adding the camera, I picked a student during each presentation to snap a picture that could be shared online. Every child in every group knew my smartphone was a Samsung and I did not have to give them instructions on how to use it. They are going to make great writers someday.

Reading Rocking Chair | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
This is my new favorite
reading time rocking chair.
After spending 25 minutes each with eight different groups of students, I realized I needed to add some additional tools to my personal toolbox. We decided collectively during my presentation that things that represent ways to evoke creativity need to be in that box.

For me, I will need to add a paintbrush. I love to take painting classes at The Preppy Possum, with my friend, artist Nikki-Cherry, who was also a presenter during career day. Painting, even though I can't draw much more than a stick figure, lights up different parts of my brain and helps me be creative when I write.
Great picture of me sharing my Tools of
the Trade while wearing my creative thinking
cap, taken by one of the students.

I will need to find a little pair of shoes to add to my toolbox, as well. I love to embark on new adventures, so I depend on my feet to take me to new places where I can experience new things, inspire my senses, and restore my muse. 

Since I also love to bake, the children suggested I also consider adding a whisk or spatula to my toolbox. Being creative in the kitchen is not only a great way to relax, it restores my creative energy. So, in honor of my brilliant audiences at the elementary school, I will add three new items to my toolbox. And I look forward to future presentations where I have the opportunity to inspire young writers, as well as be inspired by them.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at)
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