I invited to speak there by one of my favorite people, Angela Mattison-Bradley, who was actually my math teacher in high-school back in Colorado! She's now a director of the Rialto Unified School District and I was happy I got to spend a bit of time with her and her family before my school appearance!
I've always respected teachers, but spending a day in their shoes really opened my eyes to how much work it is to be one. I was basically on a teacher's schedule all day, teaching one class after another with a brief 30 minute lunch mid-day. Luckily, the day flew by and the kids all were really great and receptive.
After sharing some of my work with the students, talking to them about what I do, and reading a sample from Diary of a Girl Next Door: Betty, I had the kids work on their own one-page diary-style comic. It could be about whatever they wanted - and it could either be more like a traditional comic, or prose mixed with spot illustrations, like in Diary. The assignment was intimidating for some students, but they all jumped in and gave it their best shot, which I thought was really cool. And, of course, there were some kids who seemed to have a natural talent for making comics!
For the kids that were a little less confident about their art skills, I did a few draw-alongs on the white-board of whatever the kids requested. Superheroes were pretty popular, as was Sonic the Hedgehog!
All in all, it was a really fun day, and I was just blown away by how welcoming all the students and teachers were. They really made me feel like a celebrity! I definitely hope to do more school events like this in the future... it's such a cool experience to see kids get inspired when I let them know that a career in comics IS possible!