My joy, my Pupil became the Principal

Anthony Pitt, Karen Tyrrell, David Kinniburgh

Anthony Pitt, Karen Tyrrell. David Kinniburgh

The Principal of Fairvale Public School invited me, Karen Tyrrell author and teacher for a unique school reunion. Principal, Anthony Pitt invited me to present my children’s resilience book Jo-Kin Battles the It to his school.

My Pupil became the Principal

In 1979, I taught Anthony in Kindergarten at Fairfield West Public school. Two years ago, Anthony contacted me via Facebook, searching for his ‘favourite teacher’. Soon after, he bought all my resilience books for his school library:

Bailey Beats the Blah, STOP the Bully, Harry Helps Grandpa Remember,

Karen Tyrrells Childrens books

In August, I announced I was flying to Sydney for a Jo-Kin Battles the It book signing event at Dymocks Penrith. Anthony requested an author talk. PS Check out my REVIEWS

Author Talk

I presented an interactive author talk to two hundred students in the assembly hall. The kids and teachers treated me like a rock star with cheers, claps and a barrage of questions. To my surprise, I met teacher David Kinniburgh, another pupil who I  taught in Year 2 several years ago.

Fairvale School in Sydney

Fairvale School in Sydney

#4 More Reunions at Dymocks Penrith

Joanne Brummell, another ex-pupil from Fairfield West came along to meet me.  I met Romayne Penning, a girl I went to school with at Mt Pritchard East.  My husband’s school friend, John Lowe came along with his daughter to buy my books. Facebook fiend Susan Hili brought her children and grand children.

Susan Hilli and grandchildren at Dymocks Penrith

Susan Hilli and grandchildren at Dymocks Penrith

What amazing school reunions!

Anthony Pitt shared this very touching testimonial on my author visit …

“Inspiring, engaging and relevant!

Sensational author, Karen Tyrrell, visited Fairvale PS to talk to the students about all of her books and to promote her most recent book, Jo-Kin Battles the It

The students were captivated by her presentation. She came dressed in character so right from the word go they were engaged. Karen encouraged audience participation and allowed for plenty of question time.

Personally, it was a special moment for me because Karen Tyrrell was my Kindergarten teacher. I remember her warmth, nurturing and encouraging nature back then and meeting up with her all of these years later nothing has changed.

A truly remarkable author and teacher who continues to touch the lives of the very young and the not so young.” Anthony Pitt, Principal, Fairvale PS

Ranita wrote story "Teaching Walrus becomes Author Walrus."

Ranita’s story about me “Teaching Walrus becomes Author Walrus.”

#6 Tips for Presenting Author Talks to Schools

  1. Prepare your interactive talk with opportunities for the kids to interact and participate. Check your costume, props and posters are ready.
  1. Come wearing costume, wigs, hats etc and bring props. Speak in character. I wore my red Captain Astra uniform with shoulder pads, red gumboots, blue wig, yellow vinyl star belt and knee pads.
  2. Introduce yourself and why you write in an inspiring kid-friendly way from the authors and characters point of view.
  3. Talk about each of your books in a FUN engaging way. Read sections from your books. Share tips on writing creative stories.
  1. Let the kids ask you questions about how you write and where you get your ideas.
  1. Ask the kids questions about your books in the form of a quiz. Give out prizes of bookmarks and postcards for correct answers.
Interactive talk with pledge to be a Super Space Kid

Interactive talk with kids pledging to be a Super Space Kid

HOW amazing is… ‘My pupil is the principal’?

What Tips were helpful to you?

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8 comments to My joy, my Pupil became the Principal

  • Leslee Anne Hewson

    That’s amazing, Karen. how wonderful!!

  • Hi Leslee Anne,
    Anthony got in touch with me two years ago. I recognized his name straight away. Since then, we’ve had a great connection. It was awesome to finally meet him again and present to his school, who already knew me as the principal’s teacher… Cheers, Karen 🙂

  • Kat

    Looks like a super-special visit, Karen. Awesome!

  • Hi Kat,
    It was! As emotionally charged as you can get… Cheers, Karen 🙂

  • Jacqui Halpin

    What a fantastic story, Karen! You must be so proud 🙂

  • Thanks Jacqui,
    There’s so many levels of amazing-ness to this story.
    1. Firstly my ex-student remembered me and wanted to get in touch.
    2. He’s a principal of a school and supports my resilience books.
    3. The kids and teachers made a real connection with me and were just heavenly .. Karen x

  • Hi Karen,

    Thank you for visiting our school. We loved listening to your motivational talk about reading and writing stories.
    It was really exciting when we saw that you put pictures of our school on your website. It was super exciting when we saw our classmate, RANITA, being recognised for her story about you.
    PS. We would really love it if you took the time to check out our class website:
    Ms Batar and 4B
    Fairvale Public School

  • Hi Ms Batar,
    Lovely to hear from you.
    Thanks for your lovely words. Thrilled you liked the photos of my visit and of Ranita.
    I’ll come over to your website soon to read and comment…
    Take care Ms Batar and class 4B xx

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