Publishing The Middle School Rules of Brian Urlacher has yielded many blessings – and surprises.
Among the most pleasant surprises has been the invitation to speak to students about my first book.
I’ve visited a dozen schools, providing a handful of different messages to students of varying ages. One school wanted me to focus on the steps for publishing a book. One wanted me to highlight the evolution of my relationship with Brian. One wanted me to discuss writing as a potential career.
But most empowered me to share a presentation I’ve titled, “What Makes a Good Story?” In it, I engage students on the keys to their favorite stories, whether it’s Harry Potter or Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I tell them the story of two boys who endured some challenges and achieved their dreams.
Those boys, of course, are Brian and myself.
The main points of the presentation is that many of the best stories feature a central character who has overcome something and someone, all the while believing in themselves.
But there are more surprises.
I’ve been invited to speak in the near future to a group of adults in career transition and to leaders at one of the largest companies in the Twin Cities.
Speaking has stoked two of my passions: Connecting with people and helping people.
I have a deep admiration for those committed to education, and I’m thankful to those who have allowed me to share my experiences and insights with their students.
Here is some feedback from those folks:
- “Sean’s presentation energized our students and inspired them into the longest question and answer session we have had with a guest speaker here at Ramalynn during my twenty years at the school! The message and lessons the students gathered from Sean’s presentation and the book have sparked several positive discussions during our student-led morning meetings that have, in turn, benefited how we treat others within our community.” Krishna Ramalingam, principal of Ramalynn Academy in Bloomington, Minn.
- “The presentation was great! Sean related to the students really well, connected with them with visuals as well as words, shared a positive message and engaged students by asking them questions. He related storytelling to each and every one of them and addressed their questions in a way that was both informative and light-hearted. Finally, he shared a greater message about respect and hard work, and valuing the team above the individual.” Kate Musick, teacher at Immaculate Conception in Chicago
- “Sean spoke to the 60 third-graders at my son’s school. He had them all on the edge of their seats and dying to ask all sorts of questions. He has a way of talking to kids that keeps them engaged. Sean talked about Brian Urlacher’s story, and his own adoption story. He also spoke about his dream of writing a book and the process of accomplishing that goal. The talk inspired the kids – as well as the teachers and principals – in the room. Sean and Brian are great examples of people who have overcome obstacles and followed their dreams.” Janice Dobshuetz, parent of student at Oakton School in Evanston, IL
- “Your presentation today was delivered with a level of authenticity and candor that I have not experienced in some time. It gave me quite a lot to think about as I sort out my own next steps.” Morcine Scott-Warren, Edina
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