When Teachers Write and Writers Teach – Best-Selling Author Jennifer Mathieu Visits FHN Students

Posted on 09/26/2016

Teachers inspire students to reach for the stars, to never limit themselves in what they can achieve. Best-selling young adult author Jennifer Mathieu came to Francis Howell North (FHN) High School to do just that. Mathieu isn’t just an author, however. She’s also a teacher. Though she came to talk about her books, it was the author’s story that became a lesson in the writing process.

Mathieu’s quest to become a writer began in kindergarten. A love of reading became a love of writing, and she decided to share those loves by becoming an English teacher. Now as a best-selling author of books for young adults (specifically teenagers), Mathieu is attempting to remind them about the value of a good story…one that isn’t a friend’s status on Facebook or Twitter.

“It’s such a treat as both a teacher of teenagers and a mother of four teenagers, to be out and meeting readers and – hopefully – getting them enthusiastic about reading and writing.” And that, she did.

Mathieu didn’t just talk about her books to the students, but actually went into her writing process, and even offered tips on how to become a more successful writer. She wanted to show them that even if a student doesn’t want to pursue a future in writing, reading can be both a way to learn about the world and ourselves. To show them that books are far more than just words on a page – they are a both an escape from the world, and a keyhole through which we may see the world.

Students packed the learning commons at FHN to hear her speak and ask a few questions. Opportunities for photos and autographs were also available. For big fans like FHN student Madison Abanathie, the visit was a highlight. “I think it was really cool how we had an author come and visit,” Abanathie said, “and the fact that I had actually read one of her books before. It just kind of gave me a background into what she usually writes about, and what to expect from her in the future. It was just really fun and amazing to meet her.”

Mathieu still teaches English in Texas by day, and writes her next best-seller by night. But for this day, both the teacher and author were at FHN to inspire.

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