[TeachNow News] Teaching Stories
Sent Tuesday, January 31, 2012
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It's time for another TeachNow tidbit.
Today I'm inviting you to become a story hunter or gatherer -- or
In TeachNow, Michele and I define the four levels of teaching as
Information, Experience, Inspiration, and Transmission. We believe
stories are a great way to incorporate all four levels when you are
But perhaps you don't see yourself as a "story teller" or feel you
don't have any stories to tell or that you don''t have 'teaching
stories' that neatly make your point.
Stories are what make us human. You tell them ALL THE TIME.
Starting today, you are going to have story ears on and you are
going to collect those tidbits for later use.
To do this, STOP being so literal about what a story is or what
purpose it might serve.
Instead, collect every story fragment for a few days or a week -
every little thing that happens to you or that you find
interesting. It can be one line "The bird hit the window and the
dog jumped up to see what it was." When you write down your story
bits, they begin to ferment in your imagination. When you next need
a story, you glance at your notes and viola! you see with a bit of
tweaking you have the story you need.
This works so much better than looking for a story to make a
Remember, stories inspire your students to draw their own
conclusions. Your stories do not need to spell things out - they
need to invite discussion, reflection, emotion.
Here are few more ideas for story gathering:
* Review your day for stories before bed and jot down enough notes
down to remember what happened.
* Look through family pictures and make notes.
* Come armed with your notebook to all family reunions and phone
* Do a free write for 10 minutes using the prompt, "The stories I
most cherish about my life include..." don't edit out the hard or
ugly ones. Collecting them does not mean you have to use them, only
that you are letting them feed your teaching imagination.
* Yes, it is okay to collect other people's stories but PLEASE you
must credit them and to do that, you must write down where you got
the story or you will forget.
Stories are teaching's life blood -- they can illustrate
information, create shared experience and suggest experiences to
"unpack" the stories, they certainly inspire and also transmit
emotion and energy.
Go get yourself some!
Alison Gresik is TeachNow student (http://www.gresik.ca/ ) and she
turned us on to a Studio 360 radio show on rebranding teaching. Why
rebrand teaching? To help us think about it with new eyes -- which
we can all benefit from!
The show is centered around the idea teachers aren't dictators of
knowledge, but guides who help students connect the dots. Download
the show here -- free and worth subscribing too!
Thanks for reading and please, consider forwarding this newsletter
to your teaching friends. Simply hit Forward and say "This is cool.
Sign up for it here" http://www.theteacherspath.com. We would so
Jen and Michele (who will give birth very soon)
P.S. Jen is teaching a brand new class starting tomorrow, The
Shero's Journey (sorry guys, women only). The class is shaping up
to be rich, deep and fun. It has low cost & free options. It's also
a chance to see what I do as a teacher when teaching lots of brand
new material. Please join me!
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