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Stories are Light

15 Dec

“Do you guys do the Wednesday Advisory PowerPoint?” a colleague asked at a recent 6th grade Humanities teacher meeting.

An awkward silence followed.

The PowerPoints are created by our counselors. We meet with out homerooms daily for Advisory. On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, we meet for 20 minutes and the presentations are interactive: announcements, games, study skills strategies, community building. On Wednesdays, we meet for 30 minutes. The PowerPoints feel like lectures. I feel like Charlie Brown’s teacher.

AS the awkward silence stretched, someone chimed in with a “Yes, but”, and we all felt we could confess.

The thing is, the info is good and helpful – teaching kids about mindfulness, growth mindset, and mental health issues. Sticking to the script is dull, though. So I chimed in with my confession.

“I do them, but I punctuate them with personal stories,” I confessed.

A former colleague used to call me Rise, after a character in one of her favorite TV shows, the Golden Girls. Rose had a story for everything, and, apparently, so did I. When she first started calling me this, I was embarrassed. Sometimes, I checked myself and held my story back. But, then I remembered the words of Gregory the Jailer in The Tale of Despereaux, “Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark. Begin at the beginning. Tell Gregory a story. Make some light.”. I embraced my penchant for storytelling.

It is serving me well as I present the PowerPoints. By telling my stories, I hope I am bringing some light to my students.

Randy Ribay

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