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.

8 Responses to “Stories are Light”

  1. energylibrarina December 15, 2020 at 11:09 am #

    Beautiful, Adrienne. Thank you. Begin in the light. A way out of the dark.

    Sent from my iPad
    Cathie Padgett

  2. Anita Ferreri December 15, 2020 at 11:20 am #

    Our students need to hear our stories in order to understand how to process their own lives – more than ever these days.
    One of the “problems” with using premade materials is that we cannot connect as easily with the story – and neither can our students.
    Great reminder that we have to put our students first – every day.

  3. haitiruth December 15, 2020 at 11:20 am #

    The stories are what your students will remember!

  4. britt December 15, 2020 at 12:02 pm #

    Yes and yes to stories! I feel incredibly similar, but about questions. People close to me comment about incessant and invasive my questions can be, but when I poke and prod just right, it ends up opening the door for excellent conversations and insights. Your students are lucky to have you!

  5. Terje December 15, 2020 at 1:12 pm #

    I love the connection you made with The Tale of Despereaux. Yes, stories are light and personal stories have power.

  6. jumpofffindwings December 15, 2020 at 2:59 pm #

    There is nothing as wonderful as sharing stories. Connection comes through story. At our Friday meetings, I’ve moved away from scripted and given a brief podcast or Ted Talk as food for thought the night before. At our meeting, I wait for them to tell stories. Oh, theirs so make me want to share mine. I love the contagion of stories.

    • Adrienne December 15, 2020 at 3:33 pm #

      Stories are the good kind of contagious.

  7. arjeha December 15, 2020 at 8:44 pm #

    Storytelling is a gift. You have it; use. I think a good story makes a concept more relatable to the students.

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