Teachers as Storytellers
Think of the people we call teachers, not just in classrooms but in every facet of our lives. A quality they share is storytelling. They connect with our hearts and minds. We laugh, cry, yell, and carry on in every imaginable way with them. We remember them not because of what they taught us, but what they revealed about themselves and helped us discover about our self.
The best teachers are the best storytellers. We learn in the form of stories.
In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms.
I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders.
I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs.
I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry.
I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry.
I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.
we adore stories, the way they paint the imagaination, the way they take us from a beginning middle and towards an end…..taking us on journeys
Stories connect people on their journeys.
thank you, I have just seen your posts. Education gives us knowledge, but stories make sense and meaning of our journeys, past to future. Thanks for your writing and shares.
You are welcome and thank you for a lovely comment.
Been there, Ivon, and always a storyteller. What a satisfying way we live our lives. Smiles.
I am reading James Hillman right now and thinking about storytelling’s importance in teaching as we mature in our work.
So nice to hear from you and to benefit from you as teacher!
Thank you Marie.
What else is education than involving students in the stories of life? A teacher’s enthusiasm for his/her subject is infectious. I even used storytelling as an agent of maintaining classroom order. If everyone was good for the week, I told stories for half the classtime on Friday. I had some pretty good stories, many of which they’d heard second-hand from older brothers and sisters. I found that after awhile the kids maintained the order for me. A chorus of “Shut up, or she won’t tell us any stories on Friday!” was usually enough to quench even the most disruptive student. I enjoyed your blog, Judy.
Thank you Judy. Students have a sense of the importance of stories and their connectivity. They value the openness teachers show when they tell their stories. Parker Palmer would say that when you told your stories you are were on the vulnerable intersection of public and private life.
I was fortunate to have many great story tellers in my life~inside and outside of the classroom. Great post, Ivon! Shared. 🙂
Thank you for the comment and the share Bette. Storytelling connects people. I had the privilege of listening and watching an indigenous elder tell stories and the way students responded to the stories and the teller with such reverence.
Thanks for sharing. Storytelling is a gift that we need to share with young people today. They really do want to hear from us. I learned so much from ‘elders’ in my life. Stories and lessons I will never forget.
Reblogged this on Bette A. Stevens, Maine Author and commented:
Teachers are everywhere, not just in the classroom. I was fortunate to have many wonderful story tellers in my life. ~ Great post, Ivon Prefontaine! ~ Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com
Hello Ivon! You are so write about stories…they are the windows to our world and we learn so much from them. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and following. I hope you find and enjoy quality and entertaining content there. I look forward to getting better acquainted with your work and am now following you too! Have a great evening!
Oops…sorry…that’s “right’ about stories. But I guess ‘write’ still works if you look at it from a creative standpoint. 🙂
Thank you for the wonderful comments. They are greatly appreciated. Take care and enjoy.
Well, I never thought about it that way but you are absolutely right about that. I think this is true in the sense that art is in everything and we are all artists to a certain degree as well. Thinking about that allows me to look at and approach the world differently. Thank you for that! 🙂
We are all artists. There is something creative deep in our hearts and souls. We just need space and time to let it speak to the world.
I can still fondly recall when I had a 3rd grade class and I was reading a book series to them. They gave me their complete attention as I would set the mood with pulling down shades, turning off some lights and putting my take on what the “voices” would sound like into the stories.
Children love stories and they love the extras we can add to them.
Storytelling is a gift and we can all learn so much when it is presented well. Thankyou to you and all the teachers that help enhance life for our children and us.
Thank you Karen and you are welcome.
Ein schönes Wochenende wünschen wir. LG. Wolfgang
Danke, these are lovely pictures.
I like these books as buildings. I am going to study ways I can do a take art
with such medium.
The visual was something that attracted me.
I have been cutting out windows and doors and shutters and saving old book bindings and will use small cabinet drawers for the shadowbox.
Thanks for following me. I looki forward from learning from your posts.
Thank you for following me. I am looking forward to reading your poetry.
The older I get, the more stories I have to tell. Stories always seem to have a little piece of us inside them.
I am the same way. Stories are who we are.
many thanks for reblogging “easy to be in love with a tree,” my! I have never had such exposure. – My blog is only tiny where viewing numbers are concerned, so i was thrilled you rebloged it.. Namaste Eve
You are welcome Eve. I am glad you had visitors. It seems we have many people who are tree lovers.
I wanted to stop by and personally welcome you to my blog, and while I was here I discovered that you have a pretty amazing blog yourself, so now I am your follower as well. I look forward to reading more of your posts, and hope to see you on my site often.
Have a really great evening!
Thank you on many levels. It is a rare opporunity to follow a magical blog. When one shows up, it is a good idea for magic does not happen any time.
Reblogged this on metaphyzgirl ~ Psychic Holistic ~ Therapist.
Thank you for the re-blog.
Telling stories is the very good way to inspire people.
I always compare the storytellers as the magicians as they can call actions.
To be honest, it is like psychic power to lead someone do something.
(You might check this out why: http://jadethemystic.com/2014/11/03/basic-psychic-power/)
In this case, teachers should learn how to craft and deliver stories to give students ideas and passion
not just throw them the boring theories and principles.
Plus, they can add the moral idea in every story.
I totally agree with you. Wish more teachers becomes great storytellers.
Thank you so much for posting this.
Jade the Mystic
You are welcome Jade.And, thank you for a wonderful comment.
Reblogged this on Wanderlust and Wonderment and commented:
We learn from the stories we are told and from the people we encounter. Parents, coaches, friends, media – they are all teachers.
Thank you for the re-blog and comment. I agree pedagogy is not restricted to School. Those who take of children in all walks of life are pedagogues; leaders and teachers.
So very true. Thanks for posting this.
You are welcome Christy.
I don’t think I’ve seen you for a while on my blog, Ivon, so I thought I’d drop in to see what you’re up to these days. Looks like your posts are supremely popular! This one rings the right note for me, as I like to use stories to get kids interested in healthy eating. Perhaps I’m doing something right after all :).
Thank you for the comment. I went to your site. I am not sure why I have missed it the last little while.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.
You are welcome. Thank you for stopping, as well.
This is great! I remember the first book a teacher read to me and I immediately knew that I wanted to write! There are just some teachers that make it seem like magic. From second grade on, I was so hooked.
For me, it was the long, cold winter days in Northern Alberta. Reading was a great way to escape and travel in one’s imagination
Reblogged this on Truth Troubles: Why people hate the truths' of the real world and commented:
Cheers to the cherished few who can do this job and not totally lose their minds in the process.
Thank you for the re-blog.
Beautiful post Ivon. I took up teaching strategy and management on retiring from the army and only when I started narrating stories of great business companies and their leaders did the students enjoy and learn.
Stories and what they communicate can be a powerful way to form relationships with students and employees.
This is so true. The best teachers are storytellers they help us make meaning of our lives and infuse culture into our lives. Extremely thankful for all the teachers I had. 🙂
Well said, Ivon. I love my teachers because of that factor. I have a lot to say about each one of them.
Thank you Rhema. They make an impact on our lives.
We are not ourselves, when nature, being oppressed, commands the mind
to suffer with the body. King Lear
Storytelling at its best from Matthew Thomas the novel ‘We are not ourselves’ has filled me with dread with what may come to pass as i watch my Husband of 58 years slowly change from a lively joking fellow to an introspective quiet body who seems happiest in his own company.
I am reverting to my role as a Teacher…a profession I loved and entered only after raising a family of four.
My favourite time of day was ‘ Storytime
Seventeen months on from the above comment…I spend my days repeating myself trying to elicit conversation, denied sharing anything I hear or learn…my refuge is in books. An author I have discovered is barbara Stark Nemon. Her novel Even in Darkness is spellbinding.
Thank you for the comment and suggesting a new book for me.
So very true. Storytellers…people and books…that’s where all the answers and questions live.
A good story is always something to curl up with.
Ah yes, teachers are storytellers. My students used to clamor for more stories about Germany when I went through new vocabulary words with them. At the dinner table, my children used to roll their eyes as they listened to yet another story from Mom about her day at school. Entertain, capture imaginations and teach them while enjoying the story. 🙂
Storytelling brings people together.
So true, from times immemorial stories have been a way of connecting and learning/ teaching. This new year day gifted my little students with small books of short stories and waiting for the first session of sharing the experience and stories by them. The excited undercurrent in the classroom is so apparent. Hope this will help them in developing their reading habits.
It is good to start reading young and about things that interest us. The love lasts.
That is so true! What a great passage.
Stories are one of the best ways to connect with each other. It never fails to amaze me how we all have more in common than our differences.
We do have much more in common and that is what stories reveal.
Great Post. Teachers are Story tellers because they try to mould the people around them for the Best services of the society. In fact, teaching is the most Honourable Proffession. Wishing you all the Best in 2019.