My whole undergraduate study and graduate work centered on storytelling. Whether reading someone's story, creating an account, orating a generational tale or truth- I have been in love with the power of storytelling.
It is storytelling that can push us to feel intense compassion or anger. A narrative can move us to action and often aids in the formation of our opinions & views.
Story Telling & The Classroom
And so, it's with no surprise that for the last 13 years, I've taken the art of storytelling seriously in my educational practice. Whether public, charter, homeschool, or eco-education, my focus is always on the stories we tell.
As a middle school teacher, I always took great pride in creating our class library, searching and bringing in books that mirrored and echoed my students' lives while also adding literature that offered expansion & exposure. Telling my students stories that I created or presenting lessons as stories brought even more delight. Even the most nonchalant eighth-grade student couldn't resist a dramatic "and guess what happened?!?"
Therefore meeting & working with Ashley, someone equally obsessed with storytelling, has been off the charts. For evidence of her focus, you can read her book reviews here.
I giggle, thinking about how Ashley and I nerd out over lessons, literature, and our studies. We analyze the subtle & the macro. We examine images, language, intention, and the in-between. Connection to our ancestors is evident in how storytelling intertwines in every aspect of Gather. Not just in written & spoken form, but Ashley creates & sings soulful stories (through songs) that tell of our days. Her songs bring harmony, tranquility, moments of laughter, descriptions & instructions.
Stradling the Art & Science Fence
I'd be creating an inaccurate narrative to imply that academia is no longer involved. I can't tell you the many times I've brought out my graduate study books on reading comprehension and how to tell a story that sticks. Then there are the countless professional development hours spent examining & exploring literature.
But, a much more significant chunk has to do with profound inner work. Digging deeply & leaning on my experience - reflecting on the generational passing down of knowledge & identity.
All the moments in time where my body wasn’t present, but yet my mind remembers.
This past year, my reading has centered on "children & childhood learning and professional development & growth" which has been expansive & enlightening. But reading as a luxury & pleasure has eluded me for the last three seasons. Spring is a time of revitalization and renewal. It's an awakening for dormant plants & hibernating animals. And in many ways, it's the best time to revive hobbies & passions. This Spring, starting with this break, I'm looking forward to listening to and reading stories for bliss. And then discovering how indulging in literature & periodicals influences my storytelling.
P.S. If you're enjoying articles on books, check out: