Today become a story hunter and gatherer


In TeachNow, we define four levels of teaching:

Information, Experience, Inspiration, and Transmission. Stories are THE super-powerful way to incorporate all four levels.

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 make your point.

I used to feel like that, too. I wanted to be a honeyed-voice raconteur keeping you spellbound with my stories… but I wasn’t. So I gave up on telling stories.

What a fixed mindset and what baloney. We can all be good enough storytellers. We can all learn to spin a yarn!

The fact is you tell stories ALL THE TIME. Our brains are structured to live in narrative. We are all master storytellers – we just need to start seeing those stories and polishing them up a bit.

To do this, STOP being so literal about what a story is or what purpose it might serve in your teaching.

Instead, put your story ears on and collect every story fragment you read or hear or hear yourself saying for the next 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,” or a story you hear on NPR, or a story about you hearing a story on NPR!

Be sure and write your story bits down!

Then come to the free class on April 3rd at 4pm Pacific and raise your hand when I ask for one story gatherer. We will work with one person’s story bits and turn them into something you can use to teach your next class. And that lucky person (maybe you!) will win a free spot in TeachNow.

Here are few more ideas for story gathering:

  • Review your day for stories and jot down brief notes to remember what happened. Every day something happens that makes a good story.
  • Convene a story gathering circle with a friend or your family. Trade stories you’ve gathered over dinner, during your morning commute, or via email.
  • Do a free write for 10 minutes using the prompt, “The stories I most love 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 credit them.
  • Get inspired by listening to the “Moth” or “Studio 360” podcasts.

Stories are teaching’s lifeblood — they can illustrate information, create shared experience and suggest experiences to “unpack” the stories, and they inspire and transmit emotion and energy.

Go get yourself some stories and then bring a tidbit or two to class on April 3rd. Sign up for the call right here – that’s the only way to can get your reminders and the replay.