Stories tell meanings

Since starting this course, I have thought a lot about story telling. I never realized how important storytelling is.  As humans, telling stories is literally every aspect of life. Our entire perception of this world and life is a story. Stories have existed even before humans created languages. Every day we learn, discover, and create a new story, small or epic in size. The entire spectrum of why we tell stories cannot be covered in 1000-2000 words.

I think about all the stories, books, and papers that I have bought or printed out to “read later’ and never did. If I am lucky, I might find a chance to actually look at those papers. But when someone tells me a story, I can’t stop listening and I am so engaged. A strength of mine is that I have always loved listening to people and getting to know them. I believe that is an Ivanoff trait. I remember growing up and my dad asking so many personal questions to telemarketers who would call. It was always so hilarious.

People love stories and some of the first words out of our mouths were probably “tell me a story.’ Every night I would beg my mom and dad to read me a story. I loved hearing them verbally tell me the story. Even if it was a terrible story, I still loved spending that time with them. Just because we are older doesn’t mean that we have lost the ability to appreciate a good story.

I remember one time I met this guy in a restaurant. He was a successful business man. At the time, I really needed a job. I had just moved to a whole new state. He asked me to tell him a story to convince him to hire me. I was scared out of my mind but at the time I was struggling with depression. I wasn’t feeling confident because I was denied so many good jobs as a recent college graduate.

I started my story with “my story is a little sad…’ and I went on to tell him about a close friend of mine who had passed away recently. Losing my friend was extremely difficult, but she taught me to apply my skills and work hard. I told him that I am passionate about helping people because I know sometimes we hurt.’ I went on how I am a good worker and blah blah. When I finished my story, he looked at me and said “you hooked me the second you started your story, you would be a great person to have for my company.’ I actually never went through with the job but I felt gratified with my storytelling skills at that moment.  

Daily Creates

 

This daily create reminds me how much I love this song. I researched a little bit about the song and it’s hard to determine If the singer is talking about a lost love or an old friend. My favorite part of the song is when they sing “just say the word and I’ll part the sea just come over here and sit next to me.’ I like this part of the song because I take it as a way of storytelling. Come sit next to me and let’s start a conversation. We will see how things go. I just really connect to this song.

I will also add that I believe that songs and music is a way to tell a story. About 95% of songs are about love or heart break, but that artist is telling you about that story. Some of the greatest stories are written in music verses. As a social study teacher, I have learned that people have used song to convey their messages. These songs sometimes are silly, some are tragic and some are entertaining. Music can touch your soul and stories and music are a powerful combination. I am deeply grateful for the way storytelling and music have enriched my life and certain days I need music more than other times.

I enjoyed what RWW wrote about How Stories Change the Brain by Zak. I agree that it is scary and intriguing to think about how stories influence those who read it. It made me think about why we are so attracted to stories? Why does stories can make us cry, change our attitudes and behaviors and lastly inspire us. Most of the time stories change our brains for the better.

I believe that when you want to motivate, and persuaded your students you need to with a story of human struggle and eventually triumph. My students love stories about people from the past who struggled and eventually won a war. Storytelling is the oldest form of education. Think about it — people from all over the world have always told tales as a way of passing down their beliefs, traditions and history to the future generations. Think about the Alaska Natives, they love talking circles. Some talking circles will go on for more than twelve hours because it is so important to work through problems and educate the youth.

Albert Einstein once said “imagination is more important than knowledge.’ Imagination helps us solve problems and think outside the box. Having a student use their imagination during a story will help them create imagines in their minds. Students who are able to create pictures in their minds while listening will be able to engage more. Teenagers need to have opportunities to use their imagination. Storytelling is by far a tool of stimulating your imagination.

I love learning about storytelling. Before this course, I never thought much about it.Besides talking circles that I have participated in, I never realized the benefits of storytelling. I am new to teaching but I can’t wait to learn more stories to tell my students about history. I feel like I lack the content as a new teacher but I know I will get the hang out it after teaching for a little bit. You should see my students when my mentor teacher shares a story, the entire classroom goes silent and the kid’s eyes are huge. Eager to learn more about storytelling, I feel like it will capture my students’ hearts, especially with first attracting their brain and imagination.

*Update on post*

My title would be “Stories tell meanings” — this is because we use stories to make sense of our world around us and to   share that understanding with others.

The question driving my response here is — Why are stories so important in todays society? I believe that stories were a way of living in previous decades because they didn’t have social media or cell phones to access one another. We have access to any kind of story with our phones, rather than sitting in a circle and listening to your grandpa tell war stories.

I know this much about story telling – people want to be immersed and they love to be involved!. They want to get involved in a story, to carve out a role for themselves, to make it their own story. It is an amazing art that everyone can contribute too!

3 Comments

  1. Rebecca Williams

    I agree with you in many ways and I love this quote, “Storytelling is the oldest form of education. Think about it — people from all over the world have always told tales as a way of passing down their beliefs, traditions and history to the future generations.” Thank you for bring up talking circles and the traditions of oral history. I also appreciated how you said want to become a better story teller so you can “capture your students hearts by attracting their brain and imagination.

  2. Kendell Newman

    I was struck by some of the same lines that Rebecca highlighted above. You really hit a stride when you start talking about storytelling and teaching (last 3 paragraphs). I want to hear more! When and how does your mentor teacher share stories? Can you say more about the connection you see to talking circles?

    Give us a title! What is the question driving your response here? And can you be more specific than “Why do we tell stories?”? What’s the big idea of this piece? A unifying idea?

    The assignment asks you to incorporate and cite at least 2 Slack discussions in your post. You reference a comment by “RWW” (Rebecca! who also goes by Becky) — could you quote or give some more detail to help us follow your line of thinking? You’ll also need to find a comment from one other colleague to help you build here. You might look back at the conversation about Paul Zak’s research, or go further back to our discussions of Vivian Gussin-Paley’s work with children as storytellers in the classroom.

  3. Chris Fliss

    When you brought up the line by Einstein, that the imagination is more important than knowledge, it made me think about the importance of play in children. Since our most recent assignment related to budgets and their cuts, I had chills thinking how the structured play in early education could suffer. It also reminded me how important it is to get comfortable with open ended assignments for my students. Keeping it open ended allows me to give them wider birth to tell their story the way they want to.

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