The Power of a Good Story

Like many teachers out there, I love hearing and telling stories. Growing up, many of my teacher’s most memorable moments came at the beginning of the day when they would share their stories. Those little insights into their lives and personalities stuck to us like glue, whether they were telling tales of how it was somebody else’s fault that they forgot to pack sunscreen at the beach, explaining how different it was growing up for them in another country or embellishing the old classic: “In my day, we got the cane if we looked at the teacher cross-eyed.” I loved hearing those stories and realising that perhaps my teachers were human after all.

Needless to say, the old fashioned art of spinning a yarn certainly gets weaved into my own teaching. During winter, I’ll usually tell the story of how I went running in Lithgow while it was snowing (without wearing a jumper). I’ll often share about how, when I rode a motorcycle as a child, the bike spent more time sideways in the dust than it did on two wheels. Sometimes I’ll even share the horrifying tales of computers back at my primary school which only had black and white screens (technically black and green for those of us who remember the old Apple IIs). My hope when telling these tales is to hopefully let some of my personality shine through and create memorable moments.

As much as I like talking about myself, I also enjoy sharing my favourite verses of the Bible. Many of my students, past and present, would know that my favourite book of the Bible is Acts. I enjoy learning about the history of the early church and following the stories of such interesting people. Saul/Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus is a particular highlight for me. Last weekend was Pentecost Sunday so what better time to share about Acts 2. During this chapter, we learn about Pentecost where, on the 50th day of Easter, the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus’ followers, helping them to share the good news of Jesus in many other languages.

This fortnight, we are learning a memory verse from Philippians 4:19 – And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. In Acts 2, we see the apostles having a great need. Having been given the task of sharing Jesus’ message across the world, they were certainly limited by their language knowledge. By being given the ability to speak in other tongues, this need was met.

While telling a story is great, I also still love to hear stories. One of the joys of being a teacher is hearing tales of what’s happening in children’s lives. From hearing tales of new babies or destructive toddlers, of motorcycle races or life on the farm or even about how trees have been scaled to rescue cats, it never gets old. It’s also great to hear students tell the same story from their perspective. I’m sure that you can imagine that I heard many different accounts of the State of Origin on Thursday morning and every story had their own big moments (not to mention their own heroes and villains).

With the long weekend approaching, I hope you all get the chance to hear and tell a few stories. Have a great week.


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