Telling our stories is one of the most important things we can do for those we teach as well as for our profession.
Stories provide the structure to explain the beliefs and experiences of people, and provide a framework to bring to life facts, ideas, and past events. They shape the perspectives of people, and thus are invaluable.
Through telling our stories we inform others about the “in’s” and “out’s” of our jobs.
Teaching is not for the faint of heart. Teaching involves having a heart filled with love and courage in addition to a good dose of believing in the capacity of our students and ourselves. We must counter the tales, which blame the ills of society on teachers.
By “Telling Our Stories,” we can change the way others perceive what we do and help them see the intricacies of our profession. We teachers have a responsibility to share our stories to provide the public with our perspectives on education, because we are the professionals and we live our profession every day.
Here are a few stories that we can tell, stories which have the power of changing past and current perceptions of what we do.
1. How we teachers must orchestrate an ever-changing classroom environment and at the same time meet the needs of our students, each with their unique personalities, interests, and abilities.
2. How high stakes testing affects how students view themselves and whether or not they like going to school and learning.
3. How we work with parents and family members counseling them about how they can support their children’s learning.
4. How books change the way our students see the world and what they learn from reading.
5. Why stories are important and how stories make isolated facts understandable and real.
Making the NCTE Centennial Celebration
a Personal Event: Tell Your NCTE Story
in the Centennial Gallery, a part of NCTE's
National Gallery of Writing!
In her September 2011 English Journal column, Kay Parks Haas reminds us that "There are few events more exciting than a centennial celebration, especially since few of us live long enough to be able to embrace a true understanding of a 100th birthday. In capturing the history of NCTE, we acknowledge those who came before us, blazing the trails and controversies, making a centennial celebration possible.
"It is fitting that each of us finds time to honor our predecessors who have shaped NCTE over the past 100 years into the organization it has become today. In addition, the NCTE centennial is a great time to reflect upon our personal NCTE histories, thinking about who introduced us to NCTE, who has mentored us along the way, what roles we play now, and how we will continue to influence the organization and its many members (and their students) over the years to come."