Teachers As Raconteurs

Teachers need to be able to tell a good story.

Explanations can be as dry as a bone without some sort of narrative so as teachers we need to be able to tell a tale around a concept.

If you want to make something stick then tell a story to give it a context, an emotion and an experience. A story draws learners in and a good one keeps them there.

We often assume that storytelling is just for English but telling stories is cross-curricular.

The effective use of storytelling as a component of teaching is overlooked particularly in subjects like maths and science.

The narrative of a story allows learners to imagine, think out loud, ask questions and lets light bulbs shine brightly. This is why TED talks are so popular – most contain a story.

Many teachers tell personal stories to their students but every subject needs to be told and sold with stories too. Important points across the subject landscape can be reinforced by anecdotes and stories because they make a song and dance and help to demonstrate or illustrate ideas especially when introducing a new topic.

Very few teacher training courses include a storytelling skills session yet telling a story is central to what we do.

But you don’t need to be Aesop to tell a good tale. You just need to get on and tell one. The more you tell, the better you get – its an organic art.

Storytelling is the oldest and most universal art-form in the world and help teachers reach learners in ways they can’t with deductive strategies. Stories bring information to life in a meaningful and connected way. Storytelling can improve literacy learning but it can go so much further especially when combined with humour.

Teacher raconteurs are good at telling interesting stories and describing content and can manage to weave something personal into their tales.

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