Daily Archives: January 8, 2014

Telling Stories in Pre-Service

I (Cathy) instruct part-time at Brock University. Many of my mid-term evaluations from my pre-service students read, “Please, tell more stories”. It made me laugh, but it made a point. We all love stories, no matter what our age: family stories; folktales from another culture; scary stories… it doesn’t matter. So today, in our first classes for 2014 I focused on storytelling, but turned the tables somewhat and encouraged my student teachers to be the tellers. They were asked to share personal stories about their teaching practicum, which they had completed just before the winter break. I started us off by sharing a story about a disastrous placement I experienced many years ago when I was a student teacher. The flood gates were opened. My, oh my, such stories! Hilarious stories about indignant kindergardeners; touching stories about tough grade eight boys weeping because they thought they had hurt the student teacher’s feelings; frightening stories about overly demanding associate teachers; and joyous stories about building up deflated ELL students. The passion in the room was palpable; it glowed in their eyes, exuded in their hand gestures and spilled about the room with the rise in the decibel levels. Clearly, they loved working with the kids, the learning (good and bad) and the chance to make a difference. They loved teaching, and even in this climate of little prospects of obtaining a teaching position for a few years, they were exactly where they belonged. And so was I.  Cathy