The entryway was long and constructed with red bricks. The walls were bare, almost as if it were an intentional build-up. The smell was distinct, yet indescribable. At the end of what seemed like a mile, you came to the two metal doors. I recall not being quite strong enough to push them open, yet tall enough to peer in through the fingerprinted class as I waited for someone with more strength to open my access.
If you went straight, you entered the adult section. If you turned left, you entered my favorite space. There was a long table down the center of the room, and underneath it were square stools of different colors. I loved sitting on them. The walls were covered with art, illustrations, and new additions.
The public library.
It’s where my love for storytelling came to fruition.
Storytelling has the potential to be a nostalgic memory for many. A sacred time we crave like sugary cereal.
A time that unintentionally influences our imagination, what we believe, and who we aspire to be. What’s odd to me is how often this powerful experience falls out of our routine. It’s like carrying a child. We just stop doing it one day without actually thinking about it. It’s kind of sad to think about.
It fosters self-awareness, social awareness, relationships, empathy, and has the power to influence the decisions we may or may not make. These are all characteristics that help cultivate skills and environments that advance students’ learning and development, according to CASEL Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. Pretty powerful. When engaging in group storytelling, we allow for choice in what we share and how vulnerable we want to be.
This week, I invite you to think about how and when you will reignite the power of storytelling. If you are wondering how to begin your stories, or create an invitation for storytelling check out the prompts from Elena Aguilar below:
After reading an excerpt or passage: What does this idea raise for you?
Tell me about a challenging moment, insert timeframe or location, when you learned a lot.
What season is most like you? Why?
Tell me about someone in your life who is really important to you.
Tell me a story about what you were like when you were the same age as the students you teach.
When you were 5 or 10 years old, what did you want to be? Why did or didn’t that change?