Saturday, April 20, 2013

Story Telling

"Can you remember when we laughed together?" 1986 by Ely Bruna.

So earlier today we attended a story-telling workshop. It was conducted by a Roger Jenkins. Here's a video of him in action to allow you to get the feel of what we experienced.

The video doesn't really do justice to the workshop that he conducted, but I will tell you that we had our minds blown away by this amazing performer. We sat through the 2-hour workshop like it was a half-an-hour episode of Friends.

He stressed the importance and usefulness of story-telling in the classroom, and I'm sure a lot of us went away wishing that we were able to tell stories half as well as Mr Jenkins.

I can't deny the effectiveness of telling stories in capturing the attention of other people, especially children. I remember when I was talking to a class of primary children who didn't know who I was, and I failed miserably at capturing their attention with my psuedo-motivational hooblah, evidenced by the students' actions of drawing on their pieces of paper throughout my session. As bad as the experience was for me (and even more so for the students, I think) there was definitely one shining moment of redemption on my part. I noticed that when I said "Ni saya ada satu cerita masa saya kecik dulu," I could immediately see heads popping up to look at me, in anticipation for my story. I told them about how I got caught lying to my parents when I was 10 and got punished for it. Thing is that telling the story was totally unplanned, so the story jumped all over the place and I wasn't very consistent. But their eyes stayed on me until I finished my story. I even got to include some moral values at the end (even though this practice isn't encouraged by Mr Jenkins).

Bottom line, story-telling is a boss thing to do, and when you can do it well, you become that much better a teacher.

Me? I'm the worst story-teller ever. But Mr Jenkins' answer to the question "What if I'm not a good story-teller?" made it clear that anyone can improve.

"Did you come out into the world knowing how to ride a motorbike? How about swimming? Was anyone of you able to walk right out of your mothers' bellies? It takes practice. You develop the skill by doing it. You get better. Practice."

May peace be upon you.