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Storytelling: A Valuable Teaching Tool

For Those Who Teach

Storytelling: A Valuable Teaching Tool

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About seven years ago I wrote a blog post about a family meltdown. My manually dexterous and spatially oriented engineer spouse was trying to tell me and my not mentally gifted brother how to tie a load of boards on a cart. From his tractor seat in front of the cart, he barked orders, which we didn’t understand and couldn’t follow. Yelling ensued, and at height of the exchange, the entire load slid off the cart. I attempted to use this anecdote to illustrate how well-intentioned efforts to explain and execute don’t always succeed in life or in the classroom. The story struck a chord. For months afterward, I’d be at some professional development event and feel a slap on my shoulder, and a voice I didn’t recognize would ask, “Lost any more loads off that cart lately?” We’d laugh, and then I’d hear a story about failed communication in another family.

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