Reflections on my demonstration
I need to reflect on my demonstration before I forget. First of all, yes, I was definitely nervous. I had worst-case scenario thoughts about a silent room, awkward silences during the discussion portion, or just complete disinterest. However, I was wrong. I actually thoroughly enjoyed giving the presentation and could feel the energy in the room. It felt smooth, like people were getting into the same thought processes I went through as I thought about place and time and life stories. I guess the questions about how to write about the mundane and getting students to realize how interesting every small moment in their lives can be have been brewing in my mind for a couple of years now. That, coupled with the TCKs I’ve been meeting (and me being one) plus the idea of bringing stories to life through video and podcasting just added more possibilities to what could be done with life stories. I wish I could have gathered everyone’s stories, like I would in my classroom. I am thinking of ways I could really use all these ideas with the TCKs I personally know. We have retreats and conferences and one is coming up this November. I am thinking of making a video about the TCKs that I personally know and their own life stories. There is something really validating and “identity-forming” about sharing one’s life stories.
Also, I’m realizing there’s a big difference between “telling” someone, no matter how close a friend, about your life versus writing about it with the intention of having someone read it. I know of TCKs who journal, but I think its powerful when there’s the possibility that someone will read our stories. Fletcher is right. We write more powerfully about subjects that matter to us. For the classroom, I think that’s why Lucy Calkins made some great decisions when she brought in personal narratives as a genre of writing to teach. Three years after I tried out her curriculum in the classroom, I feel like I am finally “getting” her.