Art School Teacher: Lessons from Storytelling Class

Today they told stories about an awkward new year's eve encounter on a cruise ship; a reckless camping trip with a wayward cousin; a difficult start to middle school; the first time behind the wheel; a girl who made a friend who became a boyfriend.

One student began to cry part way through his story.  He was standing on the stage and we were watching him.  And he said he was sorry and we told him it was okay, to take his time.

After each story we write the teller's name on a card and give the story a name.  We write something we appreciate and then some suggestion, usually a way to expand or complete the story.  And after all the stories are told, we discuss.  And the first thing we discussed today was how brave they are to stand before us and allow us to witness this raw unexpected emotion brought on by telling a story.

Why do we tell stories?  What would human life be without stories?  What do stories do to us?  Have you ever known a person who has never told a story?

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