Professional Learning | Empower Teachers

Arrow made up of different technology images with Let's Get Started in bold text.

Below are three suggestions for getting started.

Objective: You will be encountering a lot of great resources, visiting websites and finding tutorials that you will want to take note of, save, and be able to find again at a later time.

1. Create a Media Folder in your own Drive space or on your computing device to be used for gathering content, ideas, and media for your own story and for the activities in this learning unit (photos, images, audio files, podcasts, videos).

2. Create a Notes Guide: Create a personalized notes guide for this course by using a favorite tool such as: Evernote, OneNote, or Google Keep (see resources on the REMC Self-paced Course page on Notetaking) for tutorials and suggestions, or create a Wakelet (view the 11 minute Wakelet video below to get you started) .

 

3. Give storytelling a try. This is a quick practice not intended to take more than 5-10 minutes in total. An example is provided below this section.

  • Your task is to tell and record a short (1-2 min) story that:
    a. is told with meaning
    b. has a lead-in or hook to capture audience attention and interest
    c. tells something that happened
    d. has some conclusion or action
  • Record: You can use any platform you are comfortable with.
    Your cell phone, Zoom, FlipGrid, a free online video recorder (Online-voice-recorder) or some other recording method.
  • Story Time Limit - 1 to 2 minutes

Some suggestions:

Use a topic of your own, use one of the following prompts, or one from Reflecting on moments and memories or Forty-Four Short Story Ideas:

  • The secret reason why I went into education…
  • You won’t believe what happened when I was teaching online….
  • The favorite thing I get passionate about teaching is….
  • The funniest thing that happened when I was teaching this year was...

Three hints:

  • Practice it a few times and time yourself before recording
  • Let your voice be animated like you are telling it to a best friend
  • Have fun!

Share

When you have completed your story share it with someone (family member, colleague, or other individual). Ask them to consider these three questions:

  • Did your delivery catch and hold their attention?
  • How was your pace of talking and tone?
  • Did it leave them with a question, some action they want to take, something they remembered and want to share in return?

An example of a story, script, and audio narration recorded using the free Online Voice Recorder.

One of my most striking memories from elementary school was my first day in 4th grade. I was late a few minutes for the first day. The office told me to go up three flights of stairs and down the hallway to the corner room. The name of my teacher would be on the door, Mrs. Shook. The hallways were quiet and empty, all the students were already in their classrooms. It was an old building and the hallways were not well lit. The door was closed, and I had to knock. The teacher opened the door and said, “Oh my, we will have to find a desk for you as they are all taken. Just sit on this chair until the janitor can bring one.” The chair was in the back of the room and all the students had turned around in their desks to look at me. The desks, well you may know the kind that have the chair attached to them. The teacher was taking roll call and continued down her list. When she got to my name and I held up my arm, she said, “Oh you aren’t related to Larry are you?” in a not very welcoming tone. I replied timidly, “Yes he is my brother”. I think she gave a harumph under her breath and continued with the roll call. I heard a strange sound and looked around the room and spied a yellow canary in a cage. I love animals so I figured she can’t be all bad. Somehow, I made it through the day, stayed quiet, never raised my hand, I just sat there. At the end of class, she dismissed everyone except “Carolyn, wait for a moment”. Of course, you may have figured out already, that is my name. She looked down at me. Did I mention she was a bit overweight and old? She continued to tell me all the bad behaviors my brother had done in her class. She then said, “I hope you don’t think you can get away with any of that with ME.” I looked down and tried to keep from showing the tears that were welling up and ready to pour out. I said, “No Miss Shook” and turned around and fled. And so, began my year in fourth grade in Miss. Shook’s class. 

The impression teachers make can be long-lasting. This was 73 years ago. Words and how they are said matter. What memories of class will your students have of you?

 

Steps: 

  • Wrote the story
  • Practiced telling the story for fluency and emotion
  • Created a presentation (PowerPoint or Google Slides works well)
  • Used ScreencastOmatic to record the presentation and narrate it.
  • Saved it to my computer to upload to the REMC funded MiStreamnet Eduvision media server.
  • Embedded it on this page below with a direct link to the video.

 


Now "take 10" to jot down some ideas, reflections, and story ideas you have from an experience in school. This can be as a teacher, or a student. You too can tell your own story and share it with others in person, with audio, or some other creative means.

Now that you are ready, move on to the Learn page.