Who's Telling Your Story? Recapturing the Beauty and Power of Our Schools Through the Art of Storytelling

Are you telling your story? If not, someone else is, and they may not be painting an accurate picture of the success being achieved in your classroom, school or district. As educators, we are battling against the mental models and images created by movies, the news media, and citizens' own educational experience. Many of these images and mental models fall short of the truth about the success of our schools. The laser-like focus on scholarship is drowning out the importance of leadership, citizenship and stewardship in the development of the whole child. Educators must begin to tell the stories of success to a series of audiences so that a proper dialogue about education can exist on a foundation of truth surrounding our schools. In our global interconnectedness, the wisdom and beauty of schools can be shared in real-time with audiences around our community and around the world. The tools to share images and story are easier than ever for students, teachers, and leaders. From YouTube, to Flickr and Twitter just to hit the tip of the iceberg, the tools are endless to bring a new story and a new reality to the larger community about our schools. Each educator has to be the storyteller in chief to their slice of the education world. To do this, we need to develop our skills in seeing the story, shaping the story, and proclaiming the story to all that will listen. Our stories are powerful, but they are battling a constant noise of those with a partial understanding of what success in a 21st century school truly looks and sounds like. We must allow the power of our story to permeate to the masses so that with common vocabulary and a common vision of the future, we can make this era of education one that we can proudly proclaim as our time and our future.