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We know a lot about storytelling. And we like helping others tell their stories. That’s why EdSurge asked Listenwise to be part of a special Hour of Story project during their Fall Fusion conference. The result is a moving new 4-part podcast series called Teachable Moments. Check it out here.

 

These teacher stories are inspiring and motivating. I was surprised by how quickly the storytellers became emotional when talking about a particular student, even if the events they described happened more than a decade ago. These powerful emotions don’t fade.

 

The stories were all collected at the 2-day Fusion conference in San Francisco California. EdSurge CEO Betsy Cochran lead a session before the whole conference called the Hour of Story. She handed out an Hour of Story Interview Questions and Notes worksheet and she modeled how to talk to an educator about an experience they learned from. The 4 central questions were:

  • Tell us about a specific time when you experienced great joy or overcame a struggle in your work.
  • What surprised you about that experience?
  • What would be one word that sums up what you experienced?
  • What did you learn or take away from this experience?

 

After asking these questions to a teacher called up to the main stage, she asked everyone in attendance to pair up at the table with another person and tell a story. The worksheet had additional prompts and a place for notes. I spoke with Rudy Ezcuy, a former middle school teacher who started an edtech company called Teach ‘N Kids Learn. He told me how he had a passion to make a difference. And he reflected on how as a trained engineer and then teacher he moved from a traditional job to re-engineering education as he called it with a company that focuses on professional development.

 

After listening to his story for 3 minutes, I had to turn around and retell his story back to him using my notes on the worksheet. It was an amazing exercise. I learned that with a few guiding prompts anyone can tell a great story.

 

As part of our participation in the workshop, Listenwise helped record these stories. I asked teachers at Fusion to come to the EdSurge Podcast Studio and retell their stories. The result is the 4-part series we launch with this tomorrow called Teachable Moments. I co-host the podcast with Sydney Johnson an assistant editor at EdSurge.

 

In the podcast you’ll hear directly from educators who share important and sometimes challenging moments in their careers, and ultimately, what brings them joy in teaching.

 

The first episode is called “Seeing Students Differently” because in each case teachers were surprised by an unexpected result.

 

I hope you’ll be surprised and inspired by the power of these teacher stories.