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 I'd like to share in this forum and would like others to share, short stories that might apply to education / teaching and that will inspire. I believe stories and a narrative are powerful, whether in our classroom or for our own professional development and reflection.

Find my whole collection of inspirational stories in video HERE.  You might also be interested in my Zen and the Art of Teaching series.



Here is my other series for professional development - Learning Through Stories.

Tags: hodja, inspiration, professional_development, stories, storytelling, tao, zen

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Nothing special for a story today, just this powerpoint which tells a nothing special but something super special. About teaching, about life....."cultivez votre jardin!"
That made me laugh i believe I will steal this one. If I think I can get away with talking about Islam in a public school in Korea.
Here's another one that applies to the "Education for profit" motive which is prevailing so much these days.......

The Smell of Soup and the Sound of Money

A beggar was given a piece of bread, but nothing to put on it. Hoping to get something to go with his bread, he went to a nearby inn and asked for a handout. The innkeeper turned him away with nothing, but the beggar sneaked into the kitchen where he saw a large pot of soup cooking over the fire. He held his piece of bread over the steaming pot, hoping to thus capture a bit of flavor from the good-smelling vapor.

Suddenly the innkeeper seized him by the arm and accused him of stealing soup.

"I took no soup," said the beggar. "I was only smelling the vapor."

"Then you must pay for the smell," answered the innkeeper.

The poor beggar had no money, so the angry innkeeper dragged him before the qadi.

Now Nasreddin Hodja was at that time serving as qadi, and he heard the innkeeper's complaint and the beggar's explanation.

"So you demand payment for the smell of your soup?" summarized the Hodja after the hearing.

"Yes!" insisted the innkeeper.

"Then I myself will pay you," said the Hodja, "and I will pay for the smell of your soup with the sound of money."

Thus saying, the Hodja drew two coins from his pocket, rang them together loudly, put them back into his pocket, and sent the beggar and the innkeeper each on his own way.
One last one from the famous Turkish trickster!
The Recipe
The Hodja purchased a piece of meat at the market, and on his way home he met a friend.
Seeing the Hodja's purchase, the friend told him an excellent recipe for stew.
"I'll forget it for sure," said the Hodja. "Write it on a piece of paper for me."
The friend obliged him, and the Hodja continued on his way, the piece of meat in one hand and the recipe in the other. He had not walked far when suddenly a large hawk swooped down from the sky, snatched the meat, and flew away with it.
"It will do you no good!" shouted the Hodja after the disappearing hawk. "I still have the recipe!"
Obviously not.
A longer story but well worth the read and reflection. You might try this in your own class! I always had success with the "Water Trick". Fill a bowl full of water, to the top. Put some papertowel under it. Then ask the students, holding out a handful of coins, "How many coins can I drop in before it will overflow?" Most students will say 1-10. But they'll be surprised! So keep dropping the coins in -- you'll be able to drop in dozens! (due to the concept of surface friction and is why bugs can walk on water!) The kids will be amazed.

The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.
- - - - -

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things---God, your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else---the small stuff. "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad! you asked.

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."
Can time be put in a bottle, can time be bought like a soda? As teachers, we spend spend valuable time with students, let's let it pay off.
Today's story isn't a story, just something to ponder. Teaching can be full of contradictions; we learn and learn but it never seems to have any application (just a degree), we tell our students to do their best then give them a mark and judge them, we get to know students so well but then Poof! they vanish. ....

This presentation deals with some of the paradoxes of life.

DAVID,

Great story. IS the bat cave down.


Jude
Jude,

Glad you appreciated it. I just put them up and you never know how or what they'll mean to someone.....


I just checked and yes, they must be doing some servicing (they often do it at this time, early early morning in N.A. , evening here.). But you can always access the individual folders through my homepage here. Just click my pic! A good backdoor to the batcave.

DD
Is it hard to change? I think most people don't realize how easy it is to "fall in a rut" and that in teaching, we are even more likely to do this.....whatever gets you through the day is a mantra I've heard often in my teaching career.

But I reject that. We as educators have to challenge ourselves, risk and try new things. It is stimulating and our students benefit too...So I say, "Don't Act Like An Elephant"!

A few words to inspire .......

The Importance of Teaching (Anonymous)

"If I had a child who wanted to be a teacher, I would bid him Godspeed as if he were going to war," wrote James Hilton, author of the great novel of teaching, 'Goodbye, Mr. Chips'. "For indeed the war against prejudice, greed and ignorance is eternal, and those who dedicate themselves to it give their lives no less because they may live to see some fraction of the battle won."

Not every teacher is a hero or heroine, of course. There are good, bad and indifferent ones, ranging from those who totally devote their lives to their students to those who give the profession a bad name. Our social priorities do not make it easy to encourage the best and the brightest to teach. Surveys of students who consistently get top marks in university show that they intend to go into more 'prestigious' and more lucrative professions. To a large extent, teachers themselves tend to be diffident about their occupation. "I beg of you," said William G. Carr to a representative teacher, "to stop apologizing for being a member of the most important . . . profession in the world."

"Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition," Jacques Barzun wrote. If this society knows what is good for it, that regard will be restored. Parents and other concerned citizens will do all they can to make a teacher's life less troublesome and give due credit to the profession.

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