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.
Here is my other series for professional development - Learning Through Stories.
This story is a classic. I've never showed it to a group of teachers and had nobody cry. Get out your towel. True? We don't know but it is an urban legend, that's for sure. The originally (better quality) is now fully accessible!
Teaching to me is all about "community" - creating a learning and sharing environment, either in the classroom or among those you are learning with (like here). We often want to "own" knowledge but what is most important is what can't be taken back, can't be controlled or handled. I'm saying it clumsily.....read this story about the 4 things you can never "take back". It will make more sense.
Teaching English as a foreign language can be a very "transitory" or nomadic profession. I just can't believe in my own case, how often I've been alone in another country, few possessions and "bewildered". Gradually we all get our bearings but this transitory profession teaches us an even larger lesson about life, a lesson I've put into this story presentation.
Here is a Nassredin Hodja story that is about language - a nice anecdote and reminder ...
A foreign scholar and his entourage were passing through Aksehir. The scholar asked to speak with the town's most knowledgeable person. Of course the townsfolk immediately called Nasreddin Hodja.
The foreign savant didn't speak Turkish and our Hodja didn't speak any foreign languages, so the two wise men had to communicate with signs, while the others looked on with fascination. The foreigner, using a stick, drew a large circle on the sand. Nasreddin Hodja took the stick and divided the circle into two. This time the foreigner drew a line perpendicular to the one Hodja drew and the circle was now split into four. He motioned to indicate first the three quarters of the circle, then the remaining quarter. To this, the Hodja made a swirling motion with the stick on the four quarters. Then the foreigner made a bowl shape with two hands side by side, palms up, and wiggled his fingers. Nasreddin Hodja responded by cupping his hands palms down and wiggling his fingers.
When the meeting was over, the members of the foreign scientist's entourage asked him what they have talked about. Nasreddin Hodja is really a learned man.' he said. `I told him that the earth was round and he told me that there was equator in the middle of it. I told him that the three quarters of the earth was water and one quarter of it was land. He said that there were undercurrents and winds. I told him that the waters warm up, vaporize and move towards the sky, to that he said that they cool off and come down as rain.'
The people of Aksehir were also curious about how the encounter went. They gathered around the Hodja. This stranger has good taste,' the Hodja started to explain. `He said that he wished there was a large tray of baklava. I said that he could only have half of it. He said that the syrup should be made with three parts sugar and one part honey. I agreed, and said that they all had to mix well. Next he suggested that we should cook it on blazing fire. And I added that we should pour crushed nuts on top of it.'
Some nice "Hodja" stories by this class of students. Well done!
Here is another nice zen story. Also use with these sets of stories to inspire students!