Teacher stories is a place where teachers tell their own stories. As working teachers we are drowning in resources, lesson plans and tips, but our everyday problems and feelings often go ignored.
As stated on our website, “we are the bodies that remain when the chalk dust settles”.
What this project is not
This project is not a vehicle for our careers, and we certainly don’t see a pot of gold ahead of us!
We don’t want to prescribe topics and subjects to write about, and we also want to get a wide selection of stories that show the diversity of our teaching community. For that reason we particularly welcome any stories from outside the global ‘north’. Bill Templer is our Outreach coordinator and can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
And who knows what kind of stories we will get! (you don’t even have to use your real name)
What will we do with the Teacher Stories?
We will publish them in an ebook which will be distributed for free.
Three steps to Heaven: How to start your Teacher Story
This is a blurry early-career Sting, taken from his cameo in the cult British Road Movie Radio On, covering an old Eddie Cochran song ‘Three Steps to Heaven’.
Here are our three steps to Heaven – simple tips that might help you to start writing your own teacher story:
1) Decide you’re going to write a story! A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step…
Implement your decision–you could do this by getting yourself ‘equipment-ready’: for example, buy a (nice, new, shiny) notebook and pencil. For those on computers–decide which software you are going to use and create a dedicated folder for your writing.
Here are my new notebooks – but then I’m a sucker for stationary…
2) Write for a set amount of time e.g. 10, 20, 30 minutes. Did your inner critic pop up?
Here are two responses:
i) Ignore those critical voices (not easy sometimes)
ii) Listen to them. Have a dialogue with your critical voices, unwind the string of their criticism–there might be nothing there!
But don’t let your inner critic stop you from writing. As Anne Lamott writes in Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (1994):
“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.”
First drafts are not meant to be good. They’re meant to be done.
3) ‘Habit-ize‘ your writing. If you make a habit out of writing then eventually something good will emerge – trust me! Make yourself a promise that you will write for a set amount of time every day, and maybe carry a notebook to jot ideas down.
As the artist Chuck Close says, “Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work.“
One way of making a habit of writing is by starting a writing group, which is a great way of meeting other teachers and getting feedback. Your writing group can be just a ‘getting-work-done’ group, where you write for 90 minutes then go for a drink. Or it can be more of a workshop group–where you bring work to be read out and critiqued.
Here are some tips on setting up a Writer’s Group that Lasts.
The formula is really very simple
Just follow the rules and you will see
And as life travels on, and things do go wrong
Just follow steps one, two and three
Well that sure sounds like heaven to me!
And we can’t wait to read your stories!