This week of teaching has been phenomenal.

I say this a little early (it’s only Thursday, after all), but I can’t help it.

It’s due to a few things:

Being Prepared

  • This goes without saying, but the better you prepare a lesson, the better it’ll be. Even if I go in confident of the material and what I think will happen, if I haven’t prepared for the barrage of repeated questions (“Can I use a highlighter?”, “Can I use a highlighter?”, “Wait, can I use a highlighter?”), things go a little off track. I’m getting better about going with the flow, steering the class back on track. I want so badly to let the kids be who they are, to help them create who they are, so it’s hard for me to tell them to stop talking. Please, would you stop expressing yourself? Please stop trying to connect with me. But I know this is necessary, and I’m working on it.
  • The bottom line is, more often than not, everything takes longer than I expected. So I hope I learn from my week of good preparation and keep this going.


  • I gave a vocal quiz in each of my classes this week. This is good because it forces the kids to study, it shows me where they all are on the spectrum of basic Latin comprehension, and, the best part, it gives time for story-telling at the end…

Telling Stories

  • I think this may be my calling. Or perhaps, my calling within the teaching world. All of my grammar school classes 3-6 grades, clamored onto their respective rugs in their respective classrooms, and watched me with wide eyes as I told them the story of Odysseus and the Cyclops. Did I get it perfectly? No. Did I remember to say everything I wanted to? No. Did they love it? YES.

(I wish it were possible to post a picture of my classes, on their knees, sprawled out on their bellies, chins cradled in little hands. I guess you can imagine what they looked like when one fourth grader sighed blissfully, “This is my favorite story.”)

So maybe my writing and singing play into this life pretty well. Isn’t it nice to listen to a singer read from D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths, or a writer recount the Fall of Troy!

Maybe everything is converging.

3 Replies to “Storytelling”

  1. Go Catherine go!! I can relate to this; I’ve got a number of stories (with songs in them, of course) that I tell in music class. Telling stories aloud is one of the best feelings and experiences. There’s also a lot of research that shows it’s better for brain development than picture books (when there’s nothing to look out, we really have to follow the story . . . I’ve heard the suggestion to read a picture book without looking at the pics first, then read it with the pics).

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