Stories are one of the most powerful forms of communication. A story told well can help us shape our world, change our attitude, clarify our beliefs and influence our behaviour. A funny, entertaining story can trigger a release of the love drug oxytocin in the brain, making us feel good. On a practical level, a good story can teach us a valuable lesson, and from a historical and cultural perspective, it helps us understand.
The inspiration behind this blog has come from my daughter, Indigo. She has been away on a leadership camp throughout Term 4 as part of the fantastic program run by the School of Leadership at the Alpine Campus. Although there has been very little contact with home, I’ve found connection through accessing her learning journal. Every day, she documents small reflections and learnings – she tells her story. Many of the learnings are derived from the Experiential Learning model, one I value greatly and takes me back to my time studying and teaching Outdoor and Environmental Studies. Experiential Learning is the process of learning through experience, followed by reflection on that experience and applying the learning. It can be applied to many aspects of our life.
I know that I have a bias, but I have thoroughly enjoyed reading her work. Through her storytelling, I am watching the learning and growth that is taking place. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind me sharing a snippet from one of her journal entries….
Today I was grateful for my music and the ability to read and enjoy books, it always calms me down and zone out of the real world for a little bit, to gather my thoughts and not have to worry about all my stresses. Reading a book is one of my ways to cope when things get tough or I need a break, it gives me something to focus on and sometimes I even learn something about the characters that could help me.
So as the year winds up, I leave you with a few words of encouragement:
- Find positive ways to shape your story and share it with those around you, just like Indigo did for me. Stories can influence, inspire and motivate those around us.
- Over the Summer break, pencil in some experiences that you enjoy and allow yourself some time to reflect. It’s your experiences that shape your story.
- Find the stories in your life that can trigger positive feelings. These feelings lead us to reflect. From that reflection, learning can take place and then we can take action. It’s the action that leads to results.
- Doing something without reflecting can be a missed opportunity for learning. Whether it be your day-to-day lessons, the weekly staff meeting, the book you read over the break or the hike you take with your friends or family, consider how it creates your story.
You’re nearly there! Enjoy the last few days at school and then enjoy a well-deserved break with family and friends.
Check out other articles Simon has written here.