5 Best Teaching Moments: The Secret Book Filled With Secrets


5 Best Teaching Moments: I’ll be posting one every day this week. Number 3! My students are standing in a circle. I say, “Now. Close your eyes. Imagine your room, when you were a teenager. Look at one of the things in your room. REALLY look at it. What colour is it? Where is it in the room? What did you use it for? Where did it come from? When you have your item, open your eyes.”

They open their eyes, and I go inside the circle and point. “I’ll start with mine. This is my Soloflex poster. A black and white photograph of a man taking his shirt off, and you can’t see his face, because who was looking at this poster to see someone’s face? Nobody. Okay – who’s next?”

My students come forward one by one. There’s a custom-painted ceiling fan of Little Mermaid, painted by a professional artist. There’s a photograph of Sikh gurus on top of the dresser. There’s a bed with an astronaut bedspread and a view of the ocean out the window.

And then one of my students comes forward. She is shy and quiet and smart and in her mid-thirties. She lifts the imaginary mattress and puts an imaginary book underneath it. “This is where I keep my secret book,” she says, and the class says OOOO and leans forward as if they’ll be able to see it. “This is where I keep the poetry that I write.”

And we all collapse in giggles, because of COURSE this smart, hard-working woman kept beautiful poetry in her secret book. Mine would totally have just been photos of shirtless, headless men.

Want to be part of the fun? You can. I’m running a 90 minute Storytelling Drop In on May 11 – click here to join!