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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!

5 Best Teaching Moments: Your Words Are Worth Something


5 Best Teaching Moments: I’ll be posting one every day this week. Number 2! It’s the last day of the workshop. The last student – a young woman who started learning English a year ago when she arrived in Canada – walks toward the door. Thinking of my grade 4 teacher Ms. Randolph, the first person to tell me my words meant something, I say – “Just a second,” and she stops. “Listen, I just need you to know. You are an amazing writer. I mean – you are an AMAZING. WRITER. You could pursue it as a career.” Her eyes are wide. “Thank you,” she whispers. And her smile is filled with hope.

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!

5 Best Teaching Moments: You Don’t Have To Be Scared


5 Best Teaching Moments: I’ll be posting one every day this week. Number one!

I’m running a Storytelling Workshop at an elementary school. I end with: “Here’s something you guys don’t know: I’m incredibly shy. I’m scared of talking to groups of strangers. But I am REALLY good at faking it, and you can do it too.” An eleven year old boy raises his hand.

“Miss?” he says, “Miss, you don’t have to be scared of me.”

(Then I die of crying.)

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!

Storytelling Drop-In May 11

What should you expect? We’ll have 90 very fun minutes to get to know each other and learn more about storytelling. My workshops are high energy, fun, and supportive.

This workshop’s for you if:

— You’re ready to learn by doing. From the zombie game right through to Kill the Kittens, we’re going to be up and moving. (And not actually killing kittens. Promise.)

— You’d just love to be able to stand up and speak confidently, whether that’s on stage, screen, in the boardroom, or just among friends.

— You might not know what story you want to tell, but you’re excited to work with the group to find out.

— You’re kind of shy, and while you love the idea of being an amazing storyteller, the reality seems really far away. (Guess what? That gap is way smaller than you think.)

Fee: $5

Can you come play? I hope so!

I’m happy to answer any questions you might have, and am really looking forward to meeting all of you.

Sign up via Meetup or Facebook. (Please sign up in advance, as I have a limited amount of space.)

More Info
$5 cash at the door
Socap Theatre THIRD FLOOR
154 Danforth Ave (just east of Broadview Station)
Toronto, ON