As a former teacher, Carol discusses the need for sharing skills, experiences, and other knowledge with others. Carol especially enjoys story telling as a means of educating.
Teachers In Our Lives
Teachers are part of our puzzle pieces of life. Everyone who ever attended school had teachers in their lives. Maybe you are attending school or post-secondary education and still have teachers or professors. Some people teach us specific skills such as cooking, sewing, construction, or how to drive. They are teachers at that moment, whether an official title or because they know more than we do. We can also teach what we know to other people. How many wrestle with the idea of being a teacher or teaching someone else what you already know?
Can You Teach Me?
Can you teach me? I often wrestle with this question and the connotations of needing to be an expert in a field in order to teach it to others. I spent time thinking through the many things I can or like to do and how I even teach some of them. Looking through what I list on my speaker card or website, I notice many things relate to stories. As a storyteller, I want to teach others about the power of using story in every subject area and season of our lives because story matters. Story allows the reader or listener to relate on a practical level and helps us remember the theoretical. It is through story and actions we influence others, whether we realize we do or not.
An Impact On Lives
But of all the subjects I talk about, what really has an impact on the lives of others? Does anything? I hope so. What importance does the various subjects I talk and write about have on me and on other people? Which ones need to be imparted frequently? These are good questions for me to ask myself. You can think of a list of questions to fit your interests and skills.
For example, start with listing things you know how to do and do well. This list might include painting, gardening, technical skills, cooking, baking, plumbing, woodworking, or any other part of your life skills. Once you have a list, ask yourself questions like who could it help; how could I teach this and where; what ones interest me the most; and which ones am I the best at accomplishing myself.
I reread my own list of workshop or retreat possibilities. There were topics like Story Matters, Preserving Family History, Communication Skills, Inclusion, and inspirational ones like Becoming a Person of Influence—Who Me?, among others. I believe they all can have an impact on people who read, attend a workshop, or listen to what I share.
We need to communicate and do it well in order for others to know our needs, wants, and desires. If I provide a workshop or writing about communication skills would be beneficial to many. I spent over fifteen years as a Toastmaster, working hard to practice communicating clearly, overcoming fear of public speaking, and mentoring others as they begin their journey. This gives me first hand experience of the journey to improving communication, both prepared and impromptu. I can help others increase the power of their message by showing them how to add stories or anecdotes to any presentation. The story helps their audience remember the point for longer.
I love family stories and learning about where my family came from as they settled in Canada. I enjoy the personal aspect of their struggles and triumphs, their questioning and faith, and their perseverance in spite of everything. Writing and speaking about preserving family memories allows others to find a way to learn about life choices and ancestors who helped bring them to the place they are today. It allows us to look back and live forward.
Having the courage to include people who might look or learn differently than we do, impacts not only those people but ourselves as well. Telling the stories about what true inclusion looks like helps take away the fear of the unknown, freeing people to interact with others and gain new perspectives.
I impart what I have learned along the way from book learning and classes to real life experience. I teach through more formal workshops as well as mentoring others. I speak into the lives of others, share their journey and encourage them to keep learning. I took training to be a teacher and special education was the area I specialized in. I taught students who had special needs or for whom English was not their first language. Yet so much of my expertise and my stories come from living each day with a daughter who has special needs. This has given me insights from a parent’s perspective as well as the teaching aspect. Watching her be included at times and excluded at other times has formed the basis of a workshop called The Courage to Include.
More Life Experiences
The older I get, the more life experiences fill my puzzle picture. I have had more opportunities to study, learn and acquire knowledge. I am a storyteller. I realize the value of story and how each one of our stories matter. I believe that is why I love to teach others how find their voice and share their stories.
Teacher, teacher, what can you teach me? I will teach you to tell your stories to empower you to advocate for yourself and others. I will encourage you to look at where you have come from and how this has impacted where you are today and dream about what is still to come. I will teach you, through story, to have the courage to include in order to take away the fear of the unknown and the benefits to all when we choose to look past the differences, knowing each one of us has some special needs. We will share stories to help us remember the important facts as we journey this life together.
Are you ready to learn how to find your voice and tell your story? If you are, I will teach you how to do it. Now what can you teach me or someone else?
Carol Harrison B.Ed is a speaker and published author with one book, Amee’s Story and stories in twelve anthologies. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and ability levels find their voice and reach their fullest potential.
She knows, through personal experience that some of life’s experiences are tougher than others. She encourages people that even in the twists and turns of life God’s amazing grace provides hope.
She lives in Saskatoon, SK with her husband Brian. They have four adult children and a dozen grandchildren.