Relatable.And two-way!A method of educating that when done well uses language and stylization that cuts through,placing the audience in its best position to make its own decisions moving forward.
Decisions such as seeking further education,conversation,reflection and
individual or group action.
As a father of three,youth advocate,professional classroom educator and guest speaker with over 25 years of experience I appreciate implicitly that my involvement can only highlight the critical importance of two fundamental strengths.Accurate communication and great relationships.
Nothing more-or less.To believe one has the ability to affect a greater level of influence individually or via a ‘program’ is pure ego-and ultimately driven by financial gain.
Schools provide captive youth spaces that need to be leveraged both internally and externally by skilled (professional) storytellers.Storytellers who understand how to engage and provoke using language that captivates,excites-saying ‘just enough’ whilst providing space for response and the skill to ‘bring it all together’.
Education continues to roll-out (for example) Pythagorus the mathematician when it could share Pythagorus the philosopher.Young people deserve to learn more than just a mathematical formula,they need to learn formulas that they can apply against their daily lives and their (wholistic) health.
The work I share in schools is deliberately raw,masked as simplistic and always inclusive.Regardless of setting or age I look to engage young people and staff with a story which creates an environment in which they then feel comfortable to explore their own (story)-even sharing parts thereof.This exchange of information not only brokers a relationship between myself and the audience but within the audience itself.I have 3 questions that I believe have great value with each subtly highlighting communication,
responsibility and reflection-my audience present and considerate throughout.As a result of my approach and the atmosphere that is jointly created my audience (young and old) reflect my level of vulnerability in both their words and actions
I am not a program nor workshop-I am simply a person sharing stories,asking questions and listening carefully not only to what is shared but what isn’t.
I do not provide a certificate for the school to hang in their reception area indicating ‘completion’ of a program nor do I enlist alternate facilitators to tell ‘my’ stories for they are mine and mine alone.
Time after time staff share with me that they have never seen their students,a class or individuals sit in a captivated state for so long-such is the power of a well told story and provocative questions.
I begin without introduction and don’t share my name until I’m 20 minutes into the conversation.Why?Because I am challenging social media,the internet,expectations,
fatigue,indifference and (sadly) education to quickly create a real connection and subtly steer an audience towards non-prescriptive self exploration.
What more could I do?
(I believe anything else is essentially self serving)