Saturday, November 10, 2007

Storytelling and shy children

I was a shy kid. Not within our family (I can hear some of you snickering--that's enough, now), but in public. I clearly remember hiding behind the door on the first day of nursery school, and that was in the church where my father was the minister, a familiar place.

At one of the schools on the residency in Iola, a teacher told me that one of her shyest students had already told her two of my stories on the playground. This was a child who never spoke in class. The teacher was amazed. She's now thinking about how to encourage the student. As she put it, "Storytelling might be the place in the classroom where this kid can shine!"

What a great teacher, to recognize that.

I understand those shy kids. Those of us who are introverts (in the Myers-Briggs explanation, in that we get our energy from being alone) are able to bring our inner landscape to the outer world through storytelling. I'm right on the line between introvert and extrovert, though I lean more toward introvert the older I get. Here's a wild generalization: Introverts tend to work on their stories inside before allowing them to be heard. Extroverts are more likely to work on stories in front of an audience.

I'm going out now to cut wood with my brother. He'll cut, I'll carry. This is a great time to work on stories, mulling them over inside as I do some completely mindless labor.

No comments: