I do not profess to be a particularly good storyteller. If I am in the classroom with students, I think I do a pretty good job, but put me in a room with adults or on a stage and I freeze! I have; however, been asked to speak on several occasions in front of groups or the school PTA. I try to have a repertoire of stories I can tell which are appropriate for those settings. This is my very favorite one to tell. I do not know the title, nor do I know where I originally heard it, but I have adapted it, and I have found that it is well received. If you have to speak before a group sometime, maybe you can use it…..
It was five thirty in the afternoon and this mother was rushing to pick up her kids from the after school program before she had to pay a late fee. She’d already paid a late fee several times the past couple of weeks, and the last thing she wanted to do was to pay another one! She literally ran into the school, grabbed the kids, and started driving home thinking about all the things she had to do once she got home…. after all, her day didn’t end at 5:00, she had another job waiting at home.
The kids were especially restless after a long day at school and couldn’t wait to get home and play. They jumped out of the house and raced for their IPADs. In the meantime, Mom went inside, checked the mail, fixed the kids a snack, emptied the dishwasher, and started getting supper ready. Whew! I’m tired just saying that!
A few minutes later, the kids, tired from the IPAD, came into the kitchen wanting some attention. “Mom, we want you to come and play with us,” they cried. Mom looked at them, sighed, and replied, “I can’t right now, I have to fold the laundry, cook supper, pay bills and iron your clothes for school tomorrow. You’ll just have to wait and entertain yourselves until your dad gets home from work.” The kids’ faces dropped, but they had heard this scenario before, so they went back to the IPAD to wait for Dad. Mom in the meantime went back to work talking to herself, “I can’t do it all!”
After a little while, Dad came dragging through the front door. He walked into the kitchen, grabbed the newspaper and an ice cold soft drink and headed for his favorite chair in the den. He plopped down, grabbed the TV remote control, and settled down to watch CNN and relax. Just as he got comfortable, in barged two energetic kids excited to see Dad. “Hey Dad, come outside and play with us!” they both cried. Now all Dad wanted to do was to come home and plop in front of the TV. after a long hard day. “Not right now,” he answered. “Y’all go play by yourselves, and let Dad relax.” “I’ll play with you in a little while.” With long faces, the kids left the room and Dad settled back down to listen to the CNN World Report.
Dad was just beginning to get comfortable again, when both kids came rushing back in. “You ready to play yet?” they asked expectantly. Now Dad was thinking of a peaceful way to get out of this situation when he spied a magazine on the coffee table. “Ahhha,” he thought. He grabbed the magazine which had a map of the world on the front cover, tore it into little pieces, and handed it to the kids saying, “Go get some tape and put this map of the world back together. When you’re finished, then I’ll play with you.”
Now this sounded like a good idea to the kids, and they grabbed the scraps excitedly and rushed off.
Dad settled back down in his chair, confident that he had a good thirty minutes before being interrupted again. In less than ten minutes, no make that five, Dad looked up to see two pair of eyes peering expectantly at him holding the completed world puzzle in front of them. Dad just couldn’t believe it! How could they finish that quickly? “You can’t be finished yet!” he exclaimed. “Did your mother help you with this?”
“No Dad, we did it all by ourselves,” they insisted. “Really! You see we discovered that there was this picture of a kid on the other side of the map and we discovered that if you put the kid together right, the whole world will come out right.”
I love that phrase, “If you put the kid together right, the whole world will come out right.” That’s what we as teachers, principals, and parents are all about. Shaping the kids of tomorrow. If we all worked together, imagine what a world that would be.