Using Your Personal Stories

It’s important to build a rapport and trust with your students. A good way to do so is through personal storytelling. A good place to start is by telling your childhood story. Students will relate to you and will keep in mind that you too were once their age.

Students love to hear about teachers’ adventures, comic situations, trips, and anything that will surprise them. Have fun with your stories and be sure you stay away from sensitive or sad stories.

Here are some guidelines to follow when telling personal stories.

  • Get involved in your story. Use your voice and gestures to keep your students’ interest.
  • Don’t tell your stories literally. Adapt them in keeping with the age of your students and what you want them to know about you.
  • Make sure you set the scene for your story. Tell your students where and when it occurred. You want your students to be able to imagine it actually taking place.
  • Involve your students by building suspense by using pauses and questions.
  • Make sure your stories have a point. If there’s no point to them, students are not going to be interested in listening to them.
  • If you’re teaching a particular topic and you have familiar anecdotes of your own, be sure to include them.
  • Invite your students to share their own personal stories. As they get to know you through your stories, they will become comfortable relating their own stories.