User Generated Education

Education as it should be – passion-based.

Every Educator Has a Story . . . Just Tell It.

with 13 comments

This is one of my favorite cartoons ever.

The “punch” line is that every person on the planet has a story to tell.  I also know that every teacher has a story to tell.

Educators are doing amazing things with their learners in spite (i.e., to show spite toward) of the standards-based and accountability-driven movements. I’ve learned about so many exciting learning activities from educators who are publicizing their great projects via Twitter, Facebook, and Blogs.  I’ve read about global collaborations, interesting ways technology is being integrated into the classroom, kids making a difference in their communities, and great project-based learning.

This is my own call to action for educators to tell their stories of those rich and amazing things they are doing in their classrooms.

  • Write a blog.
  • Tweet about it.
  • Make photo essays and upload to a photo sharing site like Flickr.
  • Take some video footage and share it on YouTube, TeacherTube, or Vimeo.
  • Ask learner to blog about it.
  • Share on Facebook.
  • Give virtual presentations at conferences such as Global Education and K12 Online.
  • Ask local reporters to come to your classroom
  • Others? (Please add to list.)

For example, I am incorporating students’ mobile devices into an undergraduate course on Interpersonal Relationships.  I take photos during each class and that day write a blog entry about mobile learning.  These entries take about an hour.

I now have a record/reflection about the class.  I get to share it with others via Facebook and Twitter.

If all educators publicized the accomplishments they had in their classrooms using technology, hands-on activities, global collaborations, project-based learning; then an informal qualitative research project would result.  When educators are asked to provide evidence of efficacy to administrators, parents, other educators, funding sources, they could share these success stories.  This aggregate would become the collective narrative – story of education of our times in the beginnings of the 21st century.

Written by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

November 23, 2011 at 3:37 pm

13 Responses

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  1. Brilliant, scream it from every virtual tree top. I love to see these stories told in video form, but embedded in a blog for context and related links – this has been a premise of my collection of Amazing Stories of (Sharing/Openness) e.g.

    Alan Levine (@cogdog)

    November 23, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Alan, and for your Amazing Stories. You are a master story facilitator and sharer. One story, blog, tweet at a time educators will change the status quo.

      Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

      November 24, 2011 at 12:23 am

  2. Hi Jackie,
    You do have good ideas for teachers. I will try to pass the ideas on to teachers here.
    Have a nice MOOC


    November 25, 2011 at 7:34 pm

  3. […] been an unique semester for me as well, so I look forward to giving my perspective on “Every educator has a story…just tell it.” […]

  4. […] the entire article at UserGeneratedContent website; a site by Jackie Gerstein, […]

  5. Jackie, love the cartoons and the message for teachers to tell their story. Thanks for sharing!
    Julie Lindsay, Flat Classroom.

    • Thanks, Julie!

      Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

      April 4, 2012 at 3:14 am

  6. […] Conceptually, I am in agreement with Sheryl.  I discussed similar ideas in a blog post entitled Every Educator Has a Story . . . Just Tell It.  Where I have have difficulties is in the language of self-promotion.  I begin with an excerpt […]

  7. Jackie, Great idea! I would like to add that they could also tweet about it with the #EduWin hashtag, or share the great things they are doing at Thanks!

    Michael Walker

    August 1, 2012 at 6:28 pm

  8. Jackie, this is a great post, and I am about to share it with the graduate students in my Integrating Technology and Literacy course. They are just learning about blogging, wikis, and digital storytelling. They teach grades PreK-12, but most teach Prek-6. Your post will remind them they not only have a story to tell, but so do their students. I often post on one of my blogs a link to one of the graduate students’ projects, but also like the idea of bringing a camera right to class and capturing their stories that way.

    The students in the course also post on their blogs projects their own stories are doing, such as VoiceThreads. We all need to be reminded to share stories, and the comic strips you selected are also good reminders of that.

    JudyArzt (@JudyArzt)

    January 28, 2013 at 3:00 am

    • Thanks, Judy – I think all students – all ages should be encouraged to blogged. Kathy Cassidy has her 1st and 2nd graders and Joan Young has her 4th graders blogging.

      Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:07 am

  9. Great post Jackie! By the way, I think you may have missed “has a” in the sentence “I also know that every teacher story to tell.” (Don’t you wish that independent bloggers like us always had a proof reader at the ready? I sure do!). Anyway, love your work, keep the great content coming.

    Kelly Walsh

    April 26, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    • Thanks, Kelly – I do appreciate it!

      Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

      April 26, 2014 at 1:55 pm

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