The Masterful Storyteller

Note from founder:

This is a special guest post from unpocoderojo 🙂

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Dedicated to my awesome college professors Sirs Irwin Cruz, Dave Lozada, Ambeth Ocampo, Herman Rochester, Jo-Ed Tirol, Victor Venida, and Fernando Zialcita.

Throughout my life as a student, I’ve had my fair share of educators who only taught — but never lived out their passions and sought to vent out their frustrations to students — and educators who teach their subject as if their lessons were a way of life for them.

The latter, the passionate educator, is not a mythological creature, but a living, breathing, wonderful human being. What he breathes out, it becomes the word, and his lessons dwell within us and among us.

The passionate educator is a light in the darkness; it is he who casts out ignorance with his own experience.

I had professors like that, though I think they won’t admit it. But they definitely live out what they taught me, and I’m prepared to do the same.

But there was actually one who continues to teach me and give me sound advice with regard to my career. I didn’t know that his class would be a pivoting chapter in my life, and he would be one of the people constantly helping me out afterwards.

Back in university, I had a class called Cross-Cultural Communication, where I and my other classmates learned how to act and speak in different business environments and cultures across the world. Think of it like finishing school or etiquette class for budding business executives and foreign service workers.

Our class for that semester was taught by Irwin Cruz.

In that class, Irwin taught us lessons on how perceptions can make or break a culture, and that culture shock, though normal, shouldn’t hamper one’s experience of a different worldview. He used his language skills, the non-verbal signals he knows, and his work experience outside the country to share to us how the real world is like, and how we should take initiative to learn about different ways of life before making any assumptions (this I learned through the entire subject, indirectly).

A little bit after the semester, he gave me a gentle nudge towards arts and cultural management, four words that later defined my life. Through him, I slowly realized my real passions, and where I see myself headed for; after being Irwin’s beadle in class, we became good friends after the semester, and even after college, he continues to help me and remind me that I’m worth something in this world.

What some professors failed to do, Irwin succeeded in teaching: He taught me how to care, and to take care of my passions.

Storytelling

There are many teachers like Irwin, but only a few can harness their teaching potential and lead their students to care. Most teachers try their best to do that, I’m sure, but sometimes the message doesn’t always get across.

One good tip is to extensively know your subject. It’s as important to know the ‘WHY’ of the ‘WHAT’ and ‘HOW.’ It’s equally important to keep students interested, and you can do this by telling your own story and see how it relates to the lesson at hand, and how your students are part of that big pie.

You have to make the connection as clear as possible for them to realize that they are part of something bigger, and that they can make a difference.

I’ve seen some classroom discussions with passionate teachers who use storytelling, and the class wasn’t a normal class: it was a dialog about a Shakespearean play.

That’s how my professors were to me — lively and engaging storytellers who inspired me to be a better person.

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. – Albert Einstein

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Visit the author at unpocoderojo.

15 Comments

  1. For me teaching is one of the greatest profession in the world. Jesus is a teacher. Teachers should love their job and give their best in life to teach people how to improve themselves. Good teachers are also not only found in the classrooms, but they are almost found everywhere, even online, on your blog and on Facebook. You are blessed to have teachers like Irwin and the rest of your personal teachers.

  2. I equally admire professors who make a difference, who touch lives and are living their passion! The torch has been passed on to us.. Kudos!

  3. Professors do contribute so much in the society as they are the one that mold students to become excellent persons and professionals.

  4. sabi nga ng fav professor q, “teaching is not a job it is a commitment and passion”,

  5. Yes, for me school as our second home and professors as our second parents… 😀

  6. I love it when teachers do have this kind of connection with their students. I mean, story telling or sharing the teachers personal story is one way to do that.

  7. We’re all raised inside the academe for many years and the teachers/profs served as our guiding light. My parents are both educators, they are happy with their profession. Ansarap daw ng feeling na babalik ang isang successful na studyante sayo at magsasabi ng thank you. 🙂

  8. i missed my professors after reading this! :/

  9. you are so lucky to have such a motivational teacher…if all teachers were like yours, the world would be a better place.

  10. a very inspiring post 🙂
    I know a lot of professors in our school who makes a difference not only in teaching but in how he/she approaches us students

  11. this post made me miss my professors. they taught me to be a better person. sobrang galing 🙂

  12. You are indeed fortunate to have a mentor who still takes the time to remind you of your worth (which I find very admirable), and of course, your capabilities.. 🙂

  13. It is the ones who are truly in love with their craft who can touch the lives of others. Your teacher is a gem.

  14. Nowadays, there are only few dedicated and committed teachers who possess such passion in their profession. i think because of the increasing number of students. They can no longer perform their functions competently and efficiently.

  15. I admire professors who doesn’t use any books nor cue cards when teaching. For me, it goes to show that they really know what they’re talking about.

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