2013 Workshops

Talk Story, Write Story Teacher Workshop

Spring 2013, Ketchikan, Alaska

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Participants at the Talk Story, Write Story Teacher Workshop in Ketchikan, Spring 2013

High school English teachers and counselors from Metlakatla and Ketchikan deep in creative talk and thought during a Talk Story, Write Story workshop led by Tad Bartimus and Dean Wariner at the Cape Fox Lodge in Ketchikan.

Intensive morning and afternoon creative writing sessions in a lodge conference room featuring a glorious glass wall-view of Ketchikan, the harbor and mountains inspired lively discussions, sparked innovative ideas, and built supportive professional bonds.

Talk Story, Write Story is all about helping great teachers spend four full days focused on their own critical thinking and personal essay writing. Assigned topics require them to dig deep to express themselves the way they will have to inspire and lead their students to write their way into colleges of their choice and win scholarship awards to pay for their education dreams.

Workshop participants included Robert McClory, Natasha O’Brien, Kathy Anderson and Rebecca Bowlen.

Spring 2013 Ketchikan workshop Alumni who supported student scholarship winners and applicants:

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Natasha O’Brien

Ketchikan Counselor, Mentor to Gates Scholarship Winner Martina May Brown.

 

RobertMcCrory

 

Robert McClory

Ketchikan Counselor, Mentor to Gates Scholarship Winner Martina May Brown.

 

Kathy Anderson

Metlakatla English Teacher, Mentor to Gates Scholarship applicant Alexis Wagner.

Talk Story, Write Story Teacher Workshop

Spring 2013, Bethel, Alaska

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Participants at the Talk Story, Write Story Teacher Workshop in Bethel, Spring 2013

Bethel High School science teacher and Upward Bound Counselor Megan Shaw (left) posed with fellow workshop pals Jeanne Campbell, Chevak High School English teacher and Upward Bound Counselor and Chevak High School counselor Bob Gardner, in front of The Longhouse where Talk Story, Write Story workshops were held in a vast all-purpose room complete with dance floor and drum set.

The thermometer was still in the teens in Bethel, but these hearty bush teachers didn’t seem to notice as they took a mid-morning spring break from their Talk Story, Write Story four-day creative writing workshop.

Tad Bartimus and Dean Wariner continued to mentor and support workshop participants through email and Skype sessions to help them implement their own Talk Story, Write Story units created for their high school students.

Workshop attendees included Jeanne Campbell, Megan Shaw and Bob Gardner.

Spring 2013 Bethel Workshop Alumni with student scholarship winners:

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Jeanne Campbell

Chevak Resource Director, Mentor to Gates Scholarship Winners Kyla Fermoyle and Mary Pingayak.

 

Talk Story, Write Story Upward Bound Workshop

Summer 2014, Fairbanks, Alaska

Participants at the Talk Story, Write Story 2013 Upward Bound Workshop. Front row: Lovina Tutichuk, Chefornak; Mary Pingayak, Chevak. Back row:  Tad; Joshua Dotomain, Seward; Deanna Mathew, Bethel; Dean.

Participants at the Talk Story, Write Story 2013 Upward Bound Workshop. Front row: Lovina Tutichuk, Chefornak; Mary Pingayak, Chevak. Back row: Tad; Joshua Dotomain, Seward; Deanna Mathew, Bethel; Dean.

 

Talk Story, Write Story Teacher Workshop

Fall 2013, Anchorage, Alaska

  • Participants at the Talk Story, Write Story Teacher Workshop in Anchorage, Fall 2013

The 2013 Talk Story, Write Story workshop was held at the Westmark Hotel in Anchorage October 26-29, 2013. Participants included Mylisa Jones, Nate Laabs, Kalea Cunningham, Timothy Coray, Carla Swick, Betsy Whicker, Amanda Cantrell, Shannon Keegan, and Willie Hensley.

 

About Talk Story, Write Story Teacher Workshops

Talk Story, Write Story is a writing workshop developed over the past 16 years at a 341-student K-12 school with an 82% Hawaiian/part Hawaiian population in a rural, isolated community with a high poverty rate. It was created to inspire and instruct local students to believe they can do anything by crafting the best personal essays being written by high school seniors anywhere. They use those essays to gain college admittance, scholarships and jobs. Since Talk Story, Write Story began, college applications in graduating classes ranging from 16 to 26 students have tripled. Scholarship awards have increased more than 1000%.

Alaska teachers who participate in Talk Story, Write Story workshops can smoothly integrate this writing program into their curriculum to benefit students throughout rural Alaska. Ketchikan, Metlakatla, Chevak and Bethel teachers who attended the October workshop were excited to practice new skills and hone existing ones. A critical piece to the class that easily transferred from rural Hawaii to rural Alaska is the unique heritage and cultural aspects that color each place. Alaska’s students — tomorrow’s leaders — will benefit from these enhanced storytelling skills via broadband to perpetuate their own, their elders’, and their ancestors’ stories through multi-generational partnerships. This will further enrich Alaska Native cultures and the heritage of all Alaskans.

Workshop Objectives

  • Show teachers how to talk their own stories so they can write their own stories and teach others how to do it.
  • Share techniques to help workshop participants reveal their individual character through storytelling in the context of personal hardships, opportunities, and responses to daily as well as extreme life experiences.
  • Help participants look within for their creativity; persistence; service to others; intellectual curiosity; achievements in daily life; motivation; personal experience in managing or overcoming significant obstacles or challenges; understand their choices and what was gained as a result of those choices.
  • Guide participants in transferring their oral stories into written form while preserving their unique “voice” as they transition from TELLING to SHOWING.

Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Participants emerge from Talk Story, Write Story workshops with enhanced self-confidence: are better able to communicate their personal values, goals and gifts: are enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge with others, and have heightened leadership abilities
  • Talk Story, Write Story students learn storytelling techniques that will guide them in their personal and professional lives
  • Provides professional enrichment credits (through University of Alaska system)

Plans are being made to bring Talk Story, Write Story back to Alaska next school year to work with more teachers and directly with students.