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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

On this 400th episode of Inside Education I am delighted to be joined by the co-presenter of my favourite podcast, Speak-up Storytelling. Matthew Dicks is also an elementary school teacher and the author of Storyworthy: Engage, teach, persuade, and change your life through the power of storytelling. He blogs and shares other resources at his website. Matthew shares a story with listeners to this week's podcast and among the other topics we discuss are:

  • Becoming a teacher
  • Studying in a community college while working in McDonalds before winning scholarships to university
  • Manipulating his dream to fit his reality instead of manipulating his reality to fit his dream
  • What he likes and dislikes about teaching
  • Teaching children writing like an editor treats a writer (giving them time, choice, audience, purpose)
  • The importance of letting a child share their writing and how to respond to the child’s writing
  • Providing feedback for students on their writing
  • Why he writes
  • The kind of stories he tells on stage
  • The idea he developed called “homework for life”
  • How he uses storytelling in his elementary school teaching
  • Improvisational story telling games
  • The consequence of storytelling and story-writing being acts “of courage”
  • Sharing writing as a celebratory moment
  • Having a stage, curtains, lighting and a sound system in his class
  • Teaching Shakespeare to fifth grade students
  • “Whatever your passion is, bring it to the classroom”
  • Albert Cullum Shakespeare in the classroom
  • A typical day in his classroom
  • Disliking school as a student
  • Why he teaches to the students who don’t want to be in class; not assuming that any student wants to be in school on any given day
  • How his approach to planning has changed
  • He is a problem-solving, big-picture person – not someone who likes to write a unit of work or draft a school plan
  • Managing behaviour in the classroom
  • Why he dislikes homework: children should read every day and learn to study. He prefers long-term assignments over short-term ones
  • Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
  • Using competence in storytelling to be a better interviewee when you go for a job
  • Telling a story


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