Telling your story is a way to share educational experiences, good or bad. It is also a way to share your dreams of how our system of education can become something much more effective. In either case, your story could spark discussion and/or debate that leads to much needed change.
You are not limited to one story or one format. We ask that each story focus on one experience or one idea that you feel can help advance the Dream School revolution.
Not all people tell stories the same way, so feel free to write, draw, paint, speak, or video your story. Here's how to share your ideas your way:
- Text: Try to keep your story to around 600-800 words, but remember: quality over quantity. We suggest writing it in another program before pasting it into the comment box below. (Google Docs or Open Office are good free options if you don't have a word processor on your computer.)
- Video: Please make videos no longer than 15 minutes so they can be uploaded onto YouTube or Vimeo. Once you've uploaded your video to one of these sites, please email the URL (web address) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Type "Video Story: Your Name" in the subject line, and include your name, byline, and email address in the body of the email.
- Audio: Please make audio files no longer than 15 minutes, and save them as MP3 files. (If you don't have a digital audio recorder on your computer or cell phone, we suggest Audacity for a free sound recording and editing program.) Please email your MP3 as an attachment to email@example.com and type "Audio Story: Your Name" in the subject line, and include your name, byline, and email address in the body of the email.
- Image: Please include no more than 10 images. Each image should be saved as a .JPG file and emailed as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Type "Image Story: Your Name" in the subject line, and include your name, byline, and email address in the body of the email.
Here are four ways you might focus your story:
These are just suggestions for ways your story might be focused. The priority is that you share your voice and help us collect ideas that can reform education in America. You can make a difference!
- Experience: Focus on an event, ritual, or relationship from your own schooling experience. Bring it to life for readers. Discuss how your experience relates to school reform. Based on your story, what should change and what should we keep in education?
- Observe: What have you learned about education from observing other people's experiences? You might focus on a student, friend, sibling, your own child, etc., but tell their story from your point of view. What should we learn from them, and how should it shape our future schools?
- Respond: Maybe you've recently read or viewed something related to education--research, popular media, or expert opinion. How do you respond to that text? Your story may agree/disagree with its ideas, focus on how to implement them, or relate to how the ideas would work for a specific group of students.
- Imagine: Think way beyond any schooling experience you've ever had. If you could learn in any environment, what would it look like, sound like, feel like? Who would be there with you? What metaphor might best describe this Dream School you're imagining? A community center? A summer camp? An African safari? Dare to imagine your Dream School, and share it with us.
These stories will be seen by younger students so we require that you express yourself appropriately in terms of language and content. We are strong believers in freedom of expression, but we also believe in acting responsibly.
If you aren't sure how to get started and want more details click here. If you just want to write...
- Place the title on the first line. Skip a line and write your story.
- At the end of the story include a brief "byline" which can be your name, your name title/position, or even a brief bio. We highly recommend that you include a brief descriptor after your name so we can keep track of the diversity of voices in order to promote populations who haven't been heard from yet. (Example: Julie Drake, 4th Grader; Jose Gonzales, Art Teacher; Catherine Johnson, Business Owner)
Again, thanks for participating in the Dream School revolution. Your story will be reviewed by an editor before it is published. If any wording changes are required that could alter the meaning, a copy of the edited story will be sent to you for your approval. We will never publish a modified story without your approval. You will be notified by email when your story is published, usually within 72 hours after the story is submitted assuming no material changes are required.