Ian Hancock, an early advocate and friend of ours, recently told us about a student who wrote a farewell story to her teacher using Storybird. This alone was lovely news. But he went on to tell us that, as a result of this story, she was to give a speech to her school about Storybird, storytelling, and the power of teachers. We asked if we could share the transcript. Here it is.
“When my Elementary school closed down last year I had to say goodbye to my favorite teacher, Mrs. Janzen. She taught me during grade two and three. She was very kind, and encouraging.
Last week I dedicated a short story I wrote to her on Storybird, called “I Miss You.”
Chairperson, Honorable Judges, Ladies and Gentleman, and Fellow Students.
A year and a half ago, I began the journey of writing stories on this global collaborative website. To date, I’ve written 15 stories viewed by hundreds of people around the world. Each story allows the readers to comment and encourage me on my storytelling.
When I began writing stories, the concept of developing a story was new to me. I began copying childrens stories I’d heard and adapting them to the illustrations provided. Writing stories was hard; being creative and original was hard.
Readers encouraged me, liking my stories, telling me they were funny and cute. People from around the world—even from as far as Australia—would comment on my stories. These positive comments would encourage me to write even better stories.
Reading other published stories has broadened my range of topics and encouraged me to write more creatively.
I enjoy writing stories, having the ability to freely express my thoughts on paper and to develop those thoughts into a really good story, an interesting story. Publishing my stories and making them available for people around the world to read makes me feel, as an author, important and special. And it is really cool to know my story has traveled around the world.
I like writing. I enjoy it. I like having my stories read. To my knowledge there are thousands [almost a million -Ed ] of short stories published on this site. My most recent story, “I Miss You,” is ranked in the top 200 most read stories with over 350 viewings in less than a week.
This encourages me. Not only for the joy of writing—especially when it’s a simple story from my heart—but for the thrill of competition, to always improve and try to write a better story. Maybe one day my story will make top story for a monthly challenge. Or maybe one day I’ll have the most viewed story.
And I can say it all started with this little story I wrote for my teacher:
Teachers are so important in our lives. To encourage and motivate us and to provide creative outlets for us to grow and explore.
This is why I have become a storyteller.”
Asetchay is now in middle school, writing up a storm.
Update: This speech was part of a competition. We heard recently she won.