World of Learning Institute Podcast and Newsletter
We Do This Everyday!
Who is your favorite Storyteller? #41

Who is your favorite Storyteller? #41

We Do This Everyday Season 2 Episode #19

Greetings World of Learning Friends,

Olivia and Lauren did a podcast takeover, again. And I am grateful. I love how awesome our WOL Team is! The conversation between these awesome folks is inspiring - and it is so incredible to think about the teacher and learner as we talk about designing curriculum. As I listened I got excited when I heard that our curriculum work can help… with troubleshooting advice and a changeable curriculum for teachers and families.

We want to learn from you as well. Reach out and tell us about what you are proud of, and what makes your heart sing. If you haven’t listened to our student's voice podcasts you can find Abby’s here and Aliza’s here - they sure are something Turkeyfoot and Bedford School Districts can be proud of.

As most of you know, we recently engaged in a year-long project to streamline and storyboard our courses with Heidi Hayes Jacobs and Allison Zmuda. Part of our goal in this effort is to meet others who can become partners in learning and growing. After our event, we invited some of the participants to join us in conversation and we are delighted to dive deeper with Rob and Amy from Southwestern School District to imagine how we can make learning experiences relevant for EVERYONE!

Here are a few of the key takeaways from our conversation with Dr. Rob Freil and Ms. Amy Kauffman from Southwestern School District in Hanover, PA:

  • Southwestern's curriculum work is guided by quality and alignment. Curriculum design work does not stand alone. Dr. Freil also oversees the work of assessment design and implementation as well as the instructional practices that support the curriculum and assessment. Dr. Freil, Amy, and their teams ensure that there is quality and alignment in their district, meaning that the implementation of the curriculum, assessment, and teaching strategies are done well and intentionally across K-12. 

  • Stories are accessible. Traditional curriculum design in the form of scopes and sequences laden with education jargon often doesn't make sense to those outside of school leadership. Stories are an opportunity to engage parents and students in the path of learning.

  • The culture around curricular work is key.  In spaces where there is not a lot of "love" for curriculum design, storytelling provides an "access point," as Dr. Freil shares. Amy enjoys working with teachers and having conversations with them about curriculum design, even if it's not a space that teachers feel comfortable in at first. Amy works to give teachers that voice in their curriculum and helping them to see how curriculum design plays out in what they do in the classroom. This culture-building is important.

  • Teaching is an art, and storyboarding curriculum provides flexibility for that craft. Instead of seeing curriculum as simply standards to get through, the story turns it into a journey. Dr. Freil wonders if curriculum could serve as a "troubleshooting map" instead of a list of objectives? When we map and create a storyboard as our guide, it provides more freedom for teachers to practice their art instead of boxing them in.  

  • Storytelling is inherently human. We all need to see how the threads connect in order to learn, whether that is unit to unit, or event to event in a story. We all know great storytellers in our family and friend circles. Not only can we think about the stories we want to tell, but Olivia is also thinking about the stories that others are sharing with her. What makes people want to share their stories with us?

One of my favorite parts of this podcast was when Rob, Amy, Lauren, and Olivia talked about their favorite storytellers! Rob highlighted how his Mother-In-Law added color and humor to family stories that connect and preserve family traditions.

Who is your favorite storyteller?

Leave a comment

There is still time to join us for the year-long Storyboarding and Streamlining Design Space. REGISTER HERE to join us and tell the story of your course, your classroom, or your school!

Have a great week,


World of Learning Institute Podcast and Newsletter
We Do This Everyday!
We do our best each day to be authentic, relevant and engaging in the virtual education space. This podcast will help you see that you, too, can survive and thrive in the new and evolving world of blended and hybrid platforms for learning.
For many years the WOL Institute has provided the BEST in online virtual learning for K-12 schools. We hope our experience in the virtual world will help you navigate and succeed.