Stories from the Field
Edited By David J. Connor and Beth A. Ferri
Conclusion: Bridging Theory and Practice through Story
BETH A. FERRI & DAVID J. CONNOR
Stories are the central way that we bring meaning to experience (Short, 2012). Who we are is literally a collection of stories—those we’ve been told about ourselves, those we tell others. Many stories in this book point to critical moments or touchstone experiences that we, the collective authors in this volume, understand now (but likely did not in the moment) as helping to shape who we have become as teachers, researchers, and scholars. We might look back at these earlier selves with surprise and affection, and sometimes even shame and regret. We may wish that we knew then what we know now, but also must recognize that we likely wouldn’t be who we are, or know what we know now, had it not been for that earlier self.
The characters in these narratives are truly unforgettable: parents, teachers, students, administrators, and colleagues. Each is a key player in our memories—through these characters and sometimes against them, we became the professionals we now are (or will be). Of course, we are not finished—our stories are never finished—there is always another page, chapter, or verse. But there is a reason we return again and again to these early stories and the people who inhabit them, the students especially. Their faces and names, are forever lodged in our memories. They were often our best, and sometimes our most challenging, teachers. Moreover, their lessons continue to teach us, as...
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