Gene Tagaban, an inspirational Native American storyteller and performer, presented our students and staff wtih an “awesome” assembly. The students and staff loved it. He brought meaning to the word “awesome!”
Mr. Tagaban told stories to teach us many lessons. I learned that I am a storyteller, and that my story is my life, which began before my birth. It includes my ancestors and all of my life.
He also explained that I need to learn how to introduce myself. I need to not just say my name, but to thank and welcome the people to whom I am speaking. I need to show who I am by my clothes, my attitude, my tone as well as my words. This is important because it is part of my story. What kind of story do I want mine to be?
He also said that if I am respectful and kind, that I will get respect and kindness in return. “That is how the world works,” he said.
I learned these things through his stories. First, he told the story of his own introduction in his own language and then explained what it meant. From this I learned, “Respect myself; I am more than my words — I am my attitude, my clothes, my heart, my mind, my walk, my ancestors.”
Second, he explained that he was a storyteller, and that we all are storytellers of our own stories. He told his story of becoming a raven dancer, a dream that came true through the years from when he was five years old. He learned all about nature and people by traveling around in nature and in the world, and came back with his knowledge to become Raven Dancer.
Third, he told the story of Rabbit, who sang his song from his heart, and no one could take it away: not mountain lion, not bear, not coyote, and not eagle. They could not bully it out of him. We all have a story, a song from our heart. I learned I have a story, in my heart, that no one can take away.
I learned that I am awesome, and so are the people around me; I need to respect them, and respect will come back. We learned this through poetry: I am awesome; I have personal power; I have mind power; I have spirit power. I am looking’ good; I am awesome.
The most important thing I learned is to tell my story from my heart, to know that I am awesome, and that if I am respectful and kind, that I will get respect and kindness in return. “That is how the world works,” he said. And even when bad things happen, we are like the eagle feather and can put ourselves back together. “Everything will be OK.”
I recommend this assembly to other schools, especially because of the stories and music. Sometimes you listen, but most of the time he invites you to participate in the story or song to help the audience learn “We are awesome” and that we have our own stories to share.
Our students will be adding their ideas to the class blog at: http://eagleswrite.edublogs.org We hope you enjoy our ideas and learn the lessons we gathered from our participation with Mr. Tagaban.
Enjoy our video:
Image Credit: Awesome by Run
Thanks to Gene Tagaban for inspiring our students.
Music in Video based on Rabbit’s Song from the assembly.