Narratively: A More Personal Way of Writing About Schools

Narratively 204Somehow, the longform site Narratively ran a whole series on education last spring and I missed it. Maybe you did, too?

The five-story package includes pieces about a strict teacher’s life lessons, parents who are suspected by teachers of abusing their own child, back-row anecdotes from “a teacher’s pet, a blackboard buffoon and a tormented gay teen share,” and what happens when teachers fall in love.

The only other time I’ve seen a Narratively story related to education was in 2013 and was about autistic kids aging out of the school system.But the site is a longform powerhouse, and the approach to writing about schools from a human, personal point of view is a potentially powerful one — especially if the vivid personal narratives are paired with larger policy issues.

Other outlets that take a similar approach to covering education (at least occasionally) include The Atlantic, Jacobin, Al Jazeera America (RIP), VICE, and Pacific Standard. I can imagine The Seventy-Four taking a similar approach.

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Alexander Russo

Alexander Russo is a freelance education writer who has created several long-running blogs such as the national news site This Week In Education, District 299 (about Chicago schools), and LA School Report. He can be reached on Twitter at @alexanderrusso, on Facebook, or directly at