Behind the Stories: Meet Event Coordinator Katie Morris
Organizing dozens of classes, events, camp registrations and various and sundry customer inquiries requires the wisdom of a cleric, the charisma of a sorcerer, and the patience of a saint, but Katie Morris juggles her responsibilities with ease ... and even finds time to teach STEM classes as well! How does she keep The Story School running? Could it be a touch of magic? Let's learn more about our Event Coordinator ...
Just one look at the cats and their condos, the rabbit, and two goldfish in the aquarium, and it's pretty clear that Katie Morris likes animals. In fact, Katie earned a Bachelor of Science in Pre-Veterinary Medicine from the University of Massachusetts. She began her career working in an animal shelter, where she coordinated foster home placements for pets. Those customer service skills are useful at The Story School, where Katie started working at the front desk in 2019. She coordinates events, organizes birthday parties, serves as our membership coordinator, handles billing, and is now an instructor.
Katie was also a long-term substitute science teacher for 6th grade before arriving at The Story School. She loves kids, has experience with kids of all ages, and knows how to talk with them on their level. According to Katie, “I don't look much older than high school students, and I understand their references!”
Because of her science background, the STEM part of teaching at The Story School is a breeze. She's a whiz at setting up experiments, and loves to get input from students about “what they want to do, [and] discussing the logistics of why their ideas might or might not work.” Many science activities require specific supplies and supervision, so since Story School classes are now completely virtual, “most at-home [classes] now are about building things.” But that doesn't slow Katie, who asks, “Do you have popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and a spoon? OK, we can build a catapult!”
Katie enjoys helping with adventures at camp, where STEM activities usually take place in a separate space. Our Renaissance woman is interested in many types of STEAM: sciences, education, arts, and reading, to name a few. Her artistic hobbies, including crafting, drawing animal portraits, doing leather work, and embroidery, come in quite handy to help her put the "A" in STEAM! She also plays Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, and enjoys roller derby for fun.
One thing that attracted Katie to The Story School is our unique, nerdy (“that’s a good word”) mission, along with the types of classes we offer for a wide range of ages, including fantasy, role-playing, and fencing. “It’s stuff I would have liked to do as a kid.” As she taught more classes, like JITP (Junior Instructor-In-Training), Katie came to appreciate the opportunity to help young people develop by “teaching life skills, essential skills that are not necessarily taught in a school environment, like résumé-building and time management, and social skills like practicing listening, dealing with different opinions, how to have healthy discussions, how to work on a team with the same goal, critical thinking bouncing ideas off each other, and thinking before you act.”
According to Katie, students enjoy The Story School for different reasons. For some, it’s “fun exercise, or competitive sports.” For others, “it’s a nerdy outlet, a safe space; they’re comfy here.”
Her students say she’s “meme-able. They take screenshots of me for their background. I make a fool of myself. They say I’m engaging and happy. People usually match the teacher’s energy, and you have to do ten times more when you’re remote, so I’m over the top. Kids pick up on that and can make fun of the things I do or say.”
Katie's students report that they remember things from her classes months later, like “goofy recurring characters or situations, or things they built, like the party yacht.”
Katie is currently teaching Little Knights, Points & Powers, and Junior Instructors in Training. For more information about all of The Story School classes, visit https://www.thestoryschool.org/classes.
__________________ We can’t wait to experience Wizards & Warriors summer camp with our heroes! Pre-Registration pricing is only available for the month of March and registration is limited. Register now to secure your place in the 2021 season and lock in the lowest pricing. You can register online at https://thestoryschool.org/2021-summer-camps/ and you can always reach us by phone (781-214-1174) or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.