An Interview with Narrative 4 Educator, Tracy Randolph

This month, to celebrate International Women’s History Month, we’ve asked our staff to nominate some of the amazing women working within the Narrative 4 community, to uplift their work and express our sincere appreciation for their commitment to N4’s core beliefs. These women truly embody compassionate change-making in the world and are doing the work to build support and connection in their communities.

Tracy has been a middle and high school English teacher at St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School for decades. When she first connected with Narrative 4, she was eager to incorporate our Story Exchange into her classrooms and went above and beyond to provide students with a new and meaningful way to engage. In spite of the many obstacles  embedded in the infrastructure of her work as an educator, namely limited time and access to resources, Tracy made a personal commitment to pursue training with Narrative 4 and has now successfully led multiple Story Exchanges for students and faculty, recruited more educators from her community to train as N4 facilitators and has simply set an impressive example of how one teacher can influence a powerful wave of change. Tracy’s leadership and clear dedication to her students exemplify Narrative 4’s mission to build community through the power of storytelling and we are proud to showcase her this Women’s History Month.

In conversation with Tracy

  1. What’s the most important thing we should know about you?

I am a humanities teacher, so I believe passionately in the power of literature and story to help us recognize and embrace our shared humanity. Colum McCann’s Apeirogon is now my most treasured book for illustrating this principle. It moved me and I know I will read it again and again.  

2. What excites you about the work of Narrative 4? What drew you to this work? Why does it matter?

I appreciate that the simplest stories can create connections through the story exchange process. For instance, I teach my middle school students that a good poem or short memoir doesn’t have to be about scoring the game-winning goal or meeting a celebrity to be interesting. In the same way, when you participate in a story exchange, sharing another person’s story about a time she felt a sense of belonging or his favorite birthday ever, you are invested in sharing that person’s experience as if it were your own, capturing and conveying it authentically and reverently. 

3. Can you share a brief story about a time when your work with N4 felt especially impactful?

As an N4 newbie, I am thrilled that I’ve been able to facilitate several story exchanges at St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School, where I teach.  My colleague Malia Carlos, also a trained facilitator, assisted me and we received a lot of positive feedback from all groups.

Read our interviews with other nominees and participate in our International Women’s History month campaign here!