The Story Behind The Stories

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The Story Behind The Stories

Mr. Bonner poses for a picture.

Mr. Bonner poses for a picture.

Olivia Weaver

Mr. Bonner poses for a picture.

Olivia Weaver

Olivia Weaver

Mr. Bonner poses for a picture.

Olivia Weaver, Staff Writer

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It’s almost impossible to find someone here at school that is not aware of Mr. Bonner’s interviews. Giving the students a chance to open themselves up to their peers and share personal information is something Mr. Bonner has been doing for 16 years. It all started when he was teaching middle school, where he asked very basic non-personal questions in front of his classes and evolved it into the deep and personal conversation it is today.

Mr. Bonner does not just limit his interviews to school, he has conducted thousands of interviews at family and friend events, former student’s birthday parties and friends of students, past and present. There are many things that contribute to a good interview, but Mr. Bonner believes that a real story is a good one.

“The best interviews are authentic, it doesn’t matter what your background is. If you’re being authentic it will be interesting,” he said.

Mr. Bonner’s interviews are an important experience for students, it is probably the only time students will be able to completely open up and talk about who they are and what they feel in front of their peers. The students involvement is the key element.

“It’s the class that makes the interview, not me,” Bonner said.

When students are interested in the interviews it makes the interviewee feel more inclined to open themselves up more. Bonner says that it really bonds the classes together. It is not surprising that many of the interviews end in tears, not only for the student being interviewed but also for Mr. Bonner. Hearing about students’ hardships really takes a toll but the rewards outweigh the tolls.

“I have to come to school in the right mindset for interviews, it can be very emotionally draining,” he said.

Years after an interview, if Mr. Bonner is walking down the halls and sees a kid that gave an interview, he may not remember their name but he will remember their interview. Even though interviews are an emotional roller coaster, Mr. Bonner always finds a way to wrap up the interview making each student feel thankful that they chose to do one.

 

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