Thursday, February 05, 2009

A Lesson from My Students

I don't often blog about work, and that is because as a teacher, I have a professional obligation to preserve my students' anonymity. However, I couldn't keep this nugget to myself. 

My students were asked to reproduce an iconic image of Barak Obama--the face of hope and optimism-- using a Grid Drawing process.  Ironically, at the onset, my students were very pessimistic about the challenge.  This is a vlog of their experience from their point-of-view.

I was blown away by their attentativeness.   Essentially, the process transcended the narrow frame of an art lesson, and as a result I became the student. In their lesson, I found so much application for my own life.  For instance, when I experience hardship, my attention converges on the obstacle before me.

Currently, I am coping with a blow dealt to me by life.  I may blog about the details later.  Right now, though, I am very much the wounded animal, that seeks safe haven in a cave somewhere to nurse my wound.  I want to detach, because detaching is innate, and doing what is innate comes easily.

However, I realize that this narrow focus puts me in a very vulnerable position, because it has the risk of isolating me from the people I care most about.  When I withdraw like this, I often fail to see the bigger picture, which is to say that my perspective is one of a lone fighter,  when the truth is the exact opposite.  I am apart of something greater than myself.

I am a mother, a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a teacher, a parishioner, a citizen of my city, my state, and of the world.  I have an amazing support system that-- when I invite them in--helps me weather the storms with more tenacity. More importantly, my students' reminder makes the daunting task of coping with life on life's terms more manageable.   


The Unlikely Pastor's Wife said...

Dionne- THis is SOO COOL!!!! Wow, what a great teacher you are to give them a project that seemingly looks impossible and to help them see the possible. What a wonderful and creative project!!! I especially like the vblog.

Wow.....just soooo cool!

The Unlikely Pastor's Wife said...

On another note....continue to engage my friend. It's worth it.
thinking of you....

Crystal said...

Wow Dionne! I am always encouraged and amazed by the projects you manage to have your students produce. That was awesome! Thank you for sharing that!
=) Crystal

Rory said... go warrior mama. Keep fighting, because (to paraphrase Proverbs), victory will be sweet. Praying for you tonight.

Diane Davis said...

after watching this video, i oooze with pride that you are my friend.

Tee-Tee said...

you are an amazing educator and an amazing sister!!! i love you!

Jen said...

So great Dionne! You're leaving a lasting impression and should be really proud of yourself! Thanks for posting the video.

Mike and Katie said...

That is a really cool project!

Thanks for sending the video link. I've always wondered about the beads.

I have been told not to leave rubber bands in her hair because it would encourage breakage, so I wasn't sure what to put on the ends.

I've been just using the rubber bands that I have on the ends of the braids. It has helped to put them in braids before naps. Her ends are looking better. But the rubber bands break so quickly.

I'll do some searching this weekend for other supplies.

Praying for speedy healing of your heart wounds.


JJ said...

Thank you for sharing and reminding and being you.


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