So, there are a few kids this year who really like to draw pictures of me. I mean, really like to draw pictures of me. As I was contemplating the growing collage of teacher portraits on our whiteboard and behind my desk, I had a thought. Several actually. I noted the changing outfits, variety of hair styles (straight vs. curly), glasses or no, etc. What detail, what care, had gone into each drawing.
I was laughing to myself and thinking how sweet these students are, how much I enjoy being with them, when I had a realization – these evolving little people care for me very much. I paid renewed attention to the details and saw that almost all of the pictures were pretty accurate and carefully rendered. If only everyone could be so affirmed! Hmmmm.
This reflection led to a lovely project in our Social-Emotional curriculum. When the class was asked to look at the pictures, and imagine how I felt when I received them, their answers were precious. “Valued”, “Paid attention to”, “Seen”. Wow! How insightful.
We proceeded to do a project in which the students were randomly partnered, and created pencil portraits of each other. They took turns sitting still, being looked at and sketched oh-so-carefully. Watching this exercise gave me goose bumps! They were very deliberate, concentrating hard. The drawings were, in many respects, more accurate and carefully drawn than the self-portraits we did last month!
The students are still putting on the finishing touches, and we are quite eager to see the collected gallery when the drawings are complete. What a gift they have given to each other with their complete attention and hard work. Our class is full of friends who emotionally support each other, and this project was a wonderful way to figuratively and literally show that. We are trying to remember to see each other every day in our classroom.