Monday, September 24, 2012

Three points for the WIN

I am just about beside myself because of what the image above shows.

The class I took the image in is Graphic Design. While it might not be so obvious, the student in the center of the two is helping the two students he is between and he is also not sitting on the correct side of the room (meaning at his usual seat) because he previously was sitting there and he physically got up to help the two students pictured above. Before he did this though he helped the two students he was sitting in between at his regular seat.

The Graphic Design class is working on a project right now that seeks to visually communicate what the fruits of the spirit look like if it were to be made into a graphic image. (I will present the lesson idea eventually when they actually finish it.) This is their second major project of the marking period so far but their first one where they are not working from a tutorial.

(Normally, I start out the first month of instruction for Graphic Design with tutorials entirely in order to teach them the functionality of the Photoshop program but this year I decide - like with my other art + design courses - to push them to learn via an inquiry-based teaching/learning approach.)

The above image is of a moment that I believe (for the rest of my teaching career) will easily rank in the top five. It's not rare for me to witness students help one another (because my classroom/school is just like that in the way it works most of the time) but this one time this kind of occurrence was INCREDIBLY noteworthy.

The student who this moment centers around (like all of the other students in this class) was very challenged by this project and sometimes outright gave up because of the challenge. They originally wanted to do subject matter that was far from what the project called for and I really pushed them to get beyond themselves and do something different in order to receive something difference. I pushed them to recognize that this assignment didn't just have to be like any other assignment and they had the unique opportunity to learn about the fruits of the spirit in a way that they never knew possible. They obliged me in the way students sometimes oblige their teachers "just because" they are supposed to and want to stop the lecture already. In the midst of all of the obliging, though, something happened and totally changed the game for them. They didn't only start to really learn what the fruits of the spirit are but they also really learned what they truly looked like (and not in graphic format) because they started to embody what they were so seeking to understand.

I called this posting three points for the win because what happened was a serious moment of win. It was a moment of win not just for me as their teacher but also them as the student. It was a moment of blessing that was paid forth in dividends because they not only figured out a majorly challenging design issue (that so many of their peers were working to try and figure out) but they also sought to help not only some of their peers but MORE of their peers. And why? Because they wanted to share "how good it feels" to really succeed at overcoming the challenge at hand. When they first overcome the challenge themselves, while everyone around them was struggling, they were completely elated and excited at the event. The first thing I said to them was, "How does it feel? How does it feel to do something REALLY HARD and WIN at doing it?" They could hardly put it into words and could only agree that it was a feeling so amazing that it almost left them speechless. I suggested that such a thing would be worth sharing and when they took my suggestion, I KNOW that the feeling they had only increased exponentially.

I pray that your Monday is one filled richly with blessings. I pray that your week brings you a moment as much like what I share as possible. And I thank you for allowing me to share it the way I did.

Don't forget to enter the contest 
of this blog's first ever giveaway of my "favorite things!!!"

REMEMBER: You have to leave your comments on the blog post that announced the contest found HERE VIA THIS LINK in order to be officially entered and considered in the final count to be randomly chosen for the prize package. Don't forget that there are TWO ways to be entered in the giveaway and the cut off time/date is Tuesday, Sept. 25th at midnight EST!!

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