Taking on Roles

If the goal of the UGP was to teach me how to wobble then it succeeded. I definitely took on a challenge when i decided to create a photo-essay. Of course i chickened out of some parts (i.e. writing my own captions), but i don’t think that makes my essay any worse. In fact i think it adds a certain degree of grandeur and poignancy that i would like my touchstone beliefs to carry. I also made certain parts of the project harder and more interesting for myself, choosing to do cinemagraphs instead of static images was a choice that i was not thoroughly prepared to follow through on but am still excited to carry out.

One of the most difficult parts of the project for me has been trying to capture my words in images. I have visited many site about photo essays and viewed lists of tips and tricks. I’ve even looked at several lesson plans. For those interested they can be found here and here. I have always enjoyed looking at the behind-the-scenes planning that goes on behind everything and lesson plans are a unique perspective that can provide you with a lot of new knowledge and ideas. Despite all my research, i have never been a photographer and have had a terrific amount of trouble trying to put my words into images. I’ve had to go through several phases: first figuring out the best words to communicate my beliefs, then finding metaphors to translate those words into a universally understood form, then finding images to display those metaphors in photographic form. However i’m not done yet because now i have decided to use cinemagraphs i had to reimagine my images in a whole new light. I had to decide which elements should move, which ones i was trying to draw attention to, and which ones i wanted the reader to think about.

As i go through this process i am also thinking about how important it is to experience schoolwork from a students point of view. As teachers we ask students to do so much and take on so many tasks; mentally, physically, and time based, that require our students to put in a lot of creative and logical effort. We need to make sure that the assignments we give them make sense, are doable, actually provide our students with new information, or ideas to work with, that in doing the activities they gain new skills and strategies for future work. It is also important that as teachers we keep learning and growing. By constantly taking on the role of a student we better understand the lives of and demands that we put on our students everyday. Just like taking on the role of teacher as writer, as i have done with this blog, my UGP project, and my own writings, it is important that i continue to take on the role of a student as i progress down the path to becoming, and growing as a teacher.


2 thoughts on “Taking on Roles

  1. It is important to remember that success often comes from failure. I think that sometimes teachers forget this and become solely focused on the end triumph despite what obstacles may lie in the way. I really like how you have created a new viewpoint, learning to see struggle from the student’s point of view.
    Crossing styles, such as using pictures instead of words, is incredibly difficult, but it takes a higher level of understanding to bridge that gap. Bravo!


  2. Wow–you found some great resources that you’ll be able to use when (not if) you introduce your students to this genre. I hope you bookmarked them! They could be useful sooner than you think if you integrate them into materials for units, lesson plans, etc., in your future English Ed. classes.


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