Reflections from the Sidelines

As the research gatherer/observer, I had the chance to talk with many of the participants in this project, as well as collate their responses to the various narrative questionnaires they completed.  There are several significant things that stand out for me.

First, the amount of out-of-school time the teachers invested in preparing for these lessons.  This included adapting the lessons to their specific course material, making models for students to use, finding and/or purchasing books for examples or materials for the students to use.

Second, the enormous pride the teachers took in their students’ work.  At every workshop there was story after story of specific students who showed interest in schoolwork after weeks of apathy. They couldn’t wait to show the latest drawings or writing samples. And as for the smiles and even tears of joy when they held the finished books in their hands, knowing the effort that the students had made to produce that work, my only response was to say that these men and women are educators in the truest sense of the word; i.e. they brought forth the treasures that lay hidden in their students, rather than try to impress their student with their own brilliance.