Happy New Year! I recently heard a story about a kindergarten teacher, Miss Jones. I read an interview a reporter had done with her. At the time Miss Jones was in her 90’s. The interview was in her assisted living apartment where she was surrounded by drawings that she had made of her kindergarten classes over her 50-year career. She loved to remember the children she had taught.
Miss Jones was an artist. It had been her custom to draw a montage of each class. She explained her approach this way: “I try to capture more than just a likeness of each child. My drawings reflect my vision of them as individuals. The drawings reflect hope. You’ll see that I’m not specific in my caricatures. For example, I don’t picture them as firemen, teachers, or athletes. What I try to capture are the qualities that make each of them special. These are the qualities that they will have forever.”
“I try to reflect these qualities in their eyes, in the expressions on their face, in the positioning of their mouth, and in other ways that seem important to me. I don’t have a model for my drawings. I just draw what seems important to me. What I’m doing is drawing possibilities.”
I have long thought about her use of the word possibilities. Possibilities are about hope for the future. They are developed from thoughtful observations of what might be. They are not meant to be a “design” of what should be. They are not meant to be an accurate portrait of the way things are. Possibilities are subtle in their presentation. They are not meant to be a roadmap. But there is something real about them. Miss Jones’ drawings sprang from the hope she saw in each child. Over time possibilities will take shape, but for now, they are simply developing.
Our role in education is developing possibilities. There are so many incredible possibilities in this new year! Only time will tell how the possibilities unfold. Let’s make 2018 a great year in Worthington!
- Trent Bowers, Superintendent